Sunday, August 21, 2011

What a little pouch taught me

Hello dear readers,

If you're a regular reader you'll know my stand on raw seams. In fact I made raw seams my enemy No. 1 and would scoff at bags made with raw seams showing. You could say I'm a finished seam snob.

Well, this week I unexpectedly gave myself a little challenge. Which is to turn a coaster into a coin pouch. You understand that I have not stepped out of my comfort zone when it comes to sewing for a very long time. I make bags one way and one way only - with finished seams.


But with this little coaster-pouch, unless I take the whole thing apart which meant removing the binding, I couldn't possibly turn it into a zip pouch doing it my regular way. I could of course leave it as a coaster but my flaw is I rarely back down from a bag challenge. So I did the unthinkable. I handsewed the zipper onto the coaster.


Inside the lining, the raw seams on the zipper are visible (horrors) if you look closely. Many times, I wanted to ditch the whole project because I felt I was not being true to my handmaking principles.


After I sewed the bottom together, I look at this baby and I see how I've been living under a rock all these while. I doubt if I could ever make this pouch the finished seam way. It got me thinking. When I became intolerant of other methods of making a bag, I cut myself off so many possibilities. Many times I have wanted to try this or that shape just to see how it would turn out. But the one and only method I sew with always stood in the way. Like if I couldn't achieve a finished seam look, I would not make it. It was always the "finished seam" way or no way.

I feel like I have been reborn. Just like after a migraine attack you believe you can do anything except this is a sewing re-birth. Am I starting to sound silly? I do believe I am experiencing a maturity in my sewing mindset.


It is so apt that right after my rebirth, I dove straight into finishing a "difficult" bag that I had been trying to make. I had this amount of leftover Ikea fabric and thought this was the perfect bag for it. hahaha.


I started making this bag last week but I put it on hold as it was killing me trying to hide all the seams. In fact, I put it aside thinking it may never be completed.


But in the end, it all came together beautifully and I made it the finished seam way. Not that I'm not happy with the bag. I am. I love the result. But I'm no longer so in love with techniques and clever ways of making stuff. Making bags is meant to be fun for me. If I have to agonise over it, I think I've lost my way.


In view of my new-found tolerance, I'd like to mention that today is Cook A Pot Of Curry Day in Singapore.


In Singapore, most folks live in flats in areas which are densely populated. Living at such close proximity, it is no surprise when differences occur. Last Monday, a report in the local papers was on the high number of neighbour disputes and how a Community Mediation Centre (CMC) played its part in helping settle disputes. A CMC mediator quoted an example of a dispute between a family from China and a local Indian family.

The dispute was the foreigners from China objected to the local family cooking curry due to the smell. After mediation, the Indian family agreed to cook curry only when the Chinese family were not home.

I guess you can imagine the outcry that resulted. With Singapore becoming so uncomfortably crowded due to increasing number of foreigners, it is very easy to point fingers at the foreigners. Plus throw in 5 cents worth of opinion from every Tom, Dick and Harry and this controversy could easily have gone out of hand. It is also unfortunate that curry is the dish of dispute because Singaporeans LOVE curry.

Fortunately Singaporeans are rational beings. Also, I believe most Singaporeans aren't anti-foreigners. And this is how Cook A Pot Of Curry Day came about. Someone started it and it went viral. This day is a positive outcome of something negative. I don't see it as a protest but as a stand about tolerance of differences.

And in view of my new-found freedom from raw seams snobbishness, today when I have my curry, I will toast to future projects with raw seams, bias binding seams, french seams, in fact any kind of seams.

6 comments:

Linda said...

I absolutely LOVE the way your little coin purse turned out! Beautiful! I also love the black and white purse. You did a great job on both!
I had to share the story of Cook a Pot of Curry Day with my husband. That is so interesting! My neighbors live so far from me I never thought of the problems of living in close proximity!

Ruth said...

Seams like you have it all worked out! (See what I did there?)

Renee said...

Oh Jane, How I admire your sewing skills. I am amazed how you turned that cute little coaster into a coin purse....that is a bit beyond my zip sewing capabiliites. Must step outside my comfort zone and sew more zips.

And so yummy that you have a National Cook a Curry Day. On all my travels to Singapore I have curry for most meals....and a bit of kaya toast thrown in there too.

Enjoy :)
Renee

punkychewster said...

BIG pat on the back for changing set mindsets!!! it really is rewarding to find out how much more we can accomplish when we step out of our comfort zones.

AND i miss curry!!!! i'm going to bug my non-singaporean fantastic cook-of-a-husband to make me some curry chicken!!! got a recipe to share?

antmee said...

*blush* The first bag I made had raw edge seams (on the outside!!). I hope you didn't see it! You must of missed it because your still friends with me! lol

I love your coin purse of course. The green check binding really suits your pink fabric. And your black and white bag is fantastic!

tamdoll said...

Now this is an interesting post! (Well, all your posts are.) I've made bags with zipper edges inside - but are they really raw? They look kind of finished and they can be stitched down.

Of course your black & white bag is lovely as all your bags are, too! Good thinking to take the Curry day idea and to let the freedom of other ideas in also. When I remember to break rules sometimes it's very refreshing. You make your own rules!

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