Although I'm an accomplished sewer, I still like to take classes from time to time. This helps me learn new techniques, like embroidery machine applique and placement for larger designs, and lets me socialize with others who love fiber arts, from the very beginner to the pro. It's fun. And, even more importantly, it can be challenging.
I am currently taking an online class on making purses and all the little items that can help to keep the purse organized. While the instructor gives us patterns to follow, the main goal is to ultimately design our own purse that works perfectly for us. As with most things, I'm trying to be an over-achiever! I want a purse that will hold my tiny amount of purse items, my small netbook, and my huge camera. This purse must be no larger than an average wallet and weigh next to nothing. Hey, I'm sure it can be done!
In actuality, I'm designing one big bag that resembles an elongated, relaxed duffle bag. It will have a compartment for my netbook and removable pouches for both my camera and my purse items. Most importantly, it will have a sling-type shoulder strap that I can wear across my body to redistribute the weight to both shoulders.
While the bag itself is larger than what I want, and I'm afraid I'll look conspicuous while carrying it, it will perform the duties I've set for it quite admirably. While a purse in considered to be a fashion accessory, I'm choosing to reclassify it as a tool. And, tools are supposed to help us. Since I wouldn't use a screwdriver to bang in a nail, it seems silly to expect my purse to function in ways it wasn't designed for.
Now that I've decided on my design and have the particulars drawn out, I'm getting more artistic with it! The design process is mechanical and technical. Now, I want to make it pretty!
A few years ago, that would have meant using the few decorative stitches built into my sewing machine. Fun, but tedious; boring after a while. Now, though, I've got the whole wide world of machine embroidery at hand! I don't think there is anything I can't do with the variety of embroidery designs available these days.
I've got all the embroidery supplies on hand to create fabulous free-standing lace tidbits to add to the pockets and zipper areas. I can use machine embroidery designs specifically for applique to decorate the outside pockets and strap. And, I can even make a complete wallet, eyeglass case or e-Reader pouch with the wonderful embroidery designs that create a complete project in-the-hoop! I even have free embroidery designs that I can use and then send pictures to the generous designer so she can show what can be done with her designs. It's a lovely way to say thank you for the free designs.
One of the other online classes I've taken showed me how to reposition my hoop/project to do larger designs than my machine can do. Because of this, I will even be using some fabulous machine embroidery designs that are much like the decorative stitches on my sewing machine. But, these designs are much more intricate and stitch so much quicker than I can do on my own. And, unlike my sewing machine's stitches, these embroidery designs are multi-color, which allows me to really show off the beauty of my machine embroidery thread!
It's a fabulous time to be a fiber artist! There are so many embroidery design services available, so many creative people teaching, and so many options for our creative endeavors! The options are so many and varied that my bag will probably stand up on its own when I'm done with it! But, with all the machine embroidery, it will be fabulous!