Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Cooper

Last year at the sewing retreat I had a colossal fail (but look how tiny she was!!) when I tried to make a bag.  I will admit, it was good for me.  This had never happened to me before.  And in the time in between I don't think I made any bags at all (except perhaps a library tote for E?)  This was a little odd for me because I have made quite a lot of bags and really got sewing as an adult because of them.  I've used patterns and made up things, done simple and embellished.

Anyway, last year was a disaster and I wanted to redeem myself (okay, maybe it was sub-conscious...) and when I came across the Cooper from Colette Patterns I knew I had just the right thing.
I spent a lot of time online looking at what others had done to figure out what kinds of fabric combinations I really loved and then I spent a few more hours looking at fabric online to pick just the right combination for me.  I searched around quite a bit for the hardware.

And then the fabric arrived. And it was not matching or the weights I expected.  I didn't want to shop any more for this at that point.  I dragged my poor husband in and made him help me figure it out.  He is great at this sort of thing as an artist and designer, though I know he doesn't care 2 cents about this project.  And I believe he hates ikat.  (I know.  I know!!)  He gave me great advice and I decided to keep the fabric that I had intended as the interior and use it as the "main fabric" in the pattern.  There was so much of the main fabric I could be fussy about cutting to get the parts of pattern I liked in the best placement.  This left me with just the interior to figure out and of course, since it is inside you can do just about anything.  One stop by Kitsch in West Asheville and I was set with a fabric nothing like what I thought I was looking for. :)

I really love the combination of these elements.  I feel like the bag screams travel bag and "take me away!" and I adore that.  I love a bit of escapism.  I was also reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and I think it influenced me on the interior fabric in particular.

The pattern was a breeze to cut out and put together.  There were a couple moments where I got tripped up but that is more because I am not used to having so many instructions to follow than that they were bad.  I'm quite used to winging it.  I did order the wrong amount of webbing so I made a couple little mod's there.  I didn't feel the straps were adequately secured so I did some additional sewing after using it a couple days.  But I used it for 3 or 4 days before I managed to trim all the loose threads, so I must have love it.

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