Friday, August 22, 2014

The Idiom Collection and The Story Behind The Clutches

Wednesday started out rough. My intention for the day was what follows in this post. Challenge myself to cut out and sew an entire collection of clutches from a found piece of fabric. That's right, an entire collection in a day. I start out finishing something from the day before, a small clutch to get my wheels a turnin'. I attach the zipper on one side and BAM! The belt snaps on my Brother. I had known this time would come, as the belt was cracked in a few places, but it slipped my mind last week to order another, and I was, pardon my French, shit out of luck, as that is my main machine. 

Slightly bummed, I took a coffee break and came back to my work room. I wasn't going to be spoiled as usual today, bouncing off three machines. A typical handbag in my shop is sewn on all three of my machines, with dark thread on the Brother, my Kenmore ready with white thread, and the overlock machine, serger as needed. It feels like a symphony as I glide around on my vintage doctors stool with wheels. I'm determined to have that finesse with this workday.
So this collection... First, let me give you some history on the fabric. Not my first choice for a collection, but I love a challenge. The challenge to make something beautiful and functional out of something ugly and discarded. This stale quilting fabric was facing a grim future until it hit our studio. When I was given an old sewing machine to find a new home, there was a strip of fabric inside the box with the machine. Maybe it was the previous owner's next project. This quilting fabric contained nine rectangles on one piece of fabric, cut with pinking shears, printed with classic idioms and pictures. My favorite: "A Stitch In Time Saves Nine."

First, I backed it with medium weight fusible interfacing, grabbed my bag of leather and faux leather scraps for reinforcing the corners, and got out a stack of upholstery fabric and scraps, and also my trusty scrap bag. Literally, everything that is about the size of the palm of my hand or bigger is saved and tossed into this back. I love to make the interior of handbags really complex and a story in it's scraps, not just the exterior having a rich history or interesting tale to tell.

Above, a scrap piece of cotton attached to the top of the zipper before it's sewn to the exterior piece. There's always a use for something small that many others would just toss in the trash. Am I approaching hoarding territory or what?! 

After a few hours in the morning, I broke for lunch with Matt and then got back at it. Within my 8 hour work day, I miraculously finished all nine pieces. That's right, nine. Above, is my favorite, and hard to not keep for myself. After all, it does have a sewing machine on it. 

On all the clutches, all corners on the are reinforced with leather, brown, black, gray, and a combination of all three. The backs are also all different. From purple denim shorts to upholstery scraps, it's all over the place. To see the collection and all the pieces, head on over to our shop.

Like a mama with her baby, these are my babies that make me proud. I'm sorry, this post is a little silly, but I'm still just so stoked that I finished these all in just one day! 

Matt and I rounded out the day having dinner with friends. Taco night was wonderful and I slept like a baby that played outside all day. Hard work feels good, and there isn't a better day for me than when I'm working in my office, sewing to my heart's content. Ahhh. If only that could be everyday.

Go on, you know you want to check them out in our Etsy shop, they're all very reasonably priced, at only $45 a pop. Check 'em out and tell me what you think. Maybe one has a saying you remember from your childhood. Find your favorite idiom. More listings and fun little one of a kind collections are coming soon. I've got a lot up my sleeves coming soon.

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