This is my second month participating in the #DIYBlogChallenge and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Each month a theme is selected and different DIY-ers from around the globe make a project following the theme. Last month the theme was Father’s Day and I made a Pallet Wood Tool Caddy. Technically speaking, a guy could use it, but let’s be honest here, the project was actually for me. 😉 It was super simple and I made it in about 20 minutes. My kind of project! I like fairly instant gratification and I get easily distracted with projects that become difficult or that take too long. I want what I want, and I want it fast!
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So now let’s talk about the challenge for this month and you’ll see how I came up with The Not Sew (<see what I did there) Easy Summer Festival Handbag. I gave away the theme in the title, Summer Festival. For some reason, I didn’t have the easiest time picking a project. My mom had asked me to go with her and my sister-in-law to a quilt show in San Luis Obispo, California. She knows I don’t sew, but she likes me to come along for a girls day. For some reason, this quilted handbag grabbed my attention and it looked pretty simple. Who doesn’t need a fun handbag to carry all of their treasures they find at the Summer Festivals they attend, right?! Project selected!! So, the guy in the booth was like, “Just fold these strips over and sew them down and then sew them all together, that’s it.” Well, I have very limited sewing skills but I was thinking that even I could pull this off. After completing this project, I have a bone to pick with this guy, a few more details would have been helpful! Like, “Hey, you need three rolls of this batting, not one. And this will cost you $60 for the batting, not $20……”). Ugghhhh. Here are most of the supplies I started with. Not pictured is the thread, tubing for the handles, two more rolls of batting, and a larger piece of fabric and foam for the bottom. And…. a bunch of tools I didn’t own. I found the beautiful colored fabric strips that were pre-cut which I’ve learned is called Batik. I think Batik means the fabric is colored on both sides so there is no right or wrong side so that’s what they call the style of fabric. There may be more to it than that, who knows? I also had to buy a roll of batting that was already cut into strips which made things “really easy” (eyes rolling). I didn’t think I needed the pattern, but I bought it anyway and a couple of large colorful buttons to add as well. I was pretty proud of myself for choosing a sewing project that even I could tackle and off I went with all of my quilt show goodies. The first part really wasn’t that hard, but it was a little time-consuming. I had to lay the strips of fusible foam on top of the fabric strips and fold the sides in and iron them down. Once all of the strips were ironed down, you just fold them in half and sew the strips along the open edge. This is where I learned you need 3 rolls, not 1. You just sew…. the…. strips… that’s it. Well, they wouldn’t just sew! I’m already realizing that I’m in way over my head here. The thread keeps breaking and the strip keeps sewing in place. It wouldn’t move down the strip. Just up and down in the same spot. I can’t even tell you how many “special words” I used while threading, threading, and re-threading the needle. Ok, get the pattern out right? That’s why you bought it. I open the pattern and it’s nine pages…. 9 pages! Oh (fill in the blank), this is not good. I read through it and was like, “What?!”. I couldn’t figure out what to do even after reading the pattern and I realized I didn’t have all of the necessary tools. So, I did what any girl with a mom that does sew would do, I went to Moms with all of my treasures.
Even my mom had a difficult time with the project at first and had to go to town to buy a specific kind of thread. We learned that the weight of the bobbin thread and the sewing thread needed to be a particular weight. We also used her walking foot on her sewing machine. My biggest problem when I first got started alone was that the presser foot I was using wasn’t made for sewing such thick projects. With the thread problem figured out and some adjustments to the sewing machine, we finally had success.
Disclaimer, my mom helped me a lot with this project! Mostly with sewing the strips together. I did do quite a bit of the work myself though. We had a lot of fun working on it and we laughed a lot. My mom approaches projects a little differently than I do. She likes to find 20 different ways we can do each step before moving forward and I’m over there, “Or we could just do it the way it says”. 🙂 Thanks for all your help Mom and for your patience! You’ll see in the “final photo” that I opted to leave the buttons off. A more simple bag is more my style. The straps still need a little altering and we’re going to finish that up real soon. I ran a bit short on time so we need to sew some square patches over the ends of the handles so they’ll stand up a little better. I like to give credit where credit is due, so the pattern was adapted from Aunties Two. I’m sure this project is a lot easier for those that are more skilled in sewing and actually own sewing supplies.
I’m not sure what the theme is for next month, but you can bet I won’t be choosing anything that involves a sewing machine! Be sure to show some love to my fellow #diyblogchallenge friends by visiting their websites and checking out their projects. It’s fun to see all of the different styles and talents each of us has and the different types of projects we each pick. You’ll find a direct link to each project at the bottom of this post. With all of the work involved and the amount of money I spent on this project, I’m pretty sure I should get about $1000 for it. If anyone wants me to put up a Paypal link to pay for it, just let me know 😉