Friday, July 8, 2011

A Very Beginner's Project

So I have a little obsession with tote bags.  I buy them, I Pin them, I lust after them. It's a little weird.  Today, I decided to take the bull by the horns and *sew* one.  Lemme preface this by saying I cannot sew a damn thing; not a straight line on paper projects, not a button back on a shirt.  I most definitely didn't think I could tackle functional final products like clothes or a tote bag.  But I found and bookmarked this tutorial, headed to Joann's to find a couple of fabrics I like (which is sooo easy to do. Fabric is almost as delicious as patterned paper!), and spend my afternoon sewing something for the very first time. I figured hey, if it doesn't work, at least I tried.  It will only be a few bucks and a few hours (and a big does of pride) down the drain.

I started by watching a few video tutorials from Sew Sing.   I've had this Singer Sewing machine for quite a while;  I permanently borrowed it from my dad at least a year ago.  I tried once to run it on paper, failed miserably, and moved it to a corner of the craft room never to be used again.  Until today.  I had to begin by learning how to thread it and wind a bobbin.  Yeah, I was that clueless.

I followed the step-by-step directions from Sew Mama Sew extremely carefully.  However, I royally messed up the tutorial's version of a front pocket and had to branch out on my own with what I had left of the red fabric.  I won't show you a closeup of the pocket I did put on the bag because the lines are atrociously crooked and the seams ridiculously uneven.  But it's got a pocket and it actually holds stuff.

Altogether, it took me almost 3 hours. Ha!  And during the process my kitchen looked a lot like this:

Note: That was *supposed* to be the front pocket.  But seeing as how it didn't have a single straight edge or square corner, I formulated a plan B.

But when all was done, I actually have a real tote bag.  Sure the bottom is crazy uneven, and my stitch lines are as wavy as my hair, but I made it myself.  With a gusset, French seams, contrasting pocket and handles, and everything.  Granted, any 7th grader who's taken a basic home-ec class could have done it way better and way faster.  I'm going to choose to ignore that fact and be pleased with my bright new tote bag. It even has buttons. :)

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