Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Zakka Style Sew Along - week1 Zig Zag tote

Sew Along

Good morning ladies.  Is it?  Not so much.  I think I mentioned the £1600 gas bill which, unfortunately is not a mistake.  Well, today topped that.  The sewage pipe under our house (shared by 3 other houses) has burst.  Into our cellar (again) and is also coming out of the drain.  We have a back yard filled with poo and toilet paper.  It doesn't bare thinking about so onto the sewing!

I'm joining in with the Zakka Style sew-along and hopefully I might stick to this challenge!  Week 1 started yesterday but I actually made this on Sunday to make sure I didn't get behind.  If you want to see what people made, or to join in, the link up is here and you can see the post by the week 1 host here.

The first challenge is a zig-zag tote.  This is my first time piecing quarter square triangles, and by far the most challenging piecing I've ever done.  I think I unpicked and resewed at least 50% of the seams to make the 4 zig zag rows.

Not quite perfect, but close enough for a beginner like me.  Unfortunately, my complete lack of skill shows up when you see the rows sewn together.  But then, it's good enough for me, I'm not trying to win competitions with this bag!

All of the projects use linen.  I've ordered some of my favourite grey linen but I wont be using it for everything.  I used a part of an old curtain my mum gave me.  I'm not sure if it's linen, but if not it certainly looks like linen.  It had a scattered dark-red flower pattern on it so I decided to use that pattern and take my colours from that.  Above you can see a dark-red polka dot which was a cheapy from Fabricland and a Joel Dewberry herringbone.

Next came the echo quilting.  I enjoyed that!  I'm really happy with the result.  I used my normal 1/4 inch foot as the walking foot wasn't needed to get through 1 layer of fabric and fusible fleece.  I had to use my seam guide and hold a ruler to do the 1inch zig zag on the outermost side.

Now, I made 2 main mistakes with this bag.  Firstly, I sewed the outer shell up the wrong way so the top became the bottom.  Not really a problem.  Secondly, I either read the instructions wrong or they are a bit strange as they called for me to box the corners of this 16inchish bag 3 inches from the corners.  That made a 6 inch depth.  It's very boxy.

I also didn't follow the instructions for the handles.  I hate all that ironing the edges 1/4 inch then laying them on top of each other and stitching.  I put them right sides together, sewed the long edges and turned, much easier.

I didn't like it at first, due to the shape and so didn't bother seeking out coordinating thread to close the turning gap in the lining, nor to top stitch it. I've got it hanging on a chair in the living room at the moment and it's really growing on me. I thought at first I'd use it as a yarn bag, but now I'm starting to think that it'll make a great tote for my lunch if I make myself a smaller cool bag.

The magnetic clasp will come in handy if I use it as a lunch bag, but not sure if the pocket will get any use.  I'll leave you with the best shot I managed to take, just a shame that Blogger wont let me put it the right way round!

Roll on week 2!  I'm hoping to get started at the weekend, but I'll have to do it quickly.  We have a 4 day weekend over here, but I've got a beading class on Saturday afternoon and I'm going down to visit my nephew on Sunday - YAY!



Anna said...

You have a nice blog with so many different crafts...beautiful ones...I might say...
Thank you for the visit and comment.
Have a happy Easter !

Sandra :) said...

OMG that 3" measurement is a MISTAKE! I looked at it myself and you're right that it would make a HUGE boxy bottom, so I googled "Zakka Style errata" and found this:
From http://www.ctpub.com/client/client_pages/errata/10824.cfm:
"Page 47, Assembling the bag:
Step 3 says to draw a line measuring 3" from the point and perpendicular to the seam allowance. It should say to draw a line perpendicular to the seam allowance and measuring 3" across. The corrected illustration is shown at right. A pdf of this correction can be downloaded here."

I'm going to put notes in Nancy's book about the mistakes - it didn't even occur to me to check for this! Make sure you put some sticky notes in your book for the rest of the sewalong!

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

I just got the book - can't wait to explore it!

Fiona said...

I think you'll have a lot of fun with this sewalong.... love the fabrics you chose....

MaryAnnB said...

I am working on my bag now and the three inch bottom instructions confused me, but I had done bottoms like this before and thought it was a mistake and was planning on doing just the 3"across. Going to change the directions in my book, too.
I like your use of the floral fabric next to your zig zags too!

Allie said...

What a darling tote, Wendy, so cute! And wow, glad Sandra found the correction...make sure there aren't any more for the rest of the projects. But you know, I really do love a boxy bag...and yours is fabulous!

Catherine said...

Wendy, this is a fabulous tote. Thanks for the tips.

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

This is really cute. I wish I could make things like this :). Thanks so much for sharing at Handmade Tuesdays.

Mrs.Hearts said...

YUCKY sewer story!

Very cute! I'm stopping by from QuiltStory's Link-up.


Mrs.Hearts said...

Very cute! I'm stopping by from QuiltStory's Link-up.


The Dotty One said...

I love this. And I quite like the boxy shape even if it is a mistake in the pattern! I've never seen echo quilting before either - I like it, very effective.

I always see you doing all these challenges and think I should join in with them, but then I never actually get round to it!

Simone de Klerk said...

Your bag does look pretty! Love the curtain fabric you used.
I recognize your unpicking problem. I did the same. So difficult to get those pieces together nicely. Not something I will do that fast again.
Luckily I read the post of the blogger who gave tips on the project. She said she made smaller pleads, so that is what I did. 3" seemed a lot to me. And, just like you, I did the handles my way.
Funny, how your post sounds so familiar.
I was happy with the result (o:

memmens said...

It looks great from here!
You live and learn - to read instructions and check errata - but the tote bag isn't on page 47!!! which confused me too, but I've been making drawstring bags using Jeni B's pattern and have experience of boxed corners so did my own thing! Roll on week 2!

Pam said...

Love the echo quilting... very effective!!! I've never tried any sort of paper piecing, so yours looks fine to me. I make most of my handles the way you do, too.