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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Conquering the Professional Tote (Pt 4)

Professional Tote crafted by eSheep Designs
My completed Professional Tote...
I started working on the sewing part of the PT Project on October 28 and finished on November 10. I was not toiling full time, of course; I took a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there and made slow but steady progress.

Before that, apart from dealing with my interfacing woes, I measured and cut out pattern pieces on tissue paper to help guide me in cutting the fabric (since I don't have a rotary cutter). Sometimes I think that the preparation part of this project alone is enough to frighten away would-be crafters. I don't know how many hours it took me to cut and then fuse the interfacing to the required fabric pieces, but it was no small bit of work.

Even though the instructions provided in the pattern are fairly clear, some actual photos would have been nice, especially given the complexity. Drawings are provided, but they are two-dimensional and aren't entirely helpful for someone attempting a bag like this for the first time. (I suppose that's why this pattern is often covered in a sewing class.) There were one or two spots where I was totally stumped until, by accident, it occurred to me that this is what should be done.

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When broken down into their component parts, there is nothing extremely difficult about this pattern. Outside of a pocket flap, all of the pieces are rectangular; the sewing is all straight-away with no bends or curves. (In terms of all the interior pockets, I adjusted the size and quantity based on my fabric constraints.) There are three zippers, but even I — having been away from sewing for so long — did not find them intimidating. I even followed an alternate set of instructions from There She Sews to put in a separating zipper at the top of the bag. In hindsight, the most difficult part of the sewing was dealing with all of the bulk in the seams. (Yes, I had my unique challenge in that I was dealing with Peltex in some areas when it should have been Decor Bond, but even when I made my second tote — correctly — the seams were still the hardest part.)

Oh, and it was a huge struggle to turn this bag right side out again because of the Peltex!

Join me next week for some final thoughts on this project.

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