Friday, May 15, 2009

finished- pattern testing for futuregirl

This is the handbag I made to test Alice's handbag pattern. I love the pattern! It's very uncomplicated, which is great for crocheter like me who doesn't like complicated. :)

This is the small size- it measures (laying flat) 7 inches high (from the bottom of the bag to the bottom of the handles), 9 inches wide, and 2.5 inches deep. I used Lily Sugar n Cream... I like the structure that the cotton yarn gives the bag- it stands up well on its own.

The lining went in so easily, I thought I was surely doing something wrong... I didn't believe I could make a lining that would fit this bag so perfectly on the first try! But I did, and it looks great.

Right now I'm making the medium size, which currently measures 10.5 inches wide and 2.75 inches deep (I'll measure the height when it's finished). I'm using Lion Brand CottonEase on this bag... this is the first time I've used this yarn and I really love it! No splitting at all and it comes in lots of great colors (solids, which I tend to like better than Sugar n Cream's colorways).

Many thanks to Alice for letting me test this pattern! It's an easy pattern to get the hang of and (as evidenced by all the different bags on her blog) offers tons of flexibility for personalization.

Monday, May 11, 2009

charity bag

I have been reading Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes... what a great book! I used the information in the book to design my own bag. This is going to a friend who's running a silent auction to benefit AA. I've also started a fun messenger bag for myself (pics coming soon!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

lining my handbag

I'm stunned. I created my first lining with a minimal amount of wonkiness and mistakes!

Of course, it's not perfect... some of my seams are crooked and I forgot to measure from where the print starts instead of the very edge of the fabric, but I did it! And it didn't take me more than a couple of hours, which is good for me.

And my labels look AWESOME in the bag! I am practically jumping up and down here, people! I know this isn't a big deal for a lot of you, but the first time you succeed is the sweetest, right?

Cross your fingers it fits when I sew it in... I think there's a lot of extra fabric in there, but I'm hoping that's just my paranoia.

truly ugly crochet...

Have you seen What Not to Crochet? It's a hilarious blog that showcases crocheted items that should probably have stayed just a skein of yarn.

It was in this vein that I decided to post my own bad crochet... this is awful. Bad color, bad shape, bad everything! I think it's too ugly to use and too ugly to frog, and I haven't even tried the flap or the strap.

I started out trying to make the cutest bag from the July/August '07 issue of Crochet Today, but decided that I needed to make it bigger and use a large hook and two strands of yarn.

That, combined with abandoning the pattern in favor of what I assumed was my own stellar idea of how to shape the bag resulted in the horrific sight you see below.

Moral of this story... making a pattern your own can be fun and rewarding, but tread with caution!


After a few false starts, I finally got going on testing the pattern for Futuregirl's Handbag. It took me a few tries to get the hang of foundation single crochet (see her site for a tutorial). I had a hard time with crocheting too tightly and my work was curling. I emailed Alice for help and she told me to make sure the "chain" part of my fsc was loose. Eureka! No more curling. Things went very smoothly from there.

I didn't intend to have just one white stripe and then the white at the top edge, that's just how it worked out. I'm not in love with it but I don't dislike it enough to rip it out! When I try making another one I'll be more mindful of color changes.

You are going to LOVE the handbag pattern! I finished it fairly quickly (for me) and now I'm ready to line it.
Alice has tutorials for that as well, plus I made fun labels to go inside with a tutorial from Patchwork Pottery.

I really enjoyed my first foray into pattern testing! This is a great bag and I'm super excited to put it to work. Thank you for letting me test, Alice!

I absolutely love how crafters are so willing to share their ideas and methods. Crafty tutorials save me from hours of confusion and frustration on a regular basis. :)