Making allowances

Yesterday I posted a photo on Facebook of a small purse and my friend Margaret asked me if I had make it with my new machine...No.  I finally finished  the binding of it by hand but had made the main body of it before i had gone on vacation in the Poconos where I had purchased my new machine.  The VERY first thing I made with my new machine were a couple of baby bibs...thought it was a good idea to start out small.  Since I had sold several bibs at the Shelburne Arts Co-op in August, more were needed.  I had set myself to a few weeks ago to start using up my stash and had pulled out this jeweled toned floral/butterfly fabric thinking it would make a nice market bag.  I had also found a matching dark batik whic.would make nice side connectors and straps.  Also in my stash was a decent amount of this blue butterfly batik - PERFECT to use for the lining.  Now all I needed were two coordinating fabrics for the pockets.  I found a purplish/fuchsia fabric that not only looked nice with the anchor fabric but it too had a butterfly theme.  I also had a bit of this blue fabric left over from another market bag and YES, there was enough of it for the side pockets.  I found a lighter colored batik for the insets in the straps so I was good to go!  Since I had sold a couple of theses market bags at the Crafts on the Common show in July  I have been focusing on making a few more for the local 2 day festival I will be doing the end of September.. I was VERY pleases that I found everything I needed completely from my stash. I  described how these bags are made last year in my blog http://www.newenglandfiberarts.com/node/114 .  Since there are a lot of parts to this bag and it is very time consuming to cut all the pieces out.  Once that was done, it was time to thread up my new machine and start sewing..

One of the things that I have discovered is it is VERY important to cut every thing out carefully and maintain a 1/4" allowance when assembling the bag so that it all fits together nicely.  Once I had the main part of the bag sewn together and the straps made it was at this point that I realized that I had miss judged the seam allowance.  there are no less that 8 different needle setting on my new machine.  Depending on where the needle is set, you may also need to change the foot on the machine.  I thought I had the correct setting for a 1/4" seam allowance but when I measured the main body of the bag, it was an inch narrower than it was suppose to be.  I was not happy since this meant that the bottom section of the bag would not fit in properly and nor would the lining fit properly.  I felt it would be best to figure out how much I needed to trim off the bottom piece without mucking about with the main bag, better to experiment with the lining.since it is the exact same size as the outer bag.  I cut an inch off the width of the lining and sewed the side seam and the started fitting in the bottom piece.  I ended up cutting a 1/2" off the length and width of the bottom piece of the lining fabric.   Now it was time to make these adjustments on the bottom piece of the main bag.  To my great relief, it fit in nicely, in fact, getting this piece to fit in is always a bit of a chore and what I discovered it that if it is a bit larger than what the 1/4" seam allowance allows it is much easier to fit it in and get nice square corners at the bottom on the bag..  The other thing that I played around with in making this bag was the free motion quilting which I did on the bottom piece. This machine has 3 different free motion quilting feet...eed-gads!  The main bag also gets quilted.  I chose this large arc stitch just to see how this would work out.  I normally free motion quilt the main body of the bag also but decided to use this arc stitch instead.  This stitch did look very nice but it is not a large stitch and one cannot change the stitch length so it was slow going.  Also, there is quit a lot of surface to fill.  I found it to be very time consuming using this stitch.  All and all, the bag came out nicely but due to all the adjustments I had to make so that the pieces would fit together properly and also the quilting and figuring out how to do the free motion quilting on the bottom piece, it ended up costing me a lot in time.  At this point it is obvious that I have to make a time allowance until I figure out all the insides and out of this new machine  This machine has several quilting stitches and 4  quilting straight stitches, each one of these stitches has the needle in a different position. I failed to change the foot at one point and actually ended up breaking a needle.  The machine tells you right on the LED screen which foot to use but I did not notice that the foot indicators had changed.  Since I am having to figure the machine out as I go along (instruction on this machine is available an hour from my house at $45/hour - NOT) each time I figure something out, I think of it as a little victory.    

Comments

I LOVE your web site Aunt Sandy! Every thing you have made is beautiful!

Hi Amy: Thanks for stopping by my site and giving it a look-see and leaving a comment! Hope you stop by again. HUGS, Your Aunt Sandy

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