Sunday, October 7, 2018

Upcycling and Stashbusting

Hi there! Hope you're having a great weekend. It's a long weekend for me with Columbus Day on Monday, so I thought I'd take advantage of the extra time to write a post about my two most recent projects: a pouch for my laptop and the Seamwork Madrid tote bag.

It started, really, with a need for a laptop case—a simple sleeve with a bit of cushion so it doesn't get too banged up in my purse—and a desire to use the pretty ikat scraps from my recently sewn up Seamwork Bo tops.  I had this coat that hasn't fit me in years, but I couldn't bear to give it to Goodwill because it was a memento from a trip to  Hong Kong many years ago. For once I remembered to take a picture of the original garment. Yay!

In case you can't tell by the pictures, the coat is tweed with a quilted lining. I decided to take advantage of the cushion and cut the pieces as one layer. Yes, I mostly cut the pieces since there was plenty of fabric and it would have been way too much unpicking. The first pic is overexposed and the laptop pics are a bit too dark. In real life, it's the color of oatmeal, with great texture and subtle flecks of pink. I'm so glad I held on to it because it turned out to be great for upcycling.

I used a pattern for a lined zipper pouch at Klumhouse, and just adjusted the measurements for my laptop. If you sign up for their newsletter, you get the pattern (just measurements) and really excellent instructions for free. They also have epic bag patterns and kits—way more ambitious than I was in the mood for, though.

Ta dah! I save my old purses for the bits and pieces, which is where the leather zipper tassel came from. The inside is lined with a large scrap of black ikat.

As I was taking it apart, I realized that there was a lot of fabric. (I only used the sleeves for the pouch.) So I decided to make a bag for myself since I haaattte the bag I'm currently carrying around. It's too big, so I end up carrying around way too much shit,  and I don't like the short drop length. I looked at Klumhouse and Noodlehead but ended up with something simple—the Seamwork Madrid tote.

The Madrid is a super simple mid-sized tote with a lining. It doesn't include handles, but I planned to use some old purse straps anyway. However, I knew I would need some outer pockets to access my phone, reading glasses, and transit card. Fortunately, with such a simple pattern, it was easy to customize. the green fabric is from a UFO—a Deer and Doe Pavot coat that I kept tweaking before I finally realized that I hate Peter Pan collars and should've just started with a different pattern. Speaking of Deer and Doe patterns, have you seen the Opium coat? Love! Already purchased and printed. Just keeping an eye out for some nice wool. 

My biggest worry with the Madrid is that it would look kind of cheap. I'm not crazy about the tab with the magnetic snap, but I didn't have the right size zipper and was feeling impatient. I also wish I had interfaced the green fabric. I took advantage of the already interfaced placket of my UFO for the D-ring loops and the tab, but I think it would wear better if the whole thing were interfaced. The fabric is an organic cotton twill in a khaki green. Glad it's not gone to waste.

I also added a small pocket for my keys to the backside. Sewed it on crookedly, much to my chagrin. Fortunately, that side won't be outward facing.

I think my new bag will work as a transition bag until I find a new leather bag. Or maybe I'll become a cloth bag convert. Or maybe I'll try a more complicated pattern next time. At any rate, these refashion projects are always fun, and I love the chance to do some scrapbusting.

Time to sign off. Thanks for reading and have a lovely week!

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