It is in the bag!

Simple formula for lined bag with your choice of size, handle and closure!  So easy it is already “in the bag”.

 

Working with new sewists, I am continually on the look out for quick to make and clever useful projects.  More experienced seamsters can whip these out in batches. Early in the game sewists can experience easy success!    Teacher gifts, party favors, so many uses!  I am considering small bags from theme fabric to house a bar of hand made soap for an upcoming bridal shower.

Start with scraps if you like.  You will need two same size longish rectangles.  The formula is as follows:

Desired bag width plus 1 inch for seam allowances.  Desired height of bag times 2.5 to 2.75 for a generous flap.  If you have a specific item to bag, measure it now!

Play around with what you have on hand to start with and have some fun!

Right sides together, with a quarter inch seam allowance, sew both rectangles along one short side.

Open this.  Press the seam allowance towards the lining, and under stitch.  Under stitching will roll the seam towards the lining so this edge looks really clean.

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View of back side of bag after under stitching and top stitching!

 

Press and top stitch with a fancy stitch if you like.  If you plan to close your bag with hook and loop tape, include one side of the tape along the edge of the front of your bag now.

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For a firmer flap add a bit of fusible interfacing!

Align your work and trim off any excess fabric that may be caused by the under stitching.    With right sides together, pin the pieces together and draw a fancy shape for the flap, or leave it straight.  A hex ruler might be a nice tool to keep both sides symmetrical.  Stitch this seam.  A straight seam would under stitch nicely!

Optional “wrap” the corners of your fancy cut flap.

Make a strap!  A 14×3 inch rectangle folded rst lengthwise, stitched with a quarter inch seam turned and top stitched works great.  As does ribbon, webbing or twill tapeimage

Pin your strap that has been folded in half with raw edges aligned to the raw edges of the bag and the folded edge towards the center of the bag.  Set it just below where your flap ends and the bag begins so that it ends up near the top of your bag.  Baste in place.  In the photo my strap raw edges extend past the raw edge of the bag. This adds security and keeps the selvages on the strap from showing on the finished bag.

 

 

Now on for the tricky part:  See above, pull the bottom of the bag so that it covers the strap.  Pin the bag (both layers) to the outside cover only of the front of the bag on the right and left sides.  Then slip the lining of the bag over the front of the bag.  This basically turns the bag wrong side out and the lining will form a loop on top with the outer bag also forming a loop on the bottom.  The bag portion will be tucked up into the flap, but only just past the strap.    The remainder will be the flap.  If you are creating a specific size bag to fit a particular item.  Now is the second good time to measure.  (The first would be before you cut the fabric.) In the photo I used clips, as I had lined these bags with PUL.

 

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Side seam stitched with “L” seams!

Align right sides together, and make a 3/8 inch seam along this edge.  Making sure to back stitch over the strap to secure it.

Make sure the second side of you bag is lined up and symmetrical to the side you just sewed.

Create two “L” seams along this edge.  Start at the top and just about a half inch after you sew across the many layers of the sides of the bag.  Pivot and stitch to the edge creating a seam that looks like the capital letter “L”.  Then a few inches later along this edge, make another “L” seam that serves two purposes.  It leaves a clean and sturdy opening for turning and finishes the side seam of the bag.  A small bag needs a smaller opening than a larger bag.

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Second half of “L” seam!

Suggested ratio would be to leave an opening half the length of the bag side.

 

Flip it the bag right side out, this may take multiple flipping to be sure the lining is on the inside.  Poke out corners with a handy tool (chopsticks work great here!).  Pin the opening closed with the raw edges neatly tucked inside.  Top stitch narrowly to ensure that the opening is securely closed.

 

Complete the closure by adding the other half of the hook and loop tape to the inside of the flap, or add snaps, buttonholes and buttons, or whatever makes your heart happy. Kam Snaps make my heart happy!  I get mine locally at Hip Stitch and would be glad to show you how easy they are to apply.  A pattern with measurements, and possibly kits will be available in July 2016.

This makes a great snack bag, holiday gift bag, cosmetics, or think fusible fleece for an electronics bag.

Happy sewing!  Joanimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owletts – Wallets with Owls.

 Be wise with your finances.

Years ago I was intrigued with a lazy girl pattern. I have not seen it in my local quilt shops lately, but found this link to the wonder wallet on line.  Perfect scrap project!

After making many of them for gifts, I noticed that there was a significant amount of wear at the corners.  So I thought that interfacing the entire outside of the wallet would be a good idea.

Also with the multi layers of fabric that bottom of the little wallet got super bulky really quickly, causing more wear on the wallet, and my supply of sewing machine needles.
So after much thought I made some revisions to how I constructed this little gem.

If the cover of the wallet wraps all the way around and all the raw edges of the pockets are enclosed in top stitching on the bottom, that would solve the bulk/wear/and corner turning problems I had encountered with the original design.

imageFirst, find three small prints that coordinate nicely.  I used these from Cotton and Steel that I found at my LQS.

Cut the outer layer and lower pocket 5.5 x 16 inches. medium pocket 5.5 x 5 inches and tall pocket 5.5 x 6 inches.  I used a woven fusible interfacing, which I cut the same size as the outer layer and lower pocket, and two pieces that were 5.5 x 2.5 and 5.5 x 3 respectively.  Cut a 1.5 inch strip of hook and loop tape.

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabric,  for the two smaller pieces, fold them in half and give them a nice press so that you can see where to apply that interfacing on one half of the piece.  Make sure that they are still 5.5 inches wide!  With these two pieces folded in half, edge stitch along the folded edge.

imageOn the largest piece. Mark a light pencil line four inches from the bottom of the longer piece on the wrong side of the fabric.  Fold up the raw edge to meet this line.  It will look like a two inch hem.  Then bring the raw edge of the other end to meet the first raw edge, and press.   The piece with both edges folded in will measure 5.5 x 8 inches.image

Fold it in half lengthwise, and mark 3/4 inch from the fold on both layers, both top and bottom of each end.  This is so the velcro can be centered.image

Place the cover on the table with the folded raw edges down and the smooth side up. On the side with the two inch fold, pin the soft side of the hook and loop tape to the edge of the cover between your markings.

Start stitching on the edge, like you would top stitch straight across, get to the hook and loop tape, stitch across it, and just before you get to the end of the tape, stop with the needle down, pivot and sew across the short edge of the tape, back across the bottom and up to the top again.  Then edge stitch to the other end of the line.

This puts a double line of stitching across the top of the velcro strip.  with a loop around the lower part of the velcro, and will secure it in place.

Layer the other two pocket layers behind the short one with the velcro attached.  Pin only the pocket layers, so that the three layers move independently from the rest of the wallet. It is important here, that you pin from the outside in, and that your pin heads are hanging over the outside of the fabric.  Flip this pocket layer down, and back around to the other side of the wallet.  You will only see the the back of the tallest pocket from this angle.image

Next, take the six inch flap and bring it up and back over itself, so that all you see is interfacing on either side.  add two more pins that also are pinned from the outside in.  from the side it will look like this:

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The bottom of the little wallet will look like this with multiple raw edges and folds.  image

Stitch the longer sides with a scant 1/4 inch seam.  image

Remove your pins and start turning right side out by lifting the top layer over the whole assembly and pulling what is left out from under it.  Poke out the corners with a chopstick or other handy turning tool.  It will look like a bit of a mess.  We will need to do some turning.  Find the pockets and flip them over to the other side, poke out some more corners and here you are!

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Top stitch the edges starting at the top of the pockets, and when you get to the top, be sure to loop Around all four edges of the corresponding part of the hook and loop tape in the center on the edge that would fold down to meet its counterpart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sewing Green

So it is only mid-November, but the fire drill has started.  Any crafter, or person who leans towards making holiday gifts, has  been feeling the pressure for a while now.  The list making, supply shopping, material gathering…. It starts early, even before the first holiday decoration goes up at Hobby Lobby, we crafters are planning for the holidays.

Crank the pressure dial up a notch if you are planning for one or more craft shows.  Let the power sewing begin, and why didn’t I start working on this in August?  The pressure increases exponentally when your closest family members have birthdays during the holidays.  Gotta craft double time to show them the sewing love they deserve.

Today I worked on some really cheesy holiday fabric that I had promised myself that I would get to -at least a portion of -this year.  Looking back it must have been double discounted when I purchased it years ago.  Blue, lots of blue, blue ornaments with white deer on a blue background.  Tiny white reindeer on a navy background, white snow flakes on a blue checked background.  Azure dreidels on white.  These had all been culled from the stash and cut into various squares.

With the promise of easy reusable holiday/birthday wrap, I used  directions from a pattern I put together for an origami napkin.  The plan was to use (really use up) some holiday fabric on one side, with a not so holiday coordinate on the other side.  This way the wrapping could be used multiple times in a year.image

These are like dinner napkins, but ginormous, over a yard across.  Perfect for a table topper, or furoshiki.  A great way to use some of that “what was I thinking” fabric, and turn it into something cool.  Green to use what you have, and green to use it for more than one occasion and even greener to use year after year.  Kind of like unpaper towels.  You can find the free pattern in Stashed,  here, and the really cool fabric for napkins here.

Hope I have inspired you to pull from your stash and make something green and cool for the holidays.