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

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!

Product Development Deployment

Boho drapery sample patch purse

The idea of developing a product is to come up with something that can be sold…at a profit.

For the most part, she enjoys the whole process; but two days and probably sixteen hours into it, she wonders why she puts herself through this grueling process. 16 hours times $10 an hour (her minimum mentally acceptable labor rate) is $160. Debra Dorgan wouldn’t hesitate to ask this much, but Ms. SpoolTeacher is not of that caliber, at least not yet. As a matter of fact, it was viewing Debra’s lovely things on Etsy that had gotten Ms. SpoolTeacher’s muse all jazzed up to sew. That and the weather. And that most of her winter seeds had been sown. Oh sure, there were lots of projects available to do on the First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy agenda, but it was time to start thinking about earning more income.

During the summer monsoons, all of the sample books on the top shelf under her patio cover had gotten wet from leaks that occur along the joint where the cover meets the house. She had pulled them all apart and was washing and drying them to use for projects such as this one that got in her mind to do.

This day, two days ago, she was sorting samples that had finished drying suddenly two samples got her muse activated so she started work immediately.

Making a pleatThe front and back of the bag would be two colors of the same print and the sides would be a stripe piece cut in half.

She decided to make a pleat at the bottom edge to add interest and keep it from being a boring rectangle.

Her design plan was to utilize as much of the sample piece as possible. two inches up, one inch in

To make the pleat, she measured two inches up and one inch in and stitched the line. Then the pleat is pressed so that the middle meets the seam.

pleat detailThe next design decision was which side would go with the red and which with the blue. These things are more important than you would think. yellow, red, blue, yellow

Yellow, red, yellow, blue. That way the sides separate from the main body, visually.

She had sewn them together so that the bottom edges were all even so she measured all across the four pieces to make them even at the top as well, then seamed the final two edges together to form a rectangle.

The next decision was what to use for the bottom.

She laid the “rectangle” on a stack of clean samples and started flipping through them until one “felt” right.deciding on a bottom

The lining was made using all of the same measurements she’d just done making the shell.

She intentionally made all of the seams on the right side of the fabric because she wanted to use a ragged edge as a feature. As it turned out, she realized she’d rather have stitched the lining to the shell pieces before seaming them together as then the lining would have also shown in the ragged edge. This is product development. Next one, she will use that technique to improve the results.  The lining was all cut from one big piece of satin she’d ordered a yard and a half of for her store years ago. Orange with dots woven into it.

Lining made and stitched to the outer shellIn the process of building the lining, pockets were added and as it turned out, they seemed too close to the edge so a decision was made to add a top piece that would increase the height as well as cover the raw edges.

Picking a piece for the top edgeThis piece was cut into three sections and seamed together. Again, you learn through the process. When she went to make the handles, she realized that a bias joint would have been better. It shows less.

bias join rather than a straight joinIt’s very hard to explain the labor steps involved in constructing anything that is sewn. There seem to be a million little steps that are taken that are invisible to the final product.

Ms. SpoolTeacher was thinking through the whole process, “Maybe it would be better to hold a ‘build-a-bag class’ rather than try to sell them already made.” But, that has a whole ‘nother set of problems.

She’ll just make a few more and see where it goes. The first one is always the hardest. A lot of the “bugs” get ironed out in the process.

Ragged edge after washingFor instance, this little side pocket that seems rather lacking in function now that the whole thing is made; but even so, it adds interest. Maybe a place for a little list for the store, something that wouldn’t be devastating if it were lost.

She was real happy with how the ragged edge turned out. To make a secure seam, she used her stretch stitch so that even after clipping close to the seam, there were still plenty of stitches securing it. It sure would have been pretty with the orange showing. Product development deployment can sometimes have disappointments. A lot to be happy with though, as well. Slouchy angle showing lining

Product Development Deployment

Now she thinks she will add some decorative buttons to secure the straps to the top band. After adding elastic to crinkle it up, the top folds in some getting in and out of it.

Sixteen hours and counting…

When the muse gets a hold of her, it can sometimes turn into madness.

A Magnificent Obsession kind of madness.

Magnificent Obsession

Muse: Madness
Deploy: bring into effective action; utilize.
“they are not always able to deploy this skill”