Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bag It Up! - Part I

Last night, I began the task of teaching my sweetheart to sew. When teaching someone this craft, choosing the right project is important. It has to be something that your student is excited about, and is not too difficult. You also want to have a bit more challenge than sewing a square pillow, at least for your adult learners. We chose a messenger bag. In fact, we're making this one from the Weekend Designer. I underestimated the complexity of this project, however with a bit of my help around the zipper part (which I goofed up and had to redo, but only once!) it's turning out rather well. Also, don't start things at 9:00 at night if you typically go to bed at 11:00. That didn't work out so well for me. I had to figure out this zipper!

After a quick trip to Jo~Ann, we had everything we needed for the bag. We only spent $20 on the bag, and that got us everything but interfacing. Here's the haul:

The body of the bag is this wonderful home decor canvas. It's pretty soft and flexible, but should hold up well.

For the lining, we chose a calico print called "Retro Owl," which is pretty self explanatory. Using an unexpected color or print on the inside of a bag is a great way to inject your personality into your creation.

For our thread and zipper, we (completely by coincidence) pulled a color from the lining. This will create a little bit of contrast and detail to the outside of the bag. My Grandma (or Oma as I've always called her) told me a long time ago to ALWAYS buy G├╝termann thread, because it doesn't break in your machine.  It may just be that she likes German things.  Who knows?  In either case, it really is quality thread, and it comes in a wide array of lovely colors.  Ours is something very close to "light topaz," shown here.

We also included a couple of buttons for the bottom of the flap, to hold it down.  They're wooden, with spirals on them.  The genius that is my love thought to make horizontal button holes, so you'll have to struggle with the buttons less when fastening them.  Plus they will follow the line of the flap.  We're not making an adjustable strap, but this could be done easily. Pictures will come when it's finished.  See how you can use unexpected color combinations to bring life to your creations? Not everything has to be matchy-matchy. All you need is a basic understanding of color theory (you have to know the rules to break them)and your imagination!

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