After a whole evening’s sewing, unpicking, sewing, unpicking, sewing, unpicking and sewing. Then a whole morning’s unpicking. Then another morning’s sewing, my new handbag is finally usable.
I started this the night before I flew off to Canberra. You know how it is, when you have a deadline (i.e. 4 am trip to the airpot), a suitcase to pack, a family to feed, a shirt to iron etc. and yet making a new handbag is urgently essential. The time I spend in the little sewing house in the back garden is usually limited to rummaging through boxes and making piles of forgotten things that delight me afresh. That day, I found these dear little cane handles that Nanny gave me a couple of years ago and so, rummaged some more, found a pretty fat quarter that I was saving for something, some more curtain remnants and I was dashing back to the kitchen with a handbag forming in my head.
The thing is, I had no pattern and had never before made a handbag like this. I do have the ability to put fabrics together and to come up with sweet little things, but when it comes to working through a new construction method in my head, I am HOPELESS! UTTERLY USELESS! You do not want me on your desert island. You would die of exposure before I worked out how to put the shelter together.
Thus, I stitched up the bag stupidly, and unpicked it over and over again. True, each failure brought my one step closer to understanding what I was MEANT to be doing. But, 9pm came so quickly. The family demanded dinner. I began to feel a wee bit anxious about the lack of REAL preparation for 4 am. So I gave the bag one more go. I truly thought I was almost there. I so wasn’t.
See – it was almost together in a manner that I hoped would work – but frankly, a bit wonky – and then I tried to open it. Yeeeeees. Told you – HOPELESS.
Since then, it has hung from the sitting room door knob taunting me with its uselessness. Snickering “Look at me – you used Nanny’s special cane handles and that pretty fat quarter and you even spent an hour embroidering a doily and it’s all wasted.” Ha! Ha! Not so fast you dodgy purse. I spent the bumpy flight to Canberra pulling you apart in my head and putting you back together and I think I know what to do this time.
So yesterday morning, in that small space that lingers sweetly between cooking breakfast, preparing lunch, finishing the chores and going to work, I sat down with a cup of tea and my trusty seam ripper. You would not believe how many seams required unpicking. I’m not telling – it’s too embarrassing. Then this morning – a neat press, a couple of simple seams, a brief moment of dodginess (I’m sure I could improve that particular bit but still haven’t worked out how), and I finally have a finished handbag
I’m especially pleased with the inside pockets – I made one for my keys, one for my spectacles, one for my phone and one for my lippy – and it opens. Fancy that.
Now I have to fill it with the essentials and head off to the prettiest shop in Melbourne – Amitie – I’m trying to finish quilting Abby’s Halloween quilt that I began four years ago and the bloody thread keeps breaking. I’m hoping it’s the thread’s fault. Probably isn’t. Oh well at least I’ll enjoy a quick look at some pretty fabric. With my new handbag. Very sweet.