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Friday, 8.5.05: Sewing (Sewing?!)

Had a great idea from something I saw on TV. I'd use our collection of photos and all the ebay scans I have on my computer and do iron-on transfers to canvas bags, decorate them with beads and glitter etc, and use them as presents.

Clearly, all my sales and restoration projects (and no movie-making) have left me with an arts & crafts deficit.

Problem: the little canvas tote bags I bought looked cheesy from the outset. My imagination couldn't stretch to see them as desirable objects. Plus they had stingy little straps. I threw them in the wash to soften them up. Now I have teensy little canvas bags.

Solution: forget the canvas totes and do some other experimenting. I decided to cut off an old pair of jeans and make one of those old hippie purses.

(Memo to self: Haste Makes Waste)

Problem 1. When I cut the legs off the jeans, I cut off the bottom of one of the pockets.

Problem 2. To work as a bag, it would need a gusset on the bottom.

Problem 3. I haven't opened up my sewing machine since sometime in the 1980s.

Solution: I had to read the instructions to remind myself how to thread the sewing machine, but in mending the pocket it worked fine. Amazing. I cut a nicely shaped gusset from the pants legs and pinned it carefully to the jeans. Sewed up a beautiful seam all around.

Problem: Oops. Instead of sewing the panel from hip seam to hip seam, I sewed it from crotch to asshole. Would it work as an out-of-the-box statement of my non-conformity? No.

Solution: It took me about an hour to rip out my small tight stitches. Re-pinned, re-stitched. Ironed the seams (another appliance surfacing from the darkness -- my iron!).

Finally, my unlined strapless bag was ready for some iron-on transfer experimentation. The transfer label says "only use on white material" but that seemed so boring. I ironed on the scene from my lovely antique photo and -- hmmm -- it just looks like a dark blob. Damn.

Enough experimenting for one day. I had to go to happy hour with an old friend.




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