Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two Bugs And A Flower

I am on a crusade to turn all my usable fabric remnants into bags and pouches. In my latest quest, I was bitten by the bugs.
I had two narrow strips of linen-cotton print and it really bothered me so I pieced them with raw linen to make this zippy purse. I have yards and yards of raw linen because you can never have too much raw linen. The thing with raw linen is it makes you want to sew some embroidery on it and so I sewed a ladybird in stem stitch. I know a ladybird has the dots in black but i wanted red dots. The red dots are sewn in satin stitch. If you want a good tip on how to sew satin stitch, go to Melly & me. I was just looking at the image above and realised I haven't read Dan Brown's Angels & Demons which Mandy had lent me a while ago. I hope she won't ask for it back yet as I'll be needing it as a prop.

I'm not too fond of satin stitches mainly because when I was 12, I was chosen to do embroidery in school. The last time I did any embroidery was when I was 7. In between I had to do Art. Unfortunately, the teacher in charge of embroidery was my Chinese Language teacher, Mrs Lim. If you remember, I'm not fluent in Mandarin and oh boy. Mrs Lim was not the most patient teacher and on top of that, my results in my Chinese language was putting her in a bad light. All that bad blood resulted in a really unpleasant experience for us. First of all, she gave me a most hideous green linen to work with. Then she drew little shapes on 4 corners of the linen. Without even showing me how, she expected me to magically create beautiful stitches. I didn't. Then I misunderstood her. I thought she wanted satin stitches. What she really wanted was long and short stitches and the stitches had to reflect shadows. I think it's a form of Chinese embroidery. She was crazy to think I could do it on my own. After months of scolding and unpicking and redoing, she finally gave up and accepted my satin stitches. At the end of the school year, she returned it to me to bring home. She did not magically transform it into a bag or anything. She said I could use it as a table cloth. In my home?

When I was 14, I had to do a art project in school but we could pick anything we wanted. I chose embroidery. I was the only one. My Art teacher, Ms Ong who incidentally had an unhealthy obsession with me thought I was gonna do a huge quilt project. To be honest, I chose embroidery because my brilliant plan was to hand in the hideous table cloth I did when I was 12. I was 14. What did you think? I had absolutely no interest in sewing or art projects. So the whole year when everyone else was busy with their chosen project during art period, I read story books. Ms Ong was free and easy with me because she thought my quilt was too large to lug to school. Anyway, the months flew by and finally I had to hand in my project. I seached for the hideous green linen table cloth and to my horror discovered that someone in my home had used it as a rag and it was stained all over with dark soy sauce! I didn't think I could get away with handing it in. The next day I told Ms Ong I forgot to bring my project. So she gave me 1 last chance. That night, I found a square fabric and I sewed thru' the night. I sewed an exact duplicate of my hideous green linen table cloth. I handed in my project to Ms Ong and she was a little shocked it was just a table cloth. Still, she gave me an 'A'.
Still on bugs, this time I did a roach. Me hubs wanted to know who's gonna buy something with roaches on it. The roach is done in backstitch with some satin stitches. I used sashiko thread.
To offset the blue and white, I made the lining cheery.
Originally my plan was to sew a bug on the flower but sanity overruled.
I think pink twill goes well with indigo.

Noodlehead has a few zippy pouch tutes. If you're a beginner, you might want to check them out. Try Lil Cutie Pouches first as it's the most basic and explore the others later.

17 projects completed.
983 more to go.
Btw, it bothered me hubs that I didn't try to count the number of bags I've made since I started sewing bags. So I might just have to do it and that will completely change my project count. Gotta please the man.


Micki said...

Gorgeous purse! I loved how you decorated it!
Good luck with your goals!

Chris H said...

Your bugs and flower are so lovley!

Solstitches said...

What a lovely post. I loved hearing about your childhood memories of school sewing lessons :)
It made me laugh out loud where your husband asked who would buy something with a roach on it.
I LOVE the look of linen combined with other fabrics. That pouch is just beautiful.

tamdoll said...

Your bags are wonderful as usual! I, too, would like to know who buys the roach bag. An entomology professor maybe? an exterminator?

Your school story is fantastic and made me laugh. It's a good thing the teacher's attitude didn't turn you off to your craft. I'm jealous you had sewing classes so early on - I didn't learn until I was about 19!

Dee said...

Love the story aboout school classes. My experience with such things in school is not all that different. How many kids did these teachers turn off altogether? and how many could have really been deveoped had they just approached it a bit better?
love the bugs. did I start something with all my bug stitching? had to laugh at the roach - that is genius. Can't wait to see where it goes. your stitches are lovely and neat.
Please count up all the bags you have made I am with hubby on that one. Also how many have you sold?
I see not all of your bags are listed on etsy or zibbet. How can I buy one as I can't get to your market in Singapore. :)

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