Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jay McCarroll and me

In the early hours of this morning, I finished this bag:

(Soft gray is one of my favorite colors but I now realize my new bag camouflages a little too well with our hallway.)

This bag represents roughly one million hours of effort but also one gazbillion pat-myself-on-my-own-back pats because I knew what I wanted, couldn't find a pattern that matched what I wanted, and just made up a plan as if I knew what I was doing.

I wanted a messenger-style bag just big enough to hold my iPad and a few other things. Why are most messenger bags humongous? It's a question for the ages, truly.

The strap is on backwards (again (maybe one day I'll learn?)). I meant for the gray to be on the inside and a flash of pink to pop out at the edges. To fix it I'd have to dismantle the whole thing and reassemble it, so I think the pink adds moxie, don't you?

The fabrics all come from Jay McCarroll's new line called Center City (yes, that Jay McCarroll, the winner of the first season of Project Runway). The bag flap, which closes with a magnetic snap that I managed not to photograph for you, has a strip of the selvege on the inside. You can also see I added a key fob, one of which I've decided will now go in every bag I ever make, and the interior front of the bag includes a wall of pockets.

There's a zipper pocket on the back. I installed that zipper five times (backwards, upside-down, backwards, backwards, properly). I am nothing if not a quick learner.

So the reason I was determined to finish this bag today is that I had a ticket to hear Jay McCarroll speak in Baltimore. I went with a couple of friends

and Jay McCarroll grabbed my bag from my hand and modeled it in fierce runway fashion:

and then I had him sign it on the inside flap where I had included the selvege

and then he wrote me a note that says "Hey Robin- happy sewing!" which is just the kind of thing I'd hang on my inspiration board in my studio if I had a studio, so instead I shall hang it in my gov-issue cubicle at work.

And back at home, now my messenger bag looks like this:

(Thank you to the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild for hosting such a fun afternoon!)

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