I originally started this project as Christmas gifts for a friend and my sister and then one for me. Of course I didn’t start on them well enough in advance, but I took several days off of work before Christmas to get the house ready and thought I could finish up the bags during that time. I have read that it takes most people about 3 or 4 hours to complete one bag. I thought that since I was making a batch of them that I would save some time and I still maintain that assumption, although I did not record the actual time it took me to complete the bags, but I am sure it was over 4 hours though. I ripped out a lot of stitches on these bags, which is time consuming, but I will do it in a heartbeat if it is going to effect the quality of whatever I’m sewing. One nice thing about doing 3 bags at a time was that for each new step in the process, I would try it out first on the bag I was going to keep, then once I moved on to the other two, they looked much better than the first try and I didn’t have to rip any stitches out of the 2nd and 3rd bag.

I just love the fabric I used for these bags. It is from Hawthorne Threads in house collection called Calliope. I specifically wanted to use this fabric because it is produced with a digital printer! It was my first purchase of digitally printed fabric and I was very pleased with it overall. There are a lot of other fabric companies whose fabric has a better hand than this; Art Gallery being the best of course. This fabric was stiff when it arrived in the mail, but after one washing it softened tremendously. It is on the thinner side, but certainly adequate. The weave seemed tight though, and I tried to use a fine needle on the sewing machine because the larger needle was leaving behind noticable holes, as were the pins. But, with this project, a fine needle is not a good option. The quality of the printed design was excellent though. The navy color washed well and the designs were sharp, not blurry at all. So, I would rate the fabric quality as good and the print quality as great. Since I bought this fabric Hawthorne Threads has released even more collections and they are all delightful! I only hope I can produce such good work when I start printing fabric.

I posted several mid-project photos of my Sew Together Bags in my Instagram feed and follow me for more mid-project photos of my current sewing project (and pictures of my adorable girls). Here are the pictures I posted on Instagram; they were taken with my mobile phone, so they aren’t the best.

I had just finished the guts of the bag in this photo and found some extra zippers in my drawer.  I can make another bag sometime soon I hope!IMG_20150101_173615

I finally bought some wonder clips.  I am hoping these come in handy when I get to the binding.IMG_20150107_193624

So, why is it taking me so long to complete these bags? Well, I got the flu the week before Christmas, so that prevented me from doing any of the Christmas preparations (or sewing) I had planned on and I ended up spending my vacation days in bed.  Being pregnant with the flu was a pretty miserable combination, but I made it to the Christmas Eve service at church and we still managed to have about a dozen family members over on Christmas day. Everything worked out for the holidays except for my sewing plans.  I didn’t do much sewing right after Christmas but I tried to get started on this project again in January. And then I got depressed.  I will just be brutally honest and tell you that my prenatal hormones went totally haywire in January and all I accomplished that month was a bunch of crying and feeling sorry for myself.  After a month of nearly driving my husband out of his mind, I started taking an antidepressant.  It made a world of difference and made me feel better immediately.  My husband called it a miracle of modern medicine!  However the medicine does make me really tired, but hopefully I’ll get adjusted to that quickly and not want to sleep so much on the weekends.  I’m sure that won’t take much longer and I’ll be able to finish this project up soon.

Additionally, since I have been sewing at such a slow pace lately, I am thinking that I will not get to the pajama pants that were next on my 2015 sewing list before the weather turns warm. I’ll just save the fabric until next fall. So after I finish these bags I can start on the Norah dress for my oldest daughter. I am looking forward to that project a lot more than PJ pants anyway.

Until next time,

Happy Sewing!