Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh Amy!

Of all the bags in Amy Butler's Style Stitches book, I dreaded making June's Teardrop Bag most.

It's aptly called Teardrop Bag because tears were shed when I made the bag. So what exactly was I dreading? Take a good look at the hip area. Yep, Miss Piggy's ears.

Ah, here's a closer look. I'm not kidding. The ears have to be attached to the hip of the bag.

Does the leaf fabric look familiar? It's another Ikea fabric. It's a popular fabric. In fact, if you go to Etsy, chances are there is at least one bag, usually a large one made in this fabric.

So how hard was this bag? It's nowhere near as hard as The Cosmo Bag, that's for sure. The Cosmo Bag turned out to be such a great bag. I love it to death. I use it all the time. Originally I had thought it was too big but I carry a lot of junk in my bag so the size is perfect for someone like me. Let's see. I need my emergency medication kit, an umbrella, paper towel, keys, giant wallet, thick jacket (in case it's very cold), thin scarf(in case it's not that cold) and a book.

I've made plenty of pleated bags. Pleated bags aren't hard. I was so confident I could finish it in one night.

I was so wrong.

I had been stung by Amy Butler's bags before so this time I read thru' before I started. There are 2 sizes and I chose Large. Haha. Large turned out to be not so large. I also noticed that the template for the handles was rather narrow in width. I told myself I would widen the handle.

See? I felt pretty confident because I did my homework.

Cutting the pattern pieces was easy. The handle took a little longer. When cutting long pieces of fabric, I like to do it on the floor. There I was kneeled down going snip, snip, snip. After I was done, I almost screamed. Noooooooooo! I had forgotten to widen the handle!

Still not a tragedy. I could make it work. A narrow handle is still doable. Just harder to turn right side out. Those of you who chose Small. I feel for you. It must have killed you to turn the handle right side out.

Everything went smoothly from then on. Until I had to attach Miss Piggy's ears to the hip of the bag. I don't know how other sewers did it. For me, I forced it. I don't know how else to do it. I pleaded with Miss Piggy. I begged. I cried. No can do. So I just hammered it on. Worked like a charm. I was sooo relieved until I remembered I had to attach the other ear.

You understand while all these sewing and struggling was going on, me hubs was sitting next to me and I was grumbling to him. Grumble, grumble. Unlike most of the time when he faked interest, this time he actually gave an opinion. He wondered if I had problems sewing Miss Piggy's ears because my sewing skills were not up to the level required?


How is that possible? I ask. I mean, if my expert sewing skills get any better, I would LEVITATE.

Did I make anyone laugh? Yes, I did. And no, I've not reached expert level. Yet. Right now, I'm at Level Awesome. But I'll get to expert level when I complete my 1,000 Projects Before I Die.

Anyhoo, back to the story. By the time I was done, I was so frazzled I decided nothing and I mean nothing could soothe me except a Cookies n Cream cone ice-cream. So Amy, that extra bit of fat round my hips is on you.

After that, all I had left was the lining and the lining is usually the easy part. Let me repeat that. The lining is usually the easy part.

It was not. The pocket got in the way. I tried to fit the pocket to the lining and the pocket just wouldn't fit. I squeezed and did a mock-up and showed it to me hubs and he said, it looks weird. Finally, I gave up and went to bed full of self-pity listening to "If I die young" by The Band Parry. Yes, that full of self-pity.

This morning after the kids had left for school, I decided to tackle the pocket once again. Then I had a clever idea. I googled for other sewer's blog post on this bag to see if they had the same issue. Guess what? There is an error in the instructions and the correction was given here. Which explained why the pocket did not fit.

I only had an hour to sew this morning so I decided I would just use the pleated lining as a template for the pocket. My best decision to date.

Because the pocket was large, I simply sewed a little square to anchor the pocket to the lining somewhere at the top centre.

Is this worth the effort?

Check out the ears.

There is no way all my stuff could fit into this little bag. Oh, I just peeked at July's bag and it looks like a piece of cake.

This sew-along is hosted by Bree from My Crafty Crap.


Bethany said...

I have yet to make a bag from this book - I love the way they look but I always hear that her patterns are difficult and scary and it makes me not want to make a thing. I had grand intentions as I cut out all the pattern pieces, etc., but haven't opened it since...

Linda said...

It may have given you problems, but just look at the beautiful bag you ended up with! I love it!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Lovely creative bag ~ and am sure your other ones are great also ~ following you from Sandra's A Weaver's Tale ~ enjoy the Fourth ~ ^_^

punkychewster said...

it turned out so pretty even though you shed tears over it!!! good job!!! don't you feel that overwhelming sense of satisfaction??? :)

Sharon Worster said...

Hello: I realize this post is a while old but I'm making this bag today and I'm so STUCK on the piggy ears. The directions are so vague that I can't tell what in tarnation to do. The directions under #7 MAKE AND ATTACHE THE HIPS a. Place two hip pieces RIGHT sides together matching all the edges, and pin in place. Stitch a 1/2" seam around the pinned edges. Backstitch at each end.' Pin in place WHERE? Stitch WHERE? All the way around? Around the curved part? Across the top? I just don't get it.

It says in the next few steps to 'turn the hip right side out' so that might be a clue. Can anyone help me?

Sharon Worster said...

I finally figured it out and finished this bag in one day. A whole day. :)

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Sharon,

Just saw your comments. Gosh, making Amy's bags was such a nightmare. That was 5 years ago? I'm glad you survived.


Sharon Worster said...

Hi Jane:

Yes, I saw it was an old post but I cussed my way through the project & the bag is adorable! Thanks for letting me talk to myself using your old blog post. lol

Sew on,


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