Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Even Randomer Than Usual

Looky! The second draft!

94 pages. 
Ninety. Four.
And hundreds of photos and diagrams.

It really should be a book. But it isn't the kind of book I'd like to write someday. Therefore I'm still calling it a pattern. I finished it last night and, as a reward, I let myself go to school to help out a fellow mom with some volunteer thing. And I sat with Kate in the cafeteria at lunchtime and listened to her exciting day, and snuck over to Jenna's table to say hello.

So we're in the homestretch now, friends. After I proofread this second draft, it goes to the testing lab, after which I do a final round of editing and formatting, and then you guys can finally have it. I am excited for that day! Thank you for being so patient! The process of pattern-writing is long and arduous - you can read about it here - and it's why I don't write more patterns than I have. It's part laziness and part wisdom.  

Speaking of things I am excited about, here are the next three bags in the tutorial series!

Well . . .  they're not technically bags yet.

I let myself cut them out as I checked off each task in the Menagerie to-do list. Incentives, I call them - you know, like, "If you write Section XXX of Menagerie by midnight, you get dark chocolate AND to cut out one bag. But if you don't, you cannot go swimming tomorrow and have to stay home in shame and misery."

Enough talk of pattern-writing!

Let's behold some bags-in-progress instead - I thought you might enjoy seeing the Before photos, in which the bags are still disparate fabric-and-stabilizer-and-hardware. And what fabric it is! Here's #1:


#3 (which I get to cut out TONIGHT! Yessssss.)

And since we're premortem-ing, here are some of the stabilizers that go into my bags. I use different things for different bags, depending on how I want those bags to feel like or behave. The brown-themed bag above, for instance, has (from top to bottom) canvas/duckcloth with fusible interfacing, headliner (which is the spongy felty material with which the ceilings of vehicles are lined, and stiff outdoor canvas.

And because I feel kinda bad that all I've been sharing are fabric bits and spectral promises of bags, here is a receptacle that I actually finished:

It's a running belt. Not especially designer-fabric-pretty, but very useful. Not an original design, by the way - I saw something like it in an advert and decided I needed one, so I made it. It's just a skinny tube of stretch mesh that you can shove huge things into through the zipper opening. See - here it is with just my iPod in it but last weekend I filled it with car keys, Kleenex, eyedrops, phone, MP3 player etc. until it bulged like a snake that'd swallowed a buffalo, and the mesh kept it all snug while I ran a 5K. I'm showing you because the zippered welt is slightly exciting in its construction and therefore related to our upcoming tutorial series.


  1. 94 pages!! What an achievement! I never appreciated how much work patterns were until I started writing them. Congrats! you've definately earned those bags...and I find #2 to be particularly lovely.

  2. Now that is by far the heftiest pattern I've ever seen! Can't wait to get my hands on it!

    I'm LOVING your fabric combos! That brown set is simply delicious! (Maybe because it reminds me of chocolate?!)

    What a cool running belt. I can see where it would be ever so handy!

  3. You are amazing! I'm so excited for the pattern, because I can't make anything without a pattern, haha! Thank you for doing this.

  4. Oooo! Oooo! I love the combos, too! All so different. Light and pretty, bold and graphic, elegant and textural.

    Your buffalo-eating snake pouch is very smart. Wow.

    And 94 pages. Double wow.

    This "random" post is a gold mine of fascinating goodies.

  5. Yay. I can't wait for the pattern. How much will Menagerie cost?

  6. Great work! I make incentives like that all the time.
    Will you add the running pouch in your tutorial? It looks really neat.

  7. Wow,you are amazing! I am really looking forward to the menagerie but now i am eager to see your zippered bags too! Love the blue yellow combiation. You inslired me to buy mofe fabrics for new bags! Btw, i have almost finjshed the bella bag (will email you some pictures when completely done) and bought new fabrics for one for for me!
    Hope that you add some information about interfacing use in your tutorial too, I can still use sme guidance on whatto use when.

  8. I'm so looking forward to your menagerie pattern release -- it's so brilliant! And it's great that you're treating yourself in between steps. :D


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