Sunday, 24 June 2007

I looked like a big pink linebacker

I had a really fun day yesterday at my Saturday sewing group. After dealing with the admin and the show and tell, I taped my now entirely-blue background Lone Star to the floor and squared it up with a trick I saw on my Ricki Tims DVD, which is to put a pin in each corner and use string hooked over each pin in turn and then tied so that the string forms a square. You can use a ruler and a measuring tape to square up the quilt, moving the pins as necessary, then mark the cutting line along the string. This quilt is so big (I haven't measured it but I think it is already about 80 inches square even before borders are added) that I don't have room to lay it out flat at home, so it was good to do it at the church hall where my group meets.

Then I got busy on the Chelsea Tote by Lazy Girl Designs, and got most of it done, and I finished it up today (Sunday). This went together really well, and I was impressed at how thorough the instructions were. I made a few changes: I put a zip on the outside pocket, and another zip on one of the inside pockets, for added security. I also layered the cover with very heavy interfacing to make it fairly stiff - the pattern only calls for a single layer of batting and fabric which would make a very floppy bag.

I used the recommended Bag-E-Bottom (7" square acrylic) in the bottom of the bag but found that my bag actually came out more like 8"x 7" in the bottom, which is odd as I followed the instructions pretty closely, must be a seam allowance thing. Having made this tote, and I am pleased with it, I would say that having an almost square bottom makes it less comfortable to use as a tote, and even as a knapsack I think I would prefer it not to stick out so much from my back. If it had a rectangular bottom that was, say, 4 inches wide, I think it would work better. I will use it for a while and see if I get used to it, but I think I might make another one in a rectangular shape but using the same general principles. It is also not really that big, which surprised me because you start with a pretty big piece of fabric (27" x 36") - again, I guess that having to go around a square bottom takes up more fabric. I certainly wouldn't be able to cram my usual motley commuter's collection into it (English weather is very unpredictable, so this time of year I am travelling to and from work with sun glasses, sun hat, umbrella, and sometimes a light coat, as well as all the other usual female debris that we gals like to haul about, and also a book to read on the train).

I finished my cardigan in Rowan Biggy Print wool. This was a pattern called Penny in the Rowan Big Wool leaflet, and in the picture it looked like a slim fitting chanel-type jacket. My stitch tension was spot on (I adjusted for row tension) and I blocked the finished pieces to the given measurements. But when I sewed it up and put it on - I looked like a big pink linebacker! The sleeves were too loose, but the worst thing was that the weight of all that big wool just pulled the whole sweater down off the shoulders and it looked absolutely terrible. Very disappointing and no mention at all in the pattern leaflet of how to deal with the problem. I tried a cord between the shoulder seams to take some of the weight but in the end I had to admit that I would never wear it if I left the sleeves on. So I took them back off and now I have a very expensive Biggy Print waistcoat instead. DH says it looks like something Sonny & Cher would have worn - I'm going to ignore him.


Kathy Wagner said...

Don't you just love those DH comments!??! I get them too!

swooze said...

Uhhhh I don't see the lonestar pictured anywhere here......

Greenmare said...

thanks for the critique of the bag, I have that pattern too and you helped me out!
I dont' think you look like a linebacker or Cher. Aren't husbands great, what would we do without their "cute" comments? hmmmmmmm want to help me start a list?

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