I have a long list of projects lined up at all times- a pile of fabric ready to be cut out and sewn together, and a handful of patterns to make my own. But every now and again, probably more often than I should say, if forget about those and sit down to make something a little bit spur of the moment-ish. This is how this tutorial came about. I've been using a regular tote bag for carrying my knitting around in, and it was doing the job, but I really wanted a bag that was made especially for knitting. So, this bag was born!
This bag is made from stash fabric and a quick trip to the habadash' for the handles- it shouldn't take more than an hour to put together, possibly less.
You will need-
half a meter of fabric for an unlined bag, two half meters for a lined bag
Bag handles, found in any habadash' for about £3- they come is a range of shapes and sizes so just pick whatever ones you like most.
Sewing machine and thread
Tailors chalk/ pen
Step One- Cut your fabric in half so you have two fat quarters (rough squares) and round off the corners at the top, you can also round off the corners at the bottom if you want to, or not for a square base. Use tailors chalk to sketch out a nice curve on one side, make sure you're happy with it and, once you are, fold the bag in half to replicate the same shape on the other side.
Repeat with your lining fabric if making a lined version.
Step Two- with wrong sides together sew around the bag, leaving enough space (approx. 10cm) from the top so the bag has a big enough opening. Sew as close to the edge as you can while ensuring both pieces of fabric are being caught. Once you've gone all the way around, turn the bag out so that the right sides are together and sew around the edge again. This time you want to sew a little but further away from the edge to ensure that the raw edges of your last seam are encased in the sew row of stitching. This is known as a French Seam.
For a lined version, just sew both the outer and the lining right sides together, still leaving about 10cm at the top of the bag and another 10cm gap at the bottom of the lining (sew from the top on one side, but stop as you reach the half way point at the bottom, leave a gap then continue sewing. This gap is to turn the bag right way out).
|A finished French Seam- leaves a really neat and strong finish|
Step Three- We're almost there, that is the main body of your bag almost finished. Now you want to finish the raw edges at the top of you bag before you attach the handle. I stitched it down with a single fold, but you should feel free to fold the fabric twice before stitching the raw edge for a neater look. Just use a single row of straight stitch to secure that in place. Now you should be left with just the two raw edges at the very top of your bag opening, this is where the handles will go.
For the lined version, once both outer and lining are sewn, put the outer bag inside the lining,right sides together, and sew together the top seams, clipping the corners. You can then turn the bag the right way out through the gap you left in the bottom of the lining. Once it is the right way out, stitch up that gap. There should be no raw edges on show now. The handles will go on the long, flat, top edge.
Step Four- Fold over each of those raw edges in turn and press. Then put the folded edge through your handle. Some handles have a special slot for this, others, like the round ones don't and it goes through the main handle. Fold the fabric down and pin it evenly over the handle. You'll need at least a cm of overlap to stitch on. With the handle resting on the presser foot as a guide, sew along the fold to secure the handle to the bag. Repeat with the second handle- and you're done!
For the lined version, you don't need to fold the raw edge down as there isn't one'. you simply push the long edge through the handle and stitch down as above.
|This has not been done neatly- sorry for the bad example|
I hope that makes sense, shoot me any questions if it doesn't, ok. Enjoy your stitching!