Tuesday, June 11, 2013

La trousse

A trousse is a sort of kit or bag that holds groups of things. As kids we had a pencil bag (La trousse scolaire), later we had a bag for our toiletries (La trousse de toilette) and in later years we might have a bag for our medicines or a first aid kit (La trousse à pharmacie).

In sewing we could have a sewing kit (La trousse au coudre).

A couple weeks ago I was given a pattern for a sewing kit and was asked embellish it any way I wanted to. The pattern was simple. It was the embellishment that would make the bag.

The pattern was a prolate spheroid.

Hmmm, interesting but what does that mean? Well it means that its axis of symmetry is longer than its other axes. Not to be mistaken with an M&M chocolate candy, which is an oblate spheroid. Its axis of symmetry is shorter than its other axes, and definitely do not mistake it with an ellipsoid since that one is formed by rotating an ellipse around one of its two axes. The equation for this projection onto the x/y plane of an ellipse of revolution is (x/a)^2 +(x/b)^2 = 1. where 'a' and 'b' are the semi-major and semi-minor axes, respectively. Also it does not have pointy ends.  I remember this from somewhere in math background, but it is not what the pattern was.

No the pattern was definitely a prolate spheroid. click here to see the complex math that goes with it. In the meantime, I will just tell you it looked like a football.
American football not European football, otherwise known as soccer. There of course we are talking about a round ball. But I digress!

So you start with 3 pieces of Timtex, that would be Gifitex for us in France and you cut out 3 footballs. Size would be the size of the bag you want to make. My pattern was 4.25 (y axis) by 8.25 (x axis) inches. I thought it made a bag that was larger than I would want, but that was the size I was given to work with. You cover one side, cutting out the fabric piece about 1/2" larger than the Timtex. You baste it down through the Timtex.
To finish the football, you sew on a lining fabric. I cut out a slightly smaller piece of stabilizer and then fused it to the wrong side of the lining. Last step was to iron and glue the seam allowance down. That made it easy to sew the lining into place after you finish the front design that is.

Now what do I do with it. I needed a design. Finally it came to me, Sewing owls. Ya I know we think about sewing owls all the time don't we? I suppose we think about them as much as we do oblate spheroids. Yum, Chocolate!
Back to the owls. For the last week anytime I was in the car I was sewing owls. I needed 2 of them and I needed a needle and, well, they needed to be sewing something. Here is what I came up with for the front:
The small spool of thread is one of those wooden spools you can buy at craft stores. I drilled a hole in the center horizontal to the hole already there and then wound some thread on it and glued the thread in place. It was then sewn on like a regular button through the drilled hole.
Here is the back:
The fabric is Nu-Suede. I bought a pack of 18 cuts several years ago at Nancy's Notions. The lining is hand dyed silk.
Once I had the lining sewn on after I finished the owls, I had to sew the thing together. There is an elastic loop in the center that hooks around the spool of thread to keep it shut. Only the bottom is sewn together. Due to its shape, it closes itself.
I like the way it turned out.

1 comment:

  1. J'aime beaucoup...
    Une fan de chouettes.
    Bises et bonne journée