Sunday, October 07, 2012

Week 39 or A Chalkboard Lego Box

Well, first off I'd like to thank Cynthia for the chalkboard fabric. I've got yards and yards of it. Enough to make bags to hold all my Lego's and those of the Junior FIRST® Lego® League teams at school, plus one to send back to Cynthia as "payment." (Not that she's asking to be paid, I just want to get rid of fabric!)

All closed up, the box looks pretty good.
Next I'd like to state that chalkboard fabric is a horrendous combination of stiff, floppy, thick, and weak. It's perfect for covering a corkboard and having a dual-use surface, except that it would show all the pin holes. It's good for little insert panels on larger projects. It's probably even great for making simple sewn shapes. What it's frustrating for is making large projects with complex seaming and topstitching away from the very edges. Which is to say it's been quite a workout for my sailor language as well as my sewing machine.
This side doesn't look too bad, just wrinkled.
It's vinyl(?), so I can't really iron it.

The stitching went just fine when I was sewing together the simple edge seams on the side panels. Things went swimmingly when I added the velcro and the handles, probably largely because I did that before assembling the whole thing. It even went well when I sewed the center panel in between the side panels. Topstitching at the corners was another matter entirely. I kept getting loops on the back of the fabric, and they got big enough to gum up the machine. At one point, the cover to my drop-in bobbin even popped off from the mangling. Somehow it landed under the far corner of my desk.

Don't look too closely at the stitching outlining the corners.
That's where things broke down. Also do not notice how crooked
the label on the left edge is. I sewed it blind, from the other side. 
I already cut out a second bag and started sewing it up. I have a feeling it will sit half finished for a few more weeks before my wrists recover. Oh well. I cut up a plastic sign to stiffen the sides. By the time I finish the other one, the election should be over and I'll be able to get my hands on infinite amounts of corrugated plastic.

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