What's in a plan???

You know a project hasn't gone well when the best part of it is that you are done.  I really love making things...and for the most part, especially when I am learning something new, I  enjoy it.  I never expect things to go perfectly, especially if it is my first couple of times making something  but this last project has me shaking my head and saying I am so DONE making market totes! Also, I have made several of these bag, I should know what I am doing, RIGHT?   I blogged about making this particular tote using this fabric back in September. http://www.newenglandfiberarts.com/node/145  I remember at the time being pleased that I had enough of all the fabrics to make a second bag at a later date.  This was going to save me not having to buy more fabric but also time since the bag had been designed as to what fabric was going to go where.  I realize at this point that was part of the problem, I did not approach this project with the same careful planning that I normally do.  I assumed everything was ready to go..which was my first mistake.  I cut out the fabric for the body, pockets and straps and proceeded to make the bag, thinking, I will cut out the lining when I get to it...mistake #2.   It was going to be a close call having enough of the dark fuchsia fabric which I used for the straps, the connectors between the sides  the bottom and also along the top..  I needed  a 36 1/2" long strip for along the top and It was a bit short but I realized I could make adjustments along the way so that the bag would end up a tiny bit smaller.  I got the sides and pockets done, the straps finished and it was now time to add the batting and do the quilting.  Oh my, I do not have a large enough piece of batting to do the entire bag, wow, poor planning.  I ended up cobbling together the batting by cutting strips of fabric and zig zagging the strips to the back of the batting where the seams would be and patching in a piece along to top. I have used this method before when I have had to piece batting together and knew it would be just as strong, in fact, stronger. Now it was time to free motion quilt the body of the bag.  I was using good quality thread and my machine IS in good working order but I kept having problems with the bobbin thread and there was a lot of stopping and rethreading of the bobbin going on - I was fighting with it the entire way.  So, it ended up taking much longer than it should have.  Now, the really poor planning was about to really kick in.  It was my intention to use the same fabric for the lining as I had done in the original bag, the checked fabric in the photo, and this was also the fabric which was the insert/highlight for the straps.  I measured what I had left and guess what, not enough fabric...sigh.  I looked around and found another fabric that would look really nice but I needed 3/4 of a yard and there wasn't enough of it.  There was enough of it to have cut out the inserts for the straps (two 36'1.2" X 1-1/2" strips).  If I hadn't cut these strips out of the lining fabric, you guessed it, I would have had enough.  So, off to the store I go to purchase more fabric for the lining. 

Time to do the final quilting of the connectors between the side, and it needs to be done with matching thread...dark fuchsia.  Right before I finish it, I run out of thread so, another trip to the store.  Once the bag is assembled I measure it along the top and that top strip is too short so adjustments need to be made.  This makes the lining is now too wide so that has to be adjusted....this all takes time.  The last mistake I made was not leaving an opening in the seam of the lining to turn the bag right side out through so out comes the seam ripper.  The bag is FINALLY done, it looks fine BUT it did take me 2 trips to the store and twice as long to make it than it should have.  Not a problem if you are doing this as a hobby but since this is a business, I need to be a bit more productive than this.  After this fiasco, if I wasn't self employed, I would fire me!   

Add new comment