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Duplicitous Crafting

October 4, 2010
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I’ve been leading a double life.  In public, at work, on the internet, I’m a Knitter.  Knitter with a capital “K.”  Always a project in my bag, always dreaming about the next free minute to spend with my yarn.

But for some time now, I’ve been, well — experimenting.  Reading.  Investigating.  Testing the waters, if you will.  But now it’s time to take the plunge, to come out of the closet.

I’m not just a Knitter.  I’m also a Sewer.

I still spend plenty of time drooling over beautiful things on Ravelry, but these days I’m just as likely to spend my free time reading tutorials on SewMamaSew.  I still faithfully read my favorite knitting blogs, but it’s usually a sewing book in my bag for train reading.

And now, that bag is Ashley-sewn.

It’s the Mama’s Bag from Amanda Soule’s Handmade Home.  I’m not a mama, but I do need a roomy bag for all of my goodies, and this one certainly fits the bill.  It’s big enough for everything I like to have with me (keys, wallet, phone, knitting, and maybe a camera or water bottle), but shaped perfectly, so that it’s easy to find anything I’m reaching for.  The straps, made with wool blanket pieces as Amanda suggests, are so comfortable on my shoulder, I can hardly tell I’m carrying a full and sometimes heavy bag.  It’s absolutely the most comfortable bag I’ve ever owned, and I can’t get enough of the thrifted tablecloth I used for the outer fabric.

I made this a month or so ago, and since then, I’ve learned a lot about sewing.  I can list quite a few things I wish I’d done differently (used flannel pieces for interfacing to give the bag more structure; used a larger needle to sew the straps; sewn the straps more carefully and securely to the body of the bag; used a lighter shade of wool for the straps; made the pleats more visible), but for a first attempt, I’m pretty proud of it.  And now that I know what I’d change (and a little bit more about how to do it), that’s just an excuse to make another, right?

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