Happiness is a handmade Runaround Bag (and: a month of selfish sewing)

I didn’t like the look of this project right up until the very last bit of the binding was sewn down, and then after that I changed my mind. I like it now. It’s amazing the difference trimming threads and binding can make between “What IS this?” and “It’s a bag!”  I’m starting to think that sewing is a bit like cooking – if you buy good enough ingredients you don’t need to do an awful lot to them, to make them shine.

Having said that, despite following the instructions very very carefully, I’m not sure if I did the binding right. It doesn’t look great. I need to do more research on binding techniques, as well as more practice. This bag is a gift for another friend, and I’m crossing fingers she won’t be inspecting the binding carefully(!).

All in all though, for my first bag, I’m happy. I had so many questions (like, what kind of interfacing am I supposed to use if I can’t find the one that’s listed in the pattern materials? Does interfacing have a grain? And what am I doing wrong with the gathering, if my basting threads keep breaking?) but I decided to push on, and I’m glad I did. I think I was at least partially inspired by a Seth Godin interview I listened to this week, where he mentioned one of his life’s guiding principles was “it costs very little to find out”.  He is so right (as he tends to be) – why do we let fear, and $20 worth of materials, stand in the way of finding something out?

I commented to Kent that I always seem to make time to make things destined for other people, and never get around to making the things I want for myself.  He suggested a month where I only make things for myself. Imagine! So I’m calling November an experimental month of selfish sewing. I’m not sure if I’ll stay the course (Christmas IS coming, after all…) but let’s find out…


Pattern:  Runaround Bag, by Anna Graham at Noodlehead

Outer fabric:  Folk Horse in Coral, part of the Les Fleurs collection by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel (leftovers from my ottoman project)

Lining fabric:  I know the lining fabric was one of The Denim Studio fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics, but I’m not sure which one, as I bought it as part of a half-yard bundle.  I’m guessing Infused Hydrangea (and in that case, I only just realised it was 20% polyester…the horror!)

Interfacing:  I wish I’d paid more attention to the interfacing I bought (off the roll at Spotlight, in a last minute decision), as I think it turned out quite well for this project.  I think from the receipt it is called ‘Parlan Fusible Wadding, white’. No mention of the weight.  Let’s hope I can find it again.

Binding fabric:  I bought a few metres of Liberty of London binding from Ava & Neve at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair recently.  I think this print is called ‘Capel’ but they don’t seem to have it listed on their website.

Pocket fabric:  I was please to have an excuse to use a scrap of Anna Maria Horner’s Illuminated Graph in Metallic Rust, from her Loominous collection of yarn dyed fabric.  Loominous seems to sneak in to a lot of things I make.

Snaps:  these heart shaped leather snaps in light brown, from Studio Mio.  Totally in love with these!  No pun intended.

Thread:  various shades of Aurifil 100% cotton thread

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