Sunday, April 18, 2010
I love the "Clover Needlecraft Company". To me, they manufacture a good quality tool. When asked, I will direct a customer to the area of the notions or craft department they are looking for. Nine times out of ten they will ask my opinion on tools. And nine times out of ten I will direct them to Clover. Clover tools are precise, strong, and lasting. I can never complain.
So a couple of weeks ago I am given a project sheet titled " A Bevy of Bags" and asked to make them using all the products that are recommended. Georgia, our Purchasing Agent, knows that I have skills that prevent me from using a lot of product in the store that is geared towards those who don't have skills. So, Here I am now about to use product as though I am an inexperienced sewer.
I decided to pick fabrics from three departments to make the three bags. Quilters cottons, Chirimen rayon from Bridal, and decorator fabric from Home Dec. It took an hour to pick the fabrics and then wheeled my cart into my sewing room to cut. I have some expensive fabric so I don't want to cut more than I need. Some patterns have you buy more fabric than necessary.
I'm reading directions. I'm looking at the required purchase for fabric and I am thinking - is it me? Or is there something wrong with this pattern? I'm in agony. It is calling for purchasing a fat quarter but is having you cut almost a half yard in order to make the purse. Each bag is like that. Lining as well.
I called in one of my favorite quilters, Pat, and she took a look at it and she agreed. The pattern is wrong. It should be calling for a half yard of fabric not a fat quarter. I brought it immediately to the attention of Georgia who emails the company. They just printed 200,000 pamphlets that are free hand-outs. They are being mailed out world-wide. Not good.
This is the first bag. Quilter's cotton. The piping is made using a fusible piping. You simply cut the fabric and iron it on to a cord that has been wrapped with a fusible web and you have instant piping. It is pretty neat actually and will make the process easy for anyone. The other product used for this bag is a thin but pretty strong plastic for the bottom. It's called "Shape and Create". It is not strong enough to stiffen a large bag unless you were to heavily stitch it to the bag bottom I think. But for this one, it is a one inch wide bottom and is quite adorable.
The handles were a little difficult, awkward to put in, but not one to give up, in they are. The last issue for me was getting the lining in. There was no instruction for how to finish the raw edges of the piping at the top of the bag. Things didn't seems to fit well. The pattern called for folding the edges of the lining in 1/4 inch and machine stitching it all around the edge of the bag. But it wasn't fitting well. So, I installed the lining by hand. And it looked better.
Next, the bag from Home Decorating. I wanted to keep this one really simple. It called for top stitching the handle on and I didn't. I hand stitched it to the inside so that I could have a nice clean look. There was no special product in making this other than applying the handle. All of these handles are from Clover. And they have some real beauties. I might buy a series and make some knitting bags for the women who come to my knitting class.
To embellish a bit, I did a little bead work. Simple. There are a lot of women out there creating wild and crazy bags. I don't want to compete. So I kept this one simple. I want people to see that not everything has to be overly "done".
And then there is the kimono bag. This is just the loveliest piece. I love the pleating at the handle. It is a faux button at the outer pocket. It is actually a small piece of velcro. This button I put on is the palest green. The handles are a really beautiful creamy butter yellow. I have to admit, I want one of these. And I rarely say this about little bags because I always carry around a very big bag.
So, I hope Clover changes their pattern. I don't think we are going to carry it until the corrections are made. I would love to email them and tell them that before they send a pattern to print, send it to me to test.
Now, wouldn't that be sweet!!!