Friday, 30 May 2014

Knowing When to Throw In The Towel (or bag)

Months ago, my sister-in-law asked me to make a doll's nappy (diaper) bag for my 2½ year old niece. She hasn't been able to find one for her in Australia. I picked up fabric for it ages ago, but with lacking sewjo and nerves about re-sizing a bag pattern when I've only made one bag it's taken me too long to get around to starting.

Skipped stitches because my machine didn't like using a denim needle
when sewing denim...

This was the week, and up until the last hour of yesterday afternoon it was going swimmingly. I'm making Sew Sweetness' Velocity Girl bag. I've made it before, in fact I took it out for its photoshoot last Memorial Day! And when my sister-in-law saw it she told me that with a flap it and a little bigger it would look just like the expensive real-life diaper bags that were all the rage. So when she requested a doll version for Grace, I thought, well I'll just make a scaled down version of Velocity Girl, add a flap - how hard can it be!??

And the answer is not that hard, there's some maths and counting, but Sara's pattern is so well written that it actually makes putting it all together still really easy when you're taking your little added extras into account. A fact I'm now eternally grateful for, because I find bags really difficult to keep a hold of in my head. It's their 3D-ness. I can't quite grasp the why, until twenty steps later I'm like, 'OHHHHHHH, that's really frickin' clever!!'.

Fighting the Pins

Anyway, the balls up. I made all the various panels and pockets, and added piping (a first - yay!) and it went grand. Then, I started to assemble them, into a bag form. It was when I was adding the second outer wall that I realised I was using half the recommended seam allowance, cos I'd gotten kinda cocky with how well it was going. Part of me was like, well, it would be a pain to unpick and it's fine so far, so maybe we'll just go with it.

Offending Hole

But, no. I missed the underneath layer in three spots, and one was a whopper. I was so cross. Grumpy for well over an hour. That feeling of wanting to break a piece of china, or maybe kick a wall... Grrrr. But, a rant at Paul, a stomp around the supermarket, dinner, Dr Who, and a walk all improved my mood. As did, surprisingly, turning the offending item right side out. It needs to be unpicked, and sewn with the correct seam allowance. But it's shaping up to be really cute when done right, so it will be worth it.

Mollified by the Cute

But it won't be worth it today. Or for the next week. Too much frustration. It's time to metaphorically throw it at the wall. Wait for pay day, grab some Joann's vouchers, take Sara's instagram advice of yesterday and buy some Clover Wonder Clips. So that instead of bending my lovely quilting pins, and trying to figure why I can't push one through, only to discover I've created a small groove in my thumbnail, I can just clip and unclip, and not curse.

Let's Not Forget the Hole of Shame

Last night, after I'd ranted and stomped and walked it out, I had 45 minutes and so I continued the calm with a little bit of English paper piecing. I've been cutting one square from every scrap of the Farmer's Wife Quilt that's large enough, and I'm beginning to sew them together. There's no plan to the colours, and I'm finding the outcome very cottage-y cosy.

This post is getting unwieldy now, but one more picture and a couple of links. The Deep in the Heart of Texas Roadtrip QAL kicks off on Sunday, June 1st. Melissa has cutting directions and the quilt layout up on her blog as of yesterday. Today I got out the fabrics I've chosen for this quilt. I bought a lot of Lazy Day charm and mini-charm packs (one of my oldest friends is having a baby, and I panicked earlier in the year) which were going spare, but which I think on a navy background are going to make a lovely Texas. I've only bought a few extra half yards for the city blocks so far, but this morning I ordered a few more colours for variety. I'm excited to get going and will check in once a week with my progress, and links if you're following along :)

Have a good weekend y'all, x

(did you see what I did there!??!?)


  1. Love the bag! Even if you are frustrated it IS WORTH IT!! It looks amazing. I remember when I made a bag (the one and only time) I was crying and laughing hysterically at the same time by the end:)

  2. the bag is going to be so cute; hang in there and keep going with it!!!

  3. Clover clips are wonderful for SO many things - like bindings! You will not regret buying them.

  4. Yep, when frustrated - it's best to walk away for a while. I'm no stranger to the seam ripper, either. Or swear words. :-)

    And definitely get yourself some of those clips. You will use them for all kinds of things and you will love them. For binding, too. Get the big box. You deserve them.


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