Can we use my being three days behind on my to-do list as the accepted excuse for why this blog post is three days late? It feels acceptable to me for two reasons: a) In place of blogging on Friday I was entertaining my niece and coming up with Halloween crafts to do together (we painted paper mâché pumpkins and made these little goodie bags for her to take home to my little nephews) and b) Now that the bag for this post is done, it’s too cute for me to be anything but elated and pleased.
This is how all my projects start, with a pile of cute and alluring materials. Unlike most of my projects, however, these materials were not chosen by me, because this is my first custom bag order! BC’s lovely cousin Amanda (who ordered this weekend bag for her sister’s Sweet 16) was the first submitted order after adding the custom order guide to the site. After two rounds of carefully selected fabric options for her to review, the final choices for this day bag were:
- Heavy duty acrylic navy canvas for the exterior (fade, water, and mildew resistant) with cognac faux leather accents
- Tula Pink’s gorgeous “Deity in Orchid” elephant printed quilting cotton from her Eden line
I’ve made enough of these bags to start to see my making process evolve. I used to spend 3x the amount of time just cutting the patterns out by pinning each pattern piece to the fabric, cutting around the pattern piece, and repeating for the other pieces. Now I use a Clover Chaco Liner (chalk marker) to quickly trace around all pieces, followed by cutting all the pieces. Much quicker, and less pin pricks.
My other time saving secret is using SOAK’s Flatter Spray while ironing to smooth out my fabric pieces and keep them looking amazing. Not only do wrinkles stand down pretty quickly to this spray, but the Celebration scent leaves the fabric smelling fresh.
At times I have so many projects in my head that by the time I get to the actual making part of one, my brain is already anticipating the planning part of another. I didn’t let that happen with this bag. When I found my mind wandering or slipping into the “I NEED TO GET THIS DONE” mindset, I took a breath and focused on the moment. I remembered that I love making things, that I love sewing, that this is my precious time. I remembered to sink into each part of the bag making process, and that led to a prettier final result and a happier Dylan.
Is every stitch perfect? Are all seams perfectly aligned and flawless? Nope, but I took a lot of care and time to make the best bag I could. It’s important for me to remember that I am not a factory, but an artisan, and therefore each bag may not be the same and machine-perfect, but the heart and love that they hold is far superior to any bag you could purchase from a store.
Time for me to rush off to the post office to drop this bundle of love in the mail for Amanda to delight over later in the week. Thanks for the order Amanda, I hope you love it ❤️