Saturday, 13 July 2013

Grab Bags

I am always inspired by my creative friends. Mo had a nifty fabric project bag that I thought looked like it would be fun to make. She sent me the link for Helen Heath's 'Japanese Knot Bag'. There is round bottom and two contrasting fat quarters are used.
Photo: Helen Heath
It would be very easy to make a square bottom using the same pattern and omitting the round piece.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a similar pattern in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of 'Make It Yourself' magazine and after doing an internet search, I found the exact same pattern which looked perfect.
The pattern requires 3/4 yard of main fabric and 1/2 yard of the lining fabric. The original uses the extra 1/4 yd of fabric for the pocket of the lining but I used waste fabric left after cutting out the pattern instead.

I used low-loft quilt batting for the first bag which made it quite fiddly basting it onto the main fabric. So the batting wouldn't get caught in the feed dogs, I basted it with the right side of the fabric down and the quilt batting on the top against the wrong side of the fabric.

For the interior pocket, I sewed around the bottom of the pocket fabric right sides together. I then snipped the curves and turned it right side out through the top. Then I folded the top edges inwards 1/4" and top-stitched the top closed. I then positioned it on one of the right sides of the lining and sewed it into place. You can see from whence I used the scrap fabric for the pocket.

This is what the pocket looks like while looking inside the bag. Perfect for a tape measure, needle gauge, car keys, mobile phone, etc.
I used this nifty button fabric for the main fabric. The finished size is 12 1/2" wide x 18" tall . You could get by using a 2 fat quarters, one for the main fabric and one for the lining if you shrink the pattern to 11" wide. This would yield you a 10 1/2" wide bag. Helen Heath's 'Japanese Knot Bag' pattern (link above) uses the two fat quarters.

I made another bag without batting this time using this cute, dotted print for the main fabric.
And this scissor fabric for the lining. I did a pocket the same way as I did for the first one. It didn't photograph well but it is white with black print.
If you want to make the bag truly reversible, skip the pocket entirely.

This is a great stash-busting project. These bags are always useful for projects, lunches, gifts, etc. It's fun to use bright, contrasting prints, too. I'm a pretty slow worker so the first one took me a couple of hours and the second one only about 1.5 hours. It's definitely a project that can be completed in an evening.

This could certainly be a 'potato chip' project for me. I couldn't make just one and now I'm thinking about what fabric I'll use to make the next ones.

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