Okay, I promise I don’t always spend every weekend finishing projects… I’ve had motivation lately to work on actually finishing projects instead of just starting others, or being a lazy bum all weekend. I’ve got a few projects I really want to start (like at least two more Sew Together bags, and a Betsy Travel Bag, and there’s another mini quilt swap that’s opening signups tomorrow morning!) but I’ve promised myself that I won’t start any new projects until I finish some of my current (or abandoned) unfinished projects! So during the week (as my angry right wrist permits) I’m back to working on my sock monkey themed knit baby blanket, and on the weekends I’ve been spending a lot of time in my sewing room!
This weekend’s project was working on finishing my two half-done 241 Totes (pattern by Noodlehead). I’d started them back in … April … and then ended up losing interest before I could get them finished. I had the linings done for both bags, and about half of the exteriors, and no shoulder strap started when I abandoned the project shortly after starting it. Last night I got the bags to the point of being ready to sew the outsides and linings together, and by the time I called it quits tonight, I’ve got one bag completely done, and the second is only missing the shoulder strap, which I have started sewing!
These would have gone a bit faster if I hadn’t gone for all of the pocket options, rather than a pick-and-choose. You can see on the pattern website some of the different pocket combinations, and if I end up making any more of these, I’ll probably skip the front zip pockets. They’re quite small, and pretty complicated to do for the size of pocket you get. I also did a few modifications that I’d come across while drooling over pictures of bags that other people have done. It seems to be quite common to change out the fixed-length handle for an adjustable handle, to give you the option of wearing it cross-body. The strap that I added can be shortened enough to wear it just over one shoulder, or lengthened to wear cross-body. Hooray for options!
I also came across Julia’s brilliant idea at Stars & Sunshine to put a key clip in one of the outer pockets to keep your keys handy in one of the outer pockets, but secure. I put my clip in the pocket that will be facing forwards when I’m wearing the purse, since I always carry it on my right side (you can see it hanging out of the pocket in the right photo above). There are some amazing color/quilting combinations for these bags on Instagram and Flickr!
I also went for both the zip pocket and slip pocket inside the purse. The slip pocket is in the front, for bits like pens and my cell phone, and I can’t imagine a purse without a zip pocket in the back. I’ve seen so many purses advertise it as a “change pocket”, but come on ladies, we all know what we actually keep in there! My lining isn’t perfect inside – a little wrinkly in the bottom, but I suppose that’s better than it being too short for the purse depth!
My hope is to get the second bag finished this week, and at some point soon, post one of the purses as a giveaway here in the next week or two! Stay tuned!
I think my only other project coming up that I must finish before starting on my “to sew” list is hemming the curtains I’m using in my sewing room closet instead of closet doors, as they’re about a foot too long and it seems silly to have something as simple as un-hemmed curtains in my sewing room!