Hi everyone i just wanted to share the final leg of this project with you all. I completed the cross stitching of the kitten and then moved on to lining the inside of the bag. I chose some very shiny fun material for the lining, however it was a little tricky to work with, as it easily unraveled. here are some photos of the progress:
Finished Kitten motif:
Below You can see that once the kitten was finished I started the inside lining of the tote by turning it completely inside out and pinning the bottom piece on first. (you can also see Remington on watch at the window while I sew. He is a good patient dog, even if my sewing days must be so boring for him!)
You can see the white piece of fabric ( which actually came from an old sheet) that I used to help keep the wrinkles at bay while cross stitching the kitten. It also served to keep the green felt of the tote brighter, since I was using a dark color to line the inside.) I had to use a cereal box inside the bag to help me keep the tote’s shape while I stitched the lining on.
And then once the bottom was secure, I used one long piece in a “wrap around” style to line the rest of the tote. This meant that only one vertical seem would be visible inside the tote. Once I had the long piece sewed into it’s “wrapping” shape ( like a pillow case with both ends open) i over lapped this piece onto the bottom piece and then sewed it on to the lower piece, making sure the top of the tote and the top of the lining were even.
Once the wrap around piece was attached at the bottom I then sewed it to the top edge of the tote, all around with small stitches. I used the same black Sulky thread for this that i used for the black coat on the kitten Motif.
The inside of the tote finished; Its really black, not purple. lol!
Once the inside lining was secure, It was time to turn the bag right side out again and work on covering up all the stitching that held the inside lining in place. Below is a picture of the black stitching lines along the top lip of the bag and about an inch up from the bottom of the bag. Much of the rest of the bag’s construction from now on is about covering up stitching and making the tote look decorated.
As with the inside lining, on the outside I started with the bottom piece. I was careful to make sure my corners and my stitching was very neat, since this would be in a sense a visible lining.
Here you can see I was careful to do the corners tight and I used lots of pins! Again the cereal box came in handy to help me make this extra layer keep the right shape. I used one piece for this- like wrapping up a Christmas present. once I had the pins in the corners I did some small “tack down” stitches just to take the place of the pins, so I was able to take both the pins and the cereal box away and begin the hard work of sewing with one hand inside the bag and one outside.
Besides covering up stitches, this piece would serve as a protectant against the surfaces on which this bag would be left on, as it was being used. Totes are just one of those bags that end up on the floor at your feet more then anywhere else! Once I had the bottom piece where I wanted it, I still needed to jazz it up a little to cover for the fact that the bottom piece did not seem to look like it belonged. So I used ribbon!
I found a nice satin pink Ribbon which nicely matched the pink of the kitten’s ears and nose. On top of that I glued a black satin ribbon with the words ” Got Fish?” and fishes on it. The words on the black ribbon were also pink and I thought it was very cute and went well with the our original Kitten motif. I decided to stay with the black thread for stitching as it offered a nice contrast on top of the pink ribbon.
Once the ribbon was secure, the bag was beginning to come into it’s own. The request for this tote included a name to be added to personalize it. I had decided that the name ought to be at the top center of the front of the tote already, and since that was also an area that needed a cover for the lining stitches, it was not hard to put the two together and come up with a nice strip of black along the top of the bag. This piece also helps to strengthen the handles which are only attached to the inside of the green front and back pieces of the tote. I decided to use some blanket binding for this strip of “cover up”, and I chose to cross stitch the name on to black Aida 14 Count Cross stitch cloth.
Then once the strip was finished, it was time to attach it! The last part to this project!
It took me 15 hours to complete all of the things mentioned in this blog entry. It took about that many hours before that to stitch the kitten alone, to compare.
Below is the finished Tote!