Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Photostory: The Wave and The Creative Process

This is a photostory rather than a tutorial, to document my creative process and reflect on it.   Think of it as a "pre tutorial".  I may, at a later date, make an actual tutorial of this pattern.
The process:
I sat down last night with the fabric and pondered what I wanted to do with it.  I've had this fabric for about five months now.  I picked it up at Joann's when I very first bought my sewing machine because I was totally enamored with it.  But I was afraid to use it right away with my mere beginner's sewing skills.   It's siren's call finally got the best of my sewing insecurities and I got it out.
The fabric!

I usually start my original projects at my desk, rather than at the sewing table.  This one was no different.

I sat down with my trusty tea cup and a packet of gummies to sketch out my general idea.  I almost never have a fully concrete idea when I sketch, or even when I'm actually working on the project.  I have ideas, but they are not realized until the project is actually finished.

Once I've sketched enough, I actually use my sketch paper to cut out my pattern pieces (if they fit, this one did).  As you can see from my pattern, I was planning darts at the bottom of the purse.  You may not be able to make it out, but I also have small marks at the top for pleating.  Along with the body of the purse, I have an idea of how long I want the strap to be and that I want a strip to go around the top.
With my idea and pattern in hand, I can move to the sewing table and start cutting things out.  

I cut out both the front and back of the bag in one go.  For now, I've left the dart cuts alone, which will turn out to be a really good idea. If I had really been thinking, I probably could have cut out the satin lining at the same time as well.

There's a step in here I didn't photograph, but I did cut out some heavy fusible interfacing and line the back of the wave fabric.

Next I got to the actually sewing.  I started by sewing the darts I had planned.  However, I didn't like how they looked, so I took them out and decided to just stick with the pleats at the top.   Thinking about it now, I may use pleats like this as a corner element in the future.  
Another not shown step: I serged the two outside pieces together.

That was as far as I could get with out cutting out my lining and serging those together as well.

I made a handle by cutting out a 2.5 inch wide, 16 inch long strip of the same satin as the lining, folding it, serging the open side, pressing it, and using the regular machine to stitch up both sides.  Here are all the pieces (minus the top "lip" which caused me some issues)

I attached the handle to the "lip" with the serger, and then sewed on the lip over the edges of the top of the bag, and voilá!  Presto!  Bago!

Aaand done.  This finished product is not the end of the creative process as even as I'm writing this, more ideas of how to tweak and improve the design are coming to me.  I will be putting this lovely little bag up on Etsy as soon as I have some better lighting (aka morning) in which to photograph it.

Any and all comments are welcome!

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