First, a quick run down of the class. There were five of us in total - me and three other women around the same age-ish (Iate 20s to mid 30s I'd guess - hope that wouldn't horribly offend any of them!) and a more mature lady. Everyone was very friendly which made it relaxed and enjoyable. Most of us had done some basic tinkering on a sewing machine, some a little more than others I think, but the pace and level seemed to cater for us all, thanks to our very knowledgable and pleasant tutor.
During the first week we were making reversible tote bags with a patch pocket. The tutor took us all the way through the process from choosing and cutting our fabrics to sewing on the final button. She found a nice balance between standing back and giving us the confidence to get on with the task and then stepping in and lending a helping hand when we needed (as she needed to for me, several times!). The class was two and a half hours between arriving and introducing ourselves to each other over cups of tea to stepping out the door to go home. So, without further ado, this is what I managed to make in that time.
I think its failings are fairly self evident! A bit on the wonky side ("rustic", I tell you), and the ribbon loop is too long to go over the button properly. I think I'll probably snip and put a stitch in that to shorten it. The main reason for the wonk is that I made the inner lining of the bag a little larger than the outer, so when they were sewn together the outer puckered and skewed. The tutor helped me rescue it by putting a clever little fold/dart in the front under the button that you can't really see in this picture. Nevertheless...it resembles and functions as a bag!
I decided to make another bag at the weekend, partly to reinforce the methodology in my mind (which sides to sew together when putting the inner and outer pieces together, how to get the handles in properly etc) and partly to try to better it at a second attempt with more time. I wouldn't say the class is rushed but I did feel a little pressured to get the bag finished in the last 45 minutes so I think I could have done better. That's about me though, not the class - I put pressure on myself.
So, second time round and this was the result.
Again, it's a little hard to see the detail in the picture (must work on that). This time things went better, but I did take my time doing it on a Sunday afternoon whist half watching Take The Lead. Lessons learned this time was that the material was too flimsy for the size and shape of the bag (I wanted to make a squarer bag but one this size would need a sturdier fabric). And again, I didn't get the button/ribbon loop spot on. The actual sewing part was fine though and I got the seams quite straight (despite the funny angle it sits at in the picture!). I love the little owls! The pocket and straps were made from an old dress that I no longer wore.
I know most sewing bloggers create and present things that are much better and more sophisticated than this but I am ok with it. I am new to all of this and I see each error as a lesson learned and a skill practised. I'm enjoying the learning process and I'm really pleased that I enrolled in the class. This week we're working on embellished cushions so I'll post about my creation afterwards!