I was recently asked to join a group of ladies who were going to test a new pattern from LaCartera for a sling bag. First, I printed out the pattern, then taped the pages together correctly and followed that by tracing each piece onto tissue paper. I always have a lot of tissue paper on hand for things like using one size in a multi-sized pattern, making adjustments on a pattern to fit the friend who requested I make it for her. Oh my, did she have a lot of changes to be made to fit her. I was frustrated by the numerous changes I had to make so it would fit her. She later told me it’s the first dress she’d ever worn that fit her perfectly.
Let’s get back to the pattern test. The first thing I had to do was choose the fabric I would use. Considering the size of my stash of fabric, that was no easy chore. I finally decided on an eyelet fabric for the outside of the bag and a royal blue for the lining.
What I’m going to share next has no bearing on the pattern. The pattern is perfect. The problem was me. I have several health issues that I’ve learned to live with. Sadly the day I started the test bag, two of them flared up at the same time (a first since being diagnosed) with the result that I was unable to stay focused on the instructions or what I was doing. The list of mistakes I made, to me, seemed endless. No problems pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric beyond cutting one when I needed two or two when I needed one. As I said, I was having serious trouble staying focused. Those were easy fixes. The second one when I needed one, went in the scraps bag. The second one when I needed two was simply cut out a second time.
I had no problems with the flap. That was done during a focusable period. Then there was the pocket. Well, first I sewed it in the wrong place leaving the zipper between the lining and the outside of the bag. Okay, after much thinking and figuring and sketching out fixes, I decided to take it apart and start over. This time I got the zipper so it was usable though my pocket was a bit smaller than it should have been. I was delighted to have gotten the pocket installed so it worked correctly. That is until I was reading through the pattern to make notes to give to the designer for whom we were testing the pattern. As I’m reading through the pattern instructions, I realize that the zippered pocket was supposed to be on the outside of the back of the bag. Mine was nicely installed on the inside of the front of the bag! I told you, I had trouble focusing! Okay, the pocket’s in the wrong place but that’s where I prefer zippered pockets on bags or purses I use. I left it that way. Mostly because I didn’t want to take anything else apart and start over. The bag will work as it is for someone.
Another thing I noticed too late was that somehow some of my lining fabric had gotten scorched. My old faithful iron had to be replaced after 40 years of service. I have not had the new one long enough to know how to use it so it does what I want when I want it, instead of what it wanted to do. Still, not much of a problem, at least not enough to undo the lining and start over again. Nope, not happening. Hey, I wasn’t getting paid for doing this nor was I going to be graded on it so one take apart was my limit on this project. Luckily, most of the scorching wound up behind the pocket.
The next problem I had was with all the pins needed to do the final round of stitching the lining to the bag. I kept getting poked in the most uncomfortable places. One pin went deep enough into my finger to draw blood. I was getting ready to test my blood sugar. Instead of deliberately sticking myself, I used the blood drawn by the helpful pin. Why waste a good pin stick?!
Now the sling bag is all sewn. Time to check for stray threads. I found a few on the purse but most of it was on me or the carpet. Carpet is not good for a seamstress. Those threads don’t always disappear when the vacuum goes over them and dropped pins can hide very well in the carpet. I keep close watch on my pins and as soon as I know one has dropped I grab my telescoping magnet and pick them up. However, and I haven’t a clue how or when except for the lack of ability to focus, several pins got away from me. Thankfully, I found them with my eyes before my feet found them!
It’s done and it was fun in spite of all the mistakes I made. The pattern was nearly perfect and the only things wrong with it were letters that didn’t get typed or a missing word or two. I’ve submitted my evaluation and posted the photos so the designer could see them.
Finished sling bag:
Looking pretty good in spite of all the troubles I encountered in the process.