I fretted over fabric choices for quite awhile and finally settled on a strawberry theme as I had a fat quarter of Kokka Trefle strawberry print (thanks, Amber at Dapple & Grey!) and a yard of Heather Ross' Briar Rose strawberry in orange. I made two, outside pockets in coordinating colors. The main bag is Essex Linen and the lining is a decor weight polka dot from IKEA.
Textile Center of Minnesota because he doesn't want any "bad habits"to sink in from the self-teaching phase.
I chose the pattern out of a library book and the colors from his growing collection of crochet thread; he wove them over a few days last week. I did notice that because of the color order I chose, the baby pink and the natural white look identical but the straps are really beautiful and I'm extremely glad (and proud!) he made them for me.
Now to the unsavory part of the program. Mistakes were made in this project and once they started, they never really stopped. First, I misread the pattern and sewed my beloved straps to the longer, end panels rather than the side pieces. Once I figured this out, I didn't want to risk damaging the straps or the linen by removing all the stitches holding them so I sort of stalled progress while I tried to decide whether to trim around the straps and cut new side panels (wasting more of my precious linen) or to plow ahead with a slightly off-dimensions bag and only a new base panel. Economy won out in the end and I decided to plow ahead and cut my lining to match (adding a zipper pocket and a patch pocket to the lining panels and some strawberry appliqués to the outside which made me feel pretty good about things again at that point.)
Already behind schedule (because of the stalling) , I packed the pieces up and toted my project to my parents' lake cabin to finish. Where I ignored it and generally had lake-filled, end-of-summer fun for a few days. It wasn't until Sunday night, sewing machine set up on a card table in the front window, that I realized there were more problems. Down to the wire, my drawstring panels were too short so I made some discreet tucks in the lining (problem solved! No one will know!) but of course, the outside bag was also too large so then I had to make more tucks -out there- for the world to see. Even worse, I was rushing and so there are tons of tiny folds in the seam - some of them so bad I had to rip them out and repair but always rushing because the sun was going down right in front of me. Finally, I had it complete and quickly added the drawstring and some bed pillows. Then I ran out to the dock and took some pics in the dying light (which I heavily filtered to look much brighter) and arranged a ride into town so I could upload the pics to Flickr and link up with the host blog. I celebrated with s'mores around the campfire.
There it is. A finish and a failure - of sorts. I've learned that procrastination and neglecting problems doesn't work quite so well in sewing the way it worked in writing essays for school. I should have read the pattern more closely, I should have employed the seam ripper in the first place, I should go back and cut some new drawstring panels at the very least. And maybe I still will. The bag is beautiful after all. And I cherish those straps! And I'd love to use this bag for toting finishes to guild meetings in the future because it means something to me; it means a lot of things to me.
There. I feel a little better now.
Warts and all.