Friday, 25 March 2016

Keeping it Together

A while back a few of us over at Maritime Modern decided to work together on a long coveted project: The Sew Together Bag, by Sew Demented. This bag has been all over Instagram and blogland for some time and we've all been wanting to tackle it. Together we felt we could overcome our fears, figure it out and have a bit of fun together while doing it...there's strength in numbers, right?

I picked out some scraps and fat quarters that were kicking around, some left over Essex linen, and that super cute yardage from the fall trip to Mrs. Pugsleys in Amherst that had those groovy pigs in sunglasses basking all over it. I diced up a bunch of wee squares and made the patchwork for the outside. I cut and fused all the interior bits, read the pattern thru a couple times just to be sure of the plan and put it all in a Jack Daniels tin, ready to go; the only thing that stood between me and the sew day with my peeps was a chunk of time and four zippers. It was when I went to get the zippers that my plan got derailed. That was the evening I got "the call". Things had gone to hell in a hand basket at home in Newfoundland and I left the next morning. The girls made their bags as planned and my Jack tin sat holding all those poor piggies captive, waiting for my return.

The day I came back I was absolutely numb and in need of a mindless, small sewing project...something to occupy my mind and keep me awake. Gander to Halifax has the worst flight schedule possible and a 5am flight translates to a 3am wake up call. Why I felt that this was the right day to tackle this bag is beyond me...clearly my mind was not functioning at all. But, despite my brains finest attempts to shut down entirely I managed to get the interior of the bag with all the zippered pockets sewn up that afternoon. 

Sometime later I tackled the final assembly with all the layers and binding. The sewing was not difficult, the pattern is well written, it's just that all those layers make a lot of bulk in the seams. Bulky seams as we all know are notoriously difficult to sew. Holy Mother of Skipped Stitches. Using a jig behind and in front of the needle to level the pressure foot helped immensely, and having the right needle on board was a given. I got the binding sewn on fairly well, but decided that hand stitching the bindings down would be just as quick in the long run, so that's what I did. That last binding that puts the long zipper in place was easy real bulk to contend with.

I think when I make the next one I will plan to reduce the bulk: not use Essex Linen, choose thinner batting for the exterior and I might cut the fusible interfacing a bit smaller so that it won't catch in the seam allowances. That will help those pesky side seams sew up more easily. I might even get really crazy and not interface the side panels at all...who knows?!?

During the difficult time in Newfoundland I managed to escape for a few hours with my sister, both of us desperate for a bit of wide open space and some salt air. We drove out to Greenspond, one of Newfoundlands oldest inhabited fishing outports. Our father loved this place! I have no real reason for telling you all this except that I wanted to share the pictures...such a beautiful place to be on this earth. 

Is this not the cutest Post Office ever? 

Every storm requires an anchor.


  1. Love your bag! I have wanted to do one.

    The photos are beautiful. I can't wait till we are there again, been three times already. In the Fall, soon.

    I will say this, even though I was totally prepared for my mother's death, it hit me harder than i thought it would.

  2. I've wanted to make this bag ever since I saw it on the blogs I follow! They're so nifty and fun! I love the pig fabric, they go with the linen so well. I just finished an embroidery project involving a pig, you should be seeing it soon! :) The pictures are gorgeous, I just can't get over how beautiful it is up there!

  3. Those last photos are simply breathtaking . . . congratulations on the bag-making (great home for the piggies).

  4. This is a great bag. I love those pigs. I'm tempted to make one.

  5. I have seen a few members of our guild making those bags , they are pretty neat and I love your version , those pigs are just too cute . Loved the photos of Newfoundland , such rugged beauty.

  6. You did an awesome job of that pouch! Gorgeous pictures too!

  7. Oh... the Sew Together bag. I fear I am not together enough to successfully complete this project. I shall covet your wee piggies.

  8. Gorgeous pics of Newfoundland, esp. that last one! Love your bag! You're braver than me!