Slow Creativity

Since I got my sewing machine, a most splendid birthday gift from Sean, I’ve been working mostly at teaching myself new skills. I’ve started classes on a Tuesday evening (at The Sewing Bug for locals) but at home I’ve been reading sewing books and online tutorials and trying to build up some knowledge, which sometimes includes asking my mum A LOT of questions.

And then I try to apply that knowledge. Each new step is terribly slow. It’s a good thing I don’t mind a bit of slow creativity but on Tuesday, when I was at home for the day and learning to make a boxed bag, I lost an entire afternoon and forgot to start dinner, then hard to go to my class. Oops! Toasted sandwiches all round!

Here’s what the better part of an afternoon’s work can result in. My version of the Leetle Bag. It’s another cute lined draw string bag that takes not even a whole fat quarter of each fabric. Ignore the stray bit of cotton sitting on top – it’s not attached! It just didn’t show itself until after I’d taken the photo.

Rose bag

This is the tiniest bag I’ve made yet. It stands no taller than my hand and the base fits comfortably in my palm. It does however fit a sock project in it nicely. And best of all, I learned how to make boxed corners for this lovely square bottom.

Roses bag - bottom

I think perhaps the side seam and bottom seam are supposed to line up but you know, that’s why I’m making so many bags. I’m trying to get stuff right. I’m thinking I need to put a box in my stash room marked ‘bags’ so I can keep them all in one place and mix which ones I’m using at any given time. I’m also decommissioning some old project bags that have seen better days. It’s lovely to replace them with bags I made myself!

And lest anyone should think I’m stuck in some sort of project bag limbo, behold a garment! Well, the armhole of a garment, a girl’s dress pattern by Sydney blogger, Retromummy. It’s in the August issue of Notebook magazine.

Alice's dress - sleeve

No prizes for guessing it’s a dress for Alice. When I found the Russian doll fabric (why yes I am a bit obsessed) at an online store called Lush Fabrics, I had to have it. Alice’s most favourite game at our house now is to sit on the floor and assemble and disassemble my Russian dolls. I think a summer dress covered in them will be lovely on her.

Many thanks for all the nice comments on my thoughts about directions in blogging. A spot of introspection and reflection is good for the soul I think.



16 thoughts on “Slow Creativity

  1. Lovely bag!

    I have a bag habit… a pretty severe one. One of my friends makes them to sell, and somehow I keep throwing money at them.

    Hmm, now there’s an idea for a bog post!

  2. That doll fabric is adorable – and the armhole doesn’t look easy with the perfect little edging, and I’m completely impressed.

    on the blog, it’s your party and you should do or write about whatever piques your interest! The travels, the sewing, the life tidbits, the photos and the knitting have all been lovely so far – you’re a writer, and it’s your voice that makes it interesting — we’re just along for the ride, so to speak, right? because we like you 🙂

  3. Learning any new skill is frustratingly wonderful. It uses new parts of your brain and your auto pilot doesn’t work. It’s hard but so worth it. Your bag shows just how worth it.

  4. Your bag is adorable! I just love the fabric — but then I have a thing about dolls. You have such a lovely sense of form and color. Everything you make is so elegant and well-constructed!

  5. I love it, and the square bottom is most impressive. I would like to suggest a simple sewing project that is all the rage for little girls here, a pillowcase dress. Have you heard of it? Pretty much you make a pillowcase, but don’t sew it together at the bottom or all the way up the sides so there’s room for arms to stick out, then you run some really pretty ribbon through the front and back top like a simple drawstring bag and tie them over each shoulder. It winds up looking like a cute little a-line dress but is easy peasy and helps younguns beat the heat.

    And who says creativity should be fast anyway? You know we all practically fall down and worship Harper Lee here as the writer of the ultimate American/Southern novel, and she’s only ever written the one in her whole life (she’s eighty some odd now). So I say, do what you want, when you want, and don’t worry about the arbitrary schedules and deadlines that we set for ourselves when we were essentially children. You’re fabulous! (stand in front of mirror and repeat same morning, noon and night). 🙂

  6. i admire your methodical approach, perfecting your skills. i’m sure this will stand you in good stead as you progress, and things will get easier. love the structure of the bag, and the dress will be adorable. did you know that the people who make the doll measuring cups also make nesting drinking glasses with russian dolls on them? too cute…

  7. Oh a square bottom with corners! Very neat and professional looking. I think I would have been a very happy little girl if I’d had an aunty who made me cute Russian doll dresses. Just lovely.

  8. That is a very nice looking bag – I like the square bottom very much. And am looking forward to seeing Alice’s dress finished – looks very cute so far!

  9. What a pretty bag. I always like project bags but am going to try and make something bigger to stick my larger projects into. The little dress looks gorgeous with the russian dolls ( a fave of mine too) with the red edging. Miss Alice will look delightful in it Im sure.

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