Moving on, while there hasn't been as much embroidering going on there is still some sort of sewing happening up in here. Here is the bag that I made, and it was super easy. It's just big enough to carry the things Beans' needs for walks or visiting a neighbor without being too big, too heavy, or too awkward to carry while trying to corral a hyperactive crocodile in puppy clothing. I'm considering making a shallower more purse-like bag next, because the only problem this one has is it's deep enough that digging for keys happens more often than I'd like.
I used fabric I'd bought in Japan before coming home, a subtle dark navy fabric with some detailing on it, and a very busy and very Japanese print to offset the blandness of the navy. I was honestly tempted to make the entire bag out of the print, but what you can't tell from the photo is that the colors are pretty dramatic. It's like the Las Vegas strip in chrysanthemum format, and I love it. Balance was probably a better way to go, though.
I set myself three challenges with this project:
- Get that triangle section in without screwing up the measurements and making a frankenbag
- Insert a lining like a grown adult person instead of my former slapdash method
- Sew straight seams
It went pretty smoothly. Measuring out the triangle part was simply done by finding the halfway point on the top, dividing the bottom into thirds, and connecting. Then it was just a matter of remembering the seam allowances, and ironing everything so that the seams matched up perfectly. I've got to say, ironing on a standing ironing board that's four feet long is so much easier than on my little old Japanese one that went on the floor and was only a foot and a half long. No back problems here!
The top of the triangle ended up a little jacked up, but the border hid that pretty nicely, as you can see. If I hadn't said anything I bet you wouldn't have known, right? That border also helps protect the lining from fraying and coming loose. I tried to take a picture of the lining to illustrate that, but the lining is black so it was just the black cave of darkness up in there. What do you guys think of the border? I like the effect and I love the the practicality, but I'm a little worried it's kind of happy hobby hands or something. I am ambivalent.
The last thing I did was make the bottom square to add some depth and structure to the bag. I wish I'd thought to put some fusible interfacing in there to give it even more structure, but it works well enough without it.
So there's some proof that my crafty side hasn't been completely erased by hydroponic gardens, excel spreadsheets, lifehacker, and studying Japanese.
The next entry will be all about Japanese study! The first part will be an in-depth review of the book that I mentioned in a previous entry, Business Japanese, but the second part will talk more about language study in general.