Monday, 1 December 2014

Remnant bag tutorial

So last Saturday I went around to my friends parents' house and ended up helping her sew up a pair of pants out of a very funky cotton drill with a print of old movie posters and sci-fi magazine covers. When we had finished cutting them out of the fabric we had a bit over 1/2m left, which she didn't know what to do with, so I offered to sew up a matching bag to go with her new pants. She responded saying that would he great, and that I should write it up as a tutorial for my blog. Good to know my friends and family read my ramblings. 

So here goes:

I started by measuring the pieces I had. My friend wanted a big bag so she could get the most out of the remaining print panels on the fabric, so I used the entire width of the fabric for the main part of the bag. Luckily, my friend's mum had some leftover black lining satin from another project, and it was the exact amount I needed for this.

Both of these pieces measure 21" by 42" they will make up the main part of the bag (and lining)

Then with the rest of the scraps, I worked out the straps and a few pockets. We luckily had another strip that was the whole width of the fabric, due to where we placed the pants pattern pieces on the fabric before. This piece I cut in 2 and used as the straps. for the rest of the pockets, I tried to find pieces of a Usable size that still had a fair bit of a panel, or a reasonable amount of readable text left. For each pocket piece, I also cut the same out of the lining fabric

the 2 straps measure 5.5"x 42" The piece in the middle (which will become 2 internal Pockets) is 5"x 25.5" the large patch pocket on the left is 9.5"x 11" and the small one on the right is 8"x 7"

The next step is to fold the straps in half length-ways and sew down the long open seam (don't worry about the ends, they will be sewn into the bag later anyway) then sew around the sides of the pockets, leaving a gap open in the bottom seam to turn it right side out. You can see I have sewn the long pocket piece into 2 sections. I then cut in between my sewing lines so I had 2 separate pockets. Clip the corners

Fold the 2 large Pieces in half (to make them into squares) and sew down the side.

Turn the Pockets right side out (use something pointy like a knitting needle to make the corners sharp) and Press with your Iron.

Turn the straps through and Press
Sew up the bottom of the main 2 pieces 
To give the bag more shape, I gave it box corners. Open up the bag, point a bottom corner towards yourself, and flatten the bag, lining up the side seam with the bottom seam underneath.

Measure and determine how deep you want your bags sides. I went with 6" but could have easily gone bigger due to the size of the bag, but I didn't want to take too much away from the print on the fabric.
Pin along your chosen line (keeping perpendicular to your side/bottom seam) Do this for both corners on both your outer and lining fabrics. One side wont have a side seam, so it may help to press a crease so you know where to line up.

Sew along your Pinned Lines

And cut off the excess
Turn your bag right side out

And Press. I have folded in the sides and bottom (kinda like an Enviro bag)
This shows you how I have folded in the sides and bottom

Then decide where you want your pockets and pin in place. I see this as being the front, and have placed this small pocket over a part of the print that is the same design (except slightly different placement)

The Front with the small pocket (good for keys, shopping list, phone, etc)

Large pocket on the back, I tried to center this one, as I didn't have a panel of the same print (we are working with scraps here, remember?) This larger pocket I feel will be good for my Friends' Kindle, so It is close to her, wont get damaged in her bag, and wont be an easy target for thieves.

1st Interior Pocket

This one I will be stitching into 3 small pockets, good for phones, mirror, lipstick, usb, small things that get lost easily in the bottom of a bag, etc
2nd interior Pocket. This will be stitched into 2 pockets, along the line between the 2 different prints. After you have pinned them all in place, stitch along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

Lay out the outer for your bag right side out and decide where you want your straps to be placed, then pin them there (do this for both sides)

Turn your lining wrong side out and place your outer bag (with straps) inside your lining, matching up side seam and edges

Pin all around the opening, remembering to move the pins holding your straps in place so they hold the lining as well (otherwise you might forget they are there and break a machine needle when you sew over them)

Sew around the top of the bag, leaving a reasonable size opening to turn your bag through. I made my opening between the straps on the back of the bag.

Turn the bag right side out and give it press along the top edge (and anywhere else it might need it)

To help keep the shape of the bag I pinned both sides and ran a short line of stitching down the edge (about 1.5")

Then I hand sewed the opening closed and attached a press stud in the center, to keep the bag closed.

And now you have a Finished bag

Here is the bag on me. As you can see, it is quite big, and the straps are long enough to wear across the body

Or just on one shoulder if preferred.
I dropped the bag off at my Friend's Mums' Place after Church on Yesterday. Hopefully She likes it!

Dixie O'Dare

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