Monday, April 26, 2010

Ditty Bag Sewing

I have a fondness for bags, because they're useful and I can put things in them, like knitting & spinning projects. I also use them to store a variety of things. Plus, I can churn out a ditty bag, small reticule/purse, etc in a very short amount of time.

Bags are great for first-time sewers because they are simple; you can make something functional; and you can make something that matches your outfit. PLUS, it doesn't take a lot of fabric, so you can easily use fabric scraps from bigger projects to make your bag.

On Saturday, I went over to JoAnn’s crafts to pick up a few things, and I passed by their clearance aisle, and decided to take a look. They had a whole slew of their swatch samples on sale for $0.97 - $2.99. These are about 24 x 24 inches of some nice fabric -- everything from silk to brocades to jacquards to cotton to wool.

So, I went through their bin to grab some, because I thought these would be perfect for little project bags or small accessories where I didn’t need a lot of fabric (and the price was right). And I thought I’d let the fabric dictate what it would look like in the end. (I had no plan, really, as of yet)

When I got home, two pieces of fabric, a sea green in a poly-rayon and a dark forest green in a loose weave jumped out at me. Two different fabrics with two different textures. PLUS, as I remembered I had some sea foam ribbon from a previous project (teaching ribbon flowers)

My first plan? Make a circular bottom out of the dark green. Use the light green as the body of the bag, and then maybe use the dark green as trim. It didn’t work, because I mis-measured and cut the light green yardage too short to fit around the circular bottom. So, instead,

1. Made strips of the dark green & light green,
2. Alternated them to make a single piece of fabric
3. Treated that as a single piece of fabric for the body and cut out what I needed
4. Seamed up the sides, and attached it to the circular bottom.
5. Got some left over fabric from a previous project, and lined it.
6. Added a ‘casing’ to the top of the bag so it’ll cinch close
7. Used the green ribbon and pleated it for a decorated top…which also hides the casing
8. Used leftover of the alternating fabric to make a “strap” to add to the side of the bag (which also hides the string for the closure.

Shopping time: 30 minutes
Sewing time: 20 minutes -- mostly to reconfigure the original bag and having to seam rip 2x!
Uses: knitting-on-the-go, drop spindling, or basically anything where you need a ditty bag…..