Just Waiting for the Perfect Project

In The Studio

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I hoard craft supplies.

This is not exactly news, and while it sounds like a confession at a self-help group, I have no intention of reforming this habit any time soon as my stockade of supplies has served me in good stead for many, many years. Today is no exception.

Y’all know I have a considerable fabric stash, right? Back in December I pulled out all my fabric totes and emptied the drawers from the “Bureau of Fabric” so that I could do some organizing.

December 2014 Fabric Hoard

December 2014 Fabric Hoard

Once I had everything rolled and put on top of, underneath, and beside my ironing board I did some quick calculations and determined that the above represents about 21 cubit feet of fabric. Yeah. And I have another full bolt of silver organza… somewhere.

Tip: A full bolt of fabric is usually 10 yards. To make a quick guesstimate of how many yards are on a partial bolt, count the folded layers wrapped around the cardboard core. Every 2 folded layers is approximately 1 yard.

What does my fabric hoard have to do with current events?

Well, this weekend a sew along began over at So Sew Easy for Deby’s Conference Tote Bag and I hopped on board as it seemed like a really useful and fun project. While I ordered the recommended fusible foam and interfacing (thank you Amazon Prime for speedy delivery), I knew my stash would yield the majority of the needed supplies like zippers and even the purse “feet” that are optional but I had actually picked up on sale who knows how long ago, thinking I’d have a use for them eventually.

Conference Tote Sew-a-Long supplies

Conference Tote Sew-a-Long supplies

But the real question that plagued me over the first few days of the project was which fabric I was going to use?!

I knew I was bound to have several suitable options in the 1-2 yard increments the pattern calls for. Even more if I were willing to use more than 2 prints and patch or piece the various elements together. But nothing was really standing out to me and I flipped through my mental fabric index.

And then, then I remembered… The Fabric.

A couple years ago, while on a trip to JoAnn Fabrics on a wedding-related errand, I happened upon a fabric that was so very perfect for me that I had to have it. Regardless of the fact that I had absolutely no idea what I’d ever make out of it. I carried it around the store as I tracked down what I was really there for. I don’t even think it was on sale.

The fabulous "Laughing Monkey Pink" print

The fabulous “Laughing Monkey Pink” print

So I bought the whole bolt.

When I remembered I had this gem in my stash, yesterday afternoon, the only thing I really had left to decide was what fabric I’d pair with it–preferably something darker colored and sturdy as it would be on the bottom of the bag, and possibly the lining (depending on how off-script I wanted to go). After pawing through the browns (I color-grouped the rolled fabric after my impromptu inventory in December), I found a narrow-wale corduroy that isn’t much heavier than the printed cottons she recommends for this pattern. (I think you could probably make a version using canvas or cotton duck and skip most of the interfacing steps, but I’ll know more after I make the first one following the instructions.)

Actual sewing didn’t start until Day 3 (so, Wednesday) but I really haven’t had a chance to do any material (hah!) work on the tote so far. I should be able to catch up this weekend. So far the parceled out instructions have been easy to follow (the sew-along components include both written and video tutorials). And, if you decide to join the sew-along today or next week or whenever, you’ll start from the beginning of the 10-day series–so you don’t have to worry about playing catch-up. Oh, and the best thing about the whole thing is that Deby made the whole thing pay-what-you-want, so if you’re strapped for cash you could totally pay nothing for the course, store the info until you can collect your supplies, and sew when you’re ready!

Anyone else going to join me in the sew-along?

(And just in case anyone was wondering, I’m in no way affiliated with So Sew Easy, nor do I get any sort of kick backs for promoting the sew along. I just think it’s a neat project and wanted to share it.)

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