Kind Of Carpetbaggish

This is the process of making a thing (pictures):

This is how they were laid out ready to stitch but…
somehow I managed to create a gap…
…so I went rummaging for something to span the gap
I think I like it better this way
As I was going along, the thought was that it would be a cushion; but I’m stuck on the bag idea for awhile me thinks.
It’s going to be a big one.
Rummaging around in search of a lining for this bag, I ran across these pant legs that were cut off for shortening some for a client. The hems cut off can be used for handles or for a casing to run elastic or a cord through at the top.
Often dress pants are a mile long to allow for altering; perfect for lining this. The taupe/olive drab seem to be the winners. Those cuffs give me anxiety. I hated cuffs. Charged extra for them.
I pulled out a collection of trims to think about covering the raw edges where pieces were joined. Some of the trims in #ResourceCentral date back as far as 1969. The cellophane cover was of better quality then too. More recent ones just crumble off. These were still very intact. I’m blown away by their guarantee; unheard of in today’s market.
So every time something is added, things need to be reaccessed. It doesn’t pleat as softly now with the trim applied and it feels like it still needs something. I added the string of silk roses because it popped up while rummaging and seemed to be a thing I wanted on this.
Not sure at this point which will be the front. Perhaps it won’t matter on this one.
I’m going to square off those pointed ends. I should have applied that piece before the side ones so was trying to finish it off neatly.
The piping was stitched on by machine, but all the lace was hand stitched with gold floss in a running stitch.
I’m rethinking the pleats. May do a soft gather or take the pleats out to the seams.
It was late when I added the purple and lighting was poor. I had seen it in the bright light and knew it was a risk; but intuition forced me to add it. We’ll see how it works itself in.
As with most things, I’m not sure if I like it at this point. So many times, clients would literally freak out at the time of installation of a decor redo. I would always tell them to sleep on it. Never had anyone remain freaked out. Change is hard. Most things just need a little tweaking to make them perfect or time to adjust. Wall colors were an especially big challenge. Especially men as most of them want white.
Some gold gimp was added around two of the patches. Adds to the texture and integration of colors; I think. Also added a piece of purple so that it shows up on both sides.
I’m really liking the pleats out on the sides and the whole thing is growing on me.
Found another color of lace trim…??
Wasn’t liking the pointed ends on the bottom but didn’t want to square them off. After adding the lining, I will simply tuck the seam in like a pleat and stitch along the seam to anchor it to the bottom.
Pictures are posted so that I can remember the process should I want to repeat it or teach it to someone; so, forgive if redundant or seem unnecessary. There are details that I want to remember.
This allows for it to remain able to puff out but gets rid of the points at the bottom
The pleats at the top are more complex
The lining will be made the same dimensions and attached so that a portion of the top is able to flop open. This is a deep bag and this will make access easier and the opening bigger. I imagine some kind of a dowel along the top edge with the straps running through the fabrics, under the dowel and back up long enough to go over the shoulder.
I fixed one corner of the gray trim to have the same miter slant as the other so now it looks more like a frame and am adding a row of purple embroidery stitching at the bottom of the lace to help it differentiate from the fabrics under it.
This piece was added in to the collection that constituted the inspiration box as when I put all the pieces together, I managed to space them wrong and needed to add something. Turns out to be one of my favorite pieces and I love where it ended up. It shows up on both sides so gives the bag continuity.
The front mostly complete. A few little details to add.
This is the back of the purse face fabrics.
So now for the lining. These were lengths cut off of a pair of mens dress pants. As you can see, the pieces didn’t cover the width of the purse face fabrics and were way longer than needed. That was cut off and used to splice pieces to compensate for the width issue. It just barely made it; almost too perfect. Phew!
The two ends were stitched together and the edge finished with a stretch stitch.
After evening off the two pieces that were cut off from the length, it was just exactly a fit. Now I’m trying to add a pocket before attaching the lining and also trying to figure out how I want to make the opening. I’ve got an idea for dowels but still trying to work it out.
This striped fabric was a pillow cover I got for a song at a dollar store and cut up to use otherwise. I have PLENTY of pillows.
Another piece cut of of a pair of mens pants.
It isn’t quite deep enough so I will either cut off to match the lining or just roll the edge over to the lining side?? I got in a hurry to see how it looked and didn’t press the pants fabric. Will do.
one of the first images that came up for the search term “Carpetbaggish”
Mary Poppins bag

To view this story in pictures instead, click this link. This post is a compilation of the descriptions on the images.

Mary Poppins bag

Sewing Bucket List

She’s been a little busy.

Since ‘retiring’ a year or so ago, she hasn’t been taking client work. That means she doesn’t have to quit in the middle of creative juices flowing and then try to get back to it later; she can just keep with a project uninterrupted.

She’s finally gotten to her sewing bucket list. The first one on her mind was a patchwork quilt. As a child, her mother started her three girls doing them for rainy day projects. It has been a thing she has wanted to revisit ever since.

The bucket list seems to increase rather than diminish. This ‘toothbrush rug‘ one of the increases.

A yo yo quilt has long been on the list. She seems to cater to the 40’s style of things. Doesn’t it seem that each generation seems to like what was popular in the era of their mother’s youth?

This T-shirt yarn, Tarn, scrappy rug didn’t turn out well. She couldn’t keep it from ruffling no matter how she tried to do the increases. It’s in a drawer awaiting another life.

A long time on the sewing bucket list was to make a Canadian Smocked pillow. She mastered the smocking but failed to sew the seam before doing the smocking, so the two ends couldn’t be matched. Somehow she failed to do a row that would have made it right. She may turn it into a square pillow. It was supposed to be a bolster.

The thing about researching”how-to’s” is that you run into other fun stuff along the way. This scrappy rug was inspired by a lady on Etsy that makes hats and she was trying to find a tutorial for her technique. She ended up working it out on her own. It’s not easy crocheting with knots, she learned.

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Once in awhile she gets housework done or a project that makes sewing easier. She finally turned these lollipop display stands into thread and bobbin holders.

If you remember, her career was mostly working with clients, in their homes, helping them design their furnishing and window coverings. She had a little stint of trying it on her own and accumulated scores of fabric sample books to help her do that work. While she still had an electric washing machine (she now does all her washing by hand), she tore apart a big bunch of them, washed them and arranged many of them into ensembles she imagined could become something wonderful together. Many, many more books she simply gave away. Well, she is finally taking one box after another to work these imaginings out.

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Art to wear.

She never knows where it will end up when she starts out. She lets the fabrics tell her what to do. Above image is the front. Below image is the back. It went through many gyrations getting to this point. Still more to complete.

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Trapunto detail on the rose.

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The plaid pocket accommodates a small flip phone.

The “Tiny Purse” is the latest project, started with the intention of making a credit card holder for a friend’s upcoming birthday. She got carried away when the fabric told her to do otherwise.

She spent a great deal of the Summer trying desperately still to get her food to grow in the southeastern desert of Arizona. It’s a big challenge, but she did make progress and learned lots of new things.

Now that the cooler, shorter days are here, she will be working inside, spooling around a lot more.

She hopes this post makes up for her long absence from the blog, that you are well and headed toward an enjoyable Winter season.

The Star Client

Star Client

Ms. SpoolTeacher posted an ad for her Peripatetic Design services on Craigslist recently and had no idea what would come of it.

Would you like a new look without purchasing new things? It’s amazing what can be done by rearranging things you already own for a completely new, fresh look. Just need more organization? That too. Is clutter an issue? No need to throw things away (recycle) unless you want to. There is always a way to make a lot of stuff look better. Groupings, consolidation of like items will minimize the impact and can create a museum quality. $45 p/hr plus mileage trip fee to and from your home from Benson, AZ. Skilled, professional, life-long designer/decorator with great color sensibilities and exceptional organizational skills. No implements required, we’ll use what you have.

This she could do 24/7. She loves, loves, loves to deal with the details of “things”.

true freedom

Lone Mountain Collage, San Francisco, CA

Her first real job after returning from a little summer scholarship at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, (right after graduating from high school), was as a “store decorator” at Levitz Furniture. She was only 18, and very intimidated by the others who seemed so confident of their design skills. Her duties were to daily make rounds of all the aisles and replace any items that had been sold out of the vignettes.

The store had a wonderful stock room full of accessories and that was her domain and resource center.

Looking back now she can see how, even then, she enjoyed focusing on the smallest of details. For some reason, it soothed her anxieties.

She could often be found rearranging the contents of a china cabinet to get all of the elements just right. She also loved to clean the stockroom and reorganize it.

When Ms. SpoolTeacher asked Star Client how she found her ad, Star Client explained that one day she was placing accessories and she had her husband hang a collection of stars above her cabinets in the kitchen. After which, she plopped down on her sofa and felt exasperated. She had had enough. She was feeling overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” that she had kept as her most favorite of things that were the result of her downsizing event some time before.

She didn’t want to get rid of a thing, but she had had enough.

Very often, it is just an objective perspective that is needed to reignite the passion to complete the task.

Star Client asked her husband to, “Please get on Craigslist and find a decorator”.

When she rolled across Ms. SpoolTeachers ad, Star Client told Ms. ST that “That was it.” The words of the ad expressed exactly what she wanted.

The email from Star Client to Ms. SpoolTeacher said, “I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better.”

Star Client and Ms. SpoolTeacher had a wonderful time working as a team, going through her treasures and finding their new homes.

If Ms. SpoolTeacher had put an ad for a perfect client, Star Client would have matched the contents to a T.

The minute Ms. ST arrived, Star Client took her on a “tour” and they dug right in. Ms. ST looses herself easily, and they had finished the first room before she thought to take “before” pictures and got so busy in the end taking the ones she did, that she forgot two rooms! Oh well.

Here are the results of their team effort in the main areas. They pretty much touched and moved just about every accessory and numerous furniture items, except of course, the stars!

I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better. I have a lot of stuff that needs to look better.

They only took one little break and back at it again, the pups wandering in and out and around their feet. Mostly they just laid around and snoozed.

Mostly they just laid around and snoozed.

This time when Star Client plopped herself down on her sofa, she said, “Whose house is this? Much better!”

"Whose house is this?"

“Whose house is this?”

The thing about it is, it looked very nice before. And she had lovely things to work with.

Ms. SpoolTeacher says that this is The Star Client you always hope you will get the chance to work with.

What a fun day!