Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't Sweat the Bag, or I Heart Algebra

One of the rules in the Knit Sock Kit Swap was "Do not fear the bag." So, I didn't. What I did do, though, was think about it for a long time. See, here's what happened: when I initially signed up for the swap, I started planning a really cute bag, maybe bug-shaped, maybe with flowers, but definitely girly. Then I got my swap partner's name from Bev. Okay, time to re-think the bag, 'cuz Dave doesn't come across at all girly.

I asked myself what kind of bags men carry. My answer was briefcases, messenger bags, backpacks, and duffle bags. Aha! A duffle bag! That's what I would make. One with handles and zippers and pockets... Denim would be good, with a lining of soft striped flannel... sort of like jeans and a comfy flannel shirt. (That's maybe not quite as clever as it sounds; the blue and white striped flannel was near the top of the first box of my fabric stash I opened.)

No pattern, I just decided to wing it. First cut was the handles, then the outer pocket. I dug around for a template for the round pieces at the end, and came up with the lid of a plastic margarine container. The diameter was 6 1/4". Here's the really exciting part... I got to multiply by pi! Isn't that awesome!?! Since this wasn't rocket surgery, I did do some rounding, multiplying 6.25 by 3.14159. The measurement around the bag needed to be in the neighborhood of 19 3/4 inches. Adding some for seam allowances plus the fudge factor, I cut a rectangle as wide as I thought the bag should be by 22 inches. I used the outside pieces as a pattern to cut the lining and interfacing, then just started sewing stuff together. Here's the only in progress pic I managed to remember to take:

(like my fancy ironing board cover?)

Thanks to my years of working in fabric stores, and of just being a pack-rat in general, I have quite a collection of all sorts of sewing pieces-parts, including a nice assortment of zippers. I just dug into the zipper box and found a few likely-looking candidates and inserted them here and there for some pocket fun.

The lining was assembled the same way as the outer bag (well, except no handles), then hand-stitched to the zipper. A lick and a promise with my iron, a few lampwork bead zipper pulls, and there you have it!

Tomorrow: My birthday swap package is here!!!



At 10:06 AM, Anonymous beverly said...

I felt fear when you mentioned Pi in this post, lol! Fabu bag!

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Teri.


ps - Very cool bag.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous FairyGodKnitter said...

Good Morning and Happy Birthday! Your bag for Dave is terrific, especially the beads. Have a terrific day.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Most interesting to see the construction in process, and to hear the thought process behind it. I really do appreciate the thinking that just because it's "male", that means boring.

Hey, do you think it would be possible some day for you to do a post about how you make the beads? With pictures, etc.? That would be cool to see.

Happy Birthday!

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

That's a great bag!
Aren't fabric stores the BEST place to learn stuff? I've put in my share over the years, and I miss it dearly.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Wow...pi?...Your geometry teacher would be proud! :) Great bag, love the lining! Cathy

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Gigi said...

Well done! I'm so impressed both with your creativity and the final result. Dave is lucky!


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