Saturday, August 2, 2008

More violin accessories

This yet another idea that I can't really claim as my own, the design and production, yes, the idea no. My very gifted violin teacher suggested that we needed an accessories bag that somehow attaches to our cases, simply because shoulder rests are too expensive to lose. I went a step further though and decided I needed something that would hold my books as well.

This project, if done start to finish, with a pattern and directions, would have only taken me about a half hour, it was so simple. I started by going to my favorite crafty shop Spotlight. I looked at leather but the vinyl actually matched case so I went with that instead.

First, I had to size the vinyl

I figured out the size I would need for a single folded bag, then hemmed one end. And I have to say at this point, my sewing machine breezed through this project. I had expected it to throw a temper tantrum when I asked it to sew through thicker parts, but it didn't. What a champion machine!

I wanted to make reinforcements for the hardware, more specifically where the eyelets are for the jump rings to go through, I didn't want this to come apart at all. So I came up with this...

I basically freehanded one, then traced it three more times. Then where you see the tiny circle drawn on the top one, I used a punch to punch the hole for the eyelets.

I had to really think about how to attach them so I wouldn't sew them wrong, getting them back off would have been a nightmare, not to mention, inevitably a waste of material because I would have tossed it and started over. I'm sorry I don't have pictures of that step, mostly sorry to myself, cause I might forget how I did it!

This is the hardware I decided on. I liked the antique looking hardware, it just looked nicer. However, I didn't end up using the safety pin things. They didn't work so I tried snaps instead. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the same colour snaps.

I used 14 links on both of the two lengths going from the bag to the case. In hindsight, 14 was probably too many, next time I'll try it fewer.

I started out thinking I'd close the bag with those safety pin things and I thought I would reinforce that with eyelets.

It didn't really work, there wasn't enough give to weave the pins through. So I was stuck with these eyelets and wondered what I could put in them to close the bag, after all, it was all about not losing things! But I just couldn't come up with anything I thought would be nice looking, and user friendly. I had considered velcro, but because the books want to unfold once they're in the bag, there's a lot of strain, so I decided against that as well.

The next idea was snaps. I've never done a snap before, I was actually a little afraid of it at first. But after doing my test, it took a little elbow grease, but it wasn't so hard.

And this is the finished product! I'm not too pleased with the wonky look of the closure, but it works like a dream, and it looks professional.

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