Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The story of the design: When we got to PR Montreal, we were handed a re-usable shopping bag with the PR Montreal logo printed on it. (Similar to these.) I love this bag! The shape is great, you can carry it on your shoulders or just by the handles, and it holds far more stuff than you'd think. (I used it to move some fabric to my offsite storage - namely, the parents' basement, and I was amazed at how much fabric I could cram in there.)
I've been meaning to replicate it for a while, and the Accessories Contest was a good push.
The story of the fabric: This red silk fabric has sat in my stash for more than 4 years. (It might be one of the oldest pieces there.) I bought it when I only sewed bags, meaning to make some kind of tote bag out of it. (It was a sample in a design store, so I only a half-yard.)
Then, when I started sewing clothes, I thought I'd make an A-line skirt out of it. This would have been complicated, due to the stripe-matching issue, and the extremely limited amount of fabric I had, and so it sat, un-sewn.
Finally though, I've come full circle, and used it for a bag. Much better idea, I can't imagine where I'd wear a red striped silk skirt. (A bit dressy for work, a bit too distinct for everyday life.)
For lining, I was a bit stumped in terms of what was available in my stash. Finally, I pulled this mustard silk-cotton fabric, bought in India, that I had less than 1/2 a meter off as well. (It was another remnant.) I had *just* enough fabric, my shoulder straps are pieced, but I feel pretty good about using it.
This is a pretty fancy lining, and actually makes the bag reversible, which I love!
Construction Details: In terms of construction, here's what I did:
- I traced the bag outline onto my fashion & lining fabric, adding a seam allowance.
- I sewed the sides together (both fashion fabric & lining), and the bottom (leaving a bit unsewn in the lining so I could pull the turn the bag.)
- I sewed a bit of the bottom and sides together, to add 3-dimensionality.
- I left the shoulder straps unsewn, both of lining and bag.
- Then, I placed the lining and the fashion fabric, right sides together, and sewed up the straps (leaving an inch at the top.)
- Because there is a curve near the straps, I clipped the seam allowances so it wouldn't create puckering.
- Flipped the bag inside out (to expose the right sides) and then sewed my shoulder seams of both the fashion fabric and lining closed.
- Finally, I top-stitched the straps, and slip-stitched the opening in the lining bottom closed.
Clear as mud, I know, but it is a pretty common way to line a jacket and bodice.
And that, in a long nutshell, is everything you need to know about the bag.