Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Craft day

Well, being without sub jobs this week so far led me to do something crafty. I had been planning to make a bag out of some old corduroys for a while, and I had all the supplies, so today I made it happen. It actually went fairly quick for having made a bag with quite a few elements that I have not attempted before. I turned out really great. Here's the finished project:

And for anyone interested in how it was done, I took some pictures of the process and I will write a few simple instructions. It was really much easier than I anticipated.

Step 1) I cut down one seam on both of the pant legs, and cut them off around the knee. My pants were semi-wideleg, so I ended up with more material than needed. I also cut out the back pockets (keeping the back of the pocket attached, just cutting around the pocket). I thought I might use the waistband, so I cut that as well, but I didn't end up using it.

Step 2) I cut the two sides of the legs (wrong sides together) in the shape I wanted. I always tend to leave much more than I need, which is good because it allows that the bag will never be too small. I can always cut more or sew a bigger seam (which I did this time).

I also placed the pockets where I wanted them and sewed them onto one side piece. I just sewed along the top (where the flap and pocket came together) and along the outside of the bottom part of the pocket.

Step 3) I arranged the lining fabric on each outside piece, wrong sides together, and cut the lining to match.

Step 4) Folding the top long edge of the two outside pieces AND the two lining pieces in about 1/2 inch, I ironed them flat, pinned them together, and sewed together.

Step 5) Sewing the two sides (with lining attached along long top side) together. Put right sides of outside fabric together, pinned, and sewed a seam, following the pre-cut shape. I made a huge hem because I could tell that the bag was bigger than I wanted. I sewed another line, just to reinforce it, and cut off the excess, leaving about a 1/4 inch.
Turned right side out, it now looks like this, at this stage. All that's left is finishing touches.
Step 6) Taking a cue from a purse I already own, I attached the zipper to two pieces of corduroy (already turned and ironed that there are clean edges).
Once the two sides are attached to the zipper, you can sew the other sides to the actual bag, on the inside of the top hem.

Step 7) Only thing left is the strap. I had to cut two pieces from the corduroy and attach them together to make the strap long enough. Again, I folded in the sides to make the size of strap I wanted, then ironed the edges. I did the same for the lining fabric, pinned them together, and sewed it all together, leaving raw edges on each end. I don't have pictures of this.

Step 8) I made small squares of corduroy, folding, ironing, sewing all edges, and attached them to the ends of the bags, with the D-rings inside.
Step 9) I simply folded the ends of the straps twice over (to create a clean look), and sewed them.
Tada! Much easier than I originally thought it was going to be. It went pretty smoothly. I probably spent about 3 hours on it. Next time it will be less, as this time I still had to figure out logistics of how it all went together.

A few things: I realized how hard corduroy is to work with. Those darn straight lines make things difficult, but still worth it. Also- I used the bottoms of the legs of some pants, and these corduroys had a very good, sturdy hem at the bottom that I think helped out my bag. I have no reinforcements on the bottom of the bag, but the very bottom of it has double (or triple?) corduroy, which makes it seem stronger.

Old pants
1/2 yard lining fabric
2 D-rings
1 metal zipper (my bag used a 12-inch zipper)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh yeah

I realized that I've forgotten about this blog. This is probably because nothing much has happened, and I don't have much to talk about. Or who reads this? Mom, Dad, Renee? :) At any rate, since the last time I posted I went to Mexico and started grad school at Portland State. Mexico was wonderful, as it always is, and I really had a hard time coming home. It does help to know that I'll be back in June, but right now that seems very far away.

I helped lead a group of 19 college students to Welcome Home. It was a really good trip, and the students were great. They always plan 10 day trips which seem so much more productive AND relaxing than other week long trips I've been on.

When I'm in Mexico so much it seems pointless to keep taking pictures of the same things, so although I took my camera, I never got it out of my bag. The only proof I have of this trip is this picture that a group member, Kjerstin, took. The group hosted a pool day for the daycare kids. this is Obed, who is actually the son of Saidel, the cleaning lady at the daycare, and a friend. He looks scared.
That's about it!

The two weeks after the trip have been a blur and exhausting. On the 30th, we woke up at 4:30am and we drove back to the States, I being one of the drivers. We flew to Seattle, I flew from Seattle to Portland, and I got back to my house at 11:30pm. I got up at 5:30 the next morning to teach fourth graders, and started a two week stint covering for somebody I know. It was a tough group of fourth graders, they tired me out, and right now I'm basking in the fact that although I may sub for them again, it won't be for two weeks.

The Thursday after I got back I started taking classes for my Master's at Portland State. I have two classes on Thursday nights from now until June. This is from 4:00-9:20pm, so needless to say after a day of dealing with those fourth graders, it was a little hard to stay awake in class.

I've done some nannying at nights since I've been back, but not as many as I would normally attempt, due to the full time sub job and the homework now expected of me. I'm now realizing that it will be back to a varying schedule as I hope and pray for sub and nannying jobs. I'm looking forward to June :)