October 11, 2012

Gypsy Sling!!!

Yes, she's complete!

Let's ignore the scuff marks at the bottom of the door and the touch up I need to do to the walls, OK?  THANKS!
My Gypsy Sling!

Cell phones nestled inside already and four (4!) pockets you can't see....this bag is the perfect size for me!
I used an outdoor fabricSolaruim Outdoor Canvas-Merona Caribbean from Joann's Fabrics, which is the same fabric I'll use to sew the Weekender bag (at some point....I'm too tired right now).  The interior is canvas duck.  No, seriously.  I have about 10 yards of white canvas duck in the house that needed a use and this was it. I have a tendency to throw any and everything into my bags and I wanted something I could toss into the washing machine and not feel bad about it.  My last 2 bags are stained with chocolate, numerous water bottles, hot and cold tea, ink pens in various colors, a lip liner pencil, ink from papers that had bled next to the water bottles, and all the other various things that get stuck in the bottoms of women's purses (I just named the stuff I could identify).  Not to mention the numerous rips and tears in the delicate lining fabrics.  The white Sak crochet bag I bought 3 months ago looks like I've owned it for three years already.

So this bag, for me, was about beauty, elegance, and durability.  It had to look good, I had to look good carrying it, it had to be big enough (ie. Can I carry my laptop in this comfortably? Yes? Then it's big enough) to carry my everyday items. This is going to be the bag I schlep back and forth to NYC with.  This will be the bag I schlep around NYC with.

Making this was a labor of love.  I'm an occasional sewer; I can make what I want, when I want, as long as the pattern has great instructions.  Otherwise.....well, the results aren't always pretty because I don't sew enough.

So, what went into making this bag?

I read the pattern for weeks after receiving it.
I finally cut out the pattern pieces two weeks ago.
I spent 2 hours last night cutting out the exterior fabric, interfacing and lining.
I reread the instructions again.

I spent ~10 hours today sewing it.  No seriously, from about 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM I was sewing this bag.  What did I learn?
  1. Take breaks.  Have lunch.  Eat dinner.  Walk away from it every so often.
  2. Having a walking foot can save your life!  I've never used my walking foot before today and I can't imagine living without it now.  A walking foot is almost a must on this bag.
  3. I don't think her instructions on making the fabric straps are correct.  If I had followed her directions, I would have had colossal straps (like 80" long per strap).  I took the first strap out, cut it in half, and sewed the ends together to get the correct length.
  4. Amy must have a tiny phone, because there is so way I could fit my phone in her cell phone pocket.  I had planned to put 2 cell phone pockets in my bag anyway (I have a work and a personal cell, so it was a must), but looking at the finished size of her pockets, she must have assumed that everyone making the bag would be lining it in some super stretchy material.
The cell phone on the left (work) is on top of the pocket sewn by her instructions (using a 1/2" seam).  The pocket under the cell (personal) on the right is the same, but used a 1/4" seam.
The final result.  Each cell phone inside it's pocket....a perfect fit.  I didn't bother with the crease/pleat at the bottom either....too much bother.
I'm so excited and proud of what Ive accomplished.  I'm on vacation tomorrow, so I'm going to transfer all my normal purse stuff to this bag and carry it around town for a while. I'm also going to studiously avoid all the fabric and thread scraps on the floor (only what missed the trash) and the mess on my bed.  I need to enjoy this moment.

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