Tag Archives: learnable moments

It’s in the Bag

Apparently the sewing muse has been much more interested in bags lately, because this room has become a bag factory:

First, I made both sizes of “Whatcha Got” by This & That.  Patchwork is not really something I want to sew, and I have some great striped fabric, so the small bag has mitered corners.  🙂


It’s the first time I tried inserting a zipper or a vinyl inset, and I got a little too careless in my thread “choice (aka, whatever was already in the machine), so there are some very obvious seams on the front.  Actually, as I sit here looking at the picture, they follow the seams where the top/bottom striped section meets the side section, so I’m calling it a design feature!


This was also my first time making boxed corners, and it is quite likely that everything I make from now on will have a fun boxed corner detail.  Hey, boxed corner bust dart, anyone?  😉

The larger bag was constructed from two different owl-patterned fat quarters and a lining made of some amazingly soft and smooth king-sized pillowcases that I got on clearance from Walmart.  It will be great for helping the yarn unwind from the ball smoothly as I knit.


I felt a lot more competent in my seaming and sewing in a straight line on this bag.  The zipper was tricky to insert on the smaller bag, but the second seemed much easier. 


Because I do not have a serger and am apparently not quite interested enough to figure out how to finish an inside seam appropriately, I added a fun ribbon to the seam that also helps brighten up the dark lining. 


(Not sure what all the gunk is on the fabric – likely a small human touched something.  They do that a lot.)

The change that I will make in future bags is with the clear vinyl.  I used a piece of remnant (possibly my favorite section of a fabric store), but it is a little too lightweight for my taste.  It doesn’t seem too flimsy or likely to tear, but something sturdier/thicker will be more consistent with the CraftFuse-interfaced exterior and lining fabrics.

The final bag to be shared today is the Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern from Jeni Baker of In Color Order.  I was excited to notice that she teaches at the same shop where I purchased the pattern! Hopefully I’ll be able to take a class from her, especially if it features this:


Isn’t it fun?!?

The bag is constructed differently than I would have imagined, and I actually like it better than the other way I’ve made project bags.


The most difficult part of the bag was trying to understand the cutting instructions!  For instance, the exterior accent fabric needed for a smaller size reads, “Cut (1) 2″x22″ strip.  Subcut into (2) 2″x5.5″ pieces.”  Um, what?  I am pretty good at math, and this instruction threw me – was it the pattern or my own following-a-pattern-not-just-whatever-square-or-rectangle-I-feel-like-making ignorance?  After thinking it through, it felt like a good idea to just go straight to cutting the smaller pieces and accepting that it is OK to use my seam ripper if the test didn’t pan out.  Voila!  It worked.

My favorite part of the pattern is the instructions for customizing the size (as though 8 options were not already enough).  As I said, math is fun, and the formula requires math, so yay for cheese!


Entering the confessional: these bags are also my first time pressing anything as I work.  *grumble*grumble* I guess it is helpful to do as the more-educated among us say to do.  Hmm, prior squares and rectangles may have benefited from this information.

Currently on my lap is a Colette Mabel out of a double-faced knit from fabric.com.  Each side is a purple and navy stripe, but one side has wider stripes.  I’m trying to use this as a beneficial accent for slimming, though matching the stripes in the back seam is currently hit and miss and thus postponing any front center panel decisions.  Fun stuff, this OCD of mine…

The seam ripper is my friend.    The seam ripper is my friend.  The seam ripper is my friend.

What was your first aha moment as you learned to sew the “right” way?