Honesty / Psychology / Sewing

Festina lente

One of the “sayings of the week” that I learned in my Latin class way back was Festina lente. It has nothing to do with spring parties (‘lente’ in Dutch means spring, and ‘festina’ looks a lot like feest, which means party), but it means something like Hurry slowly. A motto that I try to put into practice at the moment.

This morning I went out for a jog again, this time together with my husband. I tried to keep my heart rate at around 140 bpm, and it turns out that I have to go rather slowly to do that. It’s slightly faster than normal walking speed (a brisk walk), but I did move as if I was running. It must have looked rather silly, because my husband was actually walking normally beside me (not running). He has longer legs than I do so he could easily keep up. But I don’t care, we had fun in the nice weather, feeling proud that we were moving and outside. And I jogged a bit longer again (25 minutes/2.75 km). Without any ill effects this time.

This afternoon I spent some time on the Brooklyn bag again. It was time to start working with the faux leather, to create handle and strap attachments and sew them onto the outside fabric. Sounds simple, but it really wasn’t.

Fabric glue was a life saver today. I can’t really press the faux leather on the right side, because the heat damages it. So I had to become creative and I used glue and clips to keep the pieces in their right shapes and places before sewing them on.

These clips are very handy! No holes.

When attaching the handles and straps, I used the pattern piece as a template. I glued the pieces onto the fabric before sewing them on.


Then the difficult part began. I had to sew around the handles and that meant sewing through one layer of tweed, two layers of interfacing, one layer of foam, and two to four layers of faux leather… I couldn’t even get the piece under the sewing foot! But hurray, my sewing machine turned out to have an option to lift up the foot even higher than usual, and I managed to sew through all that with no problem.

It was hard to do this all neatly. I wanted to keep the same distance from the edge everywhere, and make beautiful rounded corners, but I didn’t manage to achieve that. It doesn’t look bad, but also not great.

Still need to pick out those wrong stitches. And why did it not create normal stitches on the left?

When I was finished with the faux leather attachments, I moved on to creating a pocket in one of the lining panels. That is always fun… It takes some mental acrobatics to figure out which side of the pocket will show afterwards, so that you don’t put the fabric upside down.

It’s in, no holes! And I’m proud that I managed to put the zipper just above the flower instead of through it.

I got the zipper in rather easily, because I used fabric glue before sewing it in place. There was a tense moment when I had to pass the zipper head and I had to open the zipper for that, but it worked out in the end. But… is the pocket the right way up?

Hello hare!

Yes it is! I put that hare there on purpose, and it’s great to see that it worked out as intended.

This was the moment that I should have called it a day. But I didn’t. I thought I could do the zipper for the top of the bag as well. I took out my glue and put a little bit on the zipper to attach it to one of the outside panels. And then I started doubting myself. Oh no! I put it on the wrong side of the zipper! Quicky, before it dries, wipe it off! I got a kitchen towel and tried to wipe it off.

You would think that that would make me pause. But no, I forgot the lente and only did festina. I put glue on the other side, only to find out that I was actually correct the first time and I hurried to wipe it off again. It didn’t look great, so I had the bright idea to try and wash the zipper. I know, it’s a mystery to me too how my brain works sometimes.

So then I tried to glue the wet zipper to the bag, which of course didn’t work, so I used my iron to try and dry the zipper more quickly and I accidentally touched some of the faux leather (through the pressing cloth, but still…). Then I finally understood that it was way past time to stop and I should not touch anything else or I would just ruin my project.


But hey, it’s all part of the learning process. I’m learning a lot. And when I start working on this project again next Wednesday (probably), I can probably finish it (or get close to finishing). But I will still set a timer (I forgot to do that today). And hurry slowly.

Still nice progress

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