Sunday, October 11, 2015

In Progress: Red Wool Pilgrim's Bag

So when I left off last week, I had my pattern figured out, and the pieces cut. I decided to start with the strap. First, I sewed the ends of the strap to the bag sides.



I chose to use a simple running stitch. Then I flat felled the seam allowance using a blanket stitch. No real reason for that, though, since it will be completely hidden inside the bag. It's mostly invisible on the right side.


I wanted the strap to be sturdy, so I added a second layer of wool and stitched the two pieces right-sides together.


Then I turned the whole tube right-side-out. Which wasn't particularly fun.


I moved on from the strap at that point and assembled the bag body. More running stitch. I started at the straight end of the main bag piece and aligned it with the seam where the side piece and strap attached. Then pinned the main piece to the side piece down one side, around the bottom curve, then back up the other side.


This whole thing happened on the other side as well, but here's how the bag looked after I sewed the first side:


Very nicely bag-like.  After getting the main bag sewn, I went back to the strap. I had planned to use silk thread for the top stitching, but there wasn't a close enough match at Joann's, so I opted for natural cotton instead. Which was a near-exact match. The strap stitching was a long process, as I used more of a stab-stitch than running stitch.


What I'm hoping is clear in the photo above is why top stitching is so important in an application like this. You can see on the left, the strap is poofy. Ironing would assist with getting that flat, but that would be merely cosmetic, and wouldn't create any actual stabilization. The top stitching flattens the strap, makes it sturdy, and looks nice to boot. Here's the finished strap:


I took the project with me to the event this weekend, and sewed the lining together. I used the same process that I used for the linen. I didn't bring any sewing pins, so when I was having a bit of trouble getting the curved bit lined up properly, I pulled out my veil pins.


Necessity is the mother of invention. Once the lining was all assembled, I moved on to making the tassels. I have a tassel making tool that I used for this. It's similar to this one. I wrapped the yarn around 50 times for each tassel. And failed to take any photos of this process. Then I sewed the two ends of the top strand (the one that holds the top of the tassel together) into the bag, and knotted them off inside. Remember that the lining isn't in place yet, so those knots will be concealed between the wool and linen.


I had to stop there (as we were packing up to head to court), but there's still seam finishing to do on both the wool and linen before I can sew the lining into the bag. I also need to make a pocket and decide how to sew that into place. But here's what I've got at this point:


So far, so good!

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