Sunday, August 30, 2009

An excuse to go to the fabric store (a sort-of tutorial)

I'm sure I don't have to explain the dilemma of going to the fabric store with only enough money to buy one yard or less. I should be thrilled to be able to buy even that, right?! Unless I quickly choose the first print I love, pay for it, and leave without looking at anything else, I will be there all day tormenting myself with all the beautiful choices. Can you relate?
Sorry, this post won't help you.
However it will give you a reason to go to the fabric store (as if you needed one,) and choose only ONE print. Cuz that's all you need to make this cool little bag! (Well, and something for the lining. And matching thread, and some leather lace. But that's besides the point.) It looks kinda like a drawstring bag, but it's not. It doesn't have any fussy closure- the weight of the stuff you put in it keeps it snug at the top when you carry it. The only downside is the leather lace will kinda dig into your shoulder if the bag gets too heavy.

It took less than half an hour, and look at all the stuff it holds!

Truthfully, I saw a really cool pattern in an Amy Butler book and that's what I started out to make. But I couldn't figure out what was going on so I .... improvised.

Ok so you take a rectangle of fabric (I just chopped off a section of half-yard) and fold it in half with right sides together. Stitch each long side. Keeping it inside out, make a gusset on the bottom. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, google it. Cuz I'm not a very good 'splainer.) Or if you're even lazier than me (not judging!) skip that part. It just won't be as full-looking on the bottom.

Anyway, do the exact same thing for your lining. Now turn the printed piece right side out and leave the lining inside out. Fit the lining down inside the bag, doing your best to match up the gussets and the top edge.

To make the tube around the top for the leather handle, you'll basically make a big ol' hem on each side, without closing them at the seams. You're probably supposed to iron down a quarter inch and fold over again and then stitch, but I'm lazy and I hate ironing. So I folded the edge down a tad and stitched, then folded it over again and stitched, making it big enough to fit a safety pin through.

The hardest part is actually getting the leather in there. (BTW, you can get leather lace in all kindsa cool colors at the craft store in the hippie aisle... more about that later.) I don't have any special leather stitching or whatever tools, so I took a nail and hammered it down into the darn thing to make a hole for the safety pin. After threading it through the big ol' hem, Amy Butler says to stitch it together. Bwahaha. I just tied it in a knot. Meh.

What I love about this bag is (gasp!) the simplicity. As long as you're not too impatient to pre-shrink the fabric before you start stitchin', you can drag it around and toss it in the wash without worry. If you make the straps just the right length, you can wear it on your shoulder and fish stuff out with one hand pretty easily. Plus, even for the snazzy stuff, it's not more than $5 for a half yard. So it's cheap enough to make one in all your favorite prints and not worry about what happens to it during your busy day!


Sara said...

Cute bag! I get overwhelmed when I go to the fabric store. Thus the reason I have very little fabric. But this is inspiring me to just wade in and try a small project. You are in Waynesville...the Fabric Shack just overwhelms me, but I saw some blocks of quilting squares that were tempting. Yarn, I can do. ;)

kristasknackshack said...

Nice, I'm going to try to the fabric store. Thanks for sharing!