Labor of Love

I’m in the middle of making 8 new totes. It takes a long time. Why do I do it?

Hmm…although many things I o because I enjoy the process, the majority of the steps involved in making these bags is sheer tedium:

  1. First I dye several large pieces of cotton duck (very similar to canvas). This is much harder than dyeing my normal dyer’s cloth, because of the weight of the duck. I can only work so long wringing and massaging this heavy stuff before my hands start to ache.
  2. Ironing the duck, not a joy either.
  3. I have to cut several large pieces of the heavy cotton duck very accurately.
  4. Then I have to cut interfacing to match all these pieces.
  5. Then I have to cut batting 1″ smaller than most of those pieces.
  6. Then I have to fuse all this interfacing to the cotton duck, most with batting. There’s no rushing this step…each place needs just the right amount of heat from the iron.
  7. Then I end up with a stack of pieces:
  8. A fun step – stitching the beginning of my Baubles.
  9. Another fun step, blocking out the bits of fabric to finish the Baubles:
  10. I then stitch out the Baubles.
  11. Next I begin making the pockets and handles and applying magnetic snaps.
  12. Finally…I assemble the bags….Phew!

So, why do I keep making these? The END RESULT! I love seeing these bags – each one unique, each one so cute. And I love seeing a bunch displayed all together, almost as much as I enjoy people buying one to take home for their own! (See all that I’ve made here.)

Making these bags really is a labor of love! I do want to start making some new bag shapes and styles, so these may be the last totes I make for a long while…

0 Responses

  1. Just wondering why you don’t fuse the interfacing to the fabric before cutting? It seems like it should save a sliver of time. But probably I’m not understanding your process. In any case, I love the look you’re able to get!

  2. Hi Sue,

    Good Question – many of the pieces also get a layer a batting sandwiched in between the interfacing & the outer layer. I have to but the batting smaller to avoid bulk. Other pieces get interfacing on some parts but not others, again to avoid bulk. I also use 2 different types of interfacing, depending how much stiffness I need for that particular piece…thus I can’t prefuse the fabric.

    TTFN – Candy