Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Working out the precision gene

Just like I bought lots of fabric, I bought 10 craft books. I mean, when they end up being between $7 - $12 each, how could I resist? I just had to fit them in our luggage, which really meant that Rob had to carry all of the heavy stuff and I just had to roll around the dirty laundry. Some of the books will be familiar to lots of you, but I did pick up a couple of brand new releases that I'll share soon (especially if I make something from them!).

One thing I noticed wherever we went in Japan was the precision and craftsmanship of all of the handmade items. From keychains to furniture, it was all beautifully constructed and thought out. I've said many times before that the precision gene just skipped right past me, but I thought I'd try to make my first post-Japan project one that helped me concentrate on that.

When we were at my aunt's store in Takayama, I noticed a few handmade bags that were finished on the inside with bias tape.

I'm sure some of you are like, "Big deal! My bags are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside!" but I was pretty impressed. I usually sew up the outside and inside separately and cross my fingers that the topstitching looks ok. So I choose a bag from this book to start out with.

The title of this book is "Simple and Easy to Make Going Out Bags". (ISBN 978-4-429-04421-9) There are sixteen bags and five mini bag patterns. What I thought was cute that the bags were separated by categories.

"go to shopping"

"go to market"

"go to a friend's house"

"go to school"

For the first bag, there were detailed step-by-step directions on how to make a bag, Japanese style.

So that's the one I made. I had to make everything harder for myself by throwing in a layer of Timtex, so sewing on the handle was super difficult, but I'm happy with the final product.

(Unki decided he needed to be in the photo for scale)

The outside fabric is this one I bought in Takayama. The handle is green canvas scrap fabric, and the handle has a nice sewn detail on it.

For the inside, I used some stash kimono fabric. I even did the bias tape for the seams, although it's not as neat as it could be.

The other project that we did this weekend was reupholstering a footstool (which we created from an old chair) with fabric that I also bought in Takayama. The piece wasn't wide enough, so Rob created a pattern that I sewed together.

Guess whose favorite spot this has become?

(Can you spot Maggie under the TV? That's my girl, sleeping through the whole photo shoot!)


yaiAnn said...

Your "go to shopping" bag is great! I can't wait to make something from the Lotta book you got me!

Stephanie Lynn said...

Nice bag! I really like the shape of it.

SJ said...

Those patterns look fab, and the bag you made is so cute! I wish I could sew!

Libby P said...

Hi Mari,

I'm delurking!

I've really been enjoying your blog for a couple months now, especially all the great travel posts. I'm really impressed with your bags, and totaly jealous -- my urge to collect bags is stymied by my limited budget and I'm kicking myself for not already knowing how to sew so I could make my own!

Anyhow, just saying hi and leaving a link to the brand-new blog my mom, sister, and I just started,


The_Add_Knitter said...

Love all of those meticulous bags, so cheery and inspiring!

lupinbunny said...

noice work! That's a really, really lovely bag. And I like the footstool too.

The bias tape impresses me sufficiently, have to say.

MinaG said...

Lovely purse, as well as so spacious looking and functional! Love the thick strap! Good job!

yumi said...

The purse turned out beautiful. You did a great job on it and the footstool looks great. The patterns very nice.

Carol said...

Both the bag and footstool are lovely!