Thursday, 27 October 2011

Some sewing

I just realised that I have a photo of a sewing project that I didn't just attempt but completed.  It's not a garment but something very useful nevertheless:

The inside of my handbag.  This is a pretty cheap bag from one of those luggage stores lining the high street.  I even got a little off because I haggled.  I didn't do that very gracefully but I wouldn't have bought it for the full price.  Which turns out to be a really good thing because the coarse, plasticky fabric that connected the inner lining to the outer shell of the bag just literally disintegrated.

It started to rip in one area and after a very short while these two pieces had developed such big holes that I kept throwing stuff in between lining and shell instead of inside the actual compartment.  It looked horrible too.

I felt very lucky when I discovered that the lining was still attached to the zipper when I took the coarse ripped stuff out - otherwise this would have been much more of a mending job than it was.  There was also a strip of plastic attached to the top of the lining all the way round and this had disintegrated as well: it had ripped and shredded, - bits of it had come off and created quite a mess in my bag.  I got to the stage where I didn't even want to touch the bag anymore, it just felt horrible.

The rest of the bag did not yet show any wear or tear (even though some more of that coarse fabric clads an outer compartment or two) and the outer shell is actually nice and sturdy.  So I removed all the ripped bits and pulled that shredded plastic off too.  The inner lining topped by the zip then lifted clean out.

I sewed two straight strips of my pretty flower sprig fabric (a cheap half meter from an Indian fabric shop in Shepherds Bush) onto the lining, just straight through both layers of lining fabric and the zip material.  You can just about see the two stitching lines in the photo if you look closely. I don't think it looks too bad.

While I had the whole thing out I figured I might as well add an improvement: I made and attached an inner compartment!  This is what you can see in the photo: the inner bit in the same flower sprig fabric is just a pocket that I sewed into the lining, near the top.  It could do with a fastening because this pocket hangs quite far down but other than that it's fine.

I hand-stitched the new flower strips to the grey binding strip that runs all round the top - I had cut the coarse fabric off very close to the inner stitching line.  I could push the new flower fabric underneath the grey tape and just whip-stitch it into place, you can't see those stitches in this photo because the grey edge is tilted inwards.  I could have used grey thread if I'd thought about it but the black thread doesn't show too badly.

I am so pleased with this mending job!  It is a task that needed doing, it is an item I use every day, I achieved it by sewing! (I have such a mental block about sewing that this seems almost the best bit about it!) and I completed it to my satisfaction.  It just feels like an all-round good thing.

It makes me very glad every time I set eyes on my bag.  Seeing that pretty flower fabric makes me think quite often: "I made that!"

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