archive for 'bags'
i decided to go overboard on the theme thing: i bought a couple of sticker/activity book versions of the two stories to go in it, hence the size of the bag, which is quite big for a kid’s bag, but i made the straps long enough for her to carry it over her shoulder, so hopefully it won’t be dragging on the ground!whipup recently and tracked it down to happythings.
i think the fact that i’ve never made a tote bag before and worked it out from scratch meant i chose prolly not the most efficient way of putting it together. it was the cutting and – most of all – fusing that seemed to take forever. i pieced each side of the outer bag and lining and then fused everything onto a stiff interfacing (so there are 2 layers of interfacing throughout). i like the fact that it’s sturdy enough to stand up on its own, although i’d expect it to soften gradually with use and eventual inevitable washing. if i ever made a bag like this again i’d without doubt use a sew-in interfacing to save time. the handles were made with a bias tape maker (prym beats hemline hands down, this one flattens the fabric sufficiently to actually work!), again outer fabric and lining both interfaced (slightly narrower than the tape) then topstitched together.pencil rolls i decided to include pencil pockets inside the bag. i interfaced one layer of the spotty lining fabric, then stitched the long edges right sides together with another layer, turned and topstitched one long edge (the top of the pocket). then topstitched the bottom edge onto the main lining piece and stitched in the pencil channels (1″ wide, marked with masking tape, which is conveniently 1″ wide). this was all done before the lining pieces were assembled.
the sewing everything together was nice and quick, but if there’s a trick to sewing the bottoms neatly – and if there is please someone tell me! – i didn’t get it. it probably doesn’t involve trying to sew a rectangular piece in for the base, which is what i did, and although i fudged the corners a bit it turned out a lot better than it could have donelined, there’s swanky ) came together so quickly and easily, and i even managed to catch the fact that the riding hood print is directional and so would need seaming before i cut the fabric! i just reversed the fabrics so the “lining” seam was on the outside rather than inside. it’s not the most elegant of solutions, especially given my rather wonky topstitching, but it was quick and dirty and didn’t require too much extra brainwork, since i was resizing the pattern so had to work out my own measurements for where to leave the casing gap anyway.
now i just have to figure out how to wrap it…
will work on a string bag next as the co-op i was supposed to be in has melted away and i have so much yarn knocking about it would be criminal to pay for one. having ventured into freeform for my last bag (just for something to store yarn in so i could free up my nice stripey bag for toting current projects about) i’ve realised the value of working to a pattern…
i’ve just found out that you’re supposed to turn your work each time you start a new row. oops. i just carried on merrily around, but i’ll bet it counts as some kind of special technique with its own proper name
think i’ve also worked out why the line where i joined rows was staggered diagonally instead of straight up. i was skipping the first stitch and going into the second instead. presumably i also made an extra stitch at the end of the row so i didn’t actually decrease at all.
well the crochet went pretty well, all finished last night. the pattern was very very simple, i had to adjust it for a finer guage yarn/smaller hook and basically kept going until it looked the right kind of size. i also lengthened the handles so they’d go happily over my shoulder, which took more adjusting to get the curve right. they look a little ungainly at the inbetween length they turned out, but they’re supremely practical.
the stripes are because i wasn’t sure i’d have enough of the blue so i went back to the pdsa shop and got a couple of balls of ecru stuff that seemed a good co-ordinate. i had to double up the yarn as it was a far bit finer than the blue. i lined it with a piece of cotton kimono i got off ebay a while back. it was supposed to become a dress for madam, but i was supposed to win another co-ordinating piece to go with and i didn’t. so i was left with a piece that was too small to be much use for anything else. i was a bit worried that the indigo blue/white wouldn’t be a close enough match for the navy blue/ecru (pix brightened due to flash) but i think it works fine. the kimono fabric was a dream to work with, very tightly woven and non-ravelly. it was slightly trickier to busk the lining than i’d expected, and i only remembered half way through that i’d wanted to add a couple of pockets. they should prolly have a bit of velcro to hold them shut, but if i’m using the bag it’s so stuffed with stuff that gaping isn’t too much of a problem.
i was a bit nervous about how much weight the bag would take and whether the handles would stretch but it’s survived its first day loaded with typical toddler baggage entirely unscathed. i love the style, it’s much more practical than i expected, i’m sedate enough on the move that it doesn’t need any fastening (the top of the bag closes together when it’s carried) and then when you stop it opens right out so you can find and get to everything really easily. and i just love the feel of a wool (well, ish) bag tucked under my arm, it’s all cwtshi and cosy.
this worked out as a super mega bargain if you don’t count the cost of the hook (Â£1) or the lining (which was essentially free as i bought it long enough ago that i don’t remember what it cost ). it was Â£1.20 in total for the yarn and i still have nearly all the ecru and half a ball of the blue left. not sure how it works out in hours but it was all done and dusted in under a day and a half.
since i obviously have nothing better to do i was wondering about picking up some crochet. i’ve done a little before and it strikes me as slightly easier to (re-)learn than knitting. this was sparked by a fab crochet bag on picture sunday. that will be way out of my league to start, but i wondered whether this might be easy enough.
for chosing yarn, here are us/uk equivalents:
UK v US
4-ply = Sportweight
Doubleknitting = Worsted
Aran = Fisherman or Medium weight
Chunky = Bulky
and for hook sizes conversion chart