Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Winslow Market Tote Chronicles: Episode Three

Well, here I am back again with my third Winslow Market Tote to share with you.

This Winslow Market Tote was made with a mix of voile and home-dec weight Anna Maria Horner fabrics, which may sound a bit scary at first (it was not), but I tried some "experiments" that made the two work together seamlessly (no pun intended, ha ha ha....).

The two side panels are made from this fabric, which I have always love, love, loved.

And now I am going to let you in on one of the dark, seedy, underbelly-type things you never hear about the fabric world, and I promise I have a point, so please stick with me here.

Some people care very passionately about cutting fabric on the straight of the grain (myself being one of them), but let me tell you, whomever is making the cuts in our manufacturer's warehouses does NOT care about cutting on the straight of the grain. Nor do they care about making cuts right in the middle of a perfectly good panel, like this Square Dance panel from Anna Maria Horner. It is not uncommon for me to receive bolts and bundles that are just plain dirty, that have huge seams in the middle of a bolt (so that you may think there are 9 continuous yards left on a bolt, only to find when you unroll it that you have a 4 yard piece and a 5 yard piece with a giant zig-zag stitch connecting the two), or that have messy, jagged cuts that run right through the middle of a panel.

It's a frustrating situation, but that's the reality of owning a fabric store.

As a retailer, I am obviously not going to begin measuring yardage for a customer from the middle of a panel, nor am I going to give a customer a cut with a raggedy edge on it, so oftentimes when a fabric arrives I have to "neaten it up" a bit before I can sell it to customers.

And I will now make that point I promised...

This is exactly what happened with the panels I used in this bag.

I unwrapped the bolt, found a super-messy cut that ran smack-dab through the middle of the panel and had to cut off that extra half a panel before I could sell it to my customers. I stashed the remnant aside for later use, thinking to myself "Self, there HAS to be something you can do with that half a panel there."

Turns out, there was!

I was very lucky indeed, because there were just enough half-squares in this messed-up panel that I could make the side panels for the Winslow Market Tote.

Quite the Phoenix from the ashes, n'est-ce pas?

Fussy-cutting at it's finest, I'd say, and I was proud to have turned this less-than-ideal situation into something useful and pretty.

Now, next I know you are going to ask me how I was able to work with voile and home-dec at the same time.

Turns out, that was quite easy as well.

The Voile is so light and buttery and the home-dec is so thick and sturdy that I knew I would need to find some common ground there, so I used some fusible interfacing (a medium weight, Pellon 931TD) on the back of the voile to give it a little more integrity.

Once I did that, the voile didn't wiggle around so much as it usually does, but stayed quite nice and stiff and flat, making it very easy to stitch to the home-dec.

Since the entire Winslow Market Tote is lined with interfacing (I like to use Decor-Bond, to give it lots of body), the bag really stands up straight and tall: not floppy like some bags can be.

To that end, I chose for my lining an Innocent Crush home-dec print (one of my faves) and called it a day.

This particular Winslow Market Tote went home with Jessica.

I made it for our "Alewives Fabrics Employees Only Christmas Party Craft Swap" and this is what she nabbed, which is very funny because I ended up with her gift as well, which was a handmade garland of wool felt Christmas trees (*love*).

I believe that wraps things up for episode three of the Winslow Market Tote Chronicles.

As usual, the pattern can be found for free here.

Thanks very much to the pattern's designer, Kathy Mack, for making the pattern available.

I'll be back soon with more Winslow Market Tote goodness...




DianeY said...

You did a great job!

icicle said...

Well I, for one, appreciate that Alewives DOES trim up wonky edges. Some fabric stores do not and I've gotten two 'half panels' from more than one location, usually online, when ordering yardage. Thank you for our fabric common sense.
Nice lemons-to-lemonade bag too.

Cindy said...

Super Cool!

Unknown said...

Awesome! those fabrics were beautiful.

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Colette said...

Wow! Absolutely gorgeous!!!

walklet said...

Love that bag, I will have to make one. thanks for the instructions.