Monday, March 12, 2012

The Bag Lady

Peevish calls her Artistic, but I call her The Bag Lady. Her current project is "7 bags in 7 Days." I'm not sure I'll get to that point in my sewing skills or with my time management unless I could ship my kiddos off to camp or grandparents or something like that. I'd love to spend a week sewing with her. She tried very hard to help me keep all of my bunnies in line and not clip off their ears. I tried very hard to follow her instructions and mostly succeeded. I am loving my new bag that I finished just in time to take to Nikko in the snow (those bunnies are on plastic coated fabric). The world may go to hell in a hand basket, but I'm opting for a plastic bunny bag with polka dots to keep me cheery.
My new bag inspired by Swany and The Bag Lady
Stitch by stitch, I am learning to sew and to rip. It is so fun to see a bag morphing into a new dimension. It would really help if we had instructions in English from Swany, but we are doing the best we can.

Allow me to enlighten you about Swany. It is the reason I bought a sewing machine. It is an inspiring and fabulous fabric store with a French feel to the look and design of the shop. By nearly every clump of fabric, there is a fabric sample made into a bag, apron, slipper, shirt, toilet paper roll holder, umbrella, or did I mention bag? Between the fabrics and the patterns, I was smitten, but I couldn't do it myself. My sewing machine sat for three years in the cupboard. I tried teaching myself, I asked if I could take a class at Swany, but I got nowhere. Then my friend, The Bag Lady, offered to help me. She opened a door to a whole new adventure for me. I am thrilled just standing at the threshold of discovery of what I can do with a bit of thread, a bolt of fabric, gentle instruction, and a willingness to plow headfirst.

I bought fabric during the February sale so that I wouldn't feel bad about using it or messing it up as a way to free myself from inhibitions about having to make something perfect. I chose prints and colors that I liked from the remnants section. Now I am matching fabrics, outsides and liners, together with patterns thus creating kits for future rainy day projects. I will post as I make progress.

I love bags so much that my children pull me away if my eyes begin to drift toward one, on orders from their father. For Christmas I was so good that Santa's Elves brought me a Coach bag! My children were impressed. My husband rolled his eyes. I say all this to explain my interest in making bags. All those fabric sample bags have a pattern number  on them and though the instructions are in Japanese, with a ten dollar expenditure in the shop (varies with the exchange rate) you can get the pattern for free. Translating and then sewing those patterns is another story, but the inspiration and the depth of my desire to make the bags, oh, I can't wait! I can make a lot of bags for the price of a Coach bag.

Today my sincere gratitude goes to The Bag Lady who helps me feel like I have control of at least one project in my life! Amen.

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