Lina and Vi: Thoughts on Brazil

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thoughts on Brazil

Friends, with all of the excitement going on right now with the World Cup games in Brazil, I'm getting even more excited about Brazil due to the latest Grounds bag - the Brazil Tote.

Today I'm sharing the final product photos that were taken two days ago. As mentioned in the prior post, this new gem reminds me a lot of the Cafe Tote we made a few months ago. The difference here is that the Brazil Tote is all about color - with a bright color scheme accented by pops of cherry red to fit with the Brazilian burlap print. Like all of our Grounds bags, this one can be use for multi-purposed reasons and seasons.

Brazil Tote - Grounds Collection - Lina and Vi
If you enjoy handmade products, you know that every product and piece has a story.  This tote is no different. I want to share this story with you because it demonstrates the hard work, patience, and care that goes into making something handmade - even if it's not always the most easy experience. Three nights ago, I was putting the finishing touches on this bag which included sewing the button hole on the top flap piece. I've sewn button holes plenty of times, so it didn't seem like it would be a real hurdle for me like some of the other techniques that I'm gradually learning to add to the bags. Plus, my machine has an awesome setting to create a button hole and the appropriate foot to make the hole exactly as large as needed.

So, I measured and marked where I thought the hole needed to be placed, lowered my pressure foot, and starting sewing away. Everything was great until I released it and realized the hole was larger than I expected and thus off center, which looked terrible to me. Taking the seam ripper, I took it apart to try it again. Took a few deep breaths, repositioned the fabric, and pushed the foot pedal to get it going. Everything was going well until my bobbin thread went out. I stopped sewing, refilled the bobbin, and started again from the beginning. That was probably my mistake - starting again from the beginning rather than taking out the old thread - and suddenly things went awry. The thick threads jammed and soon the fabric was completely tangled into the machine. I was so frustrated at this point, spending the small amount of time I had at the end of my busy workday to unjam the machine rather than actually make progress sewing, that I pulled the fabric out, cleaned everything up, shut off the machine, and called it day. Thinking things were okay the next night, I attempted to start sewing again and the machine would not feed the fabric. It was incredibly frustrating, so much so that I stomped off to find a YouTube video to teach me how to unscrew the metal plate from the machine to see what's going on.  Taking everything apart, I could find nothing wrong so I cleaned the machine and started again. No luck. After some not-so-lovely words, I realized that the feed setting on the back of the machine had switched so the feed dogs were lowered, hence the fabric was not moving. I was seeing red at this point as I flipped the switch and finished the button hole. I ended up taking the entire button hole apart (even after I had already cut the fabric) because it was not to the quality I had wanted it to be. The entire experience was incredibly frustrating for me, but it was such a good lesson in patience and focus on making things right, even if it takes three or four times to get it right.

This is why I sew. Whatever you are making, you can always start it over again. It's a lesson in persistence and a good reminder for me that everyone faces obstacles, small or large, even if they are experienced in what they are doing.

Brazil Tote - Grounds Collection - Lina and Vi
I have to say that if you are interested in purchasing this bag, it has already sold to a buyer. I hope you enjoyed learning about the "behind the scenes" process of making this bag and can relate in having the reminder of needing patience in whatever you do or create as well.


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