Blogging time has been way short lately. Earlier in the week we were blessed with grandchildren for a couple days and nights. They went home for one night and came back for another afternoon. Needless to say, they are where of my energies went. Yesterday was spent mostly running errands. Town was oppressively hot. I’d almost rather take a beating than to go to town, but I made the trip as pleasurable as possible by visiting my favorite sewing shop (Sew Select, Hattiesburg, MS). I took my newly constructed “birdie sling” bag in to show the ladies who run the shop. I bought my pattern there, and the ladies are fun to review patterns with.
I don’t recall when a relatively simple project took me so long to complete. From start to finish I worked on this bag for a week. Taking into account the body fabric, contrasting fabric, lining, and interfacing, there are lots of pieces to place and cut. It took me at least three cutting sessions to get them squared away. The actual sewing time was fairly short, maybe two hours, but my focus was off (fibromyalgia brain fog is my excuse) and seam ripping took more time than sewing. ~sigh~
I love the bag end result, but for the next one, at the minimum I’ll use lighter weight fabric for the bands and sling handle. For this bag I used a striped, cotton upholstery remnant and a canvas remnant. The upholstery weight fabric did great for the body of the bag, but the band and sling handle ended up too stiff to ease into position (most likely because of the interfacing). I ended up with a couple very small puckers in the canvas fabric. They aren’t especially noticeable, but they are what I see immediately when I look at the bag. You know how that goes with things you make. The flaw sticks out like a sore thumb. (It’s kind of like a tiny pimple on your nose. You are certain it looks as big as a silver dollar, and everyone is looking at it.) LOL. If I ever use canvas fabric again with this pattern, I won’t use an interfacing at all. I think it will be plenty stiff and durable without it.
The bag body pieces seem upside down during the construction stage, and bless my heart, I sewed one band to the bottom of one of the body pieces and top stitched it before I realized my error. I also sewed one band piece upside down on a body piece and top stitched it. My seam ripper was invaluable during this project. 🙂 I chose this project when I was feeling particularly stressed for “therapy” purposes, but because of the unusual shape of the pieces and the difficult time I was having focusing and following the directions that wasn’t the end result. Several times while stitching the bag I had to set it aside and walk away for a while. In spite of the frustration points, there is no doubt I’ll make more bags using this pattern. I love the bag. I’m thinking the next time around the pattern piece shapes won’t be so confusing, and I’ll manage to get the tops and bottoms on the right end. (We’ve all heard the old cliché about not being able to tell the top from bottom, haven’t we?)
There are some changes I will make in the next one just to suit my personal needs better. I’ll make the smaller pocket larger so it can be used as a concealment pocket (after all a “bitter American who clings to their religion and gun may use this bag sometime). I’ll add at least one pocket to the exterior that will most likely have a zipper. I think the bag needs a closure device, too. I’m thinking of the best way to add a loop and button to the one I’ve already made. The top is too open and wide to be left unattended. I’m really bad about turning my back on my purse when it’s sitting in a shopping cart. I’m also going to add Velcro to the small pocket. It’s too open to be practical.
All in all, I love the pattern and the bag. The bag will hold everything you need to take with you and then some. (If you pack it very carefully you could even get the kitchen sink in it. LOL.) It’s well worth making.
Until next time,
Our heavenly Father, so far from ever overlooking us, is only waiting to find our hearts open, to pour into them the torrents of His grace.
~ Francois de la Fenelon ~
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