Saturday, September 5, 2009


Argh! I hate running out of thread! I can't believe I only bought one reel of the navy blue. I'm beginning to realise that 100m of thread doesn't go as far as I thought.

I'm really going to have to make a list next time I go to Spotlight. I tend to go in with a fair idea of what I need to get, but as soon as I get there I'm like a deer in headlights.

I end up standing in front of all the thread for about 10 minutes with my mind blank, and I can't actually remember what I needed to get. I get distracted by all the other colours....'what if this isn't the right shade of green... is it this one?, I'm sure it's this one....better get both....ooh, that's a pretty colour!.....etc'. Usually I end up walking out with a bunch of colours that don't match any of the materials I have, and then don't get enough of the colours I actually need.

Oh well, looks like I'm making a trip to Spotlight tomorrow.

Running out of thread (or any supplies) mid-creative frenzy is up there with my least favourite things about sewing. I've come to realise I'm developing a list of favourite and least favourite parts of bag making, which I thought I'd share.

Least favourites:

Cutting out pattern pieces. I'm not really sure why I don't like this part. I think it probably has something to do with being so far from holding the finished product in my hand.

Pressing seams flat. Usually because the bag is already an awkward shape that doesn't fit on the ironing board or Elna press, and I don't have a sleeve board. I think I'm about to overcome this though, by buying an oven-mitt and just shoving my hand inside the bag with the oven-mitt on. I'll let you know how it goes. Either it will work really nicely or I'll end up with some sort of third-degree burns. I'm hoping for the former.

Peeling back/trimming excess interfacing. This always seems to take about 3 times as long as I think it will, and due to the extreme shortness of my fingernails I tend to have a lot more difficulty than most.

Turning straps in the right way after sewing the seam. This is always just tedious.

The bobbin running out halfway through something and not noticing until you go to cut the thread that it ran out 20 stitches into whatever you were doing. This usually happens when you think you've done a particularly neat job with topstitching.

Attaching snaps. I had a bruise on my thumb for a couple of weeks from a unfortunate mishap with a hammer and snap-setter.

Zippers. I don't know why I dislike them so much. I know they're not that hard to do, in fact, I've done a few pretty sucessfully and they weren't all that painful to do. For some reason they always seem like a bit too much effort so I find myself avoiding them. I have to stop being lazy.

Sewing the gap closed in the lining. Sometimes it can take me weeks to do this part. Usually it's because I just can't be bothered because the bag looks so close to being finished that I can't wait to start using it and showing people so I just use it with a hole in the lining. Sometimes I tell myself that it's in case I notice a mistake and have to change something, but usually it's just laziness.

Most favourites:

Topstitching straps. I get some good speed going on the sewing machine and it makes me feel like some kind of sewing pro, plus there are no curves so it's easy.

Pressing on interfacing. I like that feeling of when your material goes from feeling kinda flimsy and floppy to something with a bit more substance.

Attaching magnetic snaps. I like this because I'm confident doing it (not that it's difficult), and I like opening and closing it about 20 times, like someone with OCD , after I've attached it because it gives a satisfying 'snap' sound.

Backstitching the lining to the facing. I don't really know why I like this bit, but I do.

Pulling the whole bag through the hole in the lining. I like to call this bit the 'birthing' for fairly obvious reasons. You think it's not going to fit, but then a bit of pushing and squeezing and it somehow makes it through and you end up marvelling at how it fitted through a hole that small. I also particularly like this part because it means that I'm almost finished and can run downstairs to get my 'oohs and aahs' from Ryan.

Showing people what I've made. Well that pretty much goes without saying, doesn't it.


  1. I have to agree with quite a few of your least favourites. I've been guilty sometimes of finger pressing the seams flat...sometimes I get away with it and sometimes not!!

    I'm a bit torn with the 'birthing' process though. Sometimes it's fantastically rewarding to see the finished product but sometimes it's just darned annoying that your bag's gone from pressed and
    creaseless to needing to be pressed all over again! (particularly when I use cheap interfacing
    that just stipples the fabric...arrgh!).

    But it's nice to know that people out there share some of my pet hates too!!

  2. Ah... the whole thing has its ups and downs, doesn't it? But that finished product and the sense of satisfaction makes it SO worthwhile and rewarding!!

  3. Actually, I can't imagine that anyone would survive a trip to Spotlight without coming over all deer in the headlights!


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