Here it is! Bag Number 2!
I quite like this one. Its more on the plain side, but I LOVE the bright colors. I decided that since I needed some projects to test out my new sewing machine I’d make some “beach bags” for my sister in laws. This one is for Maria (hence the big “M” on the back, see below). She loves orange and bright and unusual things. I hope she likes it!
My felt squares and lining fabric for Maria’s bag
I got the fabric and some pre-cut felt squares at a local fabric store. I also used some white canvas type fabric for the outside of the bag. This will make it a little more sturdy and hold its shape a little better. The colored print is just a cotton.
I started out by cutting two squares of the lining (colored print) and the white canvas. I also cut some pedals from the colored felt. These I arranged on one of the white squares. I took a picture so that I remembered how I had placed them when it came time to sew them down!
I really wanted this to be in the corner of the bag, but at the time I neglected to leave myself space for the flat bottom of the bag and the “side.” I ended up seam-ripping a LOT and inserting a 4″ section to the bottom of this piece. Otherwise my flower would have been mostly hidden when the bag was finished.
The pedals all sewed down!
I sewed down the pedals one at a time. I tried to sew close to the edge, but you have to be careful with felt as the thread will pull right through it if there is too much stress on it. I decided after I had finished that I should have used a smaller stitch that what I did, but I wasn’t about to rip out all of those seams and start over!
Now its time to assemble the bag. I started with the colored fabric, right side to right side. I sewed down two opposite sides (like I did with my first bag). The first two stitches will make the fabric into a loop. Flatten the loop so that the two seams are on top of each other, in the middle of the fabric.
Then sew across the length (this will be the bottom). Then its time for a box corner. This time I took a picture! Press the corner into a triangle. Sew across.
The seam that you see in the picture above is the 3rd stitch, or the bottom. I used the ruler to make sure that the corner would be square, then drew some guidelines. We will stitch along the ruler, all the way across. I did this for both corners.
I followed similar steps with the white fabric, except that I left the side seams on the side. Same basic process, but more seams end up in the corner. Once I had both pieces sewed into a bag-like-fashion, (and adjusted for the bad placement of the flower) I decided the bag needed more. I printed a big “M” onto a plain piece of paper, the same size as some extra felt that I had left over. Instead of trying to cut out the “M” and sew carefully just inside the edge (like I did for the pedals), I cheated. I pinned the felt AND the paper right to the bag!
I pinned the felt and paper “M” strategically and started to sew. Using the printed “M” as a guide, I sewed right on top of the lines. It made some nice crunchy sounds and was a bit difficult to maneuver. At this point I wished I had thought of the “M” before I sewed the two white squares together to make the bag. Having to be sure I didn’t sew all the way through BOTH pieces of fabric was just another difficulty that could have been avoided, but oh well! After i finished sewing all the way around, I ripped off the paper (carefully, though).
I still wasn’t quite pleased with the amount of color on the bag so I decided to roll the top of the bag over, exposing the lining material. This wasn’t in the original plan, nor was the big “M” on the back. I sort of made it up as I went along, bugging my husband for his opinion while he tried to run on our treadmill in the basement.
I actually sewed the lining to the white fabric, good side to good side, with the white fabric on the inside. I sewed around the top, leaving a hole to flip the whole bag inside out. This essentially hides the seam I used to attach the lining to the fabric. Then I folded the top over, and sewed 1/4″ from the edge, all the way around. This holds the folded over part in place. I like to do double seams, so I sewed a similar stitch 1/4″ around the top.
I used some of the white canvas for handles, and sewed these in place, trying to sew in line with the double seams holding the flap in place. I think it looks cleaner this way. I hid all of my “starting” and “ending” strings inside the bag by hand with a spare needle.
The front of the bag
The back of the bag. “M” for Maria!
And there you go! This one turned out MUCH different than I had planned… but I think it ended up better. That is a lot of what I enjoy about sewing. I actually have a plan, but really you never know how its going to turn out. You don’t have to be super awesome at sewing to sew. And it doesn’t matter if you mess up, which I did! Because I seamed ripped and even added some extra pieces of fabric to make up for it. It still turned out just fine 🙂
I do have a plan for another bag… but its quite complicated and I’m not sure I have the patience for it just yet! Maybe this summer sometime 🙂
~ T ~