Yes, I’m not quite done learning. I don’t think anyone every really is. But this particular lesson I learned is the stuff made of facepalms and doh moments.
I have made a few bags following this fairly simple and easy pattern; I have had a few tumbles with the zipper but figured it out along the way, after lots of swearing and ripping and more swearing. I’m happy with the finished work and since I acquired some new funky fabric, I thought I’d make more bags. A knitter can never have too many project bags! And project bags, in this case, is interchangeable with yarn, needles, cables, patterns, yarn…you get the idea.
Anyway, on with the lessons.
This fabric is all kinds of cute. At the last Satwa trip with Mina, we found at least 4 varieties of this elephant print fabric. It’s quilting cotton so it’s quite versatile. I chose the more classic white background because I m still not that adventurous with fabric. Mina suggested the bright green with white polka dot as a lining so I grabbed that too. I think they worked really well together.
Sewing this pattern again was like re-learning how to sew all over again. I remembered to measure twice and cut once. I used a dozen pins to put the zipper in place before starting to sew! I obsessed a bit about which colour zipper to use and ended up with the baby blue because the green that I have that matched the lining is too short. Note to self: stock up on more 12″ zippers.
Now this exterior fabric is pretty. I love it. If I could sew a garment, I would probably make an entire wardrobe for me using this fabric. But maybe I won’t. Sadly, all I could find for the lining was a boring plain black and white polka dot. Better than plain white I suppose.
I put the bag together quite quickly and neatly, in my opinion anyway, so I was really happy about it. Then I pulled the bag the right way up ready to do some finishing touches when I discovered that I had sewn the zipper upside down – the pull tab was on the bottom! Curses!!!
I felt like Mjolnir was on my shoulders. I didn’t know if I should cry or scream or both. Here I have a very well sewn bag, both exterior and interior lined up perfectly. The zipper was actually sewn quite neatly in place, apart from the fact that it was upside down. I contemplated for a second if I could live with it that way, remembering to pull from underneath when using the bag, but then I gave myself an imaginary slap across the face. Right! I had to fix it. But how? If I ripped everything to correct it, it meant ripping all the way down to the beginning when I sew the zipper on. It’s the first thing you sew on so naturally it had to be that way.
But wait. Flashbulb moment! What if I took the zipper pull all the way out of the zipper and put it back the right way around? Ballsy move. I wanted to get help from the husband but he was snoozing on the couch and I would hate to ruin the rather calming rhythm of his snores. *deep breath* I can do it. On my own. And that’s what I did.
I took that zipper pull right out and panicked for a second. Then slowly, calmly started to shimmy it back in place. It was easy enough to put the tab through the first set of teeth; it was the second set that was a little tricky. If I didn’t line them up correctly, I will get that annoying gap on either end of the zipper and that would drive me bonkers. If I was one of those women who regularly maintained well-manicured fingers, I would have cursed even more for breaking a nail or chipping my polish, but I wasn’t so I didn’t mind the odd chipped nail as long as that zipper went right in.
And it did! Yay! It did! Crisis averted. Lesson most definitely learned, which is to always ALWAYS check everything before sewing them in place.
I ave at least 3 more bags cut and ready to sew but just haven’t found time to do it. I hope these lessons I learned will stay with me because I don’t think I can handle another failure like this.