I’m not fond of sewing instructions and so if I can find a way around using a pattern I will. But I realize I can’t avoid things I dislike forever so last week I decided to make a real deal bag from a pattern. Sadly, well after cutting all the pieces and begining to put it all together, I realized I didn’t pick the best pattern for someone with a sewing machine that just hobbles along and who, for the most part, doesn’t fully comprehend written instructions.
After working with endless layers of Thermolan, wrangling unyielding wooden tassels, fusing and refusing finicky interfacing and fidgeting with pattern pieces that weren’t quite the right size, I did manage to finish the bag. I was so exhausted and critical of everything by the end of the process that I simply looked at the bag, snipped some loose threads and tossed it aside. This is hardly the welcome a new handmade object deserves though.
This bag was created using Amy Butler’s Small Hobo Fringe Bag pattern from her book, Amy Butler’s Style Stitches. Here’s the run down of the project.
Number of pieces to cut: 36
Number of pieces fused together: 22
Number of times my frail sewing machine sat in the corner and wept: 10
Number of times I just had to walk away: lots
All difficulty aside, I do like it. It’s big and bold, unlike me. The wooden tassels are a nice addition even if they aren’t entirely practical. And while we’re on the subject of the tassels, I make this promise to everyone: I’ll never carry this bag with me to a library, a bookstore, a movie theatre or on a secret spy mission. But I’ll probably carry it proudly with me everywhere else because it’d be a shame to hang it in my closet after all the moments, both good and bad, this bag and I shared last week.