Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A tale of orange thread and a new handbag

Back when I learned to sew at the age of 11 or so, my mom taught me that basting is best done with orange thread. Not only is it pretty easy to see in most instances, it--along with the spool of seafoam green thread which I still have--"is an ugly color"* that would never be used otherwise, so you might as well waste it when basting.

So, when I got a fancy new box of 24 G├╝termann threads some time ago, I noted the orange thread with a sigh and hoped I'd have some major basting to do one of these days so that I could use the thread up and have some room for a prettier color. I used some here and there, then I found some lovely reddish-orange batik fabric that matched this spool quite well and made a skirt out of it--but unfortunately ran out of thread halfway through. So off to the store I went, thinking to myself, "I can't believe I'm buying orange thread!" I finished the skirt with about half a spool of orange thread left.

This week, I started work on a new handbag with the fabrics I bought for the purpose a few weeks ago:

Look at that nice orangish red for the outside! And I had the perfect spool of thread for it without having to go out to the store! So I started sewing.

You can probably guess how the story ends. I ran out of thread three-quarters of the way through, and so today I went back out and bought... another spool of orange thread. I guess I should just resign myself to the fact that I'm never going to get rid of all my orange thread.

But my new handbag looks great!

I used the "Blossom Bag" pattern from the Amy Butler Style Stitches book. It was definitely a challenge, mainly because the extra-heavy stabilizer used to help the bag keep its shape makes it very hard to manipulate under the sewing machine. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but I'm definitely ready for something easy for my next project!

*No offense intended to anyone whose favorite color is orange! I don't actually think it's ugly--I just don't have many orange things!


  1. Hi Sylvia, gRowing up in Oz I never really thought about orange until I spent three years in Connecticut. There I experienced the splendour of Fall and also Halloween and Thanks giving - lots of orange everywhere. it was really noticeable to me and I really grew to love it - orange pumpkins even! Love your bag! What a great design with all those pockets, gorgeous fabric - that orange fabric is one if my current favourites and it looks like you did a really neat job of teh contruction!

  2. My fiber group is having a color challenge and my color!!! I am thinking about doing some funky thread painting so guess I need to go out and buy LOTS of orange thread!!