Monday, February 18, 2008

Just checking in...

Sorry it's been so long since I last blogged. I was hoping to get a nice post in once I got my knitpicks order, but sadly it has yet to arrive. I have to say, the tracking portion of their website is incredibly confusing: it suggests my package arrived already, when I know for a fact it did not!

Although I have yet to start my official project spectrum socks, I do have one knitting FO and one sewing FO to take pictures of and post about, but those will have to wait.

For now, I'm going to write about my most scary exciting sewing project ever: tackling Amy Butler's Weekend Travel Bag! I've admired this pattern ever since I saw it, and when I was in New York at the end of January, I bought the pattern from Purl. A few weeks ago I bought fabric (well, my first round...I'll explain THAT in a bit) from JoAnn's and I've just been waiting for some inspiration to start cutting. Last night I found the inspiration! I was looking through the Flickr group for UHandbag blog's Amy Butler patterns and I found some *beautiful* weekenders I'd like to share with you:

Weekender bag Mosaic

1. Weekender, 2. Weekender Bag, 3. Weekender Bag, 4. Melissa's Weekender Bag, 5. sew11, 6. Weekender Bag front view, 7. weekender1, 8. Amy Butler Weekender Bag, 9. Amy Butler Weekender Bag, 10. amy butler weekender bag, 11. DSC_0302a, 12. Amy Butler Weekender bag.

Simply beautiful!
So, last night I started cutting my fabric. I decided I was going to approach this project slowly so I wouldn't get too frustrated or intimidated by it, so my goal for last night was just to cut out the exterior fabric. All went well, and I even managed to (somewhat) match up the patterns for my front pockets! I tried matching the side pockets, but that didn't go quite as well. Oh well!

This morning I started cutting out the lining fabric. The way the pattern is written, you're supposed to be able to cut out both the handles and the main panels on the same side of the fabric. (If you have the pattern you'll know what I mean.) Like the instructions said, I started by cutting out the handles, but once it came time to cut out the main panel, there simply wasn't enough fabric left. I'm usually overly conservative when cutting fabric, but this just turned into more and more of a disaster. I've cut out all the pattern pieces for the actual lining, but I need to go out and buy more fabric for the piping. I'm sure this is my fault, but I'm not pleased.

The other thing I'm frustrated about has nothing to do with the pattern exactly, but has to do with the help at my local JoAnn's. (Yes, I know large chain stores aren't as nice as smaller local stores, and if I *knew* of any small local stores I'd be there in a heartbeat, but we work with what we've got!) I'd brought the pattern with me when I was buying all the fabric in hopes of getting some help with the Timtex and the interfacing. The woman at the cutting counter very nicely helped me select something for each of them, but somehow I didn't notice until today what she gave me for the interfacing was actually tear away stabilizer. Argh! Maybe I am a little bit frustrated at the pattern for far as I can tell, Timtex is out of business. The replacement is, inevitably, Pellon, however I haven't found information *anywhere* about how to know *which* Pellon I want to replace Timtex, or what I should buy when a pattern just says "heavy weight sew in interfacing." That's my rant number two.

My rant number three is completely the pattern's fault. In the materials list it telsl you you need 1 sheet of Dritz 12"x18 heavy duty template plastic, which I happily found and purchased. However, once you cut the plastic, you are supposed to be able to cut *two* pieces of 7"x16.5". I realize I wasn't a math major, but I'm pretty good at basic arithmetic, and there's no way you can cut two pieces that size out of the sheet of plastic I bought. 7+7 is not <= 12! I'm going to make do by just using one piece of plastic for the bottom, but I'm a little frustrated about that problem with the pattern. Though my other issues with the pattern are at least partly my fault, that one is not. (And yes, I did read through the entire pattern before purchasing materials, but I hadn't caught that because when the pattern said "cut two pieces of this size from that plastic" I trusted I could do it. So much for trust!)

Well, enough writing about the problems - I'm going to go to the fabric store and get all the extra stuff I need. I hope they have the fabric I want in stock still! I'll try and have some photos of my own stuff in the next post. Later!


Fanny said...

Hi There!

You've got my bag up there in your mosaic, so I thought I'd chime in...

Look for something called Peltex (made by Pellon) and use two layers to approximate the stiffness of Timtex.

Also, when it comes time to attache the side panels - do a hand basting stitch first. It'll help a lot. The bag gets a little unwieldy towards the end.

Email me if you need any other help!

Sarah said...

I just started cutting out my fabric for the Weekender bag today and I ran into the same problem with the template plastic! I'm surprised this mistake wasn't fixed in the errata....