Hey, you know what I need? A new handbag. Because, um, I don’t have enough? (Note: That link is to the flickr set of my vintage and vintage-inspired bags. I have more purses, but they’re not “special” enough to warrant photographing.) (Second Note: Mandelion, I’m sorry but now that I see these all laid out in front of me, I just can’t instruct you to not buy any more bags. The word “hypocrite” will bounce loudly around my skull, even though you’ve asked me to stop you.)
Yeah, so. Every time I wander through JoAnn Fabrics, I give a glance to the two bolts of Zodiac upholstery vinyl that live along the back wall. Zodiac is manufactured in perhaps a dozen colors, although JoAnn only stocks two: burgundy and charcoal. I glance, sometimes I even stop and run my fingers over the vinyl, and then I walk away. I already have two clutches made of Zodiac (or a Zodiac-like fabric) and while it’s true, they are of a poor design and don’t hold much, I simply don’t need another bag. Besides, every handbag project I’ve started in the past has fallen into the storage tub of Maybe I’ll Finish This Eventually.
And then one day last week, I realized that my beloved Pantone ID card holder was perhaps looking a bit haggard. I’ve been using it as my primary wallet for a few years now, and it’s served me well, but it’s showing signs of age. And I suppose I should start shopping around for a new one. Orrrrrrrrrrrrr… hmm. I could MAKE one. Out of Zodiac! And since I doubt JoAnn will have small, remnant-size pieces, I’ll have some left over. So I’ll make a matching checkbook cover. Yes! Cool! I decide to get a half-yard of vinyl, and maybe I’ll stitch up a mini tote or something out of whatever is left over. And so I skip over to JoAnn.
The bolt is heavy. Lucky for me, nobody is ahead of me at the cutting table, and I can drop it off (literally) for the cutting attendant right away. While she’s unrolling it, I spot a handbag pattern over in the Green Pepper rack where I don’t usually look, because their stuff is a little “Boulder” for me. But this pattern looks like… well, exactly what I could use to make a bag from the extra vinyl! Yay!
I get home, and unroll the vinyl, face-down, so I can see in which direction the backing fabric’s grain runs. I open the pattern sheet, so I can get a vague idea of the layout. Hmmm, as long as they’re unfolded, why don’t I grab my rotary cutter and rough-cut the pieces so I can really lay them on the vinyl…
The vinyl was already unrolled! On top of my table-size cutting mat, on which I just rough cut the pieces! I HAVE JUST ROUGH-CUT THE VINYL! AAAAAAARRRRRRGH! I still have enough for all of my planned projects, but WHAT A DUMBASS! I do stupid stuff from time to time, but this is waaaaay up there on the list.
Okay, fine, back to work. I cut out the pieces for the handbag, trying my best to leave large areas left untouched for an ID holder, a checkbook cover, and the wallet that Nick asked that I make him when I mentioned my plans. I cut out the lining fabric. I read the pattern instructions.
I read the pattern instructions.
I read the pattern instructions. No, I’m sorry, what? I still don’t understand. Turn the open end under… taper… zigzag… I know the words, but the picture on the pattern is just as abstract as the construction I’m picturing in my head. I hold the pieces in my hands, and go through the steps again.
No, this just isn’t coming together.
I decide that I’ll just start sewing, and it will (hopefully) become clear as I go through. I swap out the needle on my machine, and I thread it. I go grab dinner with Scott and decide to come back to it in the morning.
Mom, an accomplished sewer herself, stops by in the morning, and I thrust the pattern instructions at her. She sits with them for a while, and is also a bit perplexed. But I think she’s figured it out, and she’s now waiting for me so she can show me what I’m supposed to do. Wish me luck!