Saturday, February 27, 2010

There's a Silver Lining in Every Bag

I really need to get going on lining some of my bags. Since I posted a couple weeks ago, I've done zilch on the sewing front.  I'd much rather crochet than sew. The end.  However, some comments on my previous rant  blog post about my pile-o-poo sewing machine by the VERY informative Karen has prompted me to put the pedal to the metal, as it were.  Wait- let's pause right here- go read her comments- don't worry I'll wait.

*dumdedumdedum.....I need to do laundry....and clean the kitchen....I hope those folks hurry up.....I wish my nose would stop running....whoo- I really shouldn't have eaten those peppers for lunch today......*  

Oh good! You're back!

How awesome was that?? Thank you so much Karen!! (Btw- Karen belongs to a group called The Hat Ladies who make and donate hats to cancer patients in Corona, California.  If you have time, send a couple hats their way!)
(ETA: Karen now has a blog!  Check her out at )

I really wish that I had access to all that information a long time ago!  However, the good news is that I got a new machine for the New Year.  My hubby was very sympathetic to my frustrations with my other turd pile machine and got me a FANTASTIC Brother XR-9000.  It's a digital machine and has 120+ decorative stitches PLUS a font stitch. (It was on sale at Costco- they will sometimes have a $30 coupon in their mailers- check it out.)  I've used it once to line a Watermelon Tote last month and I had absolutely no issues with it. I actually, dare I say it, ENJOYED sewing with it.  It's smooth, quiet, and, best of all, it doesn't gobble my thread.  (You can actually see it behind my shoulder in my Watermelon Hat pattern video which will be posted either tonight or tomorrow- yay!)

My old nemesis machine is a Singer 2932.  AFTER I bought and fought with this machine, I found these reviews from Joanns and these ones from Amazon and couldn't help feeling a little vindicated.  It wasn't just operator error!  I knew that I wasn't all that incompetent.  I read my manual and had tried changing needles and adjusting the bobbin tension and even maneuvering the needle by hand with the wheel. Nothing.worked.  

I know that it's because of my very negative experience with my old sewer reject machine that I've been a little gun shy to really have a go with my new one.  My Brother seems just too good to be true.  However, I do have to get going. I have another Watermelon Tote to line, my Traveling Turtle Bag, the companion Turtle Handbag, the Not Quite Mitered bag, and, this- my Purple Haze Traveling Bag.  

purple haze

ACK!!  I LOVE IT!!!  I couldn't find the right handles for it for ages, which truly is the main reason I've not lined it yet.  However, I was rummaging around the Good Will and found the *perfect* pair this week.  So, hopefully I'll be able to get some lining accomplished this weekend.  I really want to finish it very soon.  The Traveling Turtle Bag is an overnight sized bag.  This one is more like a long weekend sized.  It's freakin' huge.  And I love it.  (ETA: I was writing up the pattern to this bag as I was crocheting it, so the pattern should be up relatively soon...part of my New Year's Resolutions list thingy.)

So, thank you again, Karen, for both your wealth of knowledge and for giving me the push I needed to get back on the horse sewing-wise. It is very much appreciated!


  1. Hi Gege!

    You can do it! If I can HAND SEW linings for all of my bags I've done in the past, which are too many to count! Then you can do it too!

    By the way those bags are beautiful, and I think that they'd make great CROCHET bags as well.

    I'm a tote'n your project around sometimes kind of gal.

    Can't wait to see those linings!!


  2. Thanks for stopping by! I came back downstairs to do a quick edit and saw I already had a comment- yay!

    Do you mean it'd be a great crochet *only* bag, as opposed to felted? Because, it is crocheted (and is a GREAT bag to take along with you since it's a bunch of squares! The Traveling Turtle one, as well.), but it was about the size of a blanket pre-felting, so it's not the best bag to use unfelted. Unless your car broke down and you needed to drag your family someplace. Then, it might just work.... ;)

    I actually was writing up both these patterns as I made them, so they should be available relatively know....New Years Resolutions and all that....

  3. Hi again Gege!

    What I meant about your bag is that I think it would make a great bag for toting crochet projects around(and purse stuff in there too!), all at the same time, as opposed to traveling/overnight bag for clothes. That's what I meant. Although I like your idea too.

    I actually now when shopping, purposely look for larger bags/purses, even tote size keeping that in mind. Although now, I'm using two separate bags.

    My purse and another bag for my project that I'm working on. But I'd still like to tote just one bag around(Keeping some kind of partitioned bag inside for my project(s), I think two is too much.

    By the way thanks for the information about felting, I've learned something just now, I don't really have experience with felting, although I'd one day like to try it out.


  4. OH I AM SOOOOOOO glad to hear that you actually do have a new machine and it is a BROTHER!!!!! Those are AWESOME machines, and great big cudows (spelling?) to your husband who saw that you needed a better one and for actually seeing that the Brother one was worth it! AND the Brother company is really good with customer service! I needed a simple light for my smaller machine one time and none of the local sewing stores sold that kind, I called up Brother and they sent me not one, but TWO lights for absolutely free!! The lady told me it cost more to write up an order sheet then it would just to send the lights to me. Now how is that for service? Anyway, to all who would like to visit the web site for The Hat Ladies that I belong to here is the web site: http: // A couple of wonderful ladies that I know started this group when one of them became a volunteer driver for Cancer patients. While she would be waiting to pick them up, she would bring crocheting with her to keep her busy and someone saw one of the hats and wanted to buy it from her. Long story short, Susan saw there was a real need for FREE hats to cancer patients and thus the group was started. Yarn donations are always welcome, as are hats. Most of us in the group are crochet people, but some do knit and some of us also use a loom knitter at times. For more info about the group or how to donate, go to the web site. And thanks again, GEGE, for giving us such awesome patterns and pictures and insperation.

    P.s. as an aside to the above, one of my son's actually introduced me to your site, when he found the SMB afghan that you made, he is a big fan of SMB and was really excited about that afghan, if you ever decide to write a pattern for that one, please put me on the list as a buyer!!

  5. This is one huge and beautiful bag! What are the dimensions on this piece. WOW! I have lined some of my bags, but most are handstitched. Well, the lining pieces were machine sewn, but then I handstitch the lining to the inside of the bag. Sometimes when I machine stitched the lining to crocheted straps, it stretched the yarn so my linings were not long enough and I had to piece them together. Yuck.

    I have a Singer that I've had since h.s. graduation. (It was mom's gift to me.) So I've had it for a long while and although it's not all-metal like hers, it has been sufficient until now. Now that I want to make more heavy duty items, like bags, I'm finding that this machine can't handle it. The bobbin gets jammed. I'm going to read more on Karen's post and check out her suggestions. Otherwise, I'm looking for an old machine, even if it doesn't do fancy stitches. :-)

  6. Thanks Libby! The Purple Haze is about 21"x14"x7" Like I said- freakin' huge. ;) But, it's exactly what I wanted! Also, I do my linings the same way- machine stitch them together but then hand sew them in the bag. I'm going to try machine stitching it into the bag with my new Brother....we'll see what happens....

    And, yes Miss Anonymous, it'd be a GREAT tote-your-project along bag! Hopefully I'll be able to utilize them as such very soon. :)

    Karen- that's great to know re: Brother costumer service! I'm already pleased with the machine, so this makes it even better!