Turning crafting failure into success.

Hi peeps, I hope that you’re all doing well.

You may remember that last year I bought several pairs of jeans from the charity shop so I could cut them up and make myself a denim rucksack. I was so excited to make my first real bag. I cut out the fabric, fleece, interfacing, bought my zip, D-rings and other hardware and spent a bit of money. It would have been cheaper just to buy a bag!

Anyway, I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started the project and, at that time, I didn’t have any bag making books. Plus, the only bags I had previously made were either knitted or crocheted.

After cutting, I agonised at how all of the pieces would turn themselves into a bag. It started off fine until I wanted to add some metallic eyelets which would hold the drawstring so the rucksack would close properly. I was extremely disappointed with the ones I purchased because they had no instructions and I had to watch a video about how to use them, but what they said on the video wasn’t any good because, if you did it the way they suggested, it didn’t work.

After faffing about for ages, slicing my finger, then bending the metal eyelet, I managed to attach them to the bag but then I didn’t put a channel for the drawstring on the inside of the bag, so I’d have to create one. This meant there would be extra stitch lines on the front section of the bag, which I didn’t want.

I also wanted a secret zip compartment too. I found a useful video about how to make one but that went wrong, still not sure how. It just looked like a mess. The bag had exposed seams on the inside, which I really dislike, then after all that, I was still going to carry on and use some bias tape for around the top of the bag, which looked nice.

But after many months of messing about not only trying to make the bag, but the bulk of the bag broke my former sewing machine, I decided to give up. I’m not one to give up easily but it just felt so good to be rid of the project! I was sad to unpick it, but it was also liberating.

Had I not attempted the bag in the first place though, I wouldn’t have learned so much about bag making! The only reason I know a lot more now is by trying to make that one, along with buying some bag making books to get a better understanding of how they are put together.

Plus, apart from my time being wasted and some sewing thread, I was able to use everything else for other projects. The denim was turned into storage holders and knitting needle cases (yet to be finished).

I discovered that I could use the small denim pockets on my knitting needle cases now I’m able to make better quality bags and my sewing skills and knowledge have greatly improved.

My dream of making accessories for knitters and crocheters is coming true and I’m able to sell more items in my online Etsy shop, something I couldn’t have done without attempting to make that bag in the first place.

I’ve been able to write a whole bag making series (which can be found on my blog). But none of this would have been possible without failing at making the first denim bag.

So next time you start a project that isn’t going well, and you know it will not end up going well then don’t be afraid to unpick it and start something else. Learn from it and move on, because you never know where it might take you.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share,

Sarah. 😊

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