Saturday, April 4, 2015

A bag

I've been looking for a while in the shops for a weekend bag - I wanted something soft that would carry a little bit, or a lot, and could be squashed into a drawer between times. Not a suitcase or anything like it ... I wanted a duffel bag but I couldn't find one - far too low tech! Bags, especially camping ones, are all very fancy. So I made one.

No pockets, no lining, cotton quilting fabrics, a poorly attached zipper and strangely sized handles. The ends are circles, honestly, it's just that I have shoes in the ends and it looks deformed. I have had this birds and flowers fabric for ages but I've always thought it was too pretty to cut into small bits, so it's good it gets to go in something all of a piece.

I didn't have a pattern but really - a square and two circles - and we did something similar for my first project in Form 2 Sewing, and I hadn't forgotten how it went together. It's surprising how clearly I remember the barrel bag... I would have been 11, and I picked a bright yellow nylon raincoat fabric and dark brown petersham for the handles. Delightful, although it was better than the next project, a collarless shirt made from a cream cotton with gold lurex stripes. Yay for 1982! I vividly remember arguing with my mother about the fabric in the shop - it was quite soft and she (rightly) said it would be difficult to sew, and it was expensive and she thought I would probably stuff it up.

But I convinced her, and although I didn't do a very fabulous job with the sewing, it was good enough to wear, which I did constantly for about the next year, until I got boobs, and nothing fit anymore. And it was a damn sight nicer than the other things they made us do; an elastic waisted seersucker skirt (straight sides, knee-length, elastic at the top, truly ghastly) and the even more hideous four-gored skirt with zipper. I went for a blue floral for the gored skirt for reasons which escaped me even then, and it was godawful.


  1. Lovely bag. (Gosh, aren't you young? I was a mother of 2 in 1982.)

  2. You did have a deprived childhood having to live in clothes you made yourself! And I thought that all the time you were learning all that academic stuff and doing practical subjects under sufferance (Mainly Betty's). When I first got out a saw to make bookshelves I remembered the 3-1-1 grip the Manual teacher explained to us - and nothing after that.