Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Sophia Carry-All

Maybe some of you have worked on a project with this tiny gnawing feeling in your tummy that something is not going to work out, and that you really should do it the way YOU think is the right way, but you don't. Then you finish, and you look at it and think: "I wish I had "insert solution here". See, back when I made my Weekender Bag, I also fell for its little companion in this photo. There was no pattern for it yet, and I wasn't feeling the need to just figure it out on my own. A year and a half later, the pattern for the Sophia Carry-All becomes available and I'm super excited. It's the bag! I've got some gorgeous vintage linen in my stash, lining too and I'm hitting JoAnn's to get the interfacing. Here's my first problem. Both JoAnn's and another fabric store I check have Thermolam Plus, but it's not fusible (like the pattern says). The product called fusible fleece is not fleecy at all, it's more like a very thin version of Timtex. I ended up using the non-fusible Thermolam, only to find out later that there are two types of this stuff. 970 is what I'm using, 971F is what I should be using. But the whole time this little thought is gnawing away, saying, you really should be using Timtex (that heavy stuff that makes my Weekender Bag looking so sturdy and neat), because really, I want that crisp bowling-ball bag look from the picture, not the squishy smooshy look of the bag that is staring at me from the pattern envelope. But of course I'm so wrapped up in sewing, I'm not listening. But I wish I had. So here's the bag,
SophiaBag1

and before you say that it's fine, here's a better picture to illustrate the smoosh:

SophiaBag2

Not at all what I wanted, and I just have myself to thank for that. I just have to put it away right now, because I'm not in love. Unlike my Messenger Bag, which, despite its lack of cuteness, loves me right back by being so sturdy and useful. Or maybe I just need to get rid of the initial expectation, and accept it for what it is, and not what I wanted it to be (man, I think all those self-help books are finally paying off!)

Pattern: Sophia Carry-All by Amy Butler
Fabric: vintage midweight decorator's linen from my stash. It was a bit smaller than the suggested yardage, but I've found that if you use your own pattern arrangement, you can often get away with getting less yardage. The lining came from some scraps of silk wool. I cut the fabric for the piping on the half bias to save some more fabric, it worked just fine. Sewing this took almost as long as the weekender, the piping on the bottom part is difficult to handle.
Mods: I used a regular zipper instead of a purse zipper (which I couldn't find anywhere and didn't feel like ordering.

33 comments:

Sanditerese said...

I know the feeling when something doesn't turn out like it does in your head. You just can't love it the way you wanted to. It happens to me way too often! But, for what it's worth, it really does look great.

elli said...

I love it in all its gorgeous schlumpyness. I just want to put my swimsuit inside it and take it to the beach!

blossom said...

you're so funny, the way you described the making of it! i know what you mean, had an expectation and was never met after it's all done! i love it nonetheless, love the green vintage linen!

i still haven't ventured into the weekender bag, or the messenger bag (which i absolutely adore your version).love the hat you made earlier, too!

Tuulia said...

it still looks okay to me! in fact, if I were able to produce even that, I'd be very very proud of myself! I see nothing wrong with it, in fact I adore it. Especially the fabric is what makes it too cute!

quenna said...

I understand the disappointment, but it still turned out very cute :)

I'm wondering if you could add more interior panels (with more interfacing underneath) and then handsewing them into the seams....I know it sound like a lot of work, but if you're not sure you're going to use it....

seedless grape said...

Oh my goodness, this happens to me all the time with my knitting--I get a niggling little feeling in the back of my mind that I shouldn't be proceeding as I am and should do something different instead; I don't follow my instincts; and I end up ripping out a lot of stitches. Ugh. If only my mistakes turned out as nicely as your Sophia bag! It might be plagued with the smoosh, but it still looks beautiful. I love the green fabric!

Keri said...

Wow! I know you don't like it, but that bag is super cute! Love it. I'm scared of those two patterns though.

Jessica said...

Oh, don't say that. Mine is halfway done.

Julia said...

I've been there, too. And of course everyone says it's great, beautiful, etc. This really is pretty though! I love the green fabric. I would just be sure to stuff a cardigan or scarf in there on cool days to fill it out, and then it's still carrying something useful!

Anna said...

I do the same thing, and I kick myself every time! Even so, I think the bag turned out great.

Esoteric Knitter said...

I think it's cute! I wish I had your sewing skills. I love the fabric you used. :)

Erin said...

I totally know what you mean. But I still think it is cute. I LOVE the fabric.

Queen of the froggers said...

It does look nice but I see what you mean about the squishiness. Such a nice fabric.

gleek said...

:( bummer. i hate it when i don't listen to my gut and then end up with something i don't like. it is really cute fabric though! maybe you can use it when you really won't mind the squishiness like on a trip when you can stuff a bunch of things in it?

Eva said...

AWESOME!!!!!
lg eva

rockbridge said...

you're mad!! (and i mean that in THE BEST way possible)... you should carry that bag around with pride - it's beautiful!!

Katie said...

this is beautiful. you did a great job, and i love your fabric.
I made this bag too, and I hear you on the squishyness of it. It is especially bad when it is over the shoulder. sigh. I had trouble with the piping around the bottom too. i thought it was really hard to get it to look nice.
I think next time I am just going to go for it with the heavy weight stabelizer....if i make it again.

Eve said...

Gah! It's still amazing, whatever you say.

Anonymous said...

I think your bag looks beautiful (and I remember seeing your first one in a post and thinking wow!). If you can make it to a place (or call them)called The Sewing Workshop on Balboa St., they may have some specialty sewing supplies that the chains don't usually get. I think you just gave me the inspiration to try this one. Terry

Philippa said...

I *can* see why you think that, but there are lots of people who would love the bag precisely for its squooshiness, more unusual in a bowling-ball shaped bag. Either way, it is lovely. I hope you learn to like it!

adele said...

I'm sorry you disappointed. I hate when that happens.

It looks lovely and the vintage fabric is so nice. I hope you like it one day.

Himalala said...

Hallo,

seit 2 Wochen durchforste ich das Internet, weil ich dringend eine neue Handtasche brauche mich aber noch kein Design bisher wirklich angesprungen hat. Nun absolviere ich gerade meinen obligatorischen wöchentlichen Besuch auf Deiner Seite und entdecke DIESE grüne Schönheit, MEIN GOTT!!! Ich bin verliebt. Du hast wirklich einen tollen Geschmack, Deine Sachen finde ich ausnahmslos wunderwunderschön. Und falls Du mal eine Adoptiv-Mutter für diese schöne Tasche brauchst, dann melde Dich bei mir ;-)

Ein schönes Wochenende aus Köln wünscht Dir

Isabelle

Knittripps said...

It still looks great! My advice is that if you like but don't love it is to sell it and make yourself another making the changes you wish you had done. The bag would surely fine a happy owner. Just a thought...

val said...

Oh my goodness! That is so drop-dead gorgeous and just screams "spring is here!". I think you should accept it the way it is, I think it will grow on you. Too pretty not to.

Nonnahs said...

I'm sorry it didn't turn out as you'd have liked, but smoosh or no smoosh, I love it- I think it's adorable!

cally said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes x
I'm hankering after your modified messanger bag, it's exactly what I need, that additional width is ideal for me for all the reasons you already mentioned (except I still can't afford an ipod). Plus I love the shot of it being worn, it looks great with the coat!

peacockchic said...

oh man, that hurts when it doesn't come out as you expect. Thanks for the tips though. I haven't started mine yet, but I hope to learn from those who came before me.

One the initial disappointment goes away I am sure that you too will realize that it is really a cute bag :O)

Octopus Knits said...

Despite your issues with it, the bag is lovely, smoosh and all : )

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph, I just happened on some old pictures of yours and I was wondering if you perhaps remember where you go the patterns? Your Victorian5 wine colored sweater is awesome! I'm in love with it, but I have never seen that pattern. Do you remember where you got it?
If you do, please let me know!!
Thanks so much!
Melanie
the_black_seaweed@hotmail.com

yaiAnn said...

=( Waaaaaah, howcome my bloglines isn't picking up your updates? Lovely nonetheless. I totally forgot about that Thermolam story.. I wish those folks could get their act together sometimes

Krawuggl said...

Genau diese Tasche schau ich mir seit ewigen Zeiten an. Ich tu sie in den Warenkorb und lösche wieder, ich leg sie 3 Tage später wieder rein und lösche wieder, usw. und so fort. Normalerweise mag ich knuddlige Taschen sehr gern, Taschen die sich drücken lassen und es auch nicht krumm nehmen wenn sie mal ein bißchen gequetscht werden. Aber bei der hat mir auch diese 'Steifheit' so gut gefallen, mal ganz abgesehen von der einmalig schönen genialen Form.
Also, ich find deine sehr hübsch, auch wenn sie nicht ganz so steif ist wie gewünscht. Aber da passen Stoff und Muster und Schnitt wunderbar zusammen. Fest und steif kannst du immer noch mal versuchen. Und eines hab ich bei deiner Beschreibung auf jeden Fall gelernt: kauf dir keine englische Anleitung wenn du nicht die geringste Ahnung hast wovon Steph da spricht! Fusible fleece??? Thermolam Plus??? Timtex??? Ich werd mal lieber bei den Burda Schnitten bleiben, auch wenn Amy Butler tausend Mal schöner ist!

Poshyarns said...

This is amazing, absolutely stunning and of course I want one, right now!!

The Hojnackes said...

The bag looks good! I made one. I took the pattern with me to JoAnns and looked for exactly what the pattern listed (I think it even had the number for the fusible fleece, but maybe not) It turned out well. I made one for my niece out of home dec fabrics and it is really crisp looking. Mine was a Nigella fabric from Amy Butler. It's not as crisp, but still looks really good.