Sunday, 19 August 2012

Why don't you come with me, on a magic carpet ride

I'm pretty sure I've made a carpet bag (hence the Steppenwolf title).   I've been looking at the bag for the last week and it finally hit me what it resembles yesterday.  Its big, roomy and slouchy and has a woolly outer layer.   Of course that's not how the project started out.....

A couple of months ago I purchased the Japanese book 'Carry Me' which has some beautifully crafted bags in it that apparently us mere mortals could attempt to make.  I was sold on the first bag on the list....the Boston Bag.  A wool tweed bag which had class, sophistication and has only two main pattern pieces.

I sourced the bag frame and bag feet from an ebay site in Hong Kong, I found a black and brown wool tweed on special online at Tessuti fabric (I swear the name 'butterscotch pudding' had no bearing at all on my decision to buy this fabric) and I bought some silk dupioni fabric from   I found some clover shape n create from an aussie online craft store and another aussie online store had synthetic leather strips that I could use for the bag handles.

Construction was very straightforward.  The difficulty was the interpretation of the instructions around what interfacing to use.  The pattern pieces say one thing, the equipment list says another and then the picture step by step instruction say a completely different thing.....aaaaggghhh!!!  I'm still not sure which is the correct type of interfacing to use on the different pieces.  Am guessing this was a lost in translation issue for the publishers.

Picture instructions....just finished the pocket construction
The bag came together very quickly.  The only variation I did was to reduce the actual size of the bag a smidgen as my bag frame was slightly different dimensions to the one recommended.  Its easy to check this by comparing the dimensions of my frame with the width of the pattern piece - though to make sure I made up a mock up of the top of the bag in cotton scraps and then tested the frames in this..

Finished bag from outside and looking in.

I think the internal pockets of the bag are a feature.   Will be using this pocket making pattern in the future.
Two pocket boxy panel

It wasn't until the bag construction was finished that I realised that the fabric stiffness wasn't going to hold up under the weight of the bag frame.   The photo above of the bag is only showing some signs of shape because I have it stuffed with a huge wad of....well........stuffing.  Without any padding it wilts into a puddle of wool!
the saggy baggy bag.
Am not sure what the solution is to this.  Possibly I could have used heavy rather than medium weight interfacing for the outer fabric.  In all it needs extra support all over the place.  So maybe not the stylish sophisticated bag I thought it was going to be but it will be perfect for taking to work.

For the eagle eyes out there you may have noticed that in the photo the bag looks like its missing the bag handles.   Uhhh....yes it is.  A silly oversight by me, when the pattern equipment list said to use rivets for attaching the bag handles I naively assumed that meant I could pop down to the local hardware store and find them there. you can't.  Not surprisingly Lincraft didn't stock any either.   So I had handles but no way of attaching them.  I have ordered some online and will hopefully get them in next couple of weeks and will update photos when bag is fully complete.

Cost wise this is not a cheap bag because of all the hardware and the 'special' fabric.   It has come out at around $50 so probably is about even with buying a bag off the shelf.  Though while buying a bag off the shelf doesn't come with a two week wait for handles, it also doesn't come with the satisfaction of being able to shout out 'I made this'.

So in summary
Pattern:                        Carry Me by Yuka Koshizen -
                                     Bag #1 Winter Tweed Boston Bag
Fabric:                         1/2 meter of tweed wool 'butterscotch pudding'
                                    1/2 meter of silk dupioni
Other bits and bobs:    bag aluminium hinged bag frame, bag feet, clover shape n create, lots of
                                     fusible interfacing.
Instructions:                 construction wise straightforward - the pictures are great.  Take time to
                                     interpret the pattern piece as there is only one for the bag which includes a
                                     pattern for both the bag outer and bag inner lining.  Confusion over what
                                     interfacing to use as it contradicts itself throughout.
Modifications:              I shortened the width based on the dimensions of my bag frame.
Conclusion:                  Am excited about doing other bag patterns in this book. 
                                     Am disappointed it doesn't have more structure but that doesn't take away
                                     from its usefulness. 
                                     At $50 its probably at the expensive end of the scale.  With cheaper fabric you
                                     could bring it down to maybe under $40 but the hardware pushes the price up
                                     for sure. 
                                     It definitely needs handles. 
                                     Gladstone is a frustrating place to buy 'crafty' things.......sigh........

Blog Title: Magic Carpet Ride. Lyrics by John Kay and Rushton Moreve

No comments:

Post a Comment