Friday, January 15, 2010

A tale of two purses

So here's a lovely little story about me trying to learn how to sew as preparation for making the Raine coat. I went to the fabric store to buy some upholstery material for recovering some chairs mom got off of craig's list. While looking through the decorators fabric remnants, I discovered a one yard bit of beautiful large floral canvas. Also, what luck! They were having a 50% off sale on remnants, and they were selling patterns for a little over a dollar! Biiiig danger there. I found a simplicity pattern for a purse. I chose it on the criteria of having few pattern pieces, only taking one yard of fabric, and only needing a button in terms of notions. No one thought it necessary to tell me I was probably biting off more than I could chew. First of all: cutting out the pattern. I pulled out some pins I had bought for blocking knitting patterns and started enthusiastically searching for somewhere large enough to spread out the fabric. Dining room table? No, I might scratch it with the pins. Kitchen table? Not large enough. So I ended up pinning the pattern on my bedroom floor. Then when I tried to lift the fabric up, I discovered I had pinned it in several places to my berber carpet. First strike. Then, after sitting through a tutorial on how to use the sewing machine, delivered by my mother, I got to work pinning one piece to another and sewing them together... and sewing the bag shut. And I had no seam ripper. I ended up making three extra trips to the fabric store for sundry articles: fabric scissors (go figure, normal scissors are too blunt to cut fabric), different pins (Mom refused to allow me to sew in her house using pins that didn't have the little colored heads on them, so in case I dropped one, I could find it again), and lining fabric (originally, to simplify things, I wasn't going to line the stupid thing, but the way the pattern was writtten, I had to line it if I wanted a finished upper edge). I'm sure people like me are the reason the fabric store had that "sale" in the first place. After all that bellyaching and moaning, however, it got finished and a final picture is below.
So, on to the second purse. This one has a bit more to do with cosplaying. Specifically, it has to do with Cruxis crystals. I've been putting a lot of thought into those little buggers, and I decided that they couldn't be made out of anything hard. I mean, look at that hulking necklace Presea has to wear. Miriam wouldn't be able to look at her toes all day if we made it out of sculpey. Therefore, I settled on leather or fake leather as the material of choice. Then came the issue of where I was going to find said leather. Crafting leather is rather expensive, and it generally doesn't come in the size I need it in, let alone the color. Not very many Native American enthusiasts want to make gold moccasins, however cool that might be. It took me several months, in fact, to realize that companies came out with gold purses and the like all the time! I just had to find one of those at a thrift store or something. Off to do the thrift store circuit! Then, because it is me we are talking about, all supply of gold purses suddenly dried up... until this little beauty came along. The guy at Salvation Army said he had come inches away from throwing it away that morning because it was so '90's he thought no one would buy it. Honestly, I think I did the public a favor by removing it from circulation. 100% vinyl, but it's gold! This is before...
And this is after! I found a plastic ring in one of the pockets. That's the pink thing upper middle. Far right will be the two necklaces, with Collette's getting bumped to far left or the piece that got cut off on the farthest right. Middle will be Lloyd's, overlaid with the reinforcing piece from the bottom, which turned out to be the perfect shade of purple for the little swirly thing around the gem. I also got plastic gems and gold wire ribbon. They should be done in the next couple of days if I can remember where I put my craft knife.