Tuesday, 29 November 2011

My Entry for the 'Solids-Only Tote Challenge' and how I made it

A front and back view 

A look inside at the pockets.  A flat slip pocket one side and a zippered pocket the other 
 And one of me posing with it (to get an idea of the size, not at all because I like photos of myself!)
Now if you care to see an overview of the process, continue reading-

I cut the strips of yellow and white 8cm x the width of the drill (1m wide)  and one grey strip 13cm by the width of the drill (1m again).  I then sewed each to each other with a quarter inch seam.

 Once I had sewed all the strips, I cut the back and front piece from it.
 I satin stitched on my little fishy (that seemed to take forever to handstitch all that white on!) I placed it about 5cm from the right hand side as I was going to box the base of the bag and didn't want it too close to the edge.
 I ironed on some woven interfacing (medium) then placed (and pinned) the front and back pieces right sides together and stitched along the sides and bottom.

I pinched the bottom corners so that the seams met and marked where the width was 3 inches (sorry to jump around with the measurements but my quilting ruler is in inches) and stitched across to form the boxed base. I then trimmed off the triangles and turned it out the right way.

 I measured the width of the bottom (14inches), then pleated the top to measure the same.
 I just marked the centre and worked either side of that to get even pleats on the front and back pieces.  I stitched across the pleats to keep them in place.
 I decided a tab with a magnetic snap would be best for the closure.  I used some offcuts of the body fabric and followed the instructions to insert the snaps.  I stitched a box around it.
 I used some heavy iron on interfacing.  I sewed around the three sides of the closure, right sides together then turned right side out and iron well.
 I lined up where the snap would go on the front piece of main body and inserted it, using heavy interfacing to cover it and stitched a box around it also.

Now for the lining-
I cut two 17inch squares and inserted a zippered pocket on one piece and a slip pocket on the other.  I did this by following instructions in my book 'The Bag Making Bible' by Lisa Lam this is a super great book if your into making bags.  The pockets worked out perfectly!

I then placed the two pieces RST and stitched the sides and the bottom (I did the bottom twice for extra strength).  I made the boxed base as I did the outer fabric.  I then marked in 1 1/2 inches from each side on the top edge and drew a line from the side (about 5 inches up from the boxed corners at the bottom) to the top.  Then stitched along this line. I did place the lining inside the outer to make sure it fit well before I trimmed it.

Now all that I had to do was make the handles.  I was going to make a single handle from one side to the other but decided the bag would better suit two shorter handles.  I measured a supermarket re-useable bag handle (as this was about the length I wanted).  It was about 23inches long.  I cut 2 of each yellow and grey pieces that measured 25 inches by 3 inches and 2 white pieces 25 by 2 inches.  I then stitched one grey to a white then yellow onto the other side of the white.  I then repeated this for the other handle. I ironed the seams open.
 I folded this in half long ways (wrong sides together) and ironed.  Then I open this and folded both sides into the middle and ironed.  I then closed up the initial fold again.  Repeat this for the other handle.  I then stitched (less than quarter inch) down each side of the closed up strip
 Now I have all my pieces, it's time to assemble.
 I folded down the top edges on my lining and the main bag body (about 1/2 inch) and ironed.  I placed the lining inside the main bag body and marked where I wanted the handles (near my pleats) and pinned the handles to the folded over top edge and stitched back and forth a few times to secure (removing it again from the outer bag body obviously). I did this on both sides.
I then put it back inside and pinned around the entire top edge, placing my closure tab in between the lining and the main body on the back of the bag in the centre. (making sure the two pieces of the magnetic snap lined up)
 I stitched all the way around the top edge and it was finally finished!

Wow there was a whole lot of 'I' in this post!  Hope you enjoyed reading about my bag and if you want to make one that it is clear enough to follow!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

I love a challenge

I am super excited (scared) to be participating in my first sewing challenge.  Its the Solids-only Tote Challenge being hosted by Rikka from Ricochet and Away and Keren from Sew La Vie you can check it out here http://ricochetandaway.blogspot.com/2011/10/solids-only-tote-challenge-homepage.html and when the entries are in (after November 30th) head over to check out the wonderful bags created (there are some super talented people participating).

Back to me being excited (very frightened) to be doing this, I have left myself one week to design and sew my entry!  I want it to be a bag that will scream SUMMER! and I want it to be made from my latest favorite color combo, yellow, white and grey, so pretty together! to have a few cute little pleats for detail and lastly I want it to be a bag big enough for a trip to the pool but not completely out of place for a trip to town shopping.  You think I can accomplish all that? Probably not, but it can't hurt to try!  So I made a little start yesterday, here are some pictures so you can see where I'm at thus far

I cut out some strips of drill, I had in my ever growing pile of fabric.  I made the grey (to go at the bottom) wider so as it covers the bottom and also comes up the sides a little (we don't want a dirty bottom!).  I have then pinned and sewed each strip until I have this
I did the whole 100cm wide strips so that when I sew the front to the back the edges will match up (I'm still no good at keeping that perfect 1/4 inch seam) so this is my fabric folded as I have not as yet cut it or even decided on what to applique!  I am thinking something beachy, thoughts people?
Right now, I'm off to work on my bag, aaahhhhh!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Easy little gift pouch

I'm back and I've got an easy little pouch how-to for you, if your interested.  It was my sisters Birthday last weekend and I got her an art deco ring online.
Unfortunately the ring didn't turn up in time for her actual Birthday (Sorry Brodes) but it's here now and I was wondering how I was going to wrap it.

IDEA! I will make a pouch for it!  I looked online for an easy pattern but all were too complicated and had drawstrings.  I decided I would just grab some felt and experiment.

Here's what it turned out like

I cut a rectangle of black felt to about 18cm x 10cm (7x4 inches).  This was a good size to fit my ring when folded into a pouch.

I then used a little wooden shape of a scotty dog to trace around 

I then stitched along the line using a simple backstitch

I then folded the felt and sewed up the two sides leaving about an inch at the top to be folded over as the top flap.  I then marked where the button needed to be sewn and sewed it on, duh! (this quite clearly is not the original pouch I made because it's kinda lacking the doggie.  Confession - I forgot to take pics of some steps, hence I had to redo!)

I then grabbed some pretty ribbon and sewed it around the sides and top edge.
Finally I had to make a loop to secure the top shut.  I used black cord and sewed it to the top in line with the button.
And the finished product
I quite like it and I hope she will too!