Early last year I made some bags to give to friends who were visiting from overseas. I enjoyed the process of working out how to make them and landing on the perfect size and fabric. I really liked the first one I made, but it was a little to small, so I made a bigger one and used some aboriginal print fabrics that I found in Spotlight.
The 3rd one I made was the one! I found the perfect fabric at Lincraft and used a heavier weight black cotton duck and my perfect bag was born. The recipient loved it.
I have since had a big break from making bags until the last few months where necessity led me in that direction again. I needed a small cross body bag, big enough to fit my latest phone and keys. I had one I loved, but my newest phone would not fit. I used some denim as a base and appliqued some bright hand dyed fabrics using the pre programmed fancy stitches on my trusty Janome. I’m really pleased with the result and it has served me well so far.
As I continued my quest to clear out some of the kits purchased in the past, I finished the overnight bag kit. I bought this one because I loved the fabric. Using 4 colour versions of the same print. The fabric is an upholstery weight fabric but I still fused wadding to the outer fabric and webbing to the lining. This gave the bag a nice sturdy weight that allows it to stand and hold its shape.
However, my overnight travels see me taking a lot more stuff than will fit in this beautiful bag. So my next challenge is to make one that is larger. I might also experiment with changing the shape slightly at the same time. But more on that in the future…..
Back to cross shoulder bags…. A larger version of the small one I made was next. I am still trying to find the perfect size to fit wallet, sunnies, notepad etc……. I firstly experimented with process to determine where to place the handles and the best position for the outer zippered pockets and options for embellishing the outer. While I like the first two samples I made, I now know which process to pursue when making future zipper topped cross body bags. I prefer the option of not catching the top zipper in the side seam as this gives a flatter finish. I also need to make the lining a lot smaller so it fits better. Increasing the seam allowance did not seem to be enough for me….
I will continue to experiment to try and find my own simple options for making bags. I am loving the process, documenting as I go and making lots of mistakes….. Which is fine as I have lots of fabric that I have had in the cupboard for years, so it is nice to be using it at last. I have now become a sewer of textiles and not just a collector.
A recent trial process was to make a folded bag to minimise seams. I made quite a few samples experimenting with the use of wadding versus webbing versus nothing if the fabric was thick. For example “Denim”.
I have not landed on a preferred option for the folded version as yet so I have moved on to another larger bag option…
I had quite a few scraps left over from the Dyed and Gone to Heaven Quilt I spoke about in the last post. The colours would go beautifully with Denim, so thought a larger tote bag would be my next project. One I could use to carry my stuff in to work. The dyed pieces with couched threads is quite thin so felt that a thicker denim would give it some body.
I made the base and handles out of denim and pieced the dyed fabric off cuts together for the body of the bag.
I fused a medium weight wadding to the outer bag and a medium weight webbing to the lining.
The bag has one zippered and one open pocket in the lining and a zippered pocket on the front of the bag.
I also decided to add a zippered gusset to the top, rather than leaving it open. Keep all the goodies inside.
During the process, I found out that my ironing board was covered in synthetic fabric that melts. Oops! I then got side tracked making a new (Cotton) cover for my mini ironing board.
Once the ironing board cover was made, I finished the bag and am now using it on a daily basis. It is a bit bigger than I really needed, so am off to draft and make a smaller version next. The next version is going to use fabric that has either applique or free motion embroidery on it as I want to get back into the free hand work again. Until next time……..