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Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Bag

I bought this pattern back when I first arrived in New Hampshire, in July I think. It is Japanese. I know it is Japanese because when I researched her name, Etsuko Furuya, everything is in Japanese with a remote reference to Japan. But when I bought this pattern, I did not realize I was getting one that was completely written in Japanese, not English.

I have several books, I probably should say that I have maybe 20 or so books, that are all written in Japanese and Chinese, on different needle arts, stored away in boxes between Oregon and here in New Hampshire.

What I love about these books and patterns is the fact that their drawings are really comprehensive. And there are references to numbers which are typically in metrics so I can usually translate quite well. Of course, it helps to have a good knowledge of sewing and construction.

For months I have been looking at bags in stores. My bag is very big. I got it at Fabric Depot. It was a display model I made. It is big enough for a new mother to hold all the necessities for the baby. Big enough for a traveling quilter to hold her project, fabrics, rulers, a small cutting mat, tools, everything. Big enough for a knitter to hold her needles, books, yarns, project, tools. It is just a big bag. I loved it because I could carry to work all of my things, My lunch, my personal tools, things I wanted to give to people, books, anything I wanted to carry to and from work. Often I would bring projects home to work on because it was time-consuming hand work that was best done at home. So it was perfect for me. But here, Pretty much I just have my wallet and occasionally a small knitting project when I am going somewhere where I am sitting for a time with nothing to do. I never go anywhere with nothing to do with my hands.

I bought this beautiful decorator weight toile at Fabric Fix, this wonderful little store that sells fabric for ridiculously low prices because they get them from back rooms in NY and what you see is what there is and there are no repeats. So I think I paid three dollars a yard. I got two yards of this one. That is all they had. I fused to the back of this a medium weight canvas. This gave the fabric a great sturdy weight that is almost leather-like and will give it a life span of probably ten to fifteen years. I do the same thing with my kimono silks in order to give the silk a good hand for this same use but on a smaller scale. I found that fusing canvas to a fabric rather than an iron-on interfacing really changes the hand and it doesn't collapse like an interfacing does, even the stiffest interfacing. When I passed this concept on to customers at Fabric Depot in Oregon, always they would ask if they should fuse the canvas to the lining instead of the outer fabric. I could never figure out why that was an issue. If you were making a leather bag, would you put the leather inside and the lining outside the bag? So I would explain the mechanics. Still, I could see the hesitancy. It's OK. To me, it is the difference between and $300 bag and a $35 dollar bag.

I love toile. I love choosing the scenes. You can see the baker bringing out what looks like a gateau, a cake of some sort. I say that it must be a cake because the couple is dancing and so there must be a celebration. There are never any accounts of what the stories are behind the scenery. Sometimes they don't make any sense. There is supposed to be some velcro to keep the flap closed but I really loathe the stuff so I have no closure right now. I am yet to decide what I will do.

When the bag was done, I measured out two layers of cardboard and made a sleeve for these which I inserted into the bottom of the bag. I love a good solid bottom. For my own personal taste, I never did like sagging bags. And although you could barely see it in the directions, the designer did put in bias binding. I had some left from the apron I made for my niece at Christmas which was just the right color, I think.

So, voila! A new bag.

It is a beautiful bag, is it not?


  1. It is so ridiculously beautiful that it makes me cry for the want of it!!!!

  2. It's more beautiful in real life!! Jealous of your talent!!

  3. Maybe people should put this on their wish lists and give them to me for upcoming birthdays and such. If people let me know what they want me to make for them, it would be so wonderful. Instead of guessing.......