Thursday, August 11, 2011

Robe + slippers @ the Fair

So, of my 2 County Fair entries, one was the restyling of a child's robe and fluffy pink slippers into a tote bag.  I started with a McCall's pattern for a tote bag.  This was just to make things easier, since I had spent many hours fiddling with the robe, trying to figure out how big a bag I could actually make.

In using this pattern, I knew I needed another fabric to add to the amount of robe fabric I had available.  I chose a fleece with flowers on it that seemed to complement the flowers on the slippers.  Instead of the tote bag straps shown, I wanted a handle more like a purse; plus, I wanted it to tie at the top.  (Blame a girl on the bus who had a really cute carryall with the style handle/strap I am describing.  So cute!)
This photo shows the side view: you can see the lower pocket (part of the McCall's pattern), the coordinating fabric (which I seamed in to extend the pink robe fabric) which extends straight up into the handle/strap, and the fabulous slipper pocket (ditto on the other side).
Front and back views.  I managed to keep the collar attached to the front of the robe (tricky!) and then used it as the "clasp", by putting a piece of velcro at the back of the collar and the back of the bag.  The entire front button placket of the robe still opens, and thanks to being fully lined, it forms another large, flat pocket (I thought of putting loose papers or a spiral notebook in there).

The original tote bag pattern called for a full lining and two internal pockets, which I made in three coordinating fabrics.  You can see a bit of the madras plaid inside the straps. That is the lining of the entire bag; there is also a stripe with roses and a soft yellow gingham lining the pockets.  So much fun mixing fabrics.

The true hair-ripping portion of the project was sewing the slippers to the fabric (of course).  I removed the rubber backing and a foam footbed lining from each slipper, but saved the binding and reattached it by hand.  I was able to shove the entire assemblage under my sewing machine presser foot and sew around the edge of the binding using a size 16 needle, machine quilting thread, a very long stitch length, and much high-volume cursing (no small children were about).  I stopped at least 3 times to consider whether I wanted to continue fighting with the sewing machine or give up and sew the remainder by hand.  But I persevered!

An idea brought to life.  Yay!  I feel creative and accomplished.  Maybe an "honorable mention" ribbon at the fair?  (Which I equate to: great idea, less-than-perfect workmanship)

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