Archive for September, 2013


We just got back from another business trip to San Diego.  While the spouse went to a convention all about taxes (most boring merchant mall in the world), I took little sight-seeing drives.  Here are some photos of linens in Old Town:


I would own all of these fabrics if I could afford it.  All of them.



DSC00289Now that we are home again, I have to get started sewing on the next handbag.  I did take the denim bag on the trip, and it worked very well and was comfortable to carry around.

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DSC00274This bag has both batting and thick interfacing, and I don’t think my machine is strong enough for that combo.  I may break out the Singer 401A for the next attempt at such a structured bag.  Anyway, I really like how this turned out.

DSC00277Here’s a back view showing the pockets across the back.

I think for future efforts I will have a pocket all across one side (front or back) and an applied pocket on the other side.  This will avoid thickness at the seam and having to match the pocket height on the sides.

DSC00275View of the interior showing the secret zippered pocket under the flap and the zipper across the bag top for security.

DSC00279Interior pockets.

It took a long time to make this bag mainly because I have a dainty small machine and this was a heavy, thick project.  Next time I will use a more heavy-duty machine.  Most of the thickness was from the adjustable strap which required a double strap thickness at one side.  I couldn’t do the topstitching over such a thick area so ended up doing it by hand with double thread and some pliers.

I may take a break from making bags for a week or two, but I do have the next one cut out and ready to go:

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The Next Handbag

Now that I’ve been out and about with the new handbag, the verdict is that the handbag is comfortable to wear and works really well.  I’m also trying to notice what things need to be changed or what pockets would be good to add.  The next two bags are already cut out, an orange print that has been in the stash for years, and a newly acquired fuchsia and black print.

DSC00272Ignore the acid green print, it was just auditioning to become another handbag.  So far all the batting and interfacings have been applied, the zipper unit is sewn, strap is constructed, and the pockets for the body and the lining are in the works.

I was wondering if a fabric handbag could be successfully washed and end up looking as good as before, and I unfortunately got to find out when a pen leaked onto the front of the new denim bag.  Lucky for me, I have an ancient stash of stain removers that have been out in the laundry cabinet for 15 years or more, and they still work great.  They are the Carbona brand, and have saved many of my husband’s work shirts from a shortened, ink-stained life.  In this case, the medium-size black ink stain came right out of the handbag.  After machine washing and drying the bag, I just needed to press it a bit carefully so the plastic zipper wouldn’t be damaged, and the handbag was once again spiffy looking.  It’s helpful to have some wooden pressing accessories to help with the pressing, and I think a pressing ham would help, too.

When my daughter was going to school in Texas, she really liked shopping at Hobby Lobby stores.  We didn’t have any in our area, and the only one I’ve ever been in was down in Monterey.  The big news around here this month is that a new Hobby Lobby is opening up in West County, so my daughter is rounding up me, my MIL, and my SIL to make a trek over there to look it over.  It will be interesting to check out something different from a J0Ann’s or a M1chaels.

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