Friday, September 08, 2006

It really shouldn't be this hard...

I'm still working on the Simplicity knitting tote and I'm determined to make it work in spite of the horrid instructions. I blogged the other day about how if I followed their instructions I'd end up with a bag with raw edges on the inside and it would be flimsy because they recommend fabrics such as broadcloth, gingham and calico yet there is no mention of using any type of interfacing.

I've since discovered more problems with the pattern/instructions. Surprised? I'm not.

1. At first I thought the handles on the front were only stitched into the seam at the bottom of the bag. I didn't see how they'd be secured and thought they'd just be all floppy inside the pocket. But looking at the line drawing I see that they are also stitched at the top.

But I still think the unsecured handles along the front of the bag will get tangled up with the stuff in the pocket and I think only stitching at the top and bottom seam is rather weak for tote bag handles. I top stitched the handles down to the bag for where they're hidden by the pocket so they'll be stronger.

2. The instructions say to gather between the notches of the front pocket piece - the notches are supposed to correspond to where each handle is attached at the bottom seam. I found two problems. Aesthetically I didn't really like that only half the pocket had fullness - flat from edge to handle (notch) and full from there to the center of the bag. It seemed rather odd to me to have an asymetrically shaped pocket like that. Then I noticed that the notches on the pocket and the front didn't even line up. The drawing shows them lining up but the notches on the pattern pieces do not. Oh, but they would line up if you gathered across the pocket instead of only between the notches. Interesting. I gathered evenly across the pocket.

The back of the tote bag consists of three pieces because the needle rolls will be attached into the seams between each of these pieces. Of course when I cut my fabrics I followed the instructions, which means the back lining is also in three pieces. Not a big deal for the lining to be seamed but I think it now provides me a way to incorporate a missing feature of this tote bag. This is supposed to be a tote bag for knitters, but there is no little bag for all the knitting notions, like tape measure, point protectors, row counter, stitch markers, etc. I think I will make a little zippered pouch and attach it into the seams of the lining, but (and I just now thought of this) I will put that part of the lining on the other side (front) because the back of the bag will already be thick with seam allowances from with the needle rolls.

This bag is taking much too long! And I'm not looking forward to finding more mistakes. I thought I would whip this bag up in time for my ASG sewing group next Tuesday night but at this rate that's not going to happen. I didn't set out looking for a challenging project but I sure got one!

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