. . . perfection . . .

I might cry.

Today I decided to make a perfect clutch to match that vintage fabric purse. Well……..

not a flaw-free zone

not a flaw-free zone

I wanted to make one with a center divider. I found a pattern and instructions on a blog called sew to speak. I liked her design, and her instructions are very easy to follow. However, the pattern was bigger than I wanted. So, I ‘borrowed’ her idea and drew up a pattern more the size I wanted.

my version of the pattern

That was the start.

Why, oh WHY can’t I just leave a pattern as I find it, and follow directions???

Never satisfied. Hey, why not add some card pockets? Oh, and I’ll just make that center divider useful – it’ll be a zip pocket!

I wanted the finished clutch to be about 7″ wide by about 4″ tall. So, I cut the back lining piece about 8″ X 12″, and folded it up for the pockets. I measured it (after folding the pockets) against the pattern, to make sure I’d gotten the folds right. So far so good! That little success made me want to do it again – so I made card pockets for the front piece too. Bold, ain’t I!!

looks kinda weird, but it worked!

looks kinda weird, but it worked!

That zip pocket – it was a good idea. But not the way I first did it. I found that I couldn’t follow sew to speak‘s instructions as written, probably because they weren’t written for the alterations I’d made. So, I ended up finishing the bottom seam in the zip pocket, and not sewing it into the bottom seam of the clutch, as the instructions said to do. Instead, I had the pocket about 1/4″ above the bottom seam of the clutch.

bottom seams

I also had to make the zip pocket smaller than the outer pieces. The first try I followed instructions and sewed the zip pocket seams into the side and bottom seams. Not so good. The pocket buckled and was hard to open. OH well. The second try, with the bottom of the zip pocket left free, worked better – but the pocket still tried to curl in the middle.

I tried pulling the pocket sides about zip pocket1/4″ beyond the side seams, making the pocket slightly smaller than the outside pieces. Hey, whaddya know – it worked!!


Things were going so well.

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I’ve just decided to give up on perfection.

Maybe the next project will be that illusive perfect one. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy my imperfect but usable clutch.

Trip planning

I think I’m ready for another road trip. Time to prepare for it! This was the weekend to make myself a new travel bag. I found an old bandanna pattern muumuu and a denim midi skirt (where else??) at yard sales. Naturally, I couldn’t pass them up. I used the sleeves of the muumuu and part of the front of the skirt. Those pockets were great for the outside of the bag.

I used Butterick pattern 3343, view H. But naturally, I could not leave it as it was. I just HAD to add pockets. It’s listed as a travel bag, so I assume Butterick thinks travel bags don’t need pockets. W R O N G ! ! ! But I only added them to the outside. And since I didn’t put any pockets inside, I made a little matching coin purse for the inside. Hey, I gotta have SOMETHING on the inside!!

The rest of the pattern was as written. Well, almost. I did shorten the handles by two inches also, and didn’t make them from the webbing called for in the pattern. Two reasons: first, I didn’t really want to use webbing, and second, I didn’t have any. I made straps from the two fabrics with the edges encased in the bias binding used on the inside seams.

OK, maybe there was one more thing I did differently. The pattern didn’t call for interfacing nor a liner. I added both; but that stiff interfacing was a BEAR to work with, lemme tell ya!! I do like the way it keeps the form of the bag, though.

With all that done, time to put it to the test. Road trip ideas, anyone?

My glorious, amazing mistake

But hey, it’s art.

I just had to try something yesterday, with a HUGE reversible vest I’d bought at Goodwill – mostly for the buttons. But I wondered about making a bag using reversible fabric, with no lining. So I set out to give ‘er a shot. And I tried not to shoot myself in the foot in the process.

Here is what I came up with. This experiment has proven one thing to me – well, maybe two things. First, I don’t like this style of purse in this type of fabric. Second, the next one I make will have stiff interfacing and a lining. This one is way too floppy to suit me, but at least it’s pretty fabric. 🙂 I got so engrossed in the project, though, that I only remembered to take pictures of making that first pocket.

I did discover why the vest had smaller pockets on one side – so they could be sewn on first and the ones for the reverse sewn on over them. duh. I shoulda known that…now I do! So I just used the same technique when sewing on all. those. pockets!

Finished – again

original capri pant leg

original capri pant leg

Yup, I finished the jeans purse.

I liked the process so much, I took it apart and finished it again. And again.

OK, so I exaggerated just a wee bit. Those two remakes had nothing to do with my love for my seam ripper. They had EVERYTHING to do with making this at midnight-thirty and beyond. I was going along just fine about 7 or 8 pm. It was when I crossed that line into the next day that all reason left me and went to bed, where I should’ve been 4 hours earlier myself.

First, after getting the entire purse put together, I hasted to fill it with all my stuff that I feel compelled to carry with me everywhere I go. Alas, though, when I unzipped the inner pocket to store certain treasures, I discovered that I’d sewn it into the upper seam. How did that happen?????? Ah, of course, I was half asleep and didn’t pay attention – so THAT’S why the top stitching felt so thick. Well, nothing to do but rip out the two rows of top stitching I’d just put in, free the zipped pocket, and restitch.

finally got it right!

finally got it right!

That accomplished, I gleefully refilled the purse, and held it up for inspection. AAAARRRGGGHHHH! What did I see? The flap hung lower than I’d anticipated, so when it was snapped, it made the flap bulge above the snap. Well, I couldn’t let that pass. That meant that the extra piece I’d sewn onto the flap at the beginning, before I’d ever put the purse together, was unnecessary. I’d thought at first that the flap was going to be too short. Obviously not – that’s what I get for doing my own thinking.

Anyway, this meant that I needed to remove the flap completely and remove that extra piece. I was NOT going to take the entire purse apart, no matter HOW much I love using my seam ripper on perfectly good seams. Nope, not gonna happen. I took out just the back seam and the previously redone rows of topstitching.

Remake #2 completed, I topstitched for the third time (minus that second row of topstitching – who needs it!!). Yeah, I know, third time’s the charm, right? Done!

What? It’s only 3 a.m.?? Time for a nap before meeting my friend for a girls’ day out at 7:30 a.m. And of course, I used my newly (re)completed purse! Whatcha think?

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How I Spent My Saturday Vacation

Sewing. That’s how I spent my Saturday vacation. And hubby spent his removing a door and replacing it with a window. What fun we had! OH – and then we went out for dinner to celebrate. I’m tellin’ ya, we are one swingin’ couple!!

Here’s what I made. I’d found a scrap of fabric at the Goodwill Outlet, where things are sold by the pound. It was pretty ragged around a couple of edges, about 15″ high at its shortest height, and the full length of the original 45″ fabric. The tallest part was a little over 16″. I was wishing I had another few inches of it, but not to be. Anyway, I was able to use the entire piece of what I did have.

As usual, no patterns – just an idea in my head. I figured I could cut the tote about 16″ by 16″, until I discovered only a few inches of the the remnant was 16″ tall, so I made it 15 by 15. Actually, I ended up cutting it 32 wide by 15 tall, and folded it over to make it 16 by 15. I cut the lining and the batting the same size. Trying to figure out how to quilt it was interesting. I ended up just quilting around the big flowers and left it at that.

I did get some shots of the door/window transformation too, which I may share someday, when the transformation is complete. The idea is to put a countertop in, and a doggy palace below it, since it’s over the doggy door. That will entail taking half a cabinet door off to make room for little Spencer’s dog-cave. He wants his own apartment and his own private entrance to the house. Talk about spoiled brat-dogs!

Well, that was our weekend – how was your??