Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer 2011 Quilted Purse Disaster

Last night I decided to work on a birthday present for my BFF who just celebrated her birthday last week. My BFF will be traveling back to visit next month so I figured I had time to make something small for her. I recently purchased the Cath Kidston Sewing book, which had lots of cute projects. I decided to make the Quilted Purse since it looked pretty easy.
Being the “Experienced Novice”, having made several bags before and feeling confidant with my sewing skills I decided to just wing it. Briefly browsed through the directions (I’ll just use them as guidelines), decided to use some already precut scraps (it was a pain to pull out the pattern and mark it on the fabric) and eyeballed the purse dimensions. I ended up cutting both the outer fabric and lining as a single piece instead of the two pieces for the lining as instructed. I’m sure you know where this is going.
Here was my workstation when I just started making the purse as I was feeling confidant and full of myself. The pink Hawaiian fabric was the going to be the outside and black floral fabric in the back left was my lining.

Because I saw the word “quilted” in the title for this purse I thought I was suppose to use batting (the rectangular white stuff in my picture above) to make it look quilted. Please note that I have never quilted anything in my life, but have read about it on countless blogs and have shopped in quilting stores. So I felt fairly I was experienced enough to figure out how to quilt. I followed the book instructions to mark one inch square grids on the right side of the outer fabric, I basted the batting underneath and sewed away. I then basted some rick rack on the flap piece, pinned the lining (right sides facing), sewed up the sides (with a spot for turning) and this is what I ended up with.

The outside.
The lining side.
Despite the glaringly obvious flap that was sewn on backwards and the crappily applied white rick rack. I was just going to work with it and fold up the purse and sew up the sides. The backwards flap will just be a cute contrast I intentionally did to break up the pattern (so I told myself).

Then I realized as I folded l the purse piece in half and tried to sew up the sides that my sewing machine couldn’t sew through the double layer of fabric and batting. The layers were just too thick when doubled up. I went back and read the supply list for the quilted purse and I realized that batting or any type of backing wasn’t listed anywhere. The quilted purse was supposed to be made with two pieces of fabric and the hand sewn grid outline was the quilted design detail. The purse wasn’t supposed to really be quilted at least not quilted using batting. No wonder I couldn’t sew through the layers of fabric. So ends my embarrassing story of the “Experience Novice” thinking she can once again wing it while sewing something. Sadly I am left with something that looks like this. 

I don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps use it as a hot pad? Or maybe I can sew elastic down the middle or another piece of fabric and use it to hold my crochet hooks? Or pin it to my inspiration wall to remind myself what not to do? Your suggestions are welcome. I have not been deterred. I still have time and fabric so I will give this another go, but I will read the instructions and use the pattern this time. I’m sure I can make it. Wish me luck.