Nov 24, 2011

160 handmade coin purses

"When exactly do we get you back?" Mik asked at 11 pm one night, as I zoned out to central asian music while fusing hundreds of pieces of interfacing to rectangles of 6"x4" fabric. In case anyone in Singapore was wondering why I'd disappeared for the past couple of weeks... I was at home, making these (from scratch) for my cousin Jo's wedding in Dallas last weekend. Each one in muslin, canvas and/or vintage print, with handsewn buttons (again, "vintage," though I didn't have the foresight to grab my mom's button box last time I was home, so by the end I was snipping buttons off Mik's old sportcoats, ssssh).
The upside is, I'm now pretty quick at making these. Kind of by necessity. I spent a lot of time on the engineering (had only a few casualties) so that I had the most efficient design and process. AND I actually planned my supplies so I only had to make one trip to the textile center. That was about a month before the wedding, when I mailed Jo photos of the prototypes and asked what she thought. She LOVED them, she said; I patted myself on the back; aaaaand then I lost steam. I went on some trips, spent a lot of time reading*, and the sewing machine sat. And sat. And sat. 

Fast-forward to a week before the wedding, and I had... the 20 prototypes I had made in late October. Luckily, Jo emailed to pare down the guest list (originally 200-ish) and to apologize in case I had made too many ("No problem!!" was, of course, my response).

So by the last week, I gave myself a quota of finishing 50 a day (to give myself an 'extra' day to pack and spend time with the kids before I left), which turned out to be cake. In theory, the idea was to get the process down so I can churn these out in various designs, sizes, etc. and revive my Etsy shop. But I've been back since Monday night, and the sewing machine has sat. And sat. And sat. 

Note that this blog is going up AFTER the wedding -  didn't want to make anyone nervous by posting it beforehand. Not that anyone involved with the wedding would've been surprised to know that I volunteered... and then procrastinated... just a little bit. They're all family, after all, and have known me for quite some time. 

Pics below of the process (kind of) and the finished products, made with love, all packaged up and ready to hand out!

* The new Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot; Susan Casey's The Devil's Teeth, about Great White sharks; The Paris Wife, about Hemingway's first wife; and Snuff, a fun Terry Pratchett - all four highly recommended... I actually read a few more (and just parts of a couple more) that I wouldn't recommend. When I read, I tend to go on a tear. No bestseller list or "Amazon recommends..." is safe from me. Especially when armed with my awesome new Kindle Fire. More on that later.