In our current block of classes we are looking at tucks and pleats.
You may remember I had made 2 examples of tucks for our classes, but at the time was still working on a pleats sample.
And here it is:
The pattern for this pleated bag is by Lisa Lam (U-handbag.com) and is called ‘For Pleats Sake!’. You can find the free tutorial here.
The tutorial doesn’t include quantities for the exterior and interior fabrics.
If you are using non-directional fabric you will need 0.5 metre of both. However, if you have a direction to your pattern which follows the width of the bolt, you will need 0.75 metres.
And a further note on the fabrics. I used ‘deco’ (decorating) weight fabric (or lightweight curtaining) from Ikea. This fabric gives body to the bag, pleats beautifully and negates the need for interfacing or fusible fleece.
I used the same weight for the lining (a vintage curtain) which also gets pleated. However if you wanted to use quilting weight cotton I recommend using a heavy weight sew-in stabiliser (rather than fusible fleece) on both the exterior and lining. Spray baste the sew-in stabiliser rather than using a fusible heavy weight stabiliser as this could resist the light weight cotton and cause it to bubble.
Sewing the faux leather handles through the exterior layers only can be tricky (the handles can’t be held in place with pins and the needle comes out awkwardly between the exterior and lining!). So try sewing through both layers and covering the visible back stitching with glued on fabric or leather scraps.
P.s. you want to use really strong thread to sew on your handles, like linen, perle cotton or 6 strand embroidery floss.
The bags currently being made in class are gorgeous! I can’t wait to show you them at half term, with the equally beautiful pleated pouches and cushions! It’s a hive of wondrous activity!
(Want to know the difference between pleats and tucks? See here)
I like a little ‘hexie action’ in the evenings, and over Christmas I enjoyed working my Tilda scraps into 1.25″ EPP hexies.
As they grew I thought I would make a cover for my soft cover Bible. But then I keep a journal with my Bible, as well as Bible Study books!!!
So a cover grew into a bag!
I remembered many years ago I had designed and taught a boxy bag class (my mum uses hers for keeping books in). So I blew the cobwebs off my pattern and set to!
There is so much I love about this new boxy bag.
Firstly, it has plenty of room for my Bible and study books and a separate pocket for my A4 journal. And because it is made from flex foam it sits squat and open giving me visible and easy access to the contents.
I also love the combo of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Denim) with the Tilda Hexies and a little vintage lace.
I even included some hexies inside.
Also inside is handbag mesh in the base, to ensure the shape of the bag is maintained while carrying around heavy books.
Now that I can keep my Bible books together in one place, I’m super organised whether reading at home or at Bible Study group!
I have another round of hexies being made at the moment!
3 and leave a comment here or on FB or IG telling me what’s your favourite textile to work with.
You have until Monday 18th November to enter, when I will announce the winner (international entries welcome). (Please ensure you leave your email address with your comment if you are a ‘no reply blogger’.)
Our studio in August looked a little bit like a jeans factory, as many pairs of jeans were massacred in the honourable pursuit of making my Boro Denim Bag pattern.
Repurposing projects are among my favourites, and it was exciting to see the ladies’ bags grow in a very organic, non-prescriptive way.
While some of the techniques are the same e.g. ‘quilt as you go’ and measured bag construction, each bag looks uniquely different because of the different denim placements and features used.
Like an archeological dig, there was much excavating through the pile of jeans for pockets, loops, leather labels and interesting design features which were rescued and treasured for embellishing the bags!
Doesn’t Glenda looked pleased with her finished bag!
There are a few more bags that are still in the making, but to all my ‘bag ladies’ I’d like to say a big well done on your repurposing and bag making skills! The variety and creativity you showed in the hand and machine quilting of your bags was inspiring!
If you would like to have a go at your own Denim Boro bag, you can find the pattern here.
(Newsletter subscribers will have received a 50% off coupon code for this pattern in the Autumn ’19 edition – expires 25th Sept.)
Almost 2 years ago I launched our first appeal for Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Care in Antrim Hospital.
As the name suggests, the bags carry Syringe Drivers, the vehicle for administering pain or sickness medication. The patient receives the meds via a tube, which means they have to carry the Syringe Drivers around with them all the time. Sometimes they have one syringe driver, sometimes 2.
Providing bright and colourful bags instead of the standard issue grey ones is a small way of bringing a little cheeriness to the patient, especially when they get to choose one they like!
For our first appeal we had a brilliant response from generous sewists across Northern Ireland. So much so, we were able to pass on some bags to other palliative care units.
These bags can’t be reused, and the supply of bags from the first appeal has been exhausted.
Macmillan have asked us for more, so we are launching our 2nd Syringe Driver Bag Appeal!
If you have some sewing machine experience and cotton fabric, would you consider making one or two bags for those receiving palliative care or cancer treatment? You can find the tutorial here.
Previously we have only made for adult males and females, but now we also have a request from The Children’s Hospice, N.I., so we can receive bags in child-friendly fabrics too!
I launched the 2nd appeal on Facebook 10 days ago and we’ve already received 25 bags! THANK YOU!
I’ve always known how generous our sewing community is! Please, please help us to make many more bags! The bags can be posted or delivered to me at home. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my address.
And if you live locally to Belfast, keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement about a free Syringe Driver Bag Workshop at our studio in Conway Mill!
This is my last week of classes before the summer break. The sun is finally shining and I will have a few more photos to show you from this term’s project focus.
In the meantime, I can show you some stunning bags from our Beach Bag Workshop last Saturday.
It was a warm and clammy day in the studio, perfect weather for thinking about holidays by the beach!
All the ladies beavered away on their bags, and just look at their results!
Such classy and colourful bags! The webbing handles are sewn onto the exterior and base of the bag, making them nice and strong for all your beach or picnic gear.
The bags are lined with Rip Stop Nylon, a water resistant and washable fabric, which is really easy to sew with too!
And you can see a few examples of the additional ‘wet bag’ above, which is included in the pattern. This is also lined with Rip Stop Nyon, the perfect place for wet swimwear or drippy sun lotion bottles!
Well done ladies on your hard work. I hope you get many opportunities to use your bag this summer!
And if you would like to make your own roomy beach bag, you can get the pattern here.
You may remember seeing my aprons on display last term. I decided to leave my dressed mannequin again this term because we are running our 3rd Apron workshop in August (booking available here). In this workshop you can choose from either a tie back apron (pictured) or the Japanese style cross back apron (see here).
2 Kids Tote Bags:
These simple and fun makes are samples for my upcoming children’s workshop.
I have 4 girls and 2 boys registered to learn how to use a sewing machine and let their textile creativity loose!
Children are a joy to teach because they don’t overthink it and are so creatively uninhibited! We adults could learn alot from them!
This is my big and roomy beach bag (first featured in Pretty Patches magazine). It features water resistant Rip-Stop Nylon lining, mesh or cotton exterior pockets and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your soggy bikini, or drippy sun lotion bottles!
I’ve made a few of these practical bags over the years, and they’ve even been road tested by my girls on their holiday!
If you’d like to join us at our Beach Bag workshop, you can book in here.
This week saw the end of our current block of classes.
The optional class project was all about Triaxial and Basket Weaving.
I had made 3 class samples to showcase the different types of fabric weaving I would be teaching, but as you will see, a few creative minds didn’t stop there!
Aren’t they stunning! A few little notebook covers didn’t manage the photoshoot, but I’m sure you can guess how wonderful they are!
In the end, we were unable to source Wefty weaving needles here in the UK, and while we managed pretty well instead with large safety pins, the Wefty needles are certainly advantageous when it comes to the more complex triaxial weave. I would definitely recommend these genius little tools!
So a huge well done to my weaving ladies for stepping up to the challenge (especially when it came to triaxial weaving!) and producing beautiful work!
And of course, these weren’t the only projects being worked on! Well done to all my other ladies on your pre-Easter finishes.
I hope you all have a wonderfully creative and choccy-filled Easter break!
(Classes resume w/c 29th April – booking available here.)
I’m so proud of all my ladies, not just those who tackle the class project, but also those who work continuously on their generous gift making, charitable fund raisers, sharing inspiring new projects and continuing to fuel and feed their creativity.
And I get to call this my day job!! #lovemyjob
We are taking a one week break, and when we return it will be the last block of classes of 2018!
Tune in again soon to find out what our new class project will be.
It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost through, and attention is quickly turning to the new term of classes starting in September.
This term our (optional) class project will be Twin Needling with Fusible Bias (incorporating Stained Glass Windows).
As you can see above, there are a range of makes to choose from. Let’s look at them:
Mosaic Cushion (Beginner Friendly):
This 18″ cushion is a great starter project if you are new to fusible bias and twin needling.
Simple piecing creates the mosaic background, with the twin needled bias creating a dramatic (and quilted) finish!
I’ve made a feature of the zipper closure in the back of the cushion, but you could easily have an envelope or button closure here.
The digital pattern is available here (hard copies are available to purchase in class).
Mackintosh Flower Cushion (Intermediate):
This is another 18″ cushion, this time inspired by Charles Renee Mackintosh’s iconic design.
Shapes are bondawebbed onto background fabric, and the fusible bias then curved and twin needled down.
Again I’ve made a feature of the cushion back.
The digital Mackintosh Flower Cushion Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in classs).
Applique Leaf Denim Bag (Advanced):
This project not only incorporates twin-needling (stems) and satin stitch applique (leaves), but also re-purposing textiles, zippered pocket and handbag construction.
The digital Applique Leaf Denim Bag Pattern is available here (hard copies and full size templates are available to purchase in class).
Mackintosh Rose Wallhanging (Advanced):
If you love wallhangings and aren’t afraid of something a little more challenging, you could try your hand at this Mackintosh inspired ‘Stained Glass Window’.
I’m in the progress of making up this wallhanging in a different colourway, and hope to show you the finished wallhanging soon! The finished size will be approx. 14″ x 21″ and full size templates will be available to purchase in class.
Each pattern lists the materials you will need.
However, I will have the following available to purchase in class:
black 6mm fusible bias
4mm twin needles
pattern transfer pens
hinged faux leather handbag handles
full size templates
So I hope you are inspired to perhaps try something different this term. You will have 7 weeks to make one of these projects, or a project of your own choosing!
And there are still a few spaces left across all the classes (more info here), so why not join us for some creative fun!
How is your week going? We are (still) basking in the most gorgeous sunny weather here, leaving us with stunning, glorious sunsets!
This week in my classes I am presenting my summer Saturday Workshops. The 4 Saturdays in August will all be workshops, and I will be posting about them here, starting with ……
If you’ve been sewing for any length of time, you may have a huge healthy stock of scraps, leftovers from previous quilting projects. These pieces might just be too sizeable, pretty or meaningful to throw away, leftover binding or jelly roll strips, or perhaps frugality gets the better of you!
Either way, there are many, many ways to put those ever growing scraps to good use!
Here are just a few examples of what you can make on Scrap Buster Saturday.
My technique for making strip pieced blocks doesn’t involve a foundation layer.
I added a little ‘organisation’ to lots of random strips by making the central strip in each block white. The white strips are of uniform width, but that’s were the uniformity ends! All other strips are random widths and lengths. I even used ‘ugly’ fabrics I still had, but I totally love the finished quilt! That’s the magic of using scraps.
Autumn Rail Fence Quilt(block tutorial available here)
The simple sewing together of strips means you can easily make up this quilt top in a day.
Once again, I dove into my scrap drawers for specific colours – golds, oranges, pinks and teals, all of different widths and lengths. Some donated yardage of a brown stripe gives flow and order to the scraps.
But equally, this quilt would look fabulous made in random coloured scraps with a uniform ‘fence’ fabric.
‘Quilt As You Go’ Handbag: (pattern available here)
Here’s another roomy handbag idea for all those colourful scraps!
This ‘quilt as you go’ method involves the quilting of each individual piece of fabric onto a larger piece of wadding. There are no raw edges, and the condense quilting gives the bag lots of structure.
The pattern also includes this secure recessed zipper closure.
‘Birch’ Quilt (in progress):
I took inspiration from this quilt and decided to make a grey and low volume version (given that I have an overflowing drawer of LV scraps!).
I plan on using up my stash of Kona Greys to make this into a bigger ‘man’ quilt. Somehow, I think it will take me a lot longer to use up my LV scraps!
So there you have it! A little inspiration on how to use your scraps, and a date for your diary on how to have a day of fun turning them into something wonderful!
For the past 6 weeks some very talented ladies in my classes have been beavering away on my Denim Hexie Bag Pattern.
This pattern combines techniques such as English Paper Piecing (EPP Hexies), eyelet holes, zippered pocket, handbag construction as well as some serious denim upcycling!
At times it looked like a missile had gone off in a jeans factory in my classroom, as scissors and blades feverishly amputated legs, pockets and loops! While denim is one of my favourite textiles to work with, it doesn’t half shed!
But oh boy, the results of this serious crafting were so worth it!
Not all the bags being made are represented here, a few are still being finished off.
But aren’t they brilliant! Sturdy, stylish practical bags that I know will get lots of use!
And I also know that the bags still being finished are equally as fabulous!
I haven’t been able to capture all the individual details in the bags here, but trust me when I tell you that each bag has it’s own unique characteristics.
Details like repurposed loops, tabs and pockets from the jeans, as well as complimentary fabrics like cotton and tweed, buttons, badges and even embroidery and printing.
A huge ‘well done’ to all my wonderful ‘Bag Ladies’!
I also have 3 part-kits available in my shop, which include the pattern, pre-cut hexie papers, various coloured denim squares (for the hexie panels) , 1 metre of heavy weight sew-in vilene and 4 eyelet rings.
When I was at Primary School we had a ‘Nature Table’, decorated according to the seasons, with items mucky hands would triumphantly find and trophy into class the next day!
The Autumn Table was my favourite. I can still see the bright orangey-red ovals of rosehips, shining like jewels among the tattered leaves and empty conker casings.
Well I may be all grown up now (sort of!), but in the childhood-spirit of celebrating the season, I thought it would be nice to have an ‘Easter Table’ in class!
Not all of these items are strictly ‘Easter’ related – I’m using a little Spring inspiration (& a lot of creative license!) too.
So over the next 2 posts, let me talk you through my table and I’ll give you the links to the free tutorials too!
We’ll start with the left hand side of the table. The items are sitting on my blue chenille mat. If you’ve never tried chenilling before, I highly recommend it. Great fun and super easy too!
Chenille involves lots of layers of fabric, sewn together on the bias in half inch channels. The fabric between the channels is then cut, through all layers except the bottom one. Give it a rigorous wash and tumble dry, and hey presto, you have the fluffiest fabric which you can then turn into anything you like!
So far, I’ve chenilled a baby play mat, a bath mat (below) and a heart cushion!
Happy October to you all! The beauty of Autumn has arrived here in N.Ireland. Aren’t the leaves just gorgeous this time of year!
Many of you have been beavering away making Syringe Driver Bags for Macmillan Cancer Support.
I want to say a huge thank you for your contributions so far! More are needed on an ongoing basis, so if you get a spare 5 minutes to rustle up another one, we’d much appreciate it (you can get the tutorial here).
And here’s a thank you from the staff at Macmillan (modelling some of your bags!):
“Hi Judith, just to say a big thank you for the syringe driver bags we’re getting at the Macmillan unit. This is a few of the staff modelling them!!! They’re amazing! The workmanship is incredible! You have some very talented connections! Please pass on our thanks… so nice to offer something cheery and have a bit of choice when you have an attachment to carry around that you’re not that excited about!! BIG THANK YOU!!!! X”
What a great way to make a small difference in someone’s life.
Summer seems to have left us here! But I have some good news! My sewing room is finished and I’m fully operational once more!
And what better project to christen my new creative space than sewing for a good cause.
These are Syringe Driver Bags, used by patients to keep essential medication on their person as they move around. Earlier this year we received a request from Marie Curie Cancer Care to make Syringe Driver Bags for their unit in Belfast. The response from the sewing community was incredible, and we donated enough bags for the hospice and a local hospital cancer unit.
Well I’m putting out a call to all generous and creative sewers, to make more Syringe Driver Bags, this time for Macmillan Cancer Support unit in Antrim hospital.
I have been approached to make these bags, for current and future patients in the unit, and any bags donated over and above what is needed will be shared around the other cancer units too.
The bags required this time around are for adult males and females, in bright, cheery fabrics, and come in 2 sizes. The small bag takes a single syringe driver and the large bag takes 2 drivers. Both sizes have a velcro flap, and while the dimensions vary, the construction method is the same for each.
I do hope I can count on your generous spirit to support brave patients in this small way.
Here is the tutorial:
Measurements listed are width x height
Use 1/4″ seam allowance
Use reverse stitch to start and finish each seam
1 Fat Quarter of cotton (approx 18″ x 22″) will make the exterior for either the single driver bag OR the double driver bag
1 Fat Quarter of cotton (approx 18″ x 22″) will make the lining for either the single driver bag OR the double driver bag
1 Long Quarter of cotton (approx 9.5″ x 42″-44″) will make the handles
** Please do not use stick-on velcro
Make the Handle: Iron under 1/4″ along each long edge.
2. Now bring both long (folded) edges together and press. Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge down both long sides, starting with the open side. No need to top stitch the short ends. Put the handle to one side.
3. Make the Flap: Place the outer and lining flaps right sides together. Sew around 3 sides, leaving one short side open.
4. Carefully snip the corners at an angle (to reduce bulk) before turning right side out. Push the corners well out and press.
5. Sew the soft side of the velcro to the lining side of the flap, 1/4″ away from the closed end of the flap. Put to one side.
6. Make the main bag: Attach the remaining piece of velcro to the front bag piece. The top of the velcro should be 1.5″ down from the top edge (or 2″ for the large bag).
7. Join the front and back pieces and the sides, right sides together (as shown) stopping 1/4″ short at the bottom of each seam.
8. Join the remaining edges together to create a box (remember to stop 1/4″ short at the bottom).
9. Insert the base: Pin the base to the bottom of the outer bag, right sides together.
10. Sew the base in place, stopping 1/4″ short at each corner to pivot & turn (leave the needle down in the fabric and lift up the presser foot). As you pivot the corners, flip the underside of the bag away from you (see below).
11. Turn the bag right side out. Push the corners out and press the seams into a nice box shape.
12. Machine tack the flap onto the back of the bag, right sides together.
13. Machine tack the handle onto the sides of the bag (take care not to get a twist in your handle). Put to one side.
14. Make the lining: Repeat steps 7-10 for the lining, leaving a 2″ gap in a long side seam. Do not turn right side out.
15. Insert the outer bag into the lining, tucking the flap and handle inside between the layers. Align & pin the side seams and top edge.
16. Sew around the top edge (you may find it easier to remove the accessories tray on your machine here).
17. Pull the outer bag through the gap in the lining, and hand or machine stitch the gap closed.
18. Press the bag before pushing the lining into the outer bag. Sew around the top edge again, making sure to keep the flap and handle well out of the way.
And you’re done!
It would be wonderful if you could help me with this small measure of kindness. The 2 bags I’ve made have already brought smiles to the faces of the 2 recipients!
I will be the collection point for any donated bags, so please get in touch with me directly and I’ll give you my address (email@example.com)
Thanking you all in advance of your support and generosity.
As I enjoy the wide open windows and the washing on the line, I’m also progressing well with packing up ready for moving house at the end of this month. A small challenge when there’s 15 years worth of ‘stuff’ to thin out ready for our down-size!
I have also packed up my sewing room, but not before I got a class sample finished for classes in the new term.
I’m a great admirer of Anna’s fabulous bag designs and patterns, and her Maker’s Tote is a particular favourite of mine. I’ve had it bookmarked for a while, but am only now getting around to making it!
I thought this would be a good bag pattern to teach in class because of the variety of bag construction elements and skills involved.
But of course I couldn’t just stick to the pattern, could I!
I love using denim for bags, it makes them more durable and useable in my view. And besides, I already had 2 ‘uneven brick’ panels sewn together for another project long forgotten! They were the perfect size, so I got to *quilting them, first in the ditches, and then some feature quilting using Aurifil 12wt wool thread.
*the original pattern uses a foam interfacing like Bosal to give structure and reinforcement to the bag. I wasn’t able to get any in time, so substituted with a layer of wadding and heavy weight sew-in vilene spray basted together.
The front and back of my bag are slightly different. I didn’t think the prescribed front pocket would work on my version of this bag, but I did include the zippered back pocket.
One of the joys of working with recycled denim is thinking of ways to use the loops, tabs and unusual features attached to a pair of jeans.
I decided my Maker’s Tote could be used as my everyday bag, not just a class sample, so I incorporated another one of my favourite textiles, vintage chintz linen.
A few vintage style Lecien prints coordinated beautifully for the internal pockets and facings.
The handles are made from a re-purposed denim belt, reinforced with webbing and lined with more of the chintz linen.
The belt was a little on the wide side, so by cinching in the edges along the top section, they are now the perfect fit for my hands and have lovely structure too!
The bag is finished off with self-made bias binding, another great skill to have under your belt. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that the first lot of bias binding I made is different to the one on the finished bag!
I decided I didn’t like choice no.1 (after I had attached it!). In my opinion the chintz linen binding works much better, even though it was a little trickier to attach.
So there we have my version of Noodlehead’s Maker’s Tote! A fabulously roomy bag, gorgeous shape, and versatile elements.
And I’ll leave you with an ‘out take’ of the ‘helper’ on my photo-shoot!
It’s almost the end of my teaching term here in Belfast. There has been a hive of activity across my 4 classes and it’s always a joy seeing completed quilts, bags, wallhangings and more.
This term, a number of my ladies have been making the Sew Together Bag, by Sew Demented.
The first Sew Together Bag I made at Brit Bee Retreat. While there were a few sections of the pattern which could have been better illustrated, I was able to independently complete the bag (with only a couple of peeks at my friend’s pouch!).
I’ve designed and made many pouches and bags, but my classes are mixed abilities. So by way of preparation for teaching this pattern, I knew I needed to make another bag, taking additional notes, tips and improvements for my ladies.
It’s been another busy week here in the Hollies’ household – lots more sewing to share with you in the coming weeks.
A wee while ago I was prepping for an English Paper Piecing class and brought in some of my sample projects.
I had diamonds, hexies, kites and coffins to show in a variety of projects, but there was one shape I was missing………. Clamshells (scallops).
Clamshells are a great example of curved EPP. I often get free pre-cut EPP papers with quilting magazines. Which is where I got these clamshells!
The little project book that came with the papers was helpful too! It gave me an idea for a sample.
I decided to make this little bag using some Tilda leftovers teamed with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen (Flax).
Joining curved EPP shapes is a little different from straight edge shapes. Shapes like hexies and diamonds can be sewn right sides together using a whip stitch along the straight edges. Because there are no straight edges on curved shapes, the pieces are appliqued down onto a background instead.
A little note on basting clamshells – snip into the fabric along the curves, approx. 1cm intervals before folding the fabric over the paper. I’m a fan of hand tacking/basting the fabric to the papers, but I know some of you are big into the convenience of the glue basting pen. However, the glue pen doesn’t work so well here because the papers have to be removed before they are appliqued down.
I sourced some vintage wooden handles on Etsy that were just the right size.
So now I have a sweet little Clamshells Handbag to keep all my English Paper Piecing papers and wips in! Great for sewing ‘on the go’!
Hello and welcome to Just Jude Designs, especially if you are here as one of the 2017 Finish-a-long participants.
As one of the new hosts this year, it’s is my privilege to share with you a tutorial to keep you inspired during our first Tutorial Week!
With Easter not too far away, I thought you might like a quick make that oozes cuteness and gives you nifty way to gift to your ‘chocolate loving’ friends and family!
Finishing at 4″ wide by 7″ tall (incl. ears!), they are the perfect size for filling with small chocolates and eggs!
Here’s how to make them:
You will need:
Outer Fabric: 2 x (6″ wide by 8″ tall) Lining Fabric: 2 x (6″ wide by 8″ tall) Ears front: 2 x (2.5″ wide by 4.5″ tall) Ears back: 2 x (2.5″ wide by 4.5″ tall) Lightweight iron-on vilene: 1 x (2.5″ x 9″) 0.5″ wide ribbon: 2 x 17″ small safety pin
1. Iron the vilene onto the wrong sides of 2 matching ear fabrics. Cut the 2 pieces apart. Using the ears template, draw an ‘ear’ onto the wrong sides of the other ear fabrics.
2. Place (different) ear fabrics right sides together and sew on pencil line (use a reverse stitch to start and finish). Trim away excess fabric, leaving 1/8″ seam allowance.
3. Turn the ears right sides out, press and turn under the open ends. Sew across the ends as close to the edges as you can. Put to one side.
4. Place the outer fabrics right sides together. Mark 2″ down from both top corners.
5. Sew around sides and bottom from marker to marker. Repeat for the 2 lining pieces, but leave a 2″ gap in the bottom edge.
6. Pull the corners apart and place the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Measure 1″ along the seam from the point (this will give you 2″ vertically). Mark the vertical line and sew along this line. Repeat for both corners on outer bag and lining.
7. Place the top ‘flaps’ right sides together, outer fabric with lining. Pin at the point where the side seams meet.
8. Sew around both ‘flaps’ between pins at both sides. Use a reverse stitch to start and finish, and take care not to sew into the existing seam.
9. Turn bag right side out through the gap in the lining. Hand or machine stitch the gap closed and press well.
10. Press the flaps under by approx. 0.5″ or until they reach the side seams. Pin and sew one flap down (as close to the edge as possible). Use a reverse stitch to start and finish.
11. Pin the ears onto the remaining (turned under) flap leaving approx. 1″ between the ears at the bottom. Sew along the edge of the flap and along the bottom of the ears. Use a reverse stitch to start and finish.
12. Attach the safety pin to one end of the ribbon and pass through both channels until it comes out the same side where you started.
13. Knot the ribbon ends together and repeat for the other piece of ribbon from the opposite side.
And you’re finished!
Fill up the bag with chocolate goodies and pull the drawstrings to close!
(I guarantee you it won’t stay closed for long!!)
And for more fantastic tutorials this week, check out this list:
Quilters are among the most generous, big-hearted humans I know! Always quick to respond to the needs of others in the ways they know best, quilting!
Recently on my Facebook Group, The Sewing Surgery, a request for sewers to make Syringe Driver Bags came through from Marie Curie Cancer Care, via a group member.
Folks in the group immediately responded, and pictures of syringe driver bags started appearing! Big pat on the back TSS members!
These bags are in constant need by Marie Curie, so if you would like to make one to send to them, you can get the pattern and details here.
Another brilliant UK charity supported by quilters is Siblings Together. Each year, we try to make 100 quilts to give to children at summer camps. These kids are separated from their siblings by the care system. They join up with their siblings at camp and the quilts are given out at the end of the camp, as a comforting reminder of their time together.
In addition to individuals making quilts for ST, there are also several quilting bees supporting ST. I’m in one of them (Siblings Together Bee 2) and, with the help of my bee mates, I’ve managed to complete 1 quilt so far.
This is Canvas quilt (named after the Canvas blocks we made). As you can see it’s a colourful, scrappy quilt, and at 60″ x 72″, will make a great big quilty hug for a child at ST.
The quilt has been beautifully quilted by a good friend, bound in my trusty black and white stripe fabric and labelled ready to be posted to ST.
My 2nd ST quilt isn’t too far away from completion either! A big thank you to my ST bee mates for their contributions to these quilts.
And finally, another charity quilting bee close to my heart is Bee Blessed. A Belfast based group of ladies meet once a month to make quilts for those in need. This group is brilliantly supported by quilting bloggers too!
Giving a little time and fabric in this way is so rewarding! So if you have been inspired to help any of these worthwhile causes in any way, please let me know and I can point you in the right direction.
I’m always a little reluctant to jump on band wagons! Preferring to watch from the sidelines for a bit!
When the ‘Sew Together Bag’ band wagon rolled into blog-town I admired the many versions of the pouch that were being created! I got to see some in real life too, and was surprised by how big and roomy they were.
So the pattern went on the very long ‘bucket list’, that ‘one day I’ll get around to it’ invisible list!
That ‘one day’ was last weekend at Brit Bee Retreat. I had already prepped various sections of the bag, using some favourite Liberty scraps and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen.
Despite the odd head scratching moment, and a puzzled brow or two with the pattern, I finally got it finished. (I only broke one needle, not bad eh?)
I decided not to make the pin cushion and needle holder. This bag is so roomy, and is now filled with almost the entire contents of my sewing box. Much easier to transport to sewing ‘together’ venues!
You can get the pattern here if you fancy having a go. However I would not grade this as beginner friendly (some experience of sewing zippered pouches (and a healthy dose of patience!) is recommended).
It’s wonderful to see so many folks entering my Tula Pink giveaway.
If you haven’t already entered, just sign up for my newsletter (right) and/or like my Facebook page here.
So Christmas is sneaking up quickly, and I thought you might like a quick and easy Christmas tutorial.
How cute are these gift bags?
They are fully lined and stand at 7″ tall. Perfect for jazzing up those smaller (but no less important) gifts!
So let’s get started. Here’s what you need:
Outside: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)
Lining: 2 x (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ tall)
Channel: 2 x (2″ wide x 8″ tall) or use 1″ wide ribbon
Drawstring: 2 x 20″ lengths of narrow ribbon
Small square ruler
Assume 1/4″ seam allowances
1 Place both outside pieces right sides together. Sew around the side and bottom edges. Repeat for the 2 lining pieces, but this time leave a 2″ gap in the middle of the bottom edge.
2 Make box corners: Pull the corners apart and place the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Place the ruler on top of the corner and measure and mark 3″ vertically (or 1.5″ from tip horizontally).
3 Sew along the line, starting and finishing with a reverse stitch. Repeat for all 4 corners. (I like to trim off the excess from the lining, but leave the corners on the outers for a ‘stronger bottom’!)
4 Turn the outer bag right side out (leave the lining inside out).
5 Place the outer bag inside the lining. Match and pin the side seams and top edges.
6 Sew around the top edge (you will find this easier if you remove the accessory tray). Start and finish with a reverse stitch.
7 Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the lining. Push the corners out and stitch the gap in the lining closed.
8 Push the lining into the bag and press the top edge to neaten.
9 Make the Channel: Press under the short ends of each piece by 1/4″. Also press under both long sides by 0.5″.
10 Pin the channels to the bag. The top edge of the channel will be 1.5″ down from the top of the bag. Don’t worry if there is a little gap at the sides.
11 Slide the bag into your machine (without the accessory tray) and sew around the top and bottom edges of the channel, 1/8″ seam away from the edge. Rather than stopping at the sides, just continue sewing onto the next channel. Start and finish with a reverse stitch.
12 Finishing: Attach the safety pin to one end of a piece of ribbon. Thread the pin into the channel at one side, all the way around and out the same side. Knot the ends of the ribbon together.
13 Thread the other piece of ribbon in the same way, this time from the opposite side.
14 And you’re done! Fill with goodies and make lots more!
I’m a closet hippy! Born a decade too late, I’ve been repressed ever since!!
So nothing delights me more than sewing with retro, funky fabric!
Fabric is ‘Linen Cupboard’ by Emma Jean Jansen for Ella Blue
This is my Retro Beach Bag in the August issue of Pretty Patches.
I love the simplicity of beach bags – roomy, sturdy and with ‘make it easier’ features like webbing for handles and mesh for outside pockets.
I also love projects that are functional and practical, so I’ve made the lining with wipeable Rip-Stop nylon, and a detachable ‘wet bag’ for your swimming costume and drippy sun lotions.
I know some of you have a ‘zip phobia’, but trust me when I say this is one of the easiest ways to insert a zipper. The entire bag is made first, and then the zip is top stitched onto the top of the bag.
Here’s the same pattern done in Ikea ‘deco’ weight fabrics (unquilted).
So if you don’t want an over-complicated, summer bag, have a go at this beginner friendly pattern and get in touch with your inner hippy!