I am super excited about this project! If you follow me on instagram (which you should!) you would have seen the progress of this embroidered compass.
I used to embroider when I was a girl. My family and I would go to Mexico at least 3 times a year when I was growing up and I would take my little embroider by number projects with me on the plane (those were the good old days, today you would be tackled if you tried to take a needle and scissors through security!) Somehow over the years I stopped doing embroidery even though I loved it as a child. I was inspired to pick it up again when I saw that Colette Patterns was hosting a little sewing get together. Check out there blog post about the event- I’m the one with the big red bun on top of my head. I am lucky enough to live in Portland where Colette Patterns is based and am interested in meeting other sewist in my area, so I ran out to Joann’s and picked up a little project to dip my feet back in to embroidery and have something to bring to this event. It was tons of fun and got my head spinning with ideas for embroidery projects. I came home and immediately scoured every corner of the internet that has to do with embroidery and stumbled upon Urban Threads. I WANT TO EMBROIDER ALL OF THE THINGS ON URBAN THREADS! No kidding. I almost died and spent next months pay check on all of the incredible, beautiful, modern patterns. I even told my Husband I NEED an $8,000 embroidery machine. To which he said, “Yeah, okay, babe.”
Anyway, after all of my embroidery excitement calmed down, I finally decided to start with this compass pattern. I was drawn to it, I think, because I love steampunk (if you don’t know what that is, look it up!) and because my last name is South. The compass originally pointed North, but I changed it, because of my last name, I thought it was kind of fun, and, I know, totally dorky.
I embroidered the compass while watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, and it took me about 5 evenings. I knew from the start that I wanted to turn it into a clutch bag, so that is just what I did with it. I was limited on what shape I could make the clutch because of the placement of my embroidery on the fabric. I wish that it was a little wider and not as tall, but oh well, I still like it and am proud to carry around this cute little bag that I made all by myself!
The sewing of the bag only took me about an hour. Except I did the stupidest thing– I was sewing through the vinyl and my machine started making this clunking noise so I stopped sewing and tried to figure out what was wrong. I opened up the compartment that holds the bobbin and it was FULL of fuzz. I cleaned out a years worth of belly button lint, so, note to self, clean out that more often. I thought I had the problem diagnosed and it wasn’t something that I could fix by myself. The next morning I drove my machine to a sewing shop to get it fixed and I tell the lady there what I think it wrong with my machine and she says, “Well, just let me take a look at it before we give it to our repair guy”… first thing she sees- my needle is bent to high heaven. Seriously. That was what was wrong with my machine. The needle was bent. Rookey mistake, yeah? I drove my machine all the way out there just to find out I needed to replace my needle. Sometimes we just look right past the little things and assume its some gigantic problem, don’t we? Sigh. I am glad that was all that the problem was but I was a little embarrassed at the same time. And now I just told all of you… don’t judge! The bag is done now, and I learned a good lesson along the way, so all is well.
I will probably carry it around folded in half like this.
Make me feel a little better and tell me what silly mistakes you have made with your sewing machine/ projects!