Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm a craft killer

I'm writing this at 1:30am...just a heads up for the bad grammar that's ahead.

So I'm not very crafty. At all. My mom is a seamstress and I've played around with her sewing machine a handful of times. I've never made anything worthy of keeping. So I don't know why I got it in my head all of the sudden to sew myself a purse. I've been wanting a new over the shoulder satchel hippie purse thing. I have one but it's super bright colored, goes with nothing I own, and has ohms all over it...and I'm so not into that sort of thing! (I bought it before I realized what the symbol was/meant)

So like all good craft projects, I started in on my endeavor at 10:30pm. I found this pattern and decided to give it a shot. I scrounged around in the attic for my mom's scrap material. I found a a yard or so of fleecy pajama fabric and some white material that would work for a liner. And I was off. I made a makeshift pattern out of lime green scratch paper. I designed it to be a little larger than the one shown in the pattern...and with a longer strap. I cut my fabric and had my mom set up the sewing machine (because I'm inept at things like that).

I got the outer layer (pajama fabric) sewn beautifully and continued on to the liner. Mistake number one: sewed the beveled corners into the wrong part of the bag. I had to cut the straps off and sew them back on. Hey, it was better than starting all over, right? I continued. The pattern called for a cute little inside pocket. I got it cut and sewn on. Easy peasy. LIES! I sewed the pocket onto the wrong side. I had to pull all of the stitches out and sew it onto the other side. Of course I couldn't find my mom's seam ripper so I mangled my way through the seams using a cuticle clipper...yes, one of those things you use to cut off nasty hangnails and junk. It's all about ingenuity at 11:30pm. As I was ripping the stitches out I realized that just because a pattern says "Sew Easy" or "My two year old made this, you can too!" DOES NOT mean I can do it. Hey, at least you readers out there in internet world don't have to worry about SFJ turning into yet another craft blog!

I finally got the stitches out and I got back to sewing. Halfway through the pocket I ran out of bobbin thread. I only know what it's called because my mom got sick of me calling it the "bottom thread" and insisted I call it by its proper name. Now, I've never changed bobbin before. I always asked mom to do it. Why not, she's always willing to help. was sound asleep by this point. So off to YouTube, I go! Mind you, my mom's sewing machine is probably at least 30 years old. They certainly don't make them like they used to. No really, they don't! I'm pretty sure I watched 7 videos before I found one that worked at least remotely like my mom's. After watching the video and pausing it step by step a number of times followed by me testing, trying, failing, trying again, I finally got it back in and working! Pocket sewn on.

So now what? Well sew the outer layer and the liner together, of course! I looked at the pattern/instructions over and over again, trying to figure out which side was in and which was out. When you sew things with multiple layers and inverted, it gets very confusing. Especially at 12:00am. So I stare at the picture, fiddle with my purse pile of fabric and decide to go for it. Somehow I convinced myself that I had already made enough mistakes that I'd paid my dues and this time it would go smoothly. And so I sewed the pieces together and inverted.

Immediately I realized that I had made 2 more mistakes. First was that I really needed the gap in stitching that I had ignored later. It had said to leave a hole in the liner for future right-side-outing (yup, I just made up that word). I had decided that was silly. And so now I found myself having another date with the seam ripper cuticle clipper, ripping out my stitches to create a hole. My second mistake was considerably larger. My decision about which way was in and which was out failed me. My liner ended up inside out. The yucky side of the seams were inside my purse and the pocket I had worked so hard on TWICE was sandwiched in no-mans land between the liner and the outer layer. Completely sealed off. Hey, at least it's the ultimate pickpocket protection! *facepalm*

So I cut a slit in the liner so as to reach the pocket. I sewed a flap down to feign some semblance of pretty, though I"m pretty sure all hope for that was lost by this point. I sewed my real pocket flap to the other side so that my phone and keys wouldn't accidentally slide down into the black abyss that exists between the liner and the outer layer. And with that I sewed the straps together and was finished.

But of course I wanted to iron the seams to flatten them out and get them to lay straight. But where is the iron? I haven't lived in this house in 4 years and I came to realize I had NO CLUE where my mom kept the iron. I searched in the laundry room, utility closet, linen closet, parents bathroom, hall bathroom. NO STINKING IRON! Where do people keep irons nowadays?!?

So what does my 1:25am brain decide to do? Why heat up a pot of water, of course! I'm bound and determined to finish this project. There's no stopping me now! Er, that may be the delirium talking. So I lay a towel on the kitchen counter and place the purse pile of fabric on it. I boil the water. Once I get a nice bubble going I used the underside of the pot to press out the seams of the purse. No singeing. I continue. It only half-worked. My seams are now semi-flat. I plopped my wallet into it and slung it over my shoulder. It didn't break...that's a start. We'll see how it holds up when it accumulates the usual amount of junk my purses contain. Because, yes, of course I'm going to use it!! I'm too stubborn not to. =P

If my wallet, keys, or phone go missing in the coming weeks we'll all know what to blame it on. ;)

PS: I had started taking pictures of my progress as all good bloggers do but subsequently stopped once the frustration, sleepiness, and sheer madness set in. The following are the ones I took.

Fabric selection

Making the pattern

Cutting the fabric

Fluff Ball wanted to help

Finished product

My slice and dice pocket

How ghetto is that?!?

Modeling it in the backyard. All good models close their eyes, don't they?


  1. I too, like any good crafter, begin projects way too late in the evening! I'm visiting from {in}courage as a new follower.

  2. Why do we do that to ourselves? I know it will take way longer than I'm willing to stay awake for! Thanks for stopping by and following! =)