Hello lovelies. It’s time for me to dust off Elna and make my dreams come true by learning how to design and sew my own clothes. Follow my journey with Sew It! Academy | Project 1.2 – His & Her Tote Bags.
THE PROJECT – HIS & HER TOTE BAGS
Last week I decided to make my honey (Paul) a surprise tote bag. I did a little recon work by asking him what material he liked. He replied “Camo.” (Ugh, of course, such a boy!) With a quick online search, I was surprised to discover the variety of camo prints on offer at a local textile store. Bit of a bonus because I’d wanted a reason to venture in.
SHOPPING FOR SUPPLIES
You know when you have a good feeling about something before you’ve even experienced it? I knew that I was going to love HomeCraft Textiles and they didn’t disappoint. The St. James store was reminiscent of walking into Aladdin’s Cave, discovering a treasure trove of fabrics, with something new around every corner.
There were a couple of different fabrics I was looking for because I had an idea of how to make my muslin for future skirt projects both affordable and wearable.
And then it happened! I discovered a fabric that can only be best described as “Cherrie”. You can’t believe how excited I am to have found it!
It was nice to step into a new place and get to know the staff who are naturally friendly and helpful. A welcome change from other craft stores.
Edit: The store has also had a renovation and is even bigger, better and brighter than it was!
When I arrived home and viewed my fabrics, I had to laugh at the complete opposites of taste between Paul and me. Camo print is the worst! It has those khaki greens and browns. Everything I don’t enjoy in a colour palette.
When I showed Paul my fabric compared to his and excitedly told him that mine comes in a pink version too (I bought the purple version) he laughed and said “There’s one with MORE pink?” 😆
When I purchased the camo fabric I didn’t take into account the texture which was quite slippery and thick to work with especially when combining layers of fabric.
Elna has quite a narrow space under the presser foot with no way to add any height. (When considering sewing a wedding dress, I highly doubt I’d be able to manage.)
To get around this challenge I tried changing my needles but I found the best outcome was to lengthen the stitch to 3.5 and go slowly.
I also tested out my new handy dandy marking pen which wasn’t easy to see on the dark fruit fabric but the ink worked perfectly for the camo fabric.
Painstakingly ironing seams wasn’t my favourite part of the project but I put my DIY Seam Guide to good use which cut down the time I was fussing about with folding the material over and ironing.
The guide certainly made that task a lot quicker because I could whizz along a line instead of holding the fabric inch by inch. (Stay tuned for a DIY Seam Guide Update.)
Although the Railway Tote bags didn’t come out perfect, I’m not overly disappointed like I used to be when working on something creative. I find I’m thoroughly enjoying turning a length of fabric into something pretty and practical. It was nice gifting something I’d made to Paul and then noticing him use it each day.
The tote project itself was quite simple with the video course easy to follow. I found once I’d been through the design I was able to recall most of the steps a second time without rewatching the video.
Serendipity strikes again. I’d forgotten to buy a matching thread for the handle on Paul’s bag but as it happened, I’d ordered a fabulous Gutermann 42 Thread pack on a VIP special from Spotlight a few days earlier, which arrived moments before I was ready to sew. Inside was the perfect matching thread.
It seems camo works in all sorts of environments. I called Paul into the sewing room and asked him to find something new. It took him a while to spot his finished bag hanging from the red mannequin. 😆
All in all, Paul and I are both pretty happy with our tote bags which have come in handy for the quick grocery shop.
If you’re wishing you could sew, make patterns, drape, fit, sketch, and much more for women, men or kids then sign up for a free month with Sew It! Academy which offers Step-by-Step Courses – Each course is designed to be concise and easy to follow and they’re a bargain at $15 a month.
Keep an eye out for my next project – SEW IT! ACADEMY | PROJECT 2.1 – Ear Bud Case (A little surprise for Paul.)
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