Friday, 20 July 2012

The Cutest Little Bag! Tutorial.

It's been a busy couple of weeks, as always it seems. I have a long list of things I want to make, but it is invariably being interrupted by money paying activities, namely cleaning crud off vintage instruments. One ancient baritone saxophone out of the way earlier this week has been replaced by a 1930's clarinet. The stain of duraglit will be embedded in my fingertips for weeks to come, and the heady smell of oil, glue and white spirit is prevalent in the workshop. Interesting work, but dirty.

And so to things more refined. I promised this tutorial an age ago, but now I've actually sold out of all of my little girls bags I decided to knock one up this evening. However, I think it is most likely that it will disappear off in the direction of youngest daughter who is always down the pecking list when it comes to new bags.

These take a tiny amount of material and can be made within an hour.

You will need:
1 fat quart for the outside. This will make two bags easily.
Something for the lining.
A small piece of interfacing.

First make the pattern.
Grab a dinner plate and draw around it. Draw a bisecting line across the circle that measures 26cm. you should end up with slightly more than a semi circle.
Cut two from the main fabric, two from the lining fabric and two from the interfacing. you also want to cut a 5cm strip from the longest edge of the fat quart which is about 22 inches long.

Fold the strip of fabric you cut in half and iron the crease. Open it out then fold and iron each long edge into the central crease.

Fold it in half, pin it and sew as close to the edge as you can then top stitch the other edge.

The bag.
Iron the interfacing to the back of the outer fabric, then you want to put in the pleats. Mark the centre of the bag piece on the straight edge then measure and mark 2.5cm to each side. Bring these points in towards the centre and pin in place. Secure with a straight stitch.

Pin the two outer pieces of the bag right sides together and sew around the curved edge with a 1cm seam allowance. Repeat with the lining material but leave a 10cm gap in the bottom for turning. Snip into the seam allowance to help to bag shape once finished, but don't snip into the stitches or you'll be sewing it all again!
Turn the outer the right way around. The next job is to attach the strap. Pin it at the side seam, pointing down towards the bottom of the bag. Make sure the strap isn't twisted and pin the other end to the other side.

Baste in place.
Place the outer bag inside the lining, match up the side seams and the central pleats and pin in place.

Sew around the top edge with a 1cm straight stitch.
Turn the right way around through the hole in the bottom. Press around the top edge. I find it helpful to pin it again before top stitching around the top edge, As the lining isn't interfaced, you don't want it to rise up as you're stitching.

Then all that's left to do is to slip stitch the gap closed and give it a final press.

And there you have it, a very cute little bag that no young girl could resist!
You could always add flowers to it, or a button closure, whatever you like.
Well tomorrow evening its back to the clarinet. My machine will be missing me!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Tales from the Lanes

So yesterday I took the Emporium to the city, setting up a stall at the Norwich Lanes Summer fayre.

It was a bit of a gamble and I was a little apprehensive about doing it, having second thoughts even up to the last minute. But if you don't go for these things, you'll never know if they're going to work. And I must admit that initially I was wondering what I was doing there. Business was slow and a comment about the price of my satchel which is gorgeous but costs a small fortune in hardware and interfacing:
not to mention time and effort (enough with the ranting already!!), left me suspecting that this might yet again be a waste of time. Its at that point you have to hold your nerve. Plus you're there so what else can you do? However, the amount of people through the door did indeed increase substantially and was consistent through out virtually the entire day. I have no idea what was going on outside but the sounds and smells were wonderful. No one seemed deterred by the weather- at one point apparently everyone was being very British- outside in the pouring rain under umbrellas watching the band, drinking Pimms!
So despite my initial concerns, a great day was had. Thank you to everyone who bought something, thank you Gemma for helping me out and to hubby for ferrying me backwards and forwards and entertaining the children for the whole day. Just goes to show, we sometimes have bad days but its all forgotten as soon as a cracking one happens, you just have to keep the faith.

So now, I have a website to spruce up, some curtains to make for my father in laws camper van, one of my husbands 'projects':

(the picture makes it look a lot nicer than it actually is!)
And we have our own camper/day van project to undertake:
So plenty to keep me busy then!