Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Curse you laws of physics! And how I threw away my gusset then rediscovered my big bottom...

THE BAG ... is complete! Ta-da! But not without much weeping and wailing, many trials and tribulations and problems to be solved at every EVERY turn.

Now, let's see, last time I was choosing fabric and how nice to look back at such an innocent moment. The final fabrics chosen were not all my favourites or the ones I thought had worked out best as fabrics. They weren't all the ones I thought I'd use. But I chose the ones that would work best for this bag. One thing I found out throughout the process of making selections is that you discard much more than you choose, and the bits you reject are as important as the things you decide to include. But you all knew that already, so I was just playing catch up.

Every stage of constructing this bag became a puzzle to find a solution to, and then a physical challenge to carry it out. I won't go into the full gory details but just give a few little snapshots so you get the flavour of it. The front, back and sides/bottom had to be constructed out of three layers of already thick felt. My Pfaff felt the pain of trying to stitch the layers together, and I encountered the problem of manouvering a large piece of not very bendy material with limited space between the needle and the main body of the machine. Then the edges had to be sealed together with bonding powder, which sounds simple enough but it took literally hours with a hot iron to get it all sealed successfully. For one thing, thick felt takes a lot longer to bond. Then the edges weren't very smooth or well finished so I then spent some considerable time giving it all a short back and sides with a razor. The rest of it, involving a leather needle and some pliers is too fresh in my mind to relive. Let's just say there was pain and there was blood.

"And then we came to the end " (a book I enjoyed by the way, very funny) and then I came to what I thought was the end, only fate had one more funny little joker to throw onto the table. And this is where the laws of physics (curse you laws of physics!) came in like grouchy aunt Gladys to spoil everyone's fun. The thick piece of felt that was supposed to form the sides and bottom would bend in one direction or the other but not both at once - it needed to bend around the bag but also to curve so that the edges would lie flat to the edges of the front and back to enable it to be sewn together. It refused point blank to do both.

So I did what any girl would do in this sort of situation and got rid of the pesky gusset all together and sewed both front and back directly together, stuck my tongue out at the bag and decided it made a rather lovely and voluptuous seed pod of a bag. Not overly practical but there was something delicious about it all the same.




















Well, we all rethink such drastic action and I decided to give it one more go so with my heart in my throat I cut the stitches open and made a new bottom with three layers of thinner felt. And there it is finally, all done and finished, and my husband telling me I'm at a loose end now. It's a bag, it has a big bottom and more history than a bag needs. You could stuff a lot into and probably use it as an item of self defence.

I'm done. Module 3 here I come!





8 comments:

Karen said...

Congratulations. I love all the little details, like the beads and buttons.

Fibrenell said...

It looks great - worth all the effort, and I can sense all the pain! I make a fair few bag designs for selling and it's one of the hardest things to get right, and look smart without needing 6 hands and a bendy machine in the process!
Well done!

Garnered Stitches said...

Brilliant! I love the bead and button detailing. Now how dare you Husband to say you are at a loose end - I think a night out for you and the handbag should be on the cards to celebrate the end of the module!
best wishes

Julie said...

Beautiful!!!

Daniela said...

Well done Kathrin. Your bag is very beautiful, I love the design, I love your careful choice of skillfully made fabrics and I love all the details/accents you have added. And last but not least I really enjoyed reading the all story of THE BAG oozing with drama and suspence, almost a novel in itself. Good luck with your new module.

JaneO said...

Yay! Well worth the extra effort on the bag (and you deserve an award for the best ever title for a post).

ferinn said...

What an acheivement,you must be so plesed with the result.It is brilliant!

Mermaids Purse said...

The bag is lovely and well worth all the effort!