Sewing is a violent act | How About Orange

July 10, 2008

Sewing is a violent act

That's what the instructor who gave me four free lessons told me, back when I got a sewing machine for Christmas two years ago. She meant because the needle disrupts the woven threads in the cloth. But I think it's because it makes you want to pull your hair out or shoot yourself. This simple little bag took me hours. I had to rip out seams four times (twice because I accidently sewed part of the bag to itself on the other side; once because I forgot to leave a hole to turn it right side out. Once because I just sewed really crooked.) Somehow I always put the pins in facing the wrong direction. I forgot to match up the pattern at the seams, and I forgot to change my bobbin thread color to match the white lining when I did the topstitching. Next time I'm paying someone to make me a bag. Forget this. (Nothing wrong with the tutorial I used, though. Try it out right here. I made the strap about an inch shorter and made the bag 3 inches deeper.)

I tried to redeem the bag by putting an orange binder in it. I think it helps, don't you?

68 comments:

SimplyE said...

your bag is beautiful! it's a whole lot better than i could of made and I took a whole semester long sewing class. ;-)

V & Co. said...

um yeah but it still turned out totally cute! i looove the fabric!

suzanne b. said...

I feel so relieved to hear someone say that sewing makes them feel unhappy. (Or violent.)(Etc.) I have felt lately like the entire Internet is happily sewing along while I sit and glower at my sewing machine. I think this post makes me like you even more than I already did.

The bag turned out absolutely adorable, by the way. But I know EXACTLY what you mean.

Pam Hawk said...

It's charming!
Yeah, sewing can be a real pain in the butt. You get kudos for finishing the bag and showing it off. I would have stopped out of frustration and set it aside... probably forever.

Missie Krissie said...

Well all that pain was worth it I say Jess, it turned out really nice! I think my machine may have a few fist shaped dents in it too. Head up, as you say, you can always get someone to make it for you! :)

CurlyPops said...

Thanks for the tutorial link...I've always wanted to make one of those bags. I tend to always forget to leave an opening for turning out too...it's really annoying!

Rachel said...

Well, until I read this encouraging story with its happy ending, I had always thought I couldn't sew at all, because of ....(insert here most of the frustrating things you mentioned in your post).... but I'm wondering now if maybe I could, if I just persevered, and didn't abandon ship/hope so soon when something goes wrong. Maybe I'll start by hemming a tea towel or something...

Barb said...

That bag is totally adorable. Congrats on finishing it. Love your blog ~ especially since Orange is my favorite color!

CalicoDaisy said...

You know, it's like Joel Gray said in that song so long ago, "It's not how you feel, it's how you look, and darling, you look marvelous!" And, "It hurts to be beautiful." So, if you wear that bag, you should be a knockout! And your stripes came out so perfect.

Marcia said...

Great bag. It'll go so much better the next time...Ü

studiosmith said...

Anything in that fabric looks handsome, period.

HighOnCraft said...

LOL! I feel the same way and am somewhat happy to know that other people make the same mistakes I do! Only somewhat though because it's also a little discouraging to know that I will still be making those mistakes a year from now!! :-)

charlotte lyons said...

looks fabulous from here....orange binder or not.

Jana said...

You know the next one will be easier, don't you?! And I think we all have those "days". Still the bag is gorgeous and you did a wonderful job!

I so enjoy your blog. :)

julie (jane's apron) said...

So glad to hear it's not just me with the sewing problems. Your bag (and lining) is very cute.

Tanna Clark said...

It looks lovely. This is the reason I love Etsy so much! You can have a bag that is handmade (by someone else!)

JHAYNE said...

haha! i have dreams of being an amazing seamstress, but every time i pull out my old janome, practice doesn't seem to make perfect.

Alison said...

the bag turned out cute--can't see any flaws from here!

Grandma G said...

Sounds like a great learning experience, to me! ;-) So keep sewing and you'll keep getting better. I've made all those mistakes, too, y'know... way back all those years ago. They're great for teaching patience, if nothing else. And you didn't give up, so you must be learning that! ;-)

It looks great and worth all your efforts! And Marcia's right... it WILL go better the next time. So don't give up on sewing!!

(Gee, I bet I really sound like a MOM here, don't I? ;-) )

Love and pats on the back,
Mum

P.S. I was afraid from your title that you were gonna say you sewed over your finger or something! At least you haven't done that... yet... and neither have I... yet. Had some close calls, though!

Special K said...

I've made that bag too! I love mine, carry it all the time. I agree that the pattern is too small, I also made the bag bit larger.

Yours is cute!

Larissa Holland said...

this sounds like the red rage I experience at least once for each sewing project. I kind of just expect it now. :-) love the end product.

jen phifer said...

sewing IS a violent act. i sewed right through my finger last summer, and it sucked.
i hate when things don't come together as planned, and you have to do and re-do, but the bag is beautiful.

Amber M. said...

I love the bag.

And I also love how you labeled the photo "stupid bag". Sewing makes me want to pull my hair sout sometimes, too.

jcaroline said...

Sewing IS a violent act. I have piles of half finished C.R.A.P. to attest to that. Love the fabric- where can I get some of that?

ali&heron said...

Sewing can make you violent, I do agree... though your bag is far nicer than any item I turned out in Home Ec (pretty much the last time I tried). Great job!

Hannita said...

It's a great little bag. I made a few bags this weekend for grocery shopping and such and since I don't sew often they aren't perfect (wonky pockets, etc) but are perfectly serviceable. I figure the more sewing I do, the better it will be. At least I hope so...

tonya said...

the orange binder definately makes it! without the binder, yawn, with it, wowza! LOL, just kidding it looks great and I assume it holds stuff so, hey, mission accomplished. the next one will be easier, I promise. Don't deny you'll sew again, you know you will :)

Miriam said...

your bag turned out very nicely, in fact! i always like to think that i learned what patience I have through sewing.

not that it still doesn't cause swearing Every Single Time.

julieua said...

looks great! i am teaching myself how to sew and can sew something fine the first time and then sew a second one completely inside out and backwards. your fabrics are beautiful and the bag is fun!

Kate said...

Oh, I do LOVE the idea of sewing, but the act of sewing kills me. I have so many half-finished disasters....but in pretty fabrics! : ) Someday my dog might actually receive the bed I began sewing for her 3 years ago. I ran out of bobbin thread and that was the end of it. Silly. Every time I take it out and show her, she wags her tail and lies down on it. The nice thing about pets - they do not judge bad sewing projects.

Madge said...

I love that bag and have been wanting to make it for awhile. I agree with your description of sewing. i gave you an award on my blog today. i have been lurking here for a very very long time. love this blog so much.

FancyPants-design said...

HA! This is exactely why I don't sew!! Love the bag!

shellyfish said...

I just posted two bags I made using that tutoral! I'm sorry you had such an icky time- but your fabric looks great on that bag!

kate i design said...

this makes me laugh - i love to sew, but i've actually punched my machine before. it shut off probably to prevent more damage.

Joy said...

Practice makes perfect, Orange! It gets faster and easier, I promise.

June said...

I made a bag just like that - reversible even! It took me forever and I just couldn't quite figure out how to turn it inside out, but finally did and it looked great...until I noticed that I had sewn a wee bit too close to the edge and it was unraveling. Grrrr, so I just turned it inside out and use the other side (even though it isn't my favorite side!) So much for the art of sewing.

Laura said...

I have been sewing since I was 7 years old. I have to rip out seams sometimes still. I love your bag... and your blog.

Joy said...

Also...on the violence note...a couple of months ago I was re-upholstering a sofa, and while I was sewing new cushion covers and using a silly zipper foot...I sewed the tip of my finger, it sucked! That will tech me to watch tv while using a zipper foot, right?!

craftini said...

Your post actually made me laugh out loud – I know that feeling so well! Every now and again a project totally kicks my ass, made all the more frustrating by the project's seeming simplicity...

Love the finished bag though. It looks fab.

me said...

at least you know how to sew! my mom spent the weekend teaching my 6-year-old niece how to sew after 40 years of trying to teach my sisters and i to do the same thing....we all thought it was too old-fashioned, but now i am seriously regretting that decision. i'm glad to see someone else struggling with it, and to know that it's never too late to learn. love the bag!! it's a great motivator to learn!

Jess said...

Amber M, how the heck did you notice that? :)

Madge, thank you. By looking at your blog, I THINK you might love orange even more than I do.

Joy, ouchie!

Everybody, thanks for the commiseration. I see all these lovely bloggers whipping up perfect things and saying, "Oh, this gorgeous ruffled apron I made out of this rare vintage fabric only took me 30 minutes! Isn't it cute? And I made the pattern myself!" Grrrrr.

Good & Crazy said...

Hey I recognize that tute!

I tried making a bag from that with brocade...oh it was going to be the coolest little bag....

But it turns out brocade is pretty to look at, nasty to sew with!

Oh well.

I like that you made it deeper.

Amber Rose said...

Hehe, I know what you mean about sewing, I gave it a shot and nearly ripped my hair out, as well!

I actually don't like orange...but I do like your blog! Can't wait to read more! :P

xx.

Penny said...

It looks great! I know it is so frustrating to mis-measure, sew wrong sides together, seam rip where you shouldn't have, have jammed threads in your machine creating a big fabric wad and all the other mishaps. I can't stop though. It's all worth it!

Nix Sidhe said...

Sewing is frustrating sometimes, I will completely agree. I have found myself more than a little upset at myself when I found that I would sew the strap INSIDE of the bag or the elastic strap of an eye mask INSIDE of the mask.

The bag, though, is lovely. You did a wonderful job and it turned out really great.

Kristi said...

Feeling your sewing pain...my first attempts at sewing showed that I have a 100% chance of doing something wrong. It's almost uncanny!

Your bag and fabric look GREAT. Good for you!

Cicada Studio said...

I always put the pins in the wrong way, too.

Mona said...

Wow, I never thought of sewing as a violent act thanks for sharing that with me. it's nice to get new perspectives on common crafting ideas and now when I sew I will think of that statement your instructor made and really it makes sense.

diane said...

A) My friend is forever sending me the link to your blog saying, "I thought of you." Maybe because I have an orange couch in a yellow living room.
or maybe
B) because I sew. And I cuss like a sailor when I saw. And my seam ripper is my BEST FRIEND.
D) or I make pottery and when I screw up in pottery I get to start over! But when I cut the fabric the wrong length I need to open a bottle of wine.

SallyZ said...

Love your bag and love that fabric. I made myself one using the same tutorial. But I was not smart enough, like you, to make it bigger first. :( So, now I am stucked with a beautiful bag, but too small to put in all my stuffs. Don't take me wrong, I still love that bag. I will have to show you mine later.

wanderlust junkie said...

amazing bag! and i LOVE the fabric!

Oh, So Sassy Michelle said...

Wow! Love the bag! I have so been to that place where it seems much more fulfilling to cut the fabric into shreds than to finish the bag. I commend you for sticking with it!

Jess said...

Exactly! I was THIS CLOSE to stabbing it repeatedly with my seam ripper.

inga said...

That's such a cute bag! And I am so jealous of all that natural lighting you have in your house. Not fair! :-)

madmommy said...

Violent, and yet, cute!

debbiec said...

i think you did a GREAT job! but yes, i agree, sometimes sewing does make you want to yank your hair out!

elizabeth said...

The first time I made that bag I messed it up royally. Is it so easy that we have to mess it up?

sweetfunkyvintage said...

As someone who is self-taught at sewing, I can totally identify! I can remember nights in college staying up late to finish a design project and sewing through my fingers!!
Missy

persephonesawakening said...

i think the bag looks good. but i've pulled the binder/book trick several times for the camera.

and i hate having to re-sew seams!

clare Carter said...

What about when the needle decides to attack your finger and thankfully NOT pierce your nail and have you up at the hospital with a broken needle still in there( student days-looong time ago),but instead tears through the side of your delicate little finger thus causing blood,a thread change and the near death of said machine!??Its a lovely lovely bag! Worth the gritted teeth : )

Lisa said...

I must really enjoy being angry, but I have always suspected this to be true of myself.

I have used this tutorial! Wonderful bag that is easily modified. Makes me want to make more...

must...

find...

new...

fabric...

Jennie said...

I hear what you're saying about sewing. Think of it this way, even though it can be frustrating, you stuck to the challenge and executed a beautiful bag.

Hello, I'm Sally. said...

But I didn't even notice it didn't match up until you mentioned it. I'm going to give this bag a try, I'm using a small pattern so I don't need to worry about the matching up bit though.

knittingiris said...

The only time I EVER heard my mom come close to swearing was when she was sewing clothes for me. I have surpassed her, though, cussing violently.
I don't think I've EVER sewn anything EVER without sewing the wrong layers of something together.
Sewing SUCKS but it also sucks you in, making it all worth it in the end.
Love the bag, your fabric, and your mods.

Amy said...

this made me laugh - i am feeling the same frustration with an "EZ Sew" robe right now!

Jess said...

I feel your pain.

annie said...

I thought the bag was fabulous so I checked out the pattern you used. My sisters and I got together and had PURSE DAY last Monday so I thought I'd share our creations... Not as pretty as yours against the white door, but you get the gist none the less!! I LOVE them! They are my new favorite. I've made THREE so far and have fabric for a few more!! WOO HOO! Thanks for the inspiration.

http://annie-enderle.blogspot.com/2008/07/im-horrible-at-secrets-this-good.html

http://annie-enderle.blogspot.com/2008/07/purse-day.html

Anonymous said...

This made me smile. 20 years ago, back when I was still in the honeymoon phase of marriage, my husband was astonished and amazed at my sewing antics. I became this aggressive screaming lunatic and literally ripped cotton duck fabric in half with my bare hands -all while attempting the very frustrating act of sewing! As a surprise, he bought me a brand new sewing machine - computer stitches and all - and we used the old machine as a boat anchor the next time we went out fishing. I am not proud of my sewing alter ego, but can sooo relate to sewing as a violent act.

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