Category Archives: bags

Scrap Sunday: Scrap gifting

This week we were really busy, almost stressed. We had to prepare a birthday gift for a little girl who likes crafting. And what better present could there possibly be than a personalised choice of material from crafter to crafter? Plus mummy gets to write an interesting blog post. So we have spent hours of choosing fabrics from my scraps, cutting them nicely with pinking shears, rolling up tiny balls of yarn, and finally sewing small bags for beads and glass gems. What a particularly nice and peaceful activity! To be enjoyed most with three children, ideally with two of them negotiating carefully an accurate schedule for the sewing machine use and a baby quietly making the most of that time of divided attention to measure the exact length of each thread and arranging a complicated maze with said thread.

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Last but not least I contributed something as well and made another personalised gift bag, just like for the birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I am actually quite fond of this one.

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I think dark blue for the zigzag is rather ideal, not as hard as black would have been yet still a proper border. As you can see there are a few minor issues, it is quite difficult to go around all these curves and corners correctly with a standard foot because you don’t see where you are going to insert the needle next. So I am considering to invest in a quilting foot to be able to freestyle easily.

Other than that, I have actually used up quite a bit of my scraps this week by making a few pieces of clothing for babies, I might or might not show them to you next week. Plus I made my new favourite piece of clothing for myself. I am just telling you to keep up the tension 🙂

 

Tutorial: Cute little girl’s handbag

A while ago, I was asked to make one of my accidental reversible bags, so it would be suitable both for mother and daughter. In the end, I made one reversible bag in grown up fabrics and a small, slightly simpler version for the little girl.

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To make sure that they are a kind of matching pair, I have used the same fabric for both the lining of the small bag and the small pocket of the big bag.

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But now, lets go back to the beginning: I have put together a little tutorial to show you how easy it is to make a cute little bag for a little lady. It is definitely also a great way of using up scrap fabrics. As I have already misplaced the  measurements of the pictured bag, I will explain how to calculate your measurements plus give you those of the second bag I made, which was a bit more square than this one. In the end these numbers are only a rough guide anyway, I actually cut out how I felt before measuring the pieces)

You will need:

+ two pieces of cotton for the outer bag (width of bag + 2cm  x height of bag + 6cm = 24 x 24cm)

+ two pieces of cotton for the lining (2-3cm shorter than outer fabric, alternatively you can cut them all out in one go and shorten the lining later = 24 x 22cm)

+ 2 pieces of fabric for a small pocket, one or both of them in the lining fabric (width of pocket + 2cm x height of pocket + 3cm = 12 x 12cm)

+ 2 pieces of fabric for straps (4 x width of finished straps  x desired length + 8cm = 8 x 30cm for a 2cm wide strap)

+ the usual things like sewing machine, thread, scissors,…

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Preparation of the straps:

Fold the fabric lengthwise and iron, fold both edges to this middle line and iron again, fold together and iron. Top stitch close to the edge.

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Preparation of the pocket:

Sew the two pieces of fabric at the top together, Iron seam flat and turn so the right sides are outside, iron again to get a neat edge and top-stitch about 1 cm from the edge. Zigzag the three open sides of the pocket together.

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Fold and iron the edges to the backside  (1 cm)

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Cut off corners to avoid bulky pocket corners later.

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Place and pin the pocket to one of the lining fabrics where you want it to be (at least 4 or 5 cm away from the bottom) and top stitch close to the edges…. ideally leaving the top open….

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… alternatively you can go creative 🙂

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Put the two lining fabrics right side together and stitch around sides and bottom with 1cm seam allowance and zigzag around it.

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To create a fuller shape for the bag, pull the two sides apart at one corner, making sure that the side and bottom seam lie on top of each other. Draw a straight line (in a right angle to the seam), I find 2-3cm away from the corner creating a 5-6cm long line quite good for this size). Stitch on that line.

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Cut the excess fabric off, zigzag and do the same on the other side of your bag.

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Repeat all steps (apart from the pocket) with your outer fabric. Restetasche12

If you haven’t done it yet, it is now time to shorten the lining bag. Just cut of 2-3cm from the top (depending how wide you want your edge)

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Take the outer bag and fold the open top about 1.5 – 2cm to the wrong side. Iron.

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Fold it a second time 2cm to the wrong side. Iron.

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Turn the whole lining bag inside out (so the outside is now showing) and put the outer bag wrong side to wrong side into the lining bag. The edge of the lining bag should reach the once folded down edge of your outer bag.

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Fold now the outer bag down the second time (like you have ironed it before), the lining should now be fully covered.

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Now it is time to place the straps. Slide the open ends in between the two bag fabrics, making sure the ends reach the very top of the bag. For my bag I placed them about 4.5cm from the side seams. For now the straps look downwards.

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Now you can carefully fold them up again (without pulling them out of the slot) and pin them in place. Do the same with the second handle on the other side, making sure that they are in the matching position.

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Top stitch close to the edge all around your bag, securing all 4 ends of the strap at the same time.

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Then secure all 4 ends with a little X. I seam to have forgotten to take a picture of this step. But here is a picture of an other bag and at the bottom of my tutorial for a very similar cotton bag you will actually find a more accurate description the sewing directions.

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And we are done 🙂

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And another version, where I used a lovely corduroy for the outside:

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Scrap Sunday: A little innovation

I actually meant to post a lovely tutorial for an even lovelier little handbag made of lovely scrap fabrics but as I had to quickly make another lovely bag for a birthday party this afternoon, I will leave you with a picture of a creative idea that I tried out when quickly making the little bag 2 hours before the party started.

So this is the finished bag lining with a small pocket which I positioned a bit more creatively than the usual “opening looking up”. I mean that is sooo last year. IMG_3907

The actual tutorial will follow. At some point. And don’t worry, for the tutorial I chose the conventional way, I know avant-garde pocket placing is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Ticking some boxes

It has been a busy week and I have been able to finish a few things on my list, for example I managed to finish the cardigan for my auntie…. well, except for the buttons. I did buy some but I am not sure if I like them. I bought them without taking the cardigan which is never a clever idea. We will see. Oh, and baby blanket no 1 is only missing  3 squares. And lots of sewing I guess.

I also made a beautiful knight’s costume but that really deserves its own post. I am not sure if it is a good sign that some mothers attending the best birthday party ever (Really. No fights. No interfering needed.) thought that the fabric of the helmet would make a beautiful skirt.

You’ll soon be able to form your own opinion, as – much to my surprise – the knight was actually wearing the costume for about 5 min! On the same day he got it! Who would have thought?! Certainly not I.

And I have not only finished some of the yoga bags, I have even already sent them on their long journey to Austrian country side.

I have finished two of the waterproof ones, I just looove these fabrics and I so want to make a bag for myself out of the brown one:

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On my last trip back home I have also finally realised that the local taste is more subtle, not quite as loud, colour mixing and childish as mine (It only took me about 38 years to realise) so I attempted to create some more tone in tone, maybe slightly more sporty, even manly ones  rather than cute flowery playful ones. Oh, well, I did try but see for yourself.

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For the next one I used a very special fabric that I have in my treasure box since a few years. It is a precious, very expensive left over Marimekko fabric and I was wondering for years what I could use this rather thin stripe for. It was just enough for two very special yoga bags and I do hope that they will find a lovely and caring new owner 🙂

One of them is on it’s way to Yogastueble in Austria:

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And the other one is actually in my etsy shop:

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I have also made one “traditional” one, which is on its way to Austria.

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It is really interesting, sometimes when I choose the fabrics for a new bag, I might not be too keen on the combination initially (when I try to suit somebody else’s taste rather than making something for me), finding it maybe too “boring”, like the green one, which is the most tone in tone bag I have ever produced. But then, when it is finished, I really like it. The green one is now almost my favourite (but please don’t tell anybody). I say almost because if I had to chose between the Marimekko one and the green one, then I would still go for the Marimekko I guess 🙂

But enough of the yoga bags for now. Tomorrow we will have to attend a Peter Pan themed birthday party where we are asked to come as a pirate and a Tiger Lily. I had to google the latter. And the pirate told me already that he does not want to be a scruffy pirate. Not sure what a smartly dressed pirate looks like but in any case I do not want to spend too much time on costumes for a one off event. I will keep you updated though.