Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I love learning new things, though sometimes I wonder about my ability to do so.  Sometimes I get tripped up by what seems to be a simple thing. Like a certain detail in this project.

I saw this project on Pinterest and mentally filed it under "Some Day That Would be Nice to Sew".  We're getting ready for an epic two week camping road trip, and my husband and I got camp cots.  We've just had too many bad experiences with air mattresses--even more expensive, brand name ones. I realized that this little ditty bag (she calls it a "diddy" bag, I think.  I'm not sure which is right!) would be perfect to hang off the cot for our glasses, flashlight, ear plugs, cell phone, etc. I'd just need to use a snap instead of sewing the loop handle!

Can you see the adorable frog snap?

I got digging in the fabrics and thought this wildlife print would be appropriate!
I also had some brown cord and some brown twill, but not enough to do two in either. 

One bag was supposed to be in one, and one in the other, but I goofed when cutting the curved pieces.  I was also getting overwhelmed because I was using a different fabric for the inside (MUST have light coloured insides of bags!), and I wasn't doing the hidden zipper. Towards the final assembly, I just set one group of fabric aside and worked on one bag until nearly done.

I used this foil backed foam I had laying around. It came as a big sheet, like a windshield sun protector, but I think it was advertised as "material" for home sewing of insulated items (bought it from Jysk and they often have strange things you wouldn't expect).  It was very noisy when working with it, and perhaps not as flexible as just fusible foam interfacing.  It also melts when touches the over-wattage light bulb in the sewing machine. Just so you know :)

I was confused about sewing the front to the back.  Well, first I was confused about cutting the front curved pieces.  I didn't see in the picture how she did step 2 in the Preparation--cut into the fold for an inch.  Wouldn't that mean the bottom of the curve is a 2" straight section? When you sew it together, the back is straight across, and the curve is starting IN the seam allowance, so I didn't know how to go from the straight part, to the curve which was less than the 3/8" seam allowance away from the straight part.  So I started sewing the curve in the straight part, when I got to where the edge of the curve would be 3/8" seam allowance.  It seems in the pictures that was the right thing to do, but I thought at first the curve was supposed to be only the front piece.

And then the boxed corners.

I've never boxed corners before! I hadn't been too careful when cutting that 1" box out. So sewing it wasn't precise. Then I went back to the instructions and couldn't figure out how to pinch it and whatever. I googled for a bit and found these instructions that clearly show you DON'T sew around the box!!! Of course, I had also forgotten to leave an opening in the liner/inside bag LOL.

From there, it went much better and I was AMAZED at my boxed corners!!  Like, I went around showing everyone in my family how awesome it was.  They didn't care! 

I'm pretty happy with the finished bags. I think/hope they will be really useful in the tent.  I'm testing one in my truck, LOL.  I might just need to make another one!

While we're away, my parents are going to look after our dog (they have his brother and live on 80 acres with a pond for them!).  As a thank you, I decided to sew one for them.  I had cleaned their truck last time I was up and figured this had to  be an improvement over a Subway bag around the shifter for garbage! Knowing they would still want a garbage bag, I wanted to laminate the inside fabric.
 I had bought what I thought was iron on clear laminate.  Well.  Turns out it was fusible webbing with a clear plastic oversheet so you could be precise with your appliques.  Or something.  I thought "What if I fuse it to my fabric, but leave the plastic on?  Well, it's very crinkly noisy.  Then I thought, what if I iron it to my fabric, peel the plastic off, and place some clear adhesive plastic on? I had a roll of what I thought was plastic with adhesive, you know--peel and stick laminating with no heat machine needed. There was no adhesive on the plastic and seemed to be two layers that were starting to come unlaminated in places.   I tried ironing it to the exposed fusible glue, but it didn't take evenly and wasn't all that nice looking. Then I thought, what if I could fuse the PUL film I have to the fabric. I couldn't find the PUL film. So, at the end of my rope, I just left the other inside piece with the glue webbing exposed.  After having tried ironing the different plastics to it, the glue webbing had sort of melted and hardened.  It's not "laminate" fabric, and it will probably chip off, especially if this needs to go in the washing machine, but at least it's a bit of protection.

The boxed corners went much quicker this time.  I was also not using the foam interfacing, but just heavy iron on interfacing. I worried it wouldn't be stiff enough, but since it's laying against the transmission hump, it's not a problem.  I topstitched a pen slot in the outer pocket but sadly, I measured from the basting line, instead of the final seam line, so it's a bit tighter than it should be.

I was really pleased that the stripes on the strap fabric lined up when I went to sew it together. Totally unplanned!!

I hope they like it and it's actually useful, not just something you think is going to be useful, but ends up just a bit small, or a bit awkward, etc.

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