Friday, October 11, 2013

Time is an arbitrary concept

I don't know about you, but when someone claims that a project takes under an hour, I think that means less than 60 minutes.  I decided to try out the One Hour Bag from All Free Sewing

It truly did look straight forward and quick.

I made a pattern, after I realized that, since the pattern would be placed on the fold, the pieces would be double the size of the pattern.  I thought 13.5 cm was small.  I had no idea what A4 paper was when I made the first pattern.  I just used some brown paper I had in the sewing loft and went for it.

It took more than an hour.  How much more, I cannot say.  I had to stop and walk the dogs in the middle of the project.  Plus I changed things up a bit.  I added the tab and sewed the straps to the inside.

I am pleased with the results.  I needed a new bag.  Mine is rather beat up and I am quite tired of the old pattern.  This was fun.  Sort of.  I used a remnant that I bought in NC.  It is that waterproof, canine proof, upholstery, Krypton stuff.  Gums up the needle.  OK, so maybe that is why it took longer. 

Given that, and wanting to imprint this new information on my 60 year old brain, I decided I would try another with denim.  Betsy was discarding an old denim comforter that was embellished with emrboidered flowers.  Perfect, I thought.

I made a new pattern with freezer paper after I GOOGLED A-4 paper.  Turns out that there is a standard measurement for paper size.  A-4 is 210 X 297 mm. (8.3 X 11.7 in).  Ah now it makes sense.

I cut a piece of freezer paper 8 1/4 by 11 3/4.  I figured that was close enough.  Then I made my pattern.   The first one I made was a bit deep. 

Because I used freezer paper I could just iron the pattern onto the fabric before I cut it out.
I originally cut out the pockets and the lining from the denim as well but decided that the bag would be too heavy if it were made entirely from denim.  OK.  Another time waster.  I am glad that I changed that.  The machine had a hard enough time going through all the layers as it was.

So when I had the bag almost done I noticed some spots.  Darn.  It is quite adorable and now it is in the wash.  Hopefully the spots will come out.  Those are the risks you run when you "repurpose" I suppose.

Truthfully I think I like the depth of the first bag.  The pockets aren't quite deep enough, unfortunately.  Next time I have an hour, I will whip one up.



  1. Love, love the bag! Wish I had one. BUT what did you sew it on? That is the burning question. I would love a denim bag. Are you saying the deeper pattern size was a better idea? Man, I would really like to make bags. An ex-home Ec teacher in my guild explained how to put the zipper in the bag I have been attempting to make. Even she said the pattern was not designed or written well. Maybe I will get it done soon.

    1. I have to concentrate every time I put in a zipper. It confuses me. I used the 201-3 as a treadle and my 158.1760 for the free arm. Probably could have managed with the flat bed 201 but the 1760 was RIGHT THERE. Hah.

  2. My thoughts on time go like this: everything always takes longer than the directions say or than I imagine. Always. That's a great bag you made and I really like the denim with flowers (or at least what I can see of it).

  3. I didn't know that one could use freezer paper as an iron on - the wax (or whatever it is?) never sticks to the fabric?

    About 15 years ago I got a bulk roll of butcher paper (like freezer paper but no waxed side) at the local restaurant supply store to use as pattern paper - I've still got over half the roll left but it sure is handy for all sorts of projects - not just patterns. But once I love a pattern, I put it on heavy weight flannel. The flannel clings to the fabric you're cutting so pins are usually not necessary - If I need to hold down a sharp corner (which I reinforce with duct tape), I use a bean bag to hold the pattern in place - really saves time on the cut out.

    My favorite way to get a pattern is to find something I like and then take it apart to make new pattern pieces. Somehow taking the garment/thing apart, helps my brain figure out how to put the new one together and alter it if necessary (or desirable).

    Can any one help here? How do you deal with heavy fabric when you come to the confluence of side seams when finishing a hem? How do you make your machine climb over all those combined seam layers and then return to the 2 or 3 layers of the hem? Is a super industrial machine the only way?

    1. Have you tried a hand crank from a vintage machine? My Singer 66 worked great on my nephew's denim rag quilt, in some places there were four layers of denim! With it being a hand crank, I had complete control of my machine and the old machines are workhorses!

      I love the denim bag with the flowers!

  4. A4 paper is generally thought of as a European size. When I worked on copiers in Dallas - FtWorth the only time I set up a machine for A4 was an office that dealt exclusively with the US Patent Office. They said that was the standard size for the patent office.?? Never could figure that one out.