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[personal profile] curieuse
Yesterday I was lamenting how I don't own a cross-body bag large enough to hold my books, camera, etc. I looked online but everything I liked was expensive so I decided to try making one.

First stop: Thrift Store

Second stop: Craft Room





This skirt was super old. As in, it was a size 16 with no laundry care label and would probably fit a 2010 size 6, tops. It was a nice lightweight wool, and I liked the color and drape. $3.50



This is the back of a dress -- a very strange little dress with a tear on one seam. I loved the silky fabric -- it's really nice to touch -- and I thought the print would make a great lining for a plain grey wool bag. $4



I bought this jacket just for its awesome smoothly gliding metal zipper. It also had some fleece on the collar I might use for the camera insert I'm going to make later. $4



Some extremely beautiful foam placemats I bought to use as a stiffener for the sides and bottom. $0.50



Hardware was the reason I picked this belt, but then I ended up using the fabric bits for the base of my cross-body strap as well. A steal at $1.



Arnie making good use of thrift store loot. He's an excellent listener for creative frustrations.


AND...



The finished project! I still need to do some final tacking-down of random bits by hand, but it's pretty much done.



Detail shot of the strap-end. Probably that's obvious.



You can't see precisely, but I put in four pockets -- two small phone/pen size ones on one side, a zipper one across from that (using the zipper from the skirt), and a large round elastic one on one side (from a puff-sleeve from the original dress!)



Closeup showing my not so perfect stitching and the zipper pocket. :)

Date: 2010-01-19 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pinkroo.livejournal.com
I am SO impressed that you could take all those elements and produce a cute bag!! Wow.

Date: 2010-01-19 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Thanks! I still have some things I want to fix, and I'm not totally thrilled with it (what project ever lives up to the picture in your mind, you know?) but I liked it enough to post it, so that's something. :) I'll give it a trial run at work and see how it goes... I think I might need to put an extra layer of stiffening stuff in the bottom. Hm...

Date: 2010-01-19 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachel2205.livejournal.com
That is freaking awesome!!

Date: 2010-01-19 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Too kind! We'll see how it holds up to Norton Anthologies!

Date: 2010-01-19 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ticklethepear.livejournal.com
Who cares about imperfect stitching - nice job! How do you make sure it's sturdy enough for lots of heavy books? I always end up with thrashed bags because of the amount/weight of stuff I carry.

Date: 2010-01-19 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
It's really three bags in a way -- a silky bag inside a stiff placemat-material bag inside a wool bag, and I did my best to build each layer quite sturdily -- I think only time will tell, really, but the good part is that since I made it I know how to fix it if it rips. ;)

Date: 2010-01-19 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] withluckysevens.livejournal.com
omg, that's amazing!!! I wish I had that kind of talent! You should troll thrift shops regularly and sell your creations on Etsy! I bet you could easily get over $50 for that, minimum!

Date: 2010-01-19 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Aww, thanks. The mood strikes so seldom for me I'm not sure I'd make a good Etsy seller... and I'm also too pokey and slow! But thanks for the vote of confidence... I do LOVE looking at the stuff on there for inspiration -- yesterday I was loving this girl's stuff: http://www.etsy.com/shop/tippythai?section_id=5726895

Date: 2010-01-19 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littleredcera.livejournal.com
You amaze me sometimes. I wish I had that much creativity in that type of crafts.

Date: 2010-01-19 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
And I want your makeup and photography skills!

Date: 2010-01-19 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littleredcera.livejournal.com
We should combine into some uberbeing.

Date: 2010-01-19 01:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-01-19 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daysprings.livejournal.com
That is gorgeous! I'm so impressed (and envious!).

Date: 2010-01-19 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Thanks! I hoped it would turn out nice -- red and grey are sort of a weird combo but I think it kind of works. Now to see if it stays together under actual use... ;)

Date: 2010-01-19 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thefolksinger.livejournal.com
Julie,

I bow to your awesome stitch witchery!

I have a Fossil messenger bag that I adore - it's cute, comfy to carry, the right size, and perfectly sized pockets... but you made one for yourself! I wish I had that much skill.

Date: 2010-01-19 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Ooh that sounds perfect -- do you have a link to it?

Date: 2010-01-19 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angelmaye.livejournal.com
That is so freakin' amazing and awesome. I'm more than a little jealous at your skills and your resourcefulness. I want to be you when I grow up.

Arnie looking very spiffy and condescending.

Date: 2010-01-19 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Pshaw... I just spent too much time poking around Etsy and various awesome online bag shops (like Epiphanie, which has beautiful camera bags!), neither of which are good for my wallet. I figured $11 at Goodwill was a little bit better for the meantime. Plus it makes me appreciate well-made stuff more later when I *am* in the market to buy.

Date: 2010-01-19 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Or, you know, $13, since I can't add to save my life. :)

Date: 2010-01-19 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Why thankya.

Date: 2010-01-19 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ekidwell.livejournal.com
Holy WOW!! You've got skills, lady! :) Kudos!

Date: 2010-01-19 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Thanks! :)

Date: 2010-01-19 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] need4cognition.livejournal.com
Holy. Crap. That is completely awesome! I am very, very impressed! Did you have a pattern?

Date: 2010-01-19 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
I am terrible with patterns, so I kind of made it up. The simplified flattened bottom though comes from an old home-ec totebag pattern my mom made with me when I was about 12.

Date: 2010-01-19 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] urbunnie.livejournal.com
I'm so impressed that you made that! I wish I was more crafty!

Date: 2010-01-19 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
I don't make anything with any regularity, though -- I'm not like my mom, who you could say "Can you make me a fitted tailored outfit for my KitchenAid mixer - Here's a pic of it" and she'd be like "NO PROB" and out it would come.

Date: 2010-01-19 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faeriesong.livejournal.com
You are chock full o' awesome!

Date: 2010-01-19 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Too kind -- thanks!

Date: 2010-01-19 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clevermanka.livejournal.com
Nicely done! Gold star for you, lady!

*applause*

Date: 2010-01-19 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
I was wondering if you'd comment.

Question -- how do you address the problem of needing really strong stitching in an area that's hard to access with machine stitching? I really want to mega-reinforce the areas under each metal ring but can't get superclose with my machine --- I think I might have a zipper foot or something somewhere that would let me get closer on one side? I don't know. I'm not very savvy with all those crazy attachments (e.g. the ruffler!).

Date: 2010-01-19 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clevermanka.livejournal.com
For stuff like that, I use button-hole twist thread, a thick needle, and a thimble. =/

Probably not the answer you wanted to hear, but...

Date: 2010-01-19 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
No, actually, that's what I ended up doing! Well, regular thread, but a meganeedle and thimble. :) I feel much happier knowing I wasn't missing some obvious thing. Thanks!

Date: 2010-01-19 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clevermanka.livejournal.com
If you don't feel like buying button-hole twist (it's just so handy for so many things, though), you can always quadruple-thread your needle, too. Double your thread and feed the fold of the thread through the needle, then knot the two ends together. Ta-da, four strands of thread through one needle.

I neglected to mention how much I love the zippered pocket. <3

Date: 2010-01-19 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
Thanks! I didn't do very well photographing it, but I think the most useful pocket will actually end up being the large elasticized one I made by completely cheating and sewing one of the dress's original little puffed cap sleeves in upside down. It's a great size and right by the opening, and I bet it will get tons of use. :)

Date: 2010-01-19 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clevermanka.livejournal.com
the large elasticized one I made by completely cheating

That's not cheating. That's efficient use of one's time and available resources.

Date: 2010-01-22 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] c-maxx.livejournal.com
GReat bag! and the colorful lining is eyecatching.

With the low-key exterior, a guy could use one too; a design house could build and market them, maybe some with a quieter interior for those shy guys...

You are a top drawer design creator!

Date: 2010-01-22 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curieuse.livejournal.com
High praise indeed - thanks!

Date: 2010-03-12 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve-prime.livejournal.com
Hi there. I think I glance at your LJ maybe about once a year? And this time, I was so impressed with your ingenuity that I wanted to post and tell you so. Very clever and tasteful!

Date: 2010-08-18 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahk-2009.livejournal.com
amazing!!!!! :D
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