Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My first sewn purse

This week's sewing post is brought to us by my senior year in high school. This is the story of my favorite purse of all time.

I had an independent study art class, and I decided I wanted to make myself a purse. I found the most fantastic fabrics in the art supply stash area, and drew out a sketch. I wanted the purse to be reversible, and to have a pocket for my phone on the inside and outside. I needed my purse to be able to hold my planner (supplied by the school and mandatory if I wanted to move out of the classroom at any time), my graphing calculator, my journal, and whichever book I happened to be reading. Since most I the books I was reading at the time were fantasy novels on the thicker side (Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, 560 pages; Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, 912 pages; The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling, 544 pages), I decided I needed to make the purse into a box shape, rather than a pocket shape.  I figured pens and lip gloss could figure out their own space at the bottom.

I drew out the pieces I would need directly onto the fabric using a ball point pen. I used safety pins to hold the seams together as I sewed by hand (I didn't have access to a sewing machine). I used the backstitch for every seam. I figured out how to make every feature I wanted work. I think it took me nearly a month to sew the entire thing.  It was a simple design compared to things I make now, but I was so proud of it. I used it EVERY day, and it was much complimented by my friends.

A week before graduation, I went to a concert with my sister and best friend. Well, my sister rode with different people, so we met up with her once we got there. My ride to the concert was awful; my best friend had secured us a ride with her current boy-thing and his friend - a guy who had tried to kiss me, then got pissed when I told him I had a boyfriend. On top of being in an awkward social situation, we had to lay in the back of his mini van, which had no seats, so that cops couldn't see us riding illegally. For TWO hours, while the jerk guy got lost.

The getting lost multiple times made us later than we had intended. We missed the opening band; I wasn't that upset, because I didn't even know who they were. My sister said they were pretty good, but not great. Then she told me something I found devastating. The first 50 people to buy the new album of the headliner, Orgy, would meet the band after the concert. Those albums with the special stickers on them were sold out by the time I arrived. Tragic.

Shortly after we arrived, the second band of the night, Godhead, took the stage. I didn't know any of their songs, so their set passed in a blur for me. They set up in the lobby, though, to sign autographs, so my sister and I went to meet them. I had paper in my purse, because I always have extra paper in my purse. We got the autographs and were about to leave the table, but the front man asked us to wait so he could talk to us some more. After he finished signing autographs, he got our email addresses and invited us to go backstage with the band. I thought about it for .00005 seconds, but declined even as my sister was agreeing. She was 16, I was 17, and I figured that even though we were being invited backstage to "talk", there would be expectations of activity other than talking.

Then Orgy took the stage, and I excused myself from the conversation.

The show was amazing. My sister fought some girl in the mosh pit over a towel the band threw, and she made it out with most of it. At one point, a few girls were handed up on stage with the band - I was one of them. The encore song was Stitches, my favorite ever song. Then the show was over, and my sister was going to the meet-and-greet. Before she went, she asked if I wanted them to sign something. I dumped out my purse and handed it to her.

This next part, I have to trust my sister on:
She told the group my birthday was the following week, so they sign their names and , the band name, and "Happy Birthday" on my purse. My sister told Jay Gordon, "My sister f***ing loves you!" and he said, "Tell your sister I f***ing love her too!" They also signed her ripped towel, and Paige Haley was amused/impressed by her efforts to obtain said towel.

My sister brought back stories and my purse, I put my stuff back in the bag, and then we went home.

I don't carry that purse anymore - it quickly became too small to hold all the things I needed to carry every day. I bought a shadow box for it, and now it hangs on a wall in my room. It definitely has the most interesting life story of any purse I own.

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