Friday, September 28, 2012

Stitched with love... a drawstring bag

When S and I were texting this summer about the wedding, I said I wished I lived closer, so I could help with the wedding. Without missing a beat, she took me up on my offer. She wanted me to use my mad sewing skills...

As a point of clarification, I do not have mad sewing skills. I have, however, over a period of time taught myself to sew. I have a long ways to go. What I would like to be able to do and what I actually can do vary greatly. I also really need to make friends with my mother's sewing machine, which is a much spiffier model than the one I am using.

I digress. So S needed a cute, modern drawstring bag for the breaking of the glass. In case you didn't know and slept through Yentl, at a Jewish wedding, the couple break a glass at the end. The glass is in a bag and the bag gets stepped on.

There are a variety of symbols associated with this custom, but in this case J and S choose to temper the joy of their day, by noting that not every couple who wishes to marry, can legally marry and while they celebrate their marriage, they take a moment to pause and reflect that not everyone is so blessed. (I cried as the Rabbi read the explanation...)

I was so incredibly honored to sew this bag for them. What a wonderful gift they gave me. A chance to participate and create something beautiful for them.

S also gave me alot to work with. She sent me links to bags she had looked at, her pinterest wedding page, and dimensions.

Had I been more together, I might have shopped before the trip to Sarasota, but I wasn't that together, so I ended up shopping right after the kiddos went back to school. I was looking for grey fabric, with accents of teal and orange.

As I texted S, grey was SO LAST YEAR!

I will admit the fabric proved challenging. I spent a long time in JoAnn's searching and searching. If I had it to do over again, I think I would have searched online. In any event, I decided on a remnant of one and a good solid choice for the other. I ended up making two bags, so that they could choose  which one worked the best. One was more romantic and the other more tailored.

The tailored bag, was nearly technically perfect. The more romantic one was really a stretch for my skill set and the fabric was a challenge to work with.

They ended up using the tailored bag.

I have to say I was pleased with both of them... It was a project of love and I would do it again in a minute...

So-- what I know you all want to see, pictures and my process.

For bag number 1-- the tailored bag, I used some high quality quilting cotton and some fusible interfacing. Ideally I would have been able to find a coordinating cotton and lined the bag that way, but sadly... nada... I struck out, so I simply used the same fabric for both the lining and the outside.

I watched this video as a refresher to making a draw string bag, which honestly is a very basic sewing skill, that I think all aspiring seamstresses should have in their bag of tricks. It is a handy little skill.

Before cutting my fabric, I fired up the iron and created a doubled sided piece of cloth.

 Step 1: Cut two pieces of cloth and place the fusible interfacing in between, wrong sides of the fabric together.
 Step 2: Once you have double sided fabric, measure and cut the fabric to your specifications using whichever method/pattern you have chosen.

Step 3: I decided to add some bias tape to the upper hem, for a nice look and to make the bag a bit stronger.

 Step 4: I threaded the cord thru and then decorated with orange and teal beads, to make the bag match the colors I knew S and J were using for their wedding.

A peak inside the bag!

I love how this one turned out!! It was technically near perfect. I agreed with S that cotton would be less likely to be slippery, I don't think the utility of the fabric took away from the elegance of the bag. (I also disclaim the breaking of the shoe... seriously, the bag was solid but not that solid.)

Version two was clever and pretty. I found a remnant and decided while it wasn't a perfect color match, it was in the right family of colors. I also had some silk at home, which coordinated with it well. Searching You Tube, I found this video that walked me through the creation of a fancy bag.

Warning: the music is annoying, but the tutorial is worth it. I will be the first to admit, that had I had more time, I think my bag would have had less technical errors. This wedding pouch was a stretch for my "mad sewing skills." Darts and hidden drawstring channels. Also my button whole presser foots was MIA and then once found, the machine and the tension was wonky.

In any event, the bag was cute and while it wasn't technically perfect, it was lovely and made with love.

 Inside the bag: I have to say I was super pleased, I managed to make a lined bag... it isn't as easy as it looks and I sort of surprised myself.
The finished bag. I will say the drawstring on this one did not work exactly as I had hopped and I did add some fun beads as well.

The blue fabric is lovely and I have enough left over, that I plan to make a pillow for the newly redone living room.

Having been to the wedding and seen the crisp tailored linens, my first bag fit in perfectly. The second one was romantic and whimsical, but not a match.

No comments: