Friday, September 20, 2013

My New Fall Bag with Pressed Leaves

Well, I have had an interesting week or two of sewing.  Besides this bag, I was also trying to make a dress for my daughter out of one of my husband's shirts.... BOMBED!  I've also been working on some little booties that were supposed to be so easy.  Thanks Martha Stewart!  They were pretty easy, but they looked so cheap.  I'm trying to improve on those and will hopefully write about them soon.

As far as this almost bombed.  I guess that should be expected when you're experimenting with new things.  For a while now I have been trying to figure out how I can combine my two loves, sewing and pressed flowers/leaves, into a bag.  Improvements need to be made with the concept, but I'm really happy with the end result.  I hope you like it too!

Blue Jean Fall Bag w/ Real Pressed Leaves

The idea for this project began with a sheet of laminated leaves.  I often use laminated leaves or flowers for cards.
I then decided that I could easily attach the laminated leaves to my denim by using a zigzag stitch.  I think I should have gone around a couple of more times.

Blue Jean, Fall Bag w/ Real Pressed Leaves
 If you look at the leaves on my bag in this picture, you can tell that the laminate and the leaves were crinkled when I had to turn my bag right side out.  I did not think of that!
In the above picture you can see the difference in the 'before' turning and 'after' turning my bag right side out.

How to solve this? 
I could make a bag where I do not have to turn it, but with wear and tear they will probably bend over time anyway.  My husband suggested using a stiffer material, but it would still have to be something I can sew through.  I think I just used too many leaves.  If you look at the other side of the bag...

Blue Jean, Fall Bag w/ Real Pressed Leaves

This leaf looks great.  It did get one crinkle, but other than that I think it held up just fine.  I would expect this leaf to look this good years from now.  FIY,  fall leaves do not lose their color like most undyed flowers do. 

Free Motion Stitching on bag

  The next feature on this bag I would like to talk about are those tiny orange maple leaves.  For those, I dropped my feed dogs and did some FREE MOTION STITCHING.  I had to practice these leaves on my dry erase board for a while, but once I got the hang of it went pretty fast.

Fall Bag w/ Real Pressed Leaves
Adding the handles is when I thought this project was over.  I just could not get all that material under my foot!  I should have added the handles before closing, but I really only wanted one handle.  From past experience I know that for me it is best to stitch the handle on the outside when adding the handle to the side of the bag.  So, I decided to use my open toed darning foot (that I use for free motion stitching).  I raised it up as far as I could and somehow I finally managed to squeeze it all under there.  It was a miracle!  I was truly about to lose it!

 The above picture shows how I had to piece together some jean strips to make the handle.  I was so proud of myself for not having to look up how to do this!  I really wanted to use the waistband of a pair of blue jeans for the handle, but it was just too thick.  I broke 2 needles trying to make it work! 

Blue Jean Bag w/ Pressed Leaves

Here I am!  All ready for the first day of fall with my new bag!  I'm on track to make a bag for every season thus far.  I'd better start planning for my winter bag!

I'd love to hear what you think about this.  Do you have any suggestions for me?  For my next project I want to try some dyed pressed flowers!

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Ashley's Dandelion Wishes

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