A couple of years ago I bought a bag on super-sale at Forever 21. Actually, I bought two, in two different colors. They were the perfect summer bags and I used them constantly and wore them out. I saved the bamboo handles and figured at some point I'd like to make a bag that I liked just as much with the same handles. Last year I found a McCall's Easy Stitch 'n Save pattern (#M0917) that looked like it would work with the handles. I found fabric I loved and fantasized about looking stylish with my new summer bag.
I had no trouble cutting out the fabric or fusing on the interface. I am still new to using interface and as I was ironing it on to both the outer and liner fabrics I kept thinking "Wow, this is making the fabric pretty bulky!" Cue foreshadowing music . . .
I had no trouble sewing the pieces together or making the shell of the bag. Trouble started when I thought about attaching the handles to the bag. I asked for some advice from a sewing genius (ie my mom) who said I was going to have to hand stitch the handles on. Nooooooo!!!! I loathe hand stitching!!! I am terrible at it and it usually takes me weeks to get to sewing the hems on pants and then I have to re-sew them shortly thereafter because I have no idea what I'm doing. There was no way I was going to hand sew the handles on my bag!
Where there's a will there's a way! After some finagling I managed to get the bag and handles set up on my machine.
Ever so slowly I managed to sew my way across the edge and attach the handle to the bag. It's not my best work but once the bag is leaded with my wallet, keys, etc the fabric will bunch up and hide the messy stitching.
I was not as lucky with the second side. Could you hear my shouts of frustration?? The fabric was too thick and kept getting stuck and my needle actually came out of my machine three times! In retrospect I realize that I should have changed the needle to something heartier but I didn't think of it (I still have a LOT to learn!). I managed to sew the second handle on and despite my needle problems the second side came out a lot neater.
If I make another bag with circular or oval wooden handles I will consider only fusing the interfacing to one layer of fabric to make it thinner and easier to work with or not fusing it quite so close to the edge. Lessons definitely learned!
I am very pleased with my bag and I can't wait until summer to use it!