Thursday, November 13, 2008

Well, shucks

I failed miserably last night. Total craft meltdown. And it was my own fault for lack of planning and foresight. But at least I've come out of the ordeal having learned a valuable lesson.

The idea, my friends, was to construct a monochromatic black-on-black handbag. With emphasis on different textures, not colors. The bag in my head is a fairly sizable, structured black wool handbag, with two straps, and a large black raven appliqued on the side. So with very little planning I jumped in with both feet.

I found a few raven pictures, for reference, made a stencil, cut the raven from black vinyl. So far so good. Then I realized that the piece of wool I thought I had in my stash was half the size I remembered it being. I have no idea what I used the other half for, but it was gone. Since I'm an impatient person, I decided to move forward anyway. I stitched the raven to the wool with a nice metallic silver embroidery floss. And I've got to say, that looked great. And then I realized just how small this bag was going to be, but again, being either impatient, or just plain dumb, I moved on.

First problem: I tried to make my own straps. I used long lengths of vinyl and my machine just kept eating it. Even after I adjusted tension and blah blah blah, I just couldn't get it to feed right, but eventually I got something that could pass for a strap and moved on.

Second problem: I didn't use interfacing on the lining material. This made the lining way too light for the wool on the outside. I couldn't get the corners to lay down. It looked like a bag of cereal inside the box instead of a structed purse.

Third problem: The proportions were WAY off. Once i'd sewed the thing together and made the corners it was about 6" tall by 5" wide and 3" deep. WTF? Who was I kidding?

It was at this point that I realized I needed to stop, it was just ridiculous. The wool was to heavy, the cotton was to light and the vinyl was puckered. And on top of that the shape and scale was all wrong. Nothing at all like the picture I had in my head. But there is hope, I've formed a new plan. A new plan which involves a vogue hand bag pattern, store bought straps, much more fabric, a lot of interfacing, and then finally a raven applique. The lesson learned is the bones of a thing is way more important than the shiny you slap on it.

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