Thursday, June 16, 2011

From sewing at sea to sewing on land

Wilbur still can't believe he actually sailed all the way to the Bahamas and back.

Actually, I can't believe we did either!

Anyway, I have to admit I didn't fully appreciate how laid back life was in the Bahamas until we got back to the good old USA. Back to rude custom's officials, tons of mail, a stolen credit card, no pets allowed signs, family dramas, health issues, car problems, trying to return a camera that quit working right out of the box (I finally received it back and hopefully repaired, yesterday!), and no money.

Yes, our boat is indeed 'the other woman', and an expensive one at that. But if we hadn't given in to her selfish wishes, and didn't treat her to all kinds of treatments before we crossed to the Bahamas, she threatened to sink us like a stone.

So we caved.

The boat is now on the hard in Florida, Hans is back to selling things and is out pounding the pavement day after day, and I'm staying home and trying not to spend money. And except for having to buy (with a coupon) a new self-healing cutting mat and a big plastic ruler (I left mine on the boat, unfortunately!), I haven't spent a dime on anything sewing related since we've been back (over a month).

In addition to taking care of family issues, and trying to wear Wilbur out at the off leash dog park on a daily basis, I've also been working my way through the fabric that I already have on hand.

I have some hex frames I've been wanting to use up so I went back to Lisa Lam's post from long ago and made a couple of purses.

I initially used up some Steeler's fabric for my first try as the dimensions of my hex frame were different from Lisa's.

For the most part it worked out well except for being about an inch too narrow as you can see from how the hex frame shows in this picture.

Kinda like panty lines. Ugly!

So I fidgeted with the pattern a bit, dug out my 'good' (expensive) quilting cotton, went as far as to use it as my lining also, and completely screwed up everything!

Did you really expect anything different from me?

It's presentable but don't look to closely at it.

It wasn't until I was finished that I realized that the inside pocket got all caught up in the 'frame' stitching. And why on earth was it 'flopping' so badly.

Duh!!!!!! I forgot to insert boning into the side seams! Damn!

I cursed and ripped and did my best, but in the end it's still not quite right (and the pocket ended up getting caught again, just not quite as bad as the first time), but since there's no way in hell I'll rip it out again, it'll do just fine for me.

On to the mini duffel bag kit that's been hanging around for about four or more years. This simple kit came with a piece of pre-quilted fabric and a piece of contrasting quilting cotton along with some very hazy instructions. Or should I say the worst instructions I've ever been forced to read.

Excuse all my crappy pictures, I was in a hurry.

'Place wrong sides together, stitch and turn right sides out'.

Yes, you read that right, and it was just one of the most unbelievably stupid directions I was forced to read.

'Turn under the edges of the four pocket pieces, press, turn again, and stitch' (there are six pocket pieces and HEY! how about giving us some seam allowances, 1/2 " or 1/4 "!!!

In the end I just winged it and since it was a duffel bag it wasn't really that difficult. Except for those stupid directions! And I never did figure out how the ends of the zipper (covered with fabric tabs) were supposed to be on the outside of the bag and mine ended up inside.

The inner pocket which looks bad but really works pretty well (especially after I added a velcro closure).

The directions for the pocket said, Fold inside pocket piece in half, top stitch and apply to bag where indicated. Where??!! There are no pictures!! Crazy stuff let me tell you.

I had some leftover fabric so I made a matching credit card/change purse. At least I don't need directions for this.

I also decided to make a quilt with all my leftover scraps of cotton. Nothing fancy at all but I'll save that for my next post.

It does feel good to be sewing again but I'd still rather be on the boat.

So would Wilbur.


marysews said...

I'm glad you're back safely. It looks like you got right back to work on sewing projects. Of course, what could be better than fabric that's already paid for?!

laura said...

Mary, I'm just glad I didn't toss all those leftovers last year when I was cleaning house!

Cyndi said...

Hey Laura! I love that photo of Wilbur...he looks like he's thinking..."huh, where am I?" LOL!
I know how frustrating it is when you are making a bag and you do dumb stuff...happens to me all the time and unfortunately I don't discover it until I'm completely finished with the darn thing. And I've bought more than my share of patterns that were poorly written...with pattern pieces not fitting together properly, vague instructions where you are supposed to "assume" what seam allowance to use...etc.! Sheesh, as if I don't have enough trouble just reading a well-written pattern! But I think you bags look great anyway!

Can't wait to see your quilt!



laura said...

Cyndi, Wilbur tends to look astonished a good deal of the time!