Friday, August 20, 2010

On Sewing and Handbags

Well, let me just say that I have the best husband in the world. For my birthday, he got me the best gift ever! He listened to what I've been saying for a long time, considered all the things I NEED and want, and got me a Bernina sewing machine! It has been so long since I've sewn anything-since that first summer in Alaska to be exact. That's when my cousin Patty taught me and Penny to sew. We made some quilts. It was awesome! (I think Kate and I might have quilted one summer as well...its all kind of long ago...) Anyways, I've been wanting a sewing machine for a long time. All part of my efforts to become more self-sufficient. Even if I don't actually make my own clothing, I would like to know how to alter clothes, revamp them, that kind of thing. Well, it has been a week since my birthday, and I hadn't sewn anything using my machine except some practice sewing on some paper. I decided that I wanted to do a project today. Just go out there and do it! I had seen this really cute tutorial on Flamingo Toes  for a small purse. Perfect! I've actually been annoyed at my purse lately. All I put in it are my wallet, cell phone, and keys, and they all seem to get lost inside. I asked the owner of the blog if she thought that I could use place mats for the fabric. She responded that it would probably take two place mats, and I'm glad she did. I went first to Target this morning, and picked up two place mats. One was a solid green color. The other a beige with yellow, green, and brown flowers on it. I loved the flower pattern, and since I love green, they were perfect. Then, I ran (drove) over to JoAnn fabrics and picked up some thread and a zipper. Total, I spent $14.00, which I don't think is too shabby. Especially considering I have enough thread to last me a little while....

Well, when I got home, I went straight to work. I followed the tutorial pretty closely, except I decided I didn't need to do the inner pocket. I don't have anything that small that would fit. Also, Flamingo Toes breaks up the pattern on the front of her purse with a solid stripe, but I decided I liked the flower pattern on the placemat. I was able to thread the bobbin, thread the machine, sew a zipper on (that was tricky, but I finagled it, and it looks great.) and even do some hand-stitching, which turned out alright. 

Here is my finished project. I'm so proud! It turned out fantastic!!!

Seriously. So cute! And it only took me a couple hours! For a beginner seamstress, I would say that this project was perfect. Just the right combination of ease and challenge. I'm thinking I might try to make a slightly bigger one...I could spend the same amount of  money, just get a longer zipper.... I dunno? Anyone have any good ideas for my next project? Know any good tutorials out there?

Have fun!


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