23 May 2010

Project: Simplicity 4597 { Notes }

aka The Tardy Birthday Present.

Yes, it's finally over. A year and two months in the making (or four days of actual sewing and a year and two months of panicking) and Simplicity 4597 is done. Finis. Gorffen.

This is my first commercial pattern (i.e. not one of Tone Finnanger's creations) ever completed without help from my Mother. In fact, it's my first commercial pattern ever finished when not being helped by my Mother. I have to admit, it was only the thought of Jemma's face when, for the second year running, I failed to give her the present I'd been promising that made me keep going. It appears I have a low boredom threshold.

The pockets were a nightmare and my pleating leaves a lot to be desired. I was determined to do this properly, basting where told, etc, etc, etc. That lasted a day. I hadn't marked up the fabric properly with all the dots and lines necessary to pleat and stitch correctly, not through complete lack of trying but mostly because on the tote bag you're working with the right side of the fabric and I'd marked the back.

The front pockets were over pleated and pleated in the wrong place and so became too short for the side of the bag. Impatient and unsure how else to fix I just pinked the edges and stitched down, making the pocket edges decorative instead. Due to a mistake on the side pockets (who forgets to add the bias tape to the edges before stitching the pleats into place?!) I did the same thing there too. Thankfully, it looks like it's supposed to look like that.

The fabric was quite a heavyweight material, probably more for upholstering than crafting, but I thought it would help the bag keep its shape, particularly as the only interfacing the shop had was lightweight.

I liked the colours, this is after all for the garden, and the lining and the pockets matched whilst being different designs.

The pattern was relatively easy to follow, even for my novice status. I got a little confused only when sewing on the lower side pockets because it meant stitching down the middle of the bigger pockets behind it, something I found (and still do find) a little strange. But I guess it needed to be secured somehow, and with five working pockets on the front and back and a pocket on either side it's not like you'll miss the 13th and 14th pocket that's been reduced by the stitching!

All in all I'm really pleased with the outcome. I just hope the handles are stitched to the bag well enough to take some weight and that nothing starts falling to pieces. I checked it over for holes and loose threads and couldn't find anything so I'm hopeful that it'll hold up.

I did forget to mention, in my card to Jemma, that this was a bag for the garden so who knows what she'll make of it as a random bag she receives! It also occurred to me that spraying the bag with a waterproofing spray available for shoes might be a good idea, but I forgot to mention that too!

Here's hoping she likes it!

Thanks for stopping by,


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