Lately I've been missing my knitting buzz. While trying to recover it, I finished sewing my bag. I was thinking about bag handle ideas when I remembered that I had some old leather belts. Yes, I wore belts in the days when pants had waistbands and belt loops. Those pants made one's butt look bigger than it was, but that's another story. Anyway, the old belts were brown leather that didn't quite go with the blue floral. But while I was digging through the drawer, I found this blue leather sling strap from a bag that I bought years ago. The bag has shorter handles that suit its small boxy shape so I have never used the sling strap before, and I had completely forgotten about them. They have now been given new life as handles for my new bag. The shiny clasps have been saved to be re-used for another bag someday.
The photo on the left shows you one version of the bag. The middle shows how it can be buttoned up at the bottom via press studs sewn onto tabs at the corners. Don't look too closely, one of the tabs is all wonky, but I'm too lazy to re-sew it. The last photo shows how the bag looks like when the bottom is buttoned up.
I used iron-on interfacing on for the first time and it wasn't as bad as I imagined. The ironing went smoothly, no dreaded puckering of the fabric. I sewed the seams very close to the edge of the interfacing, as recommended by one of my bag sewing books, so that they will not be too bulky and unmanageable. The one thing that I had to re-do a few times was the little tabs at the bottom corner. It took me a few tries before I could figure out how to sew them so that they would lie flat at the bottom. Actually it is very simple. I just had to sew the tab in the same way that I use to sew the little triangle at bag corners whenever I wanted a flat bottom. This bag is inspired by something in one of my Japanese bag books but I had to find my own way around as I cannot read the written instructions. On the whole, I'm quite happy with the way the bag turned out, although I'm not sure why I took all the trouble to sew it this way because I suspect that I will be using it in the smaller version with the tab buttoned up anyway, so I should have just sewn a small bag!
My bag and I went for high-tea at the Regent.
I snapped this photo hurriedly before my friends arrived. After I had taken the photo, I looked up and noticed some ladies at other tables were staring, but I didn't care, I was so pleased to have a photo of my bag in action for the blog. The bag survived an outing and when unbuttoned, still looks alright. In case you are worried about my complete lack of good sense, I have been advised by my style consultant (aka my daughter) when I got home, that adding the ribbon flower was overdoing things and my son had also piped up "yes, it doesn't match!" I have one last question - do you know if iron-on interfacing can survive hand washing?