Monday, 27 December 2010

A stitch in time: Reversible tote bag

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Back in September, I decided that my job was giving me no satisfaction whatsoever and that I needed to do a little learning to enrich my life more. And what better time to go 'back to school' than September?! A friend of mine, AM, had just finished a sewing class in one of my all time favourite shops in New York, Purl Soho. I didn't realise that they did sewing classes, I thought it was more of a 'stitch n' bitch' knitters helping hub, but it turns out they do much more than that. Anyways, she created this gorgeous reversible tote bag in just 3 Saturday classes, and I just had to take the class!

The class was called 'Beginning Machine Sewing I' and my class took place every Thursday night for 4 weeks, at the back of the shop. The hardest part of the course was deciding on the material I was going to use for the bag, Purl have so many fabrics to choose from, I was like a child in a sweet (candy) shop! Eventually the fabrics I choose were a brown heavyweight fabric (for the outer) and a lightweight material for the lining which was called Wild Thyme, Ecru Dots 249E by Carolyn Gavin for P&B Textiles. Unfortunately our laptop died so I lost all the photos of my bag's progress, but that just gave me the excuse to buy a small sewing machine (a Brother 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine, CS-6000i) and make more bags! I've since made a mixture of one strap and two strap totes.

The fabrics for the other bags are a mixture from Purl Soho and Mood Fabrics. Mood is where the Project Runway contestants always go. I have to say that I was completely overwhelmed in there, there is just so much crammed in the 2 floors that I just had to get out as quick as I could. But you can find some great fabrics, especially for linings, at the City Quilter and for good heavyweight fabrics, Ikea, has a great selection and very reasonably priced.

I got this wonderful sewing bible from my husband for Christmas called The Sewing Book by Alison Smith (a fellow Brit as it turns out) I just couldn't wait to get stuck into a new project that I dragged my husband out of our cozy apartment, into the snow to go to Ikea to get some fabric! Well if we're going to be stuck in a blizzard, might as well be doing something productive, no? So watch this space to see some of the projects I'm trying to tackle.

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