Friday, March 12, 2010

bag of lessons

Yesterday did not go smoothly. I had the best intentions for a productive day. All of my design notes and fabrics were ready, coffee was had, music was playing, the house was empty... the making for a dream day in my studio ( if you follow me on twitter you heard a bit of this tale, bare with me please). I was almost done with my first bag... a messenger style that I was testing with my beloved vintage coverlet as one of the reversible sides. And then... RIP. Not a good sound.

Suddenly my sturdy white fabric was shredding in several places. I can't tell you how devastated I was. Far too much sadness for a bit of sewing, that's for sure. The tears over a project gone awry made me look in the mirror for closer examination... and here are just a couple of the hidden lessons this bag held:
  • When expectations aren't met, it needn't be taken personally. The fabric didn't rip to spite me, nor thwart my sale.
  • Planning doesn't guarantee anything.
  • Rolling with the unexpected doesn't hurt, what hurts is fighting what I can't change.
Turns out that rip reminded me of the inner work I continue to do.These are some of my biggies. We all have issues that keep cycling around in our lives. A wise friend once told me "our issues don't resolve as we get older, we evolve how we respond to them."

So the bag? A new liner was made last night out of a white linen skirt. It's a very happy carry-all/everyday type of messenger bag. I'm thinking I can't part with it now. I'll be making more in this style, I'm sure. This one holds my stuff just right!

And the coverlet? An answer to yesterday's question about stamps was found in the ripped pieces (thanks Patricia!). Sachets for spring are on their way.

Have a great weekend friends, and please stop back tomorrow for a wonderful sponsor give-away! Pin It


  1. Oh Maya, we are only humans & have emotions. When we do our best for making things the best way possible, and when something (or everything) goes wrong, we feel so angry. And that's normal. On the moment. Then (and you've learnt the lesson yourself), you think about it, and try to make something good with something that you thought was bad. Some would have given up, but you persevered & you were awarded.

    Sometimes we really are too exigeant with ourselves & with how we would like (or expect) things to be. We cannot control everything, sadly. (or not so sadly, in fact)

    oh well, I'm writing a novel. I just mean to say that I'm proud of you, for making the best of the situation. You are awesome. xoxoxo big hugs !

  2. Your end results are lovely, but I understand your frustration at the time. It's funny how creating things can become so deeply personal. As my pottery teacher says, "every pot is a practice pot." You have to learn not to count on it turning out the way you envisioned. It's hard for me, but I bet it's freeing once you get there.

  3. Beautiful post. When I first read RIP, I read R.I.P. Which in the end actually made some sense ;-)

    Rest. Peace.
    Love the bag. Have a nice weekend.

  4. What a lovely bag you made. I love the fresh green colour. It reminds me of spring, beautiful.

    We all have our lessons to learn. But knowing which lessons are waiting for us, I think, is more than half the work.

    Thank you for sharing. And your friend is very wise indeed.

  5. I've had some projects self-destruct when using vintage or antique fabrics- I am very wary of them in any situation where there will be stress on the finished item. I can totally understand the emotion- you are tooling along in the zone... and suddenly you are ripped out and smacked down. So unfair.

  6. Everything happens for a reason...sachets are perfect!!!

  7. Maya, I read your blog all the time. Thanks for your inspiration!!

  8. love the colour of your bag! I guess the coverlet was just meant to live a new life as a sachet!

  9. Maya that messenger bag is really pretty. I know you were disappointed sometimes that happens when we are working on things and of course that happens in life but like you said we can't take it personally. For me this is an ongoing process of life.

  10. You are so very lovely my very lovely. I adore your new beautiful bag and love that you discovered so much along the way. Sachets for spring! YAY!

  11. Thank you so much for your honesty. So often we only blog about our successes, but in the quiet of our own homes we experience the struggles. Just last weekend I ran into a problem when I was making a bag for my friend's birthday and I had to redo the entire thing. I was so frustrated, since time to sew is like gold to me, but in hindsight I guess I'm a little embarrassed to have been so upset about something so minor. Thanks for sharing your story and your friend's quote.

    The bag is beautiful by the way!

  12. Oh, I love how the bag turned out. It's gorgeous!

  13. I'm in the process of knitting an edging for what was a baby blanket. The blanket didn't get completed in time. Then it got an ink stain all over it (i.e. this blanket is now a family only item). So when the edging turned out less that perfect you'd think ... well what does it matter, it's only for us, it's already marred. But no. I couldn't live with it. So out it came and tonight I start over with the edging. I mean the blanket has only taken 7 months - what's another couple of days. Anyway we're all less than perfect.

    You bag turned out wonderful! I absolutely LOVE that fabric!

    Is the pattern your own or did you purchase it?

    Have a lovely weekend!

  14. I love the linen lining! Can I say that I kind of like it better? Also, using the ripped material for the sachets is perfect!

  15. Love the bag & the lessons you took from it!

  16. I can understand why you felt the way you did. Sometimes our best intentions, when gone awry, can lead to a bit of devastation. So glad it all worked out and you have such beautiful goodies that came out of it all! Love what you made!

  17. I love the lessons that are learned just in the everydayness of life...especially when the awareness comes to ME not to someone else FOR me. :-)

  18. I believe everything happens for a reason. You gained from the experience, even though it wasn't fun at the time. I'll try to remember this when it happens to me next, how you stayed on top of it.

    Thanks for sharing, another reason I enjoy this space.

  19. I remember burning a hole with the iron in the front of a blouse I was sewing years ago. I was devastated! Then went and made a patch and sewed it in~it was barely noticeable due to the print. thanks for sharing. Beautiful bag~will the others you make be available in your shop? Here's hoping!

  20. "Happy accidents" are what art instructors call those moments, since they teach us that often the best outcomes are the least expected.
    You always are so honest in sharing, Maya, and we love it!
    - Mary

  21. This is an excerpt from my teaching philosophy:

    "Art is Never Messed Up!
    (You can always change your mind.)

    This is one thing I always tell my students, young, old, and in-between. In creating artwork, the little mistakes made along the way are what push us to be our most creative. It is the struggle to correct, to adapt, or to go with these accidents that leads us to new places. If we could always create exactly what was in our heads, without struggle, how would we learn anything new? Teaching flexibility and acceptance is important in our ever-changing world. The acceptance and inclusion of 'mistakes' helps me to share these values with all of my students, and to reinforce them in myself."

  22. Ouch. I recently got out the sewing machine again. I loved that, unlike knitting / crochet, a project can be turned out in one day. I had forgotten all the naughty words that I have to supress, though, when things aren't going to plan.