Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pattern: Project or Ditty Bag

This past weekend, I needed something small to make, and one cannot have enough ditty bags for knitting projects and whatnought. So, I made up two knitting project (or ditty) bags using some fabric that I had been given by a friend:
  1. medieval cats
  2. cats & sushi (from my pattern holder)

Project bag 1Untitled

Luckily, ditty bags are easy to make as it's a bunch of rectangles sewn together to form a bag. It takes less than an hour to make a ditty bag if you use a sewing machine, but it's just as easy to handsew a bag like this. If you've sewn something as simple as a pillowcase, you can sew a ditty bag.

These particular ditty bags have a flat bottom, so will stand (more or less) when you put them down onto a table.

Project bag 1 finished Untitled

Instructions on How to Make Your Own Ditty Bag

Materials You Need:

  • Fashion Fabric
  • Lining fabric (preferably cotton)
  • Cording (for the closure) 
  • Sewing machine or needle/thread

FIRST: Cut out your rectangles as shown in the illustration
  • Cut 2 fashion fabric
  • Cut 1 of the lining fabric
You can make them to any size. (In the schematic, I make a suggested size that should be big enough for a socks project.) However, the diagrams should work for any size -- just cut to your desired lengths.

SECOND: Sew the seams as shown in the diagram with 1/2" seam allowance.
  • Fashion fabric: Sew both side edges and the bottom edge
  • Lining Fabric: Fold your fabric over and only sew one edge and the bottom.
Make sure to press your seams open, as that will help in the next step.

THIRD: Sew "triangles" along the bottom of the bag, which makes a flat-bottomed bag. (In the diagram, the dotted lines are the actual sewn seams.) The triangle is 2" from the tip. You can cut these triangles off later when you are happy with how it looks.

When you turn the bags right-side out, the flat bottom should look like this:


FOURTH: Insert the lining into your bag WRONG SIDES together (DO NOT SEW...yet). Pin the lining to the fashion fabric together so it does not move. (I find that it is easy to line up the outside side seams and start pinning from there.)

FIFTH: Finish the top edges of your bag in whatever manner you choose. You can use bias tape (or french bind) the top OR fold in the edges and topstitch, serge the edges, or any motley of finishing techniques. (Note: You can also choose to do this as the last step.)

SIXTH: Sew the casing  about 2" from the top of the bag (or to your liking). You need to sew two lines that are about .75" - 1" apart, depending on the size of your cording.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you REINFORCE the area where the outside seams are located by backstitching.

SEVENTH: Carefully seam rip the outside seams between the casing lines of the FASHION FABRIC ONLY. Do not seam rip the lining. You can do this on one or both sides, depending on how you want your bag to close. (Personally, I prefer two sided).

This gives you the casing for the drawstring closure.

EIGHT: Thread your cord through the channel casing left-to-right. Repeat going right to left. (See the illustration).  Attach a safety pin to one end and pull through the channel. (you can also choose to do this only on one side (but it doesn't close as well).

Here are pictures of two bags with one sided or two-sided closures.(You can see that the one sided draw string doesn't close 100%).

Project bag 1 finished Untitled

There are other variations you can choose to do with this type of bag, from fabric choices to making a reinforced bottom (like my cats&sushi bag -- I used black denim as a reinforced bottom).


But, I hope you like the pattern. Please let me know what you make from these instructions!