A friend of mine wanted a bag with “dark jewel tones” about 7″x7″x2″ for some equipment that they had to carry around on a regular basis. While in the fabric shop the other day, I came across this print. It’s a weighty Jacquard, with a woven rather than printed design. I made a double-shell so that it would have a water proof layer; I put in a zipper too.
And all of the techniques that I know about making bags don’t include techniques for closures. So I’m inventing my own, which regrettably involves a lot of hand-sewing. It’s an important distinction in making patterns you design yourself, really — which I did in the case of this bag, I’m so proud of myself even though it’s a terrible design, that I made my own pattern! — HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ASSEMBLE IT ONCE YOU CUT THE PIECES? Because the sewing directions are as important, really, as the pattern.
I also put in D-rings on the sides of the bag, which means that the strap that I make has to have clips to attach to the D-rings. I don’t currently have any of those clips in stock. Another trip to the fabric store, do-dah! Do-dah! I was just there the day before, oh-do-dah-day!
I swear, for every fifteen minutes I spend at my sewing machine working, I spend 30 minutes in the fabric supply shop looking for the materials I need to finish a project. It’s almost like I DON’T have a whole library card-catalog box of fifty drawers, filled with all the sorts of things that I might need to make something out of fabric… Oh, right, I do… it just never contains the thing I’m looking for. At least, not yet.
The other thing about this project is that I’m surprised, often, by how frequently I must fuss with the Jacquard fabric as I hand-sew. Each time I sew up a broken seam and close a hole, another one appears to open up. The fabric unravels quite rapidly, and this is apparently “a thing” with Jacquard fabrics — that you need to fold over an edge and sew that fold to keep the whole spread of textile from unraveling. It’s part of the reason why so many medieval garments — from Japan, Europe and elsewhere — are made of single-widths of fabric, with no cutting at all — so many hand-woven textiles or patterns unravel way too easily.
Update: The body of the bag is now finished, and I’ve begun working on the strap. I’m going to need hardware for this, though. Fabric store today, looking for findings.