Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A New Bag for School

This weekend I’ll be attending Hands On Sewing School in Old Town Alexandria. It will be my first time attending something like this. I’m a little nervous attending it alone since none of my friends were able to go with me, but it is so close to home that I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to attend. It will be 3 days (Friday-Sunday) of sewing and embroidery with a combination of classes and hands-on sewing time each day. There is also a welcome reception on Thursday evening that I plan to attend.  I decided I would like to make a tote bag to use for the weekend. My friend and I already had a craft day planned this past weekend and I decided to skip my original plan of working on Christmas gifts and make the tote bag instead. (What’s a little procrastination, right? 😂)
Crafting with a friend is "sew" much fun!
I decided to make the Strip Tote Bag from Sweet Pea and decided on the 7x12 size design. I used a jelly roll which is a collection of fabric strips that are 2 1/2” wide. The instructions called for 120 strips of fabrics that are 2” wide, but I just used the 2 1/2” strips cut to the right length to save time and it worked out fine. Sewing 120 strips of fabric sounds like a lot of work, but it really went much faster than I expected!
For the decorative stitching that’s on the top of each panel, I used a clear metallic thread (thanks to the suggestion of my friend who also let me use her metallic thread!). It was my first time using a metallic thread. I’ve heard people say they can be hard to work with and I will admit it took a little more attention than working with regular embroidery thread. Coming off the spool holder the thread was getting kinks and breaking a lot. I tried slowing the speed down, but that alone didn't help much. I had read the tip of putting the spool in a coffee cup so I tried that and it was a little better but I still had to watch it closely and it was still getting quite a few breaks. I eventually ended up sitting the coffee cup on the floor with the spool in the mug on it’s side and that seemed to give me the best results. I still had occasional thread breaks, but it was bearable.
Metallic thread in a coffee cup which I eventually
moved to the floor for the best results.
Decorative stitching being sewn onto
one of the six panels for the bag.
I added the monogram to one of the panels while I still had it in the hoop so I didn't have to worry about trying to center it later. I used the Intertwined Vine Interlocking Monogram Font from itch2stich. I used the 3.5" size for this bag.  Once the panels were done, the bag went together pretty easily. I strayed from the directions for making the strap and did mine following this tutorial from Simplicity (minus the extra stitching down the center of the strap). I love the way the bag turned out and I can't wait to use it! I'm all ready for sewing school now! Stay tuned to hear how it goes.
The finished bag!
Happy Stitching!

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