Friday, April 04, 2014

The Continuing Saga

So I have kept at it, kept sewing bags, with decidedly mixed results:

Bag the first (second? third? multiple many?).

Ahem. Wool fabric, hand spun from my very own sheep. I've had this fabric, woven, for over 25 years! It is thick fabric, not enough for a blanket but too little for a garment. Probably enough for a vest, but really? Thick. Fabric. Fold, put away, keep trying at weaving.

I fulled it as best I could. Washed in a washer, hottest water, dried in the drier. It did not felt into a solid mat even then (probably too closely sett and beat to allow much room for appropriate shrinkage).

But anyway: practice pieces, right? I added zippers with leather plackets, pockets everywhere, and a leather bottom and handle.


What did I discover? My BIG fancy sewing machine (well not so fancy, but BIG!):
sewing machine 001

does not go through as many layers of fabric as I would have wished. There are crap sewing issues throughout. Crap! It looks like a total newbie project (which it is!). Still: my sheep, nice design, and good ideas and much learning!

We moved on:

I totally love it! But it is also full of crap sewing. Crap! There are skipped stitches all over the thing. There are holes where the needle went through but the thread did not follow. Leather stretches in funny ways! (see learning curve), and some of the design issues did not work (see that? cut to the wrong size. Stretch a bit here, fold a bit there, etc.).

You get the picture. Once, long ago in a juried show, the juror commented that my piece was "very creative, not very good craftsmanship". I kept hearing those words in a continuous loop all through the process of making these two bags. The irony? They are going to a show! (Not a juried show) Yes! I am displaying these in public! Crap! With my name on it. My biggest hope is that someone will kindly walk up to me and say: "I give leather sewing lessons and here's my card"!!!

I will have to design bags within the limits of my equipment for the foreseeable future. I think it's mostly user error, and I need lessons. The thing might need a bit of cleaning, or??? I have had to replace the belt, and I may not have it installed properly. I have to hand turn more than is likely. It won't fill the bobbin, so I have to hand wind the bobbins, too. So I think a bit of a learning process using the Big Bruising Sewing Machine is in order.

But... (You knew there was a but). The next bag is under construction. Already! This is such fun!



Blogger Barbara said...

there is technology

10:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

looks like you are having fun with your new toy - oops "tool"

The bags look good from the distance that anyone will see them in use.

I understand they are going in a show and will be examined carefully - but that is a short period of time and then you will have years of enjoying them.

Hmmm - you aren't making bags - you are making a bag maker (to paraphrase someone)

10:42 AM  
Blogger blopeep said...

Do I need to come and inspect the machine? To see if the belt is slipping? Is it (or the surface upon which it runs) burnished?

And yes - disassembly/cleaning/lubricating is probably warranted. And some adjusting here and there.

And, and! Maybe I should wait to ask you for bag-sewing lessons? :-)

2:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi there, I just discovered your blog and am in awe of all of of your gorgeous projects! I was hoping to get in touch with you, but I don't see an email address listed on your site! I work for a marketing company which specializes in the yarn industry (knitting, weaving, spinning, crochet, etc.) and would love to chat more about ways to promote your blog with my clients! My email address is stefaniegr(at)stitchcraftmarketing(dot)com, I hope to hear from you!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Charlene said...

You probably know this, but on the remote off-chance that you don't: there are sewing machine needles made especially for leather that are kinda fantastic. Their point isn't symmetric like regular needles, but slightly curved, like a talon perhaps. Also: tissue paper between the leather and the sewing machine (above and below).

I made a few leather jackets some years (hmm decades) ago so I didn't make this up. They weren't horrible.

8:47 PM  
Blogger the scarlet piglet said...

I looooooooooove the yurt panel. Love. Adore.

12:14 PM  

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