It is amazing how quickly a skilled seamstress can put together a bag! Continuing from where I left off in "Sewing 101: L'Inizio", the first step of my beach bag started with my mother-in-law pining a reinforcing material to the back of my fabric.
After that was sewn together, she created the main compartment of the bag within minutes. It had evenly spaced, folded pleats and a great shape. But since this was still the beginning, it had to get tweaked and rearranged a bit. But nonetheless, within a few minutes more she had created the base to my preference and started sewing the grippy pad that I wanted on the bottom.
She wasn't totally convinced of this grippy pad, but I see fantastic potential with it! Sewing continued so quickly that I could barely believe my eyes! As soon as I decided what I wanted where, she was off to make it permanent.
Now, I don't want to make it seem like the bag came together in a matter of hours--well, it did--but there were many days in between as we could only manage to get together for a few hours here and there. But overall, it was quick and now I think that if I could get into the habit of doing this, I could turn out several bags a week! But that's once I learn and become good at sewing...aahh...
Anyway, my gorgeous beach bag was really taking shape and when my mother-in-law pulled out a piece of red fodera (lining) that she had lying around, I suddenly had inner lining as well! But she didn't attach the lining until she gave me a pocket. One side for personal stuff, the other for my cell phone. Love it!
We played around with the top of the bag before putting the closure band on. At first we tried repeating the pleats from the bottom, but we both preferred arricciato, or rouched. It was fascinating to watch how easily she did these things. I was wondering how we were going to pull the fabric together evenly, but she had a trick! You sew a loose, single stitch across the fabric, then you hold the tip of the thread hanging out and gently pull the fabric together along the thread, like a miniature version of cinching curtains. Continue this along both sides until you have your desired cinch.
Once that was done, the top strip could be closed and the straps sewn into place. I was so excited with how my beach bag was looking. But the next step was to find a clasp of my liking. Since I am fairly finicky (my mom used to call me Nicky Picky) this meant that weeks could go by before I found something. I envisioned a small white starfish as a button, or a piece of red coral to secure a loop. But either way, it would have to wait until Friday for the market, when all sorts of tables are hocking buttons, beads and hopefully pieces of red coral.