But I feel like I have moved up into the semi-professional bagmaking leagues with this Ansel camera pattern that I linked last week. Unlike my previous homemade bags which were stiffened with quilted wadding and/or whatever interfacing I had lying around, the Sew Sweetness bags are highly structured with both the lining and the outer fabric concealing much internal scaffolding. The result is a bag that not only stands up by itself but also has a very polished look with no drooping or wrinkles. The outer shell (of lightweight home dec fabric with sewing motifs) is stiffened with single-sided fusible Bosal foam, which I fused to a layer of Vilene medium woven interfacing already applied to the wrong side of the external fabric to prevent any wrinkles happening from the Bosal (a problem that I had read about online). The bottom panel of the external bag is further stiffened with an insert of Vilene 71F pelmet fusible interfacing. The lining fabrics (quiltweight cotton) are also stiffened with the Vilene and are sandwiched with cheap fabric to create pockets in which are inserted half-inch thick foam pieces for padding (because it is intended as a camera bag). The straps are four layers folded into themselves of quilt weight cotton stiffened with the Vilene.
I was a bit concerned about my sewing machine (a Janome 6500P workhorse that must be at least 15 years old) sewing through all the layers, especially where two exterior panels were sandwiching a double-folded strap, but using a 90/14 quilting needle and stitching slowly, it didn't hesitate. The only problem I did have was that the stitch tension through the thick layers wasn't always great, resulting in a sort of 'ladder' effect on the right side in some cases, but some re-stitching in certain areas improved that. I had read online that the Bosal manufacturers do not recommend steam or any moisture when using their fusible products which I feel restricted me from getting a really crisp press, but it's looking pretty good so far.
This is the inner liner structure, with several custom pockets I added to hold lacemaking items like my lace glasses in their case, and my folding portable lamp. I ran out of the blue fabric so used some pink Tilda fabric from my stash for the remaining pockets. The foam padding will protect the lamp and glasses and other items from any knocks.
And this is the outer shell so far (it's not finished yet) which has turned out fairly well. I've decorated my straps with some ribbon featuring buttons, which I bought online from Wool Warehouse. You can see the side straps with the metal rectangle rings that will take the shoulder strap later on.
Earlier in the week I did some work on my Japanese dollshouse. I've now added the little internal roofs above each sliding door, and the shoe stones in front of them, and the sliding shoji window on the back wall. For some reason the sand supplied to go around the shoe stones was not only a completely different colour from the sand they supplied for the first floor shoe stones, but was also a white glitter which looked completely unrealistic. So I mixed up some of my own sand using some bird sand and some white sand I had in my stash. It still doesn't match the first floor but at least they are a matching pair and aren't reflective.
I'm still knitting on both shawls. On the Itineris Shawl, I realised that I was going to run out of yarn if I kept blindly following the pattern. So I stopped short on the increases and am now knitting up a side strip with only 20 stitches cast on instead of the pattern's 30 stitches. I'm now down to a tennis-ball of yarn so it is still possible I will run out. I don't want to have to buy an entire new cake just to finish up so if the worst happens I may need to unravel some of the side strip and start with 10 or 15 stitches, or perhaps dig around in my stash to see if I have something else that would tone in.
Today we did the garden tidy up that the rain prevented last weekend. Although the plants don't seem to have read the gardening book. So while the book is recommending things like 'cut off the faded lavender stalks', the lavender appears to think it is still summer and is flowering away with a second flush of flowers. I'm mulching around plants that still have loads of flowers on them and even the strawberries are still cropping. Perhaps everything is making up for the time lost during the long hot drought over the summer. I'll have to have a secondary tidy up in another month when perhaps things will have finally died back. I'd already planted up some tulip pots a few weeks ago and now I've put some winter flowering pansies into another pot. There are a few more pots with begonias still flowering in them that I haven't the heart to empty, I guess they will keep going until we have the first really heavy frost.