A Failed Experiment But Ultimate Success

I’m anticipating the return home of my Featherweight on Saturday so I haven’t wanted to start a significant project. I want to be ready to start on the blue lap quilt as soon as she’s home.

I did take some time last night and organized my blue KFC fabric scraps, pressed them and cut a bunch of 2.5 inch strips. Then I sorted the strips by value and paired them all up.

There are more strips than I’ll need for this lap quilt but it will be good to have extra pairs to choose from as I go along. And I can always use left over strips. Hello Frankenbag!!!

After out walk tonight I decided to actually finish a project that’s been sitting partially completed for a month or so. It’s the denim bucket bag that I was going to add the biothane handle to. Well, that’s where the failed experiment in tonight’s title came from.

The denim is thick. It has woven interfacing fused to it. the biothane it thick. The handle needs to be placed at the side seam. So imagine all the thickness that came together at that intersection. It was more than my machine could handle.

I’m not giving up yet. I’ll try the biothane with a bag made from thinner fabrics. I sure hope I can make it work because I have 100 feet of it!!!

So, what did I do instead? First, I thought I could make a handle from the denim. But without interfacing or nylon webbing inside, it was still too thick! It reminded me of what I hate about sewing with some denims. So damned thick!!!

So I decided to make the handle from the lining fabric wrapped around some nylon webbing, and it worked well and my machine handled it all well.

Here’s the finished bag. I like how it turned out and I really like that bright and cheerful lining! the heavy denim makes it feel quite substantial, which I like.

Here’s a little better view of the handle.

And my favorite little tag!

You might notice how nice the tag installation is. Well, I recently started sewing these on by machine rather than by hand. And they look so much better. I just use a zig zag stitch with the stitch length set to zero. I hold the tag in place with some clips.

Once I have a couple points stitched, I remove the clips to get access to the next spot.

I stitch all four points without cutting my thread. This means that I need to trim off the traveling thread once it’s all done.

The one thing that I’m a little unhappy with in this method is that the zig zag stitches show on the inside of the bag. But I think I can live with it.

I recently purchased an awl that I use to make the hole for the snap hardware and it’s fantastic!!! It makes a hole without cutting threads. You just push it through the fabric and it goes through all those layers like they’re butter. So there’s less chance the fabric fraying around the snap. This was a really good purchase.

I’m also happy to announce that my snap kit is all in a zipper pouch that I made and is stored away nicely in a drawer where I can easily find it.

When I was done with it I put it right back in that drawer. It will be interesting to see how long that kind of behavior lasts.

I used one of these bucket bags while my friend was here and it’s fantastic! It’s big and roomy but not too big. And it’s strong. I used it to carry fabric to several fabric stores and to bring new fabric home. I used it when we made the trip to my brother’s place. And I used it to carry two computers to the Apple store for my appointment with a genius. I just love a functional… and beautiful… bag!

It was only about 9:15 when I finished this bag so I decided to get started on another project I can finish up before I get my Featherweight back.

I saw a bag on Pinterest, I think, a couple weeks ago that was made out of a low volume white/black fabric on the outside and a black with white lining and I loved it. So I put together a couple fabric combos for bucket bags.

I got the outer bag and lining cut and fused before I called it quits. I can probably finish up this bag tomorrow night.

The white is terribly impractical, but it’s also terribly pretty!

While I was looking through my blue KFC fabrics the other night I noticed this…

I really need to figure out a way to catalog what I have so I stop buying more pieces of the same fabric.

38 Replies to “A Failed Experiment But Ultimate Success”

  1. I was wondering if you could take your thicker handle projects to a reliable shoe maker. Their heavier machines might be able to stitch through the bulk
    Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. they could probably sew it, but I’d have to take it to them three times! I sew over the handle when I attached it to the outer bag, then again when I sew the outer and inner bags together, then again when I top stitch the top of the bag.

      I’m hopeful that it won’t be such an issue when I get away from the thick denim. I should have made my first try on that fabric.



  2. The denim bag looks great, as does all the others. Was wondering where you have your tags printed I’m in Australia and would love something like that for my bags thanks in advance Sue 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, I made my first bucket bag while!on holiday as the weather wasn’t good. I love it but I’ll like my next one to be a little firmer. Could you please remind me what interfacing you used please.
    Kathleen from England

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I use the Pellon SF101, woven fusible interfacing, on the outer bag body and a medium weight non woven fusible on the lining. that’s when the outer fabric is a little more substantial than quilting cotton.

      the bag I just finished tonight is just quilting cotton on the outer and inner bag, so I used the SF101 woven on both parts. It’s a little firmer and more structured than the non woven. It feels pretty good, but no where as heavy as the denim!



  4. LOL on the multiple purchases. I find myself doing this. Guess this just means you really know what you like. Isn’t it great to have everything organized!? Even when it gets torn apart for the next big project you’ll find yourself easily putting it back in order because, well, it just feels better and easier. Weren’t you going to paint your studio?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty good at keeping my sewing room neat, but not for very long!!!

      I’d still like to have a different color on the walls of my sewing room. I just don’t love the idea of moving all the crap I’d need to move to get it painted!! Some of the furniture in that room was constructed in that room and will nave to be broken down to get them out!




      1. I get it! But you’ll love the new color. I put in a new floor in my studio and my husband convinced me i really should paint. It took 3 days to remove everything including all the shelving on the walls. LOL The room was only 10 x 12 and highly organized. Go figure. Can’t stop thanking him enough for urging me on. I love the LIVELY YELLOW from Sherwin Williams.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love hearing your thinking process.
    Your denim bag and lining are a great combo.
    My daughter and I found a new quilt shop and she picked out fabric for me to make her a frankenbag.

    This was my latest bag before the new acquisition. I went back to my batiks.
    (I’ll have to send the pictures another way)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love your bags!!
    Maybe my solution will inspire you even another way.
    I have attached thick straps on denim bags:
    Below the top seams, reducing 2x the bulk.
    Decorative X over stich bottom
    Finish with rivets to top

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did buy some rivets recently but they are so tiny that they would never go through all that thickness. I would like to find good rivets and a good tool that doesn’t cost a fortune. I love the look of the rivets.



  7. Loving the denim bag and the great lining and handles! It’s probably just me but I see a great coloring fabric in the white/black bag fabric. I would use permanent markers and just color away on it! 🤣❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the denim bag. I really enjoyed your stories while your friend was there. I would love to have a sewing friend like her. I liked your red/purple quilt so much that I bought the pattern. And I too have been known to buy the same fabric more than once….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really fun to have my friend here. Hoping she comes back soon.

      have fun with the pattern. I’m thinking I might need to make another one with a completely different color approach.



  9. I put photos of all my backing fabrics onto a Pinterest board with yardage, as an easy reference for quilt planning. Maybe if you put a photo of each fabric purchase (not each individual fabric) it would help?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooh lala la that denim bag with the fabric that matches the lining is Spectacular! It was meant to be ❤️.
    Great idea for storing your hardware too! I need to find some time to get back in my sewing room – you have inspired me!!!
    Howdy Rico and Bender 🤠

    Liked by 1 person

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