Tuesday, 30 August 2011

14 steps to buggering up a shopping bag

I'm linking up to Allie's Christmas Countdown today, a sort of warning to other Christmas sewists!



A friend's birthday is coming up and I thought I'd "whip up" a fold away shopping bag for her using Crafty Ady's tutorial, like I made in this post, but without the mistakes.  And as I'd made it before and it'd be so quick and easy I'd make 4 and use 3 as Christmas presents.  What's that they say about the best laid plans?  So ladies, today is my tutorial on how to comprehensively bugger up a shopping bag.

1.  Make sure your cutting out is shoddy.  You don't really want the sides to match when you're sewing the seams.  If the handles can be off centre too, that would be a bonus.

2. When sewing on your binding, first of all, press the seams to the wrong side, this will ensure you have difficulty folding the binding over the seam.  Make sure you press with steam, we don't want any semi-permanent pressing here making things easy.

3. Sew on the binding as haphazardly as possible.  Make sure you miss the binding in places and the seam you're covering in others.



4.  The sewn line should be as wobbly as possible, as should the edge of the binding.



5.  Where the join in your binding is, fold and sew as messily as you can.

6.  Cut a bit of the underneath binding fabric off, make sure it's to the side of the overlap so it's visible.

So that's the binding on.  Next move on to the poppers.

7. Don't have the correct equipment, you're best off with a crappy plastic guide and a hammer.  Make sure the two elements aren't lined up properly so that the prongs miss the backing and stick out through the front.  I missed a trick here as I didn't remember to whack myself with the hammer.



8. Do this on several of the poppers, not just one.

9. You should try to cut yourself when removing the misapplied poppers, preferably on both hands.  I didn't do as well as I could here as although I cut both hands, I only bled on one shopping bag.

10. Oh, I forgot to say, mark the position of the poppers with pencil or marker pen so it will be visible after you've applied the popper.  If you can get an accidental pencil mark above the popper, so much the better.



11. Poppers applied?  Is one upside down?  Good.   Are three of them upside down?  Excellent.  It is OK to sob a little bit at this point, but only if you've already had to undo 3 misaligned poppers. 





12. After trying unsuccessfully to remove the poppers, unpick the flap and sew back on the correct way.  Make sure you catch some of the upper part of the bag in the seam.



13.  Repeat step 12.  Sob a little more.



14.  Sew the rest of the flaps on the correct way round.  This is the point you should notice another popper that was misaligned.  Undo it, making sure to cut yourself again.

Done?   Extra points for burning a hole in the shopping bag with the iron.  I avoided this by not ironing the bag when I'd finished as a hole was the only outcome I was likely to see.



Happy with them?  Erm... no.  Throw into the Christmas present box and don't think about them again. 

Total time taken: 8 hours. 
Poppers ruined: 4
Tears shed: copious

**Disclaimer - all errors were mine, Ady's tutorial is brilliant and does not include the steps above.

27 comments:

Stephanie said...

I know it doesn't make it any easier, but we have all had projects that go bad. And to someone else, the mistakes are seldom noticeable. :)

Martha Winger said...

Thank you for sharing what has happened to everyone at one time or another. You made me smile. I should post "How to mess up a zipped tetrahedral coin purse" currently on my sewing table. LOL.

Libby said...

HA!! That cracked me up!! I hate that you had such a rough time!

Allie said...

Oh my gosh I almost wet my pants reading this - Wendy you are HYSTERICAL!!!! I think they're wonderful, girl, but the post is priceless!

Pootle said...

Post of the year! I may have to claim compensation from you if my laptop breaks given that I just spilt tea all over it from laughing too much. Hilarious. xx

Fiona said...

Oh Wendy... but you do tell it with such humour.... I love the stripey sheeting.... perfect for shopping bags...
Hugz

Marilyn said...

In hindsight it is easy to laugh, but arent those times frustrating - nothing seems to go right. Full points for carrying on till they were finished. I think I would have thrown them in the corner at about step 6 - wouldnt have even reached the popper stage.

Suzanne said...

Your ordeal, although it made me laugh, is no good. Take comfort in knowing you found everywhere you won't make a mistake next time.

Just-Do said...

You certainly know how to take advantage of an ordeal like that. This post is hilarious, and I know for sure that I really wouldn't have been able to write something like that after such a horror. I admire your perseverance to finish the job.

cauchy09 said...

You are adorable. I'd have messed up way worse. :o)

Jillayne said...

This is the funniest post ever.
I think the thing I like best about you is your openness and willingness to share all your foibles - I admire your perseverance too!!
Thanks for such a great laugh!

The Dotty One said...

Haha - you make me laugh! I would have given up well before the end so well done for seeing it through! I think the bags look pretty cute - maybe when you have stepped away from them for a bit and forgotten the pain of making them you will like them a bit more!
I'm v impressed with your Christmas planning too - I should get on to that!
Dotty x
PS. Are they made from sheets? I'm sure we had some like that when I was younger!

Joysze said...

LOL!!! Sorry.... I shouldn't laugh.... but that sounds just like me. Hubby always tells me to measure twice, cut once and double check, but what fun is that??? ;)

They look great. :)

Pickle Lily said...

Popped over from Cuckoo and your post made me howl with laughter! Thank-you. Real trip down memory lane I used to sleep in bed linen like this when I was younger, my Mum probably still does!
Jo x

Mickie said...

This was spit your coffee out funny although I know it wasn't when you were doing it! We've all had those days and those projects, glad you kept your sense of humor :) Hugs and hugs, Mickie

Sandra :) said...

Heehee I hope it's ok that I laughed the whole time I read this post, LOL. Sorry about your problemS, but thanks for the hysterical read!!

Cuckoo said...

Brilliantly written! Perfect hilarious post. Love it! I've linked to you in my latest post. Must go and edit to add that this is a wonderful post for someone wanting to feel some solidarity when bad things happen to good crafters.

The backwards popper struck a chord with me. How many times have I repeated that mistake?!

Xxx

Too many eggs said...

love your perseverance.....
better luck next time

:-)

Sarah@Pings&Needles said...

Oh bless you! I've had many many sessions like that ... To cheer you up, you've just won my blogiversary giveaway! Email me !! :) xxx

Sammi@stormyhen.com said...

Thanks for the laugh....and for reminding me that I'm not the only one that has projects go wrong. You, however, are much more patient than I! I would have tossed them in the garbage after the first couple of problems...or at least, tossed them aside for another day. Therefore, you get bonus points for persevering AND for sharing the experience with us. May your next project be much less frustrating...

Stitchin' time said...

You poor thing. Some days if one is not desperate to make up a present (that is if you don't make one, you won't have one to give) it's better to swallow your pride, chuck it in a box and come back on a day when your brain is engaged in working order. Glad you could see the funny side of it and it happens to all of us, even if we don't admit to it :P
Cheers,
Robyn

mammafairy said...

I second several comments- the number of these projects I rip out time and again 'til I wonder if it will stand any more... But I did have to laugh. Not so funny when it's me.

Keep going though, the bags look super.

A said...

Fantastic post! Haven't had such a good laugh in ages.

But would we have laughed so hard if we hadn't experienced most of it ourselves?
Yup - we've been to this dark place too with our first attempt at fabric clutch bags.

Annie and Lyn said...

Sorry - hit the wrong button whilst adding contact details - we think the last comment is just signed 'A' !!

Cass said...

Sounds like sewing at my place!

Talin's Corner said...

Love the way you think and your attitude is great. Always laugh along the way...we all have to from time to time (personally, I just try not to pull my hair out).

WendyCarole said...

Sorry but that really made me chuckle