Monday, April 2, 2012

The First Time I Make Something

So a weekend or two ago the family and I went to to visit my husband's parents.  The last couple of times we've gone my MIL has had me bring my sewing machine with. Why? Because she knows having a project makes me happy and learning something new puts me over the moon. At Christmas she showed me how to do some crazy quilting, how to use a double needle to stitch, and how to lock stitch. It was the first time I'd really had time to sit down and get to know my Janome and I really really enjoyed it. This time she had a lesson in hand picking zippers, and sewing a simple dress lined up. But I had just gotten Amy Butler's new book, Style Stitches at the library and really wanted to learn how to make some of the gorgeous bags that are in it.
My sewing skills are pretty elementary yet but with my MIL's help I was able to stitch up a pretty decent version of Amy's teardrop purse. I haven't used an actual pattern since I made my first apron for 4-H (a way long time ago). She showed me some tips for copying patterns onto tracing paper and I copied out all the pieces of the pattern Friday night and spent Saturday cutting and sewing the bag (after a quick trip to JoAnn's for fusible interfacing and magnetic snaps). It was touch and go but I was able to get it done in time to clear off the table for supper. I really enjoy learning new things and being able to make a purse that looks like a purse, plus get some experience tracing and cutting patterns, as well as interpreting pattern instructions was pretty exciting.
Almost done!
Of course, my mind was instantly trying to jump to where I would take this. When I first try a recipe I follow it pretty closely. But after that first time I tweak it. That's how following a pattern or copying something is similar to following a recipe. Make it once or twice and then I'll start to alter it, tweak it, re-imagine it. With the teardrop I think I'll square out the bottom, make it a patchwork or add some applique, and make the band across the top thicker. I'm thinking coffee bags, osnaburger fabrics, or maybe add a zakka feel with some sashiko. Not sure yet. But I am pretty excited. Which is why you see three different teardrop bags. After the first I came home and cut 4 more from fabric I'd been given- just to be sure I really had the pattern and process down. A wee bit obssessive to make three, I'll admit.( I didn't keep them- in case you're wondering why I would even want three of the same pattern of bag. I donated them to the non-profit shop I work with). But the book does have to go back to the library soon- yup, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. :)
How about you? Do you have any favorite patterns that you make over? Or a favorite pattern book you'd like to share? I'd love to have you share!!! And thank you, as always, for spending a wee bit of your day here. I appreciate it SO MUCH!!!

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