Thursday 25 November 2010

Sewing Again

I have been avoiding my sewing machine recently.  It's not because its really awful or anything, but I am planning on getting a brand spanking new one for Christmas.  I'm even going to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show to check out any possible deals they may have there.  In fact this Christmas present is in reality a Christmas (and two birthdays) present, so I can get a decent one.  I think because I have this impending arrival of a super new machine, I have been avoiding the old one, because I keep thinking, "this will be easier on the new machine".  I also have been feeling quite a lot of pain recently, which never encourages me to sit at the kitchen table for any time.  Plus I have all this Christmas knitting that I will never get done if I play with all my pretty fabrics.

Today, however, I needed to sew.  Hear that - needed, who would have thought I would have uttered those words 2 years ago!  Do you remember my new iPod Touch case that I made earlier in the year.

I  was really proud of this case, but it has become very battered and the stitching is coming away.  I also knew I wanted to tweak the design a little bit, by adding a zippered pocked and a pocket for my phone.  I also wanted a long strap to hang around my neck for when I am out and about and wanting to listen to music.  It also would mean my phone wouldn't be at the bottom of my bag when it rings.

With all these design ideas in mind, I raided my fabric stash and found a fat quarter I got from my trip to The Bramble Patch, a few months ago.  I then added some left over bits of green from my funky bag that I made for my trip to Turkey and another pale green piece left over from something completely random. I gathered my fabrics and tools together and then got cracking.

I am really proud of how this little bag/pouch has turned out.  I particularly love the apple fabric, which is the one I just HAD to buy at The Bramble Patch.  I knew it would come in useful one day.

I am really pleased that I had a go with doing the twist lock on the front.  I never felt the velcro was strong enough on the old pouch, and you don't get much sturdier than metal.  It was a real fiddle to get the fabric cut away to the right size, but I think it was worth it.  It makes the pouch look really professional.

I have placed the iPod Touch in the centre of the pouch, and used elastic to hold it in place.  I have placed the elastic carefully so I can leave the iPod Touch inside the pouch while I'm using it, which I couldn't do with the last case.  I also added a sheet of felt to cover the iPod screen for when the case is closed.  I don't want the metal fittings to scratch up my lovely screen.  I will probably end up using this to clean my screen too.

As you can see, I've added my longed for zipped pocket.  This is to store my headphones, which I don't use half as much as I use my iPod Touch.  After having just an open pocket for my headphones, I really wanted somewhere to put them, where they wouldn't pop out all the time.  This pocket should also take the the bag strap, if I don't want to have it round my neck.

I nearly always make my bag straps detachable, because I really like the look of the metal hooks.  I decided to team the hooks up with nice bright and shiny eyelets. I haven't had much luck with eyelets in the past, but I'm really glad I decided to give them another go.  These were a lot smaller than the ones I tried to use before, and I think that made a difference.  Yay me, for sticking with it, because they look fab!

Now the one thing I'm not proud of on this bag, is the pocket for my mobile phone.  It is a mess, and if I didn't need this bag for tomorrow, I would have ripped it out and started again, but I do and now the bag is made and I've run out of thread anyway.  So I'm stuck with it.  My one consolation is that the phone pocket is on the back of the bag, so no one will see it unless the phone rings.

See, its a mess.  I tried to make a darted pocket from my lovely book The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam.  But I firstly I got my measurements mixed up, and the pocket part was waaaay to short.  Then I couldn't find out how to determine the size of the darts.  Does anyone have any tips for this technique, or if you have a copy of the book and know the info is in there, please tell me where it is because I am obviously quite a dunce today. Basically the pocket ended up being a cobbled together mess.  But as I now know that a iPod case lasts around 9 months, its no big deal, I'll just tweak the pattern again next year!

In addition to the above changes to design, I also used iron-on fleece for the exterior fabric and iron-on interface for the interior fabric.  This makes the bag soft, yet firm.  In addition to the fleece, I used plastic canvas, cut into three sections.  I placed these sections between the interior and exterior layers and sewed half way between each section to create a fold.  The plastic canvas has added strength to the bag, and enhanced the shape quite significantly.

So apart for the mobile phone pocket disaster, I'm really pleased with my new bag. If you are at the Knitting and Stitching Show and you see my bag round the neck of a gal in a wheelchair, that will be me, so say hello!  I'm going to be away visiting family until next week, so when I get back I'll share with you all my booty from the show - ooo I can't wait to show and tell,  I'm going to have such girly fun!


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