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When Things go Wrong


Perfect, beautiful, circles!

So, my first batch of chalk bags is a custom order for Ben's gym and I was SO excited to start making bags! Having the prototype go so well, and now having my new Cricut Maker cutting machine, I was ready, nothing could stop me! You know, except pretty much everything. I started with the simplest of tasks - cutting out the bottoms of circular fabric - so EASY! I mean just LOOK at how perfect these bad boys came out -

I mean, beautiful, right? Perfect, beautiful, 4 inch circles - then I cut out the fleece bottoms as well. 30 perfectly cut circles - I was on a roll! Remember this perfection - we'll come back to it!

So, here I was, making ridiculous progress, circles - brilliant! on to the next task - the bodies themselves! (I had already pre-cut these bits while waiting for my machine to come so they were ready to be designed upon.) So, I created a design, using the gym's logo, but before cutting them out I decided I'd do a test run of some other designs (that will be available on the Etsy shop eta Mid September!) on a piece of that beautiful, gray, expensive iron-on vinyl before trying it on the equally expensive black. Well, here's where the well named title of this blog comes in! I chose my designs, perfected the images and the line up of said images, and hit the "start" button on my Maker. She hummed, beautifully, cutting these intricate lines - it finished, and I unloaded the material - it wasn't cut all the way through! So in my haste, anger and as it turned out inexperience, I started pouting.... LOUDLY... and then decided and great idea would be to try to re-cut!

**SPOILER ALERT** - NEVER DO THIS

I got through the process a second time, only to realize that it is no longer lined up in the exact same spot annnnd I've now ruined the images - the BEST part? the Maker HAD cut the images correctly the first time! As my newbie self calmed down, I realized that the only thing the Maker hadn't cut through was the clear "transfer" sheet that was attached - you know, the stuff it was SUPPOSED to cut through, so that I could transfer the images onto the fabric? Yeah, that stuff. I also realized, that I forgot to hit the cute little button that flips the images so that they'll turn right side out once ironed on to said fabric. So, trial and error number one!

So now, I'm a pro, right guys? Nothing can go wrong now, I've seen the error of my ways, I'll get it right this time! So, I prepare the gym's logo, prepare the vinyl and send it through to cut. Remember that cute little flip button? Yeah, didn't hit it.... AGAIN. Luckily, I remembered before it had gotten past the first set of designs, so I was able to flip the vinyl, and start over HITTING THE BUTTON. you guys, success!! I freaking DID it! They look really great and pro too, I was proud. Ben and I spent the next little bit ironing them onto the bags and I was stoked at how well they'd turned out!

Serger perfection
don't they look wonderful?
That's me, ya'll - please pardon my late night sewing look

Cool, right?? We also then spent quite a bit of time cutting out and ironing the Between Mountains™ logo onto the bottoms of those beautiful circles we'd made. Then I began the process of serging the bags & linings and getting them ready for assembly! So now, we've got 8 bag parts and their linings, ready to be made into Chalk bags!!

OH BUT WAIT - remember those perfect, beautiful 4 inch circles we made, ready to become part of the magic? Yeah, well, turns out 4 inch circles were TOO SMALL.... Did I mention my terrible math skills? Did I also mention, that I forgot that one major step of confirming the sizing after the first cut? Yeah, all of that happened. So here we were, ready to go, and we had no bottoms -_-

This is where I plug the awesome support from Ben that keeps me from losing my mind in times like these. As the pitch of my voice started to rise, he went straight to working out the math of the circle to rectangle ratio, and guys, we're back in business! It was nearly midnight at this point, so with my meltdown averted, Ben convinced me that the new circles could wait until the morning and perhaps putting some space between myself and said near meltdown was probably a good idea - Wise man, wise.

So many lessons have been learned, and I'm grateful for every one of them. This is definitely a learning process, and perfecting a new craft always is! Can't wait to share the finished products with you!

M*

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