Friday, January 21, 2011


 I rarely use patterns when making bags.
In my rebellion, when I do use patterns, I tend to alter them a bit....shall we say in my humblest way, improve them...
But then Crazy Dee saw a pattern when we were on vacation together that she just had to have. She saw the sample bag made up on display and proclaimed that she wanted one 'just, exactly like that one!' Knowing my propensity for 'winging it', she made this very clear.  Sadly, the sewing shop that we were visiting did not carry the fabric from which the sample bag was made, so right away, CD had to adjust her imperatives.  I informed her that I had in my possession some batik fabric and that it would be suitable for the bag.  Dubiously, she agreed to my better judgement while I scavenged my memory as to where this supposed batik fabric might be in my stash.
 I had not used Indigo Junction patterns before.  I had bought one or two but never actually used them.  I know.  This happens to us sewists.  We, in our sewing oblivion that comes over us when we are in an actual fabric store, think that of course, we have time to make This or That.  Hence, our sewing rooms are overflowing with wishful thinking.  I perhaps should go on record that I am not that good of a sewist to attempt another Indigo Junction pattern again.  Crazy assumptions are made that one without a history of patterns could even begin to follow well.  I gave up on them about step 47.  No photos to explain complicated procedures, merely two tiny sketches of the completed purse.  I truly believe if I wasn't so afraid of the Wrath of Crazy Dee, that the whole thing would have been chucked early on.
 Now on the Upside of The Grrrrrrrrgrommet bag.......
I did not find the batik that I assured CD that I had.  But I did find an old Ebay skirt purchased back in the day before I realized that I had aging lower legs that really did not need to be shared with anyone other than those that I have married.  The Tommy Hilfiger wrap skirt never did make sense.  I had offered it to Baby Girl when she was headed to Africa years ago, but even she could not figure out it's wonky ways. But I could not deny that the fabric was pretty grand, thus it got placed in the fabric stash.  Do you know that the only scraps that were left from this wild re purposing were pieces small enough for Pretend Granddaughter's Sara's Grammy quilt?  I so love when that happens!  Almost made the whole grrrrrrgrommet bag experience worth the thrill....Almost....
 Eight Grommets on this thing.
The very thing that CD loved about this bag was my undoing. Granted, these grommets are easy enough to use.  No tools; no problems.  Except when you are using four layers of fabric.  1. Outer.  2.  Interfacing.  3.  Upholstery lining fabric (thick)  4.  And a very witty twill tape label made just for CD.  Miss Dixie and Hubby found me on the floor of my sewing room, grumbling and huffing and puffing as I wrestled the purse into submission.  Suggestions and helps were offered but nothing helped except excessive trimming and snipping.  Not once, but EIGHT times.  No wonder Miss Dixie is looking like she wants to dial 911!
Then.  Finally.  All Eight were attached.  I indulged in a little euphoric celebration which let Miss Dixie rest, knowing that I was not going to use any of my sharp utensils on anything nearby.  Surely, it was downhill from there.
Two.  Braided. Handles.  Each handle was a covered cording consisting of three strands each.  A dangerously scary long needle was called into service to thread the cording into the fabric tubes.  And the upholstery fabric was very frayey, making my bring out my Fray Check for than once.  It was late into the night when the last hand stitch, linking the sturdy handles, was accomplished.  By then, my hands and temperament were a bit achy........

So what was learned?
1.  Keep with it.
2.  Adjust when the pattern is just too silly.
3. Be glad you save good fabric and weird skirts.
4. Do not underestimate the job.
5. Be thankful for teachable moments (hours)
6.  Never agree to make another bag for Crazy Dee.

And what did the label say that I sewed inside?
'The purse was lovingly made for Crazy Dee because she made me.'


  1. This bag is awesome! Love the fabric!

  2. Whew! Thank you Autumn! It was a lesson learner...!!

  3. wow!!!! immmmpreeeessiiiiive MAMA!!!!!!!!
    all the work paid off!!!

  4. I can relate and I feel your pain!


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