There will always be cock ups.

Ok! So, jump right in is the best way, right? I was thinking “start with a new project” but with the eighty-hundred half finished things hanging around the Closet of Crafty Delight who knows when I’ll get to doing something really new.

I LOVE upcycling! Yes, yes reusing old stuff is the way to go. Be green and all that.  But the really fun part of it for me is figuring it all out.  Finding ways to use the old stuff piecing things together and coming up with something new and cooler than the old thing.

I’ve been making these tote bags from t-shirt yarn for a couple months.

They are fun and quick and easy.  Here is how to make T-shirt yarn  Here is the pattern that I originally used to make the tote bags. They have morphed a bit from the the instructions she gives.  Following instructions isn’t my strong suit and well it’s just more interesting to make things up as I go along.

So most of the women in my family got these for holiday gifts and the ones who didn’t will be getting them as birthday gifts.  My aunt asked me about putting a lining in one so of course I’m off on a tangent leaving various other unfinished things hanging while I figure it out.

I’ve made quite a few simple tote bags and I basically line them like this.  I thought if I could force the edge of my bag under the sewing machine foot I could maybe sort of do it the same way.

I sewed up the butt of an old pair of pants my kiddo grew out of thinking the pockets would make a nice addition to the inside of the bag.

Ladies and gentlemen you see above Current project cock up number 1. I forgot to leave a hole in the bottom to pull the finished bag through once it’s all sewn together.  So I whipped out my trusty seam ripper and made a hole.  And decided while I was doing it that the whole thing would go together better if I sewed up the corners and made the shape of the lining a little closer to the shape of the bag

Of course I had to spend a few minutes remembering how to put it together so that the right sides show when the bag is done.  Not sure why it’s so hard for me to keep the “right sides together” rule in my head.  At this point I have accepted this as part of my process.

I’m not much for measuring most of the time.  I just sort of match things up, cut, pin and pray.  The pinning is what brings us to cock up number 2

Notice at the top of the picture above you can see the presser foot.  If you look carefully at my (not at all focused) photo you will notice that the head of the pin is up there heading right for the foot.  If you pin so that your pins are up instead of down or on the side you have to turn your hand around and pull back toward the machine to get it out.  Annoying, sometimes difficult and occasionally painful.

WHATEVER!

I got the whole shebang jammed under the foot and started sewing around the edge.  It was working pretty good until I got to the flappy latch thing that I added so that It will close with a button when finished.  I realized that I had forgotten to turn that part in so that it would be on the outside when I turn the thing.

Cock up number 3 averted!  (The quick witted will note the placement of the handle)

With lots of pulling and pushing, with lots of inching along then speeding through I made it all the way around.

I looked at this and thought “Whew! I made it. It worked! I just need to trim off the extra fabric from the lining”  And I did just that.  Trimmed the fabric and went about the business of turning the whole thing right side out.  Which of course is when my brain caught up with cock up number 4.  (Or 3b maybe)

Yep once again out comes the trusty seam ripper cause the whole thing’s gotta come out.  It didn’t take as long as it seemed.  OK.  Second try.  I repinned with the latch thingy AND the handles tucked inside (which is actually the outside).  Of course bending the handles inside caused the already thick edge to be doubled in the section where the handles attached to the body of the bag.  I got started anyway but when I got to the doubled section my sewing machine put it’s foot down (heh heh).  There was no way that presser foot was going over that lump.

I skipped the lumps, sewed as much as I could with the machine, then did the doubled sections by hand (Not difficult at all.  The needle went right through).

Um, yeah.  Didn’t really turn out as well as I think it can.  The whole thing is really just too thick for the sewing machine.  At places it didn’t sew tight.  The lining sort of puffed up over the top edge which I kind of knew it would do because I was sewing so close to the edge but it really doesn’t look right so next time I think I’ll try sewing it down lower.  I also think I will do it all by hand.  I will finish this one up with a button and put it in my personal use pile.  But not tonight.

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