To pin or not to pin, that is the question

I embarked on making another market tote today.  My main hope when starting this bag was that it would go more smoothly than the last one I made.  I had discovered last week that I had misplaced the directions for making the tote. I measured my personal market tote, wrote down the pieces and sizes and cut it problem.  Now it was time to sew it.  It had been a few weeks since I had made this tote so I was working from memory.  It did not go as well as expected and the seam ripper was in frequent use.  Fortunately it came out looking professionally made in spite of all the difficulties.  I made some notations on my had written instructions and felt this one would work out better. 

 I love jewel tones and am happiest when I am working with them.  This market bag was a departure from the bright vegetable fabrics I had used on the pervious bags.  I had purchased this jewel toned batik quite a while ago with the thoughts of making an apron out of it and had a dark fuchsia contrasting fabric for the flip side of the apron so I had the starting culture for a market bag.  I also had another nifty dotted fabric that really looked good with it.  I needed 2 more fabrics for the pockets which I procured a few weeks ago.  When I gathered them up to cut the bag out, I had to decided which fabrics were going to go where.  It became obvious to me that the dot fabric should be the lining...only problem, there wasn't enough of it so I went into my stash to see what I could find and there it was.....this small checked fabric that would be perfect for the lining and the contracting strip in the straps.  Time to do the happy dance!

I am always VERY careful when cutting out fabric where there are a lot of different sized pieces since I do not want to waste materials.  I have found that things fit together better and there is less fussing about at the assembling point if I take care right from the start.  I found myself asking myself a lot of questions while I was making this bag.  Something as far reaching as what goes into a successful design to something as as basic as when to pin before stitching and when not pin them.  When I first started sewing I pinned a lot more than I do now that I am sewing professionally.  It takes longer to pin but it can save time in the long run.  I began to see that over time I have developed the discrimination to know when to pin and when not to pin.  This is the 7th one of these tote bags that I have made and fortunately they have all come up professionally enough that they were all sellable.  They first one, of course, took me the longest to make since I pinned everything and was feeling my way through the directions.  Today, I had almost finished the bag and was pinning the lining to the top of the bag and had attached them.  Now it was time to turn the bag right side out through the opening I had left in the lining and then sew the lining opening shut press and it was now time to press that top seam. OMG....I had made a total rookie mistake (one I had not made on the previous 6 bags)...I had left two of the pins that I had used to pin the lining to the bag and there was no way to access them since the head of the pins are inside between the lining and the bag. I took a photo of this, not the best but hopefully it helps convey the situation I found myself in. If I pulled the pin head out through the fabric it would leave a hole.  I had 2 choices, opening up that top seam from the outside, removing the pins and then hopefully being able to tuck things back in and resewing a seam from the outside and having it look decent or making the pins disappear.  I opted for the disappearing act.  I snipped the pins off at the head and then shook the heads down into the bag where they will happily live at the bottom of the bag between the lining and the bag.  Problem solved and it did not take the amount of time ripping them out and resewing something that may or may not end up looking good and I was not about to disassembling the lining and turn the bag wrong side and and undo several of the steps.  When I showed the finished bag to my husband at lunchtime he had HIGH praise...he LOVED the fabric choices and said it was the best bag I had ever made.  I then told him the pinning story and how i had gotten out of it and he said..."every resourceful".  I realized that resourcefulness is the main difference between a seasoned craftsman who has made every mistake in the book and found some way to get around it without spending more in materials or time, and a beginner.  The same thing that tells me I need to pin something told me to make the pins disappear.....experience.