|No owl here|
|Missy wearing the bag as this was taken before being gifted and I don't have a photo with new owner wearing it|
- I managed to insert bag feet but couldn't source the plastic canvas for the base in the time scale I wanted - I saw some on the net which seemed very expensive and would have added a lot of cost to the project. So, in the end, I compromised. Others had suggested a thin chopping board from Asda; I used plastic coated foam board. It worked reasonably well, though it did bend a bit at one point.
- I only used 2 bag divider pieces instead of the 4 I had cut. I reread the instructions and still didn't see where I had gone wrong. It’s clear that the zip was supposed to be sandwiched between two layers of the dividing fabric and I missed the part where the second layer was inserted. However, the fabric is so thick that one layer is fine. (I had big problems stitching, see later, and another layer would have made it absolutely impossible, I feel!)
- The zip was actually unnecessarily long. Had I realised this in advance, I would have used a shorter dress zip. This would have been cheaper and because the zip would have been finer, I might have had fewer sewing problems later. Also, the specification for how the zip had to be sewn to the divider were puzzling (probably because I missed the second layer) and I think this led to a problem with the position of the zip below the bag.
- I managed to sew the divider into the lining as specified though on just reading it, I couldn't follow what I was supposed to be doing.
- I didn't press at the right points and couldn't later. I’ll know next time. Pressing wasn't mentioned anywhere in the instructions - sure, I should have known.
- I really struggled putting the lining into the bag. To start with my lining appeared much too long. Turned out that the original zip insertion was probably at least partly to blame for some of the issues as it was too high; I didn't want to dismantle and redo so we managed to deal with the issue. Again, I’ll know next time.
- The biggest issue was stitching around the top of the bag to attach the turned over lining to the turned over outer cover. Add in heavy interfacing and flap and seams and doubled webbing and there are a lot of layers and a lot of thickness plus there wasn’t very easy access to the side seams. I asked Dan to sew it on her industrial machine but she didn’t manage because the machine has no free arm and access was too difficult - she tried but we had to unpick. My little class machine sewed around the easier bits until the needle broke and Dan felt we’d better stop! In my other class, Lyn used an old heavy duty machine but it couldn’t cope with the remaining side seam either. So, I ended up trying to hand sew this - or at least try to make the outside appear similar. I couldn’t actually penetrate all the layers. I’d hoped that a workshop at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show would show me the way, but it wasn’t to be! I think the issues are - the fabric and interfacing are thick (as specified) and there are just too many layers, with lack of access; also the way the zip is put in, it is also sewed over - my zip has metal teeth and is chunky, whereas a dress zip would be finer and probably plastic. I’d need to think about reducing bulk (not covered in the book). The outer fabric needs to be stiff to hold the shape but perhaps the lining could be finer. Also, the interfacing could have seam allowances cut off, I imagine.
|showing flap junction and bag open|
|The area at the top of the photo, above the zip, was the really difficult bit to sew. The zip should have been sandwiched between two layers of red but mine wasn't as I obviously misread the instructions.|
|The bag zips up nicely|
I am pleased with the bag, despite the fact that it’s not ‘perfect’. I think my daughter likes it. My bag making classmate says you have to make a bag before you know how to make one and that is so true. My class tutor, Lyn, likes the bag and will make it up - taking into account some of the issues I found. I certainly suggest a longer flap as well as dealing with the bulk issues. I'll get some tips from her after she's done one!
As far as the owl appliqué is concerned - David framed the owl, set on a suitable background, for the same daughter who got the bag, not the real owl lover. It looked great. Sorry, I don't have a photo of it. He has different plans for my oldest daughter! Instead of the handmade bag I intended, I bought her an owl bag, that is a bag made of owl patterned fabric rather than made in an owl shape, which went down very well.