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Amy Butler Fringed Hobo Bag

Oh dear, very rushed with the photos, but you get the idea.  Finishing this was an exercise in seam-picking, swearing, and persistent hand-sewing.

Oh dear, very rushed with the photos, but you get the idea. Finishing this was an exercise in seam-picking, swearing, and persistent hand-sewing.

When I searched to see if anyone had sewn this bag recently and recorded it anywhere, I saw tumbleweeds.  That should have been a sign, but no, it wouldn’t stop me.  Because when I first began sewing, I saw Amy Butler’s book Style Stitches and immIMG_1532 (1)ediately wanted my own fringed hobo bag.  I had just begun to sew, and it wasn’t going to happen.

Four and a half years later, it just couldn’t be helped.  I had to do it.  I read how difficult it had been for advanced seamsters to complete, but to no avail.  I sewed through the many layers, never having worked with Thermolam (AND Pellon SF 101 — my favorite interfacing — together?!), or sewn a fringe into the seams, or constructed a bag with maddening corners up top where the straps come up.  I decided against the two giant inner pockets because I’ve now made enough bags to realize that two pockets will sag in on each other, making access to the center annoying at best.

But I also felt that the lone pocket wouldn’t we useful as one wide, crescent swath.  So I divided the pocket into four widths: two shallow for gum on one side and lip balm on the other, and two center divisions for cell and sunglasses.

Three of the four divisions.  Ah, all neat now.

Three of the four divisions. Ah, all neat now, except for that wonky top stitching.  Tucking and sewing one giant circular portion of the bag that couldn’t be partially sewn and turned was nearly my undoing.

I wouldn’t sew this one again.  My curiosity is sated, and I’ve learned a bit more about interlining and fringes and fabrics in general.  But this thing is HUGE, and now I long for another crossbody bag and a little less cursing.  And a little more Russian dark chocolate and tea.  And a vacation where I might need an enormous, fringed bag to hold my chocolate and trashy magazines for the ride.

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