Friday, October 8, 2010

Believe Me, I Am Still Alive

Yes, I just made a Portal reference.  Cannot wait for Portal 2.

Anyway.  Ahem.

I've spent a good part of the summer hauling away on my sewing machine.  I have become the personal seamstress for a good friend of mine who blogs even less than I do, who got a new job and wanted some new pieces for her wardrobe.  She's going to come over tomorrow to talk winter fashion, and I'm excited about it.  She's also bringing yarn for me, as I finally took her up on her offer of yarn for my birthday--it's my fault, not hers, that I'm only getting it now when my birthday was in May.

In addition to the sewing for her, I've been sewing for myself as well, and I'm sure when I feel like forcing my husband to take pictures of me modeling the stuff, I'll throw up a Fashion Show post or five.

For now, I'm going to show off this bag I just finished this week that I'm incredibly proud of.

I'm calling it "The Poetry Bag," as the outer shell is woven from pages torn from a giant tome of modern poetry that I found at the thrift store.

See?  Poems!  The pages were folded, then laminated with clear packing tape before being woven.  For stability, and to hide the ends, I covered the outer edges with more folded strips, then taped those down to the body.

The lining and straps are made from a thrift-store shirt.  The colors don't show up well here, the fabric is striped in shades of brown, tan, and aqua on a background of white.  The shirt was a petite XL, so it was rather oddly proportioned, or I might have tried to make it wearable, as I really like the pattern!  As it stands now, I'll have to make myself something from the scraps, because this bag isn't for me--it's for a Ravelry swap.  I feel safe posting it anyway because my downstream swap partner has no idea who I am yet, so I can't really spoil it for her!

The sides gave me fits for a while--once I had the woven outer shell done, I had no idea how to bridge the gap!  It's hard to explain without a diagram, but finally I sandwiched "wings" on either side of the bag between the outer shell and the lining piece, and then folded the bag in half and stitched the outer edges of the wings together.  If I make another bag I might have to spend some design time coming up with a better method, but when all's said and done, it looks fine.  The straps were much easier, they're just tubes of the lining fabric passed through grommets and knotted on the outside, an effect I like very much and will probably not change for the next one.  More finished products this weekend, I've got two shawls done in the past two weeks that I have to show off!