A Little Bag for a Little Lady

IMG_0691When I arrived home from Interlochen in early August, my DIL-Equivalent, Leslie, arrived a day after me for a stay of several days before heading back to Amarillo to start the school year at her university. I had hoped to quickly make a little wristlet clutch for her darling 5yo daughter, affectionately known as Meme.

I printed off the Swoon Coraline pattern at 80%. Using the small version (11″ wide), that 80% printing meant the finished little bag would be 8.8″ wide.

I had read many posts in the Swoon Patterns Facebook group where sewists talk about printing the patterns at different sizes. Want a bag bigger or smaller than offered? No messy mathematics involved—just let Adobe Acrobat and your printer do all the work!

IMG_0692I searched through my stash and found a remnant from a bag I made two years ago featuring sweet little dogs. I dug out some lime cotton that matched the polka dots on the doxie fabric, and pulled a lime zipper from my stash.

I cut the pattern out, did all the interfacing fusing, and sewed the darts on the outside. Then my new university piano gig and my opera gigs got in the way of my having any sewing fun. I put all the doxie Coraline pattern pieces in a plastic bag and set them aside.

Leslie was in town this weekend—just enough motivation for me to quickly finish the bag so she could take it back to Meme.

When I pulled the pieces out of the bag, I realized the clutch would be easier to hold if I used fusible fleece along with the interfacing. So I fused some fleece to the lining after the thought, and kept going. I sewed the zipper onto the lining and lining top and finished constructing the exterior and lining. When I went to sew around the top to attach the exterior to the lining, I discovered that there would not be enough room on the lining top to stitch the half-inch seam. I sewed a ⅜” seam and turned the bag right side out. (In retrospect, if I had used a ¼” presser foot, I probably could have used the ½” seam allowance.)

IMG_0694I finished the pressing and started trying to edgestitch the top. Whoo boy! There was simply no way that edgestitching was going to happen. The lip of the lining top was so narrow, I couldn’t fit the presser foot onto it to edgestitch by machine. I started searching through my embroidery thread stash and found a hand-dyed perle cotton that perfectly suited the bag, and spent the next hour happily hand-stitching the edge of the top.

IMG_0693The finishing touch is the label. When Meme met me (yet another grandmother), she decided I would be called Jananza. So that’s the name I’ve chosen for my bag-making efforts. I created the logo in Photoshop and send the image to Mountain Street Arts on Etsy. I love the labels.

Now I’m just waiting for a photo for the sweet little lady holding her sweet little bag.

About Jan

Musician and geek and Juris Doctor; lover of fine art and fine craft; mother and grandmother and significant other and friend. Passionate about sewing.

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