Tapestry on a leash

I hate carrying a purse. Usually I don’t have to. Since I made my first bag, a pink leather courier bag, I’ve occasionally worried about being thought a fraud. With my wallet, phone and keys safely in the zipper pouch, the body of the bag might be totally empty. I imagine someone tearing the bag from my shoulder, discovering it was empty and holding it up for surrounding crowds to see, proving I am … what? Not a real woman?? Ergh.

A few months ago I made a book bag, because I need one to take to various music lessons. I used a pattern, but smallened (?) belittled (?) it to just the size I needed to carry an 8 1/2 by 11 inch book.

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I added  a bit of length to the strap so I can wear it across my body, because if I can’t do that, I’m not wearing it at all.

So I needed another one for when black and white won’t work. I’ve been holding on to small sample pieces of fabric that I love, trying to fit together enough of them to make something wearable, and finally decided to cut that out. Make a bag, I told myself sternly.

So I did.

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Look at that beauty. I really wanted to use the square of tapestry fabric for the back of a jacket, but it’s better that I use it than keep it hanging around in my stash.

I used a piece of upholstery fabric for the inside, and … remember that green rectangle that I wanted to use as a skirt panel? I used it for interior pockets.

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Here’s a shot of the inside, though it doesn’t show the richness of the colour.

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Besides using three pieces of fabric I really like, I wanted to use a leash that I picked up a few years ago at a yard sale. It’s a really handsome piece of leather, partly braided, with two solid brass clasps. It took me a fair bit of time to make this, because I got hung up on all the possible design options. At one point I planned to make it totally reversible. I planned to go shopping for a pair of D rings. In the end I just had to command my brain to be quiet. I did something interesting with the bottom.

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Only the inner layer is sewn at the bottom. The outer layer is kind of a skirt. I wanted glimpses of the interior. Also, at the top the interior fabric rolls out for about an inch.

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So there you are. I can, and will, make other bags to attach to the leash. I realize this one is a bit long for its width. I don’t want to shorten it. This bag is not pretending to be normal anyway, so it might as well have unique proportions as well.

How’s your retirement going?

It’s been a year now since I returned from a three-month wander through France and Italy and settled in to life as a post-career woman of leisure. Since then I’ve been sewing daily, reading and studying subjects that interest me, keeping two blogs and working on music skills so I can make it onto an international stage before I need a walker.

Not bad. I’d interviewed quite a few retired women before it was my turn and discovered there were two kinds — those who didn’t really know what to do with themselves, and those who had too much to do. It would seem I’ve landed in with the second group. I’m so thankful!

Some days I’m kind of paralyzed because I don’t know what I want to do next: sew, read, write, sing or get outside for exercise. It makes me think of blocking my days into one and two hour time slots as if I were at school and scheduling everything.

Still, this month I started feeling restless. Just spring fever, maybe?I’ve spent a couple of weeks on a tear of cleaning up and cleaning out. Which didn’t stop me from buying some more fabric in a response to an ad I saw on craigslist when I was listing some furniture for sale.

I immediately sewed up another pair of stretch yoga pants with some of it. Hardly worth posting about. The only interesting thing about them, and about the sewing of them, is that I attached a band of fabric loosely to the top of the waist. I can fold that down and hide the fact that these are standard elastic-waist pants.

Here’s a pic.

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The rest of the fabric is in the stash, waiting for summer. I’ve got a list of about a dozen summer projects, some of which I have the fabric for and some of which I have the patterns for.But I feel like I need to take some time building up foundations, like exploring online sewing resources. Speaking of which, has anyone sewn anything from the Cali Faye Collection? I’ve seen about a half dozen of her patterns that I like (on Craftsy), but can’t find any reviews at all.

In my last post I mentioned I was singing chorus in a semi-professional company’s production of La Boheme last month. Thought you might like a pic of the rehearsal. I’m third woman from the right.

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Is anyone else here a person of leisure? If so, how do you fill your time? Are you satisfied with what you’re doing?