Thursday, 22 October 2009

My Creative Space

My Creative Space this week was largely dominated by this Laptop Bag. Actually, to be honest, my creative space was dominated by a pair of toddlers. I don't know if it is just me, but the stronger my desire to get into the sewing room and get something done, the more desperately the kids want my attention. I need to practise acting more cavalier...

The laptop bag has a large patch pocket on the front, and a divided pocket across the inside at the back. I made fabric straps out of the pinwale corduroy, and I added a little hook (not part of the pattern) so mum can put her keys in there without losing them. I've added my hand made label to the facing above the inside pocket. The bag also has a hard base and purse feet.

As always, I learned some new things and developed some new skills whilst making this bag. The first may help clarify the previous blog post...

Sometimes it is difficult, or even impossible to use pins to hold things together. There are various things you can do to get around this, like paper clips, bulldog clips, hair clips, sticky tape... anyway, Nikki advises using sticky tape to hold various things in place throughout the project - which is a really, really, good tip. I used sticky tape and then sewed over the top, through the tape (along the entire length of the seam. I am not really sure what the cause was (Nikki uses tape from Officeworks, mine was Scotch Magic Tape, or maybe my needle was a little blunt?) Removing teeny tiny bits of sticky tape from pinwale cord isn't fun... so here's a tip; Use tape in place of pins where required, but remove it before your presser foot reaches it. Actually, another really good tip is to read all of the instructions before you begin a project, because Nikki does advise this in her instructions!

Another thing I have learned from this project is, if you have a machine that struggles with wadding (the feed dogs on mine totally ignore wadding), a walking foot can be your saviour. You will still need to backstitch your ends though, and I have been advised that walking feet are like emus and kangaroos, they don't do backwards, so you need to swivel your project, and sew back in the other direction, and then swivel back again to sew in the correct direction.

Beware of velcro, as it may stick to your clothes, parts of your project, and other items laying around the sewing table, and unguarded sticky fluff removing devices can also stick to projects if you don't put them away. I was having major dramas with everything in my sewing room being stuck together this week!

Sometimes it is nice for things to stick together though, and due to another tip in the pattern, I actually used the applique spray that mum gave me (ages ago), and wow that stuff is brilliant! I will be using it again - LOTS!

If you want to see what is happening in other people's creative spaces this week, wander over to Kootoyoo, and take a look!


  1. Great tips! I have a walking foot but I didn't realise that its not designed to go backwards - I'd better remember that one.
    Love the floral panel - do you know the name of the fabric?

  2. Puff your chest out young lady - this bag is a ripper!
    I hope your mum loves it to bits - she should.

  3. I love my walking foot! Best investment for my sewing machine.

    The laptop bag looks great!

  4. Bravo!!!
    This is an amazing bag. Brilliant. Awesome. Wonderful. Spectacular.

    You are so brave attempting it in the first place. Well done to you... and well done even more because you were probably beyond exhausted while you were making it after running after two toddlers.

  5. Fantastic bag. Yes I think little ones know when you want to be doing something else, really,really badly. I wonder if instead of backstitching if you could start your stitching on the smallest length, do a little stitching and then increase to normal length. This is what the ladies at the quilt shop told me to do for the quilting on DS's quilt using the walking stitch. The small stitches don't come undone and are almost impossible to unpick (ask me I've tried!) Susan

  6. that is really nice :D well done!

  7. Lovely Bag!The floral fabric is lovely too.

  8. Wow Carmel, the laptop bag looks great. You've done a brilliant job. And I loved reading about all the suff you learnt. Thanks for sharing your lessons.

  9. That is one seriously excellent bag. I can't believe the laptop gets to have it!


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