Projects. That’s what it’s looking like around here. Lots of projects.
This year I really wanted to make more Christmas gifts than I buy. So far I’m ahead of the game; I’ve made a few and bought a few, mainly because my sons don’t really want handmade gifts. I haven’t figured out yet how to make electronics, so reckon I’ll be keeping some electronics store in business for another 20 minutes with a couple of meager purchases. No, I’m not related to the Grinch – I just don’t spend a lot of time in electronics stores. Nor in any other store lately (unless you count the grocery store and home improvement centers).
We’ve had a round of Christmas parties that were a lot of fun to attend. Only a couple of them had gift exchanges. One turned out to be an opportunity to do double-duty: bless a friend and try out a new purse-making idea. Her husband passed away almost two years ago (been there, know the feelings she’s going through), and last week she decided to bring his ties to church to share with anyone who wanted them. Well, hubby does not wear a tie if he can get out of it, but I’ve always wanted to try making a purse from ties. This was the opportunity! I took 3 of them, thinking I could find a good tutorial online to make a purse for this lady, as a memorial to her husband. The tutorials I found didn’t really fit the image I had in my head, so I just got down to it and figured a different way, using only one tie. The other two didn’t really fit into the scheme; they may become another bag in the future though.
I used this particular tie because I remember seeing him wear it on many occasions. He was quite fond of patriotic things. The tie was wide too, which is a good thing when making purses. I took it completely apart, removed the padding, and cut the two ends off. I had one little swatch of complimentary fabric to use to square the ends off and make a lining and pockets. Believe me – there wasn’t enough left of that swatch to sweep up. Love it when I can use an entire piece of fabric like that!
The long middle part of the tie was used for the handles, the keyring, and the itty-bitty card holder. Again, not enough of the tie left to sweep up. I tried an idea for the handles that I’m sure is yawnworthy to all you well-seasoned sewists, but it was an AHA moment for me. That tie fabric, being cut on the bias, doesn’t really make for good handles because it wants to stretch out of shape too much. And I didn’t have any of the fabric left that I’d used for the lining, etc. What to do??? Aha – I remembered I had some rope I’d bought several months ago. Ya just never know when you’ll need that stuff. Anyway, I cut that tie fabric right down the middle lengthwise and folded each piece in half, ironed it, and then folded the ends into the middle where the crease was. Then I wrapped it around the rope and sewed in down, using the zipper foot on the machine. I got as close to the rope as I possibly could with the stitching – kind of like making piping – leaving about an inch on the ends with no rope, so I could sew the ends to the purse back and front pieces. Whatcha know, it worked!! The handles kept their shape very well.
The zipper didn’t come out exactly as I’d envisioned, but in the end I think it gave the purse a better look than what I’d originally planned.
My friend loved the purse. I loved making it. Now when I see her and she’s carrying it, I will think of her husband and her together, and it will make me smile. What makes you smile this Christmas season?