achievement unlocked: unicorn zipper bag

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yeah, just a basic zipper bag made from scraps. the unicorn print is from the cambie dress i made in the spring, the interior is railroad stripe denim left over from the suspender skirt i made, & the zipper itself is a real blast from the past: purchased in 2008 when i sewed up a bunch of zipper pouches for people who subscribed to my zine distro. that was probably my first real sewing project. i didn’t have a rotary cutter or even a real pair of fabric scissors. i didn’t have an acrylic ruler. i think i used a yardstick to measure the first piece of fabric i cut & used that as a template, with extremely mixed results. i still have one bag left from that project. i kept the worst one, the one that was truly the wonkiest, where i sewed half of it without putting down the presser foot (a mistake i would probably still make sometimes if i my current machine permitted it), & i had to use scraps to make one side of the bag the right size, but i didn’t even really know how to sew scraps together. it’s just a frankenstein’s monster of a mess. but it functions as a bag, so i used it for years.

until i made this guy, which i guess is a replacement. i just use it to stash random small things that i don’t want to lose in the depths of my desk somewhere. this one is still not perfect. i decided to box the bottom corners to give it some stability, but i did it wrong TWICE & had to pick it all out & try again before i finally used the technique i was going for properly. & even then, i realized the technique was kind of lame. maybe i should have made a wider box? the fact that i lined it with denim is also problematic. the lining is bulkier than the outer fabric, which i hoped would give the whole thing some body, but it just turned out kind of weird.

i also added an interior pocket, but it kind of fails as a pocket. it starts too low inside the bag to really function the way i envisioned. this seems to happen to all of my bags. i always want to add pockets & i have all these visions of how useful they will be, & then they end up just being annoying flaps of extraneous fabric that do nothing but get in the way.

anyway! i am being forced to write about this bag because i have been sewing very little so far this year.

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here’s the bag interior. scope that zipper tab! i think that turned out pretty dope, at the very least.

ramona caught a cold over christmas vacation that just lingered & lingered & lingered for weeks. & i guess i finally caught it too, but in me, it turned into a full-on lung infection. i lost my voice & i’ve been sick now for like half of january. at first i thought it was just the sniffles & then i thought maybe it was that infamous congestion you get sometimes when you’re pregnant, & i was like, yay, we’re totally gonna have another baby by the end of 2015! but…yeah, not pregnant. then i thought maybe it was strep throat. then both jared & one of my mom friends were like, “dude, go to a doctor!” but i don’t really have a fever anymore, & my voice is slowly & creakily returning, so i think i’m just gonna tough it out. doctors in lawrence seem to treat everything with antibiotics. “oh, you have an earache? here’s some amoxicillin!” “you have a sinus infection? antibiotics!” “you were gored by a bull? try this bubblegum-flavored antibiotic syrup!” i’d rather not help contribute to the development of an antibiotic-resistant superbug that destroys us all if i have a choice in the matter.

so instead i have been napping a lot & reading shitty self-published novels about pregnancy complications instead. & not sewing.

i did buy two different glittery knit fabrics as a consolation prize for the knit fabric i tried to buy from fabric.com last month, which was mysteriously over-sold. turns out both fabrics i chose (& i tried to choose different weights & stretch contents in the hopes of finding something usable) are pretty damn sheer. & the glitter in one of them is GOLD. disgusting. i hate gold. hate it! so i’m not sure how to proceed there. i think i will try using the reverse side of the gold glittery one to downplay the gold-ness, & self-line it. the other is supposedly blue with silver sparkles, but it’s really more gray (which i prefer to blue, so that’s a lucky break). i think i’ll line that one in black jersey, which i bought for a skirt project that is just never gonna happen. i’m still trying to decide if i should give the bronte top another shot or try again with the renfrew. i prefer the construction of the renfrew, but i think it needs more alterations to fit. i wear the two brontes i made last month constantly. i’m wearing one of them right now! but i probably wear them a lot more because of the warm, snuggly fabric (one is french terry, the other is a super-plush thermal waffle knit) than because of the design or fit.

i also got my enormous box of cotton + steel viewfinder print fabric this morning! it went straight down to the washer & is now all prepped & ready to be turned into dresses & skirts & bags & anything else i want! i had hoped to have made at least one shirtdress by the time it arrived so i’d have a fitted pattern all ready to roll, but my stupid lungs had other ideas. hopefully i will find some time to sit down this weekend & do some sewing.

oh, i guess i sewed yesterday. it was a mending day. i finally got around to fixing everything that needed to be fixed–a loose sleeve on my winter coat, a popped seam on ramona’s winter hat, a hole in a pair of pants, etc etc. i took the buttons off this cute hand-knit cardigan i found for ramona at a thrift store & replaced them with snaps.

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i kind of understand now why it was at the thrift store. the fit is weird. it’s kind of too short in the torso, but way long on the arms, & the shoulder seam is super-low. the buttons it came with were tiny & slipped out of the buttonholes every time ramona moved. & one weird thing about ramona is that she HATES having her clothes disarrayed. if a button comes undone, she starts crying & doesn’t stop until it’s fixed. she must have both the zipper & the toggles on her toggle coat done up. her hat must be snapped under her chin & not just placed on her head. yesterday she somehow took off her pants during her nap & then woke up & couldn’t go back to sleep because she wasn’t wearing pants.

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here she is, crying about her pants. i quote: “i’m sad! crying! took my pants off! ramona is sad because *sob* no pants! *shaky gasp* pants are gone!” the pants were right next to her in the crib, for the record. she just doesn’t know how to put them on by herself.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. hoperoth says:

    I like your bag! I haven’t sewed anything since Christmas. 😦 I have all of these big plans to finally finish putting my craft room together. So, I’m like “don’t start a project, it will just make a mess.” But there is a lot of work involved in making it all come together, so I end up doing other stuff instead of getting started.

    I did buy a Craftsy course when they did their flash sale. It’s the alterations one. I think I need to carve out some time and just make it happen. I also ordered a bunch of stuff to make a new bag. Hopefully, it gets here soon and I can start on it!

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. Lilian keeps reinfecting us. I think I’ve had a chest cold for about 6 weeks now.

    1. ciara says:

      everyone seems to be well on the way to recovery. hopefully we can avoid getting sick for a few months.

      i’m working on putting together my craft corner too. right now the butcher block/cutting table i bought is blocking the back door. i can’t move it into the sewing area until i move out the buffet table, but i can’t move out the buffet table until the sewing cabinet is ready, & i’m still waiting on the insert.

      i’ve been sewing very little so far this year. busy with other things, i guess. i’ve definitely been THINKING a lot about sewing. hopefully i’ll get more done once the sewing space is all set up. what bag are you planning to make?

      1. hoperoth says:

        I am making the metro hipster bag from betz white (I think I big that right). It’s pretty basic, but it looked like it would be a good weekend bag (we still tend to tote around a full diaper bag). The pattern calls for waxed canvas, so I waxed my own using some duck cloth remnants I had. Now I just need the fabric I bought for the lining to show! The snow storm is making packages take extra long to get here.

        I am really lucky to have a sewing area like I do. And, honestly, I can see up there fine now. I just have big plans for it, so I feel like I need to work on them first. And they’re daunting.

        1. ciara says:

          is this the bag you posted on FB recently? it turned out great! i have plans to make a few more bags from patterns. i feel like making bags is pretty simple & easier than making clothes (not as many fit issues), but for some reason, all my self-designed bags have weird problems that i probably would have foreseen if i had gone in with more bag-making experience. live & learn!

          it looks to be about the size of my everyday purse, haha. which doubles as a diaper bag. we don’t really take diapers with us anymore if we know we’re just going to be out for an hour or two because ramona is poop-shy & only poops at home. (bet she’ll be stoked i shared that on the internet when she’s like twelve.) but we must always have a plentiful supply of snacks & sippies.

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