Friday, 27 January 2012

My first simple make

I have a ton of buttons, fabrics, zips, threads and nick knacks that I have collected and been given over the past 15 (if not more) years. I keep everything like this in case one day I find the perfect thing to make them into. I am not a hoarder in every sense. I edit and chuck everything else in my life, except clothes of course. You never know when I might be able to squeeze into those tiny size 10 jeans again!! So apart from Sam and Ida’s toys, gardening books I’ve either inherited, found, been given or bought, clothes and haberdashery things, I’m not really a hoarder.
No really!!

As promised last week, I am going to organise myself and start making something with them. Well they aren’t going to turn into beautiful things by themselves are they! I have in mind to make a mobile for Sam’s room- while he is still young enough to appreciate it. I have a charity shop apron that Ida wore for most of her first year as a dress that I want to grade up to a size that fits. AND Sarah and I have decided that I MUST learn to block print! So to all my textile friends that I used to share halls with at University…your help is needed. HELP!!

So, being a Fashion Degree student, this shouldn’t be hard. Well, as I am sure you have heard I have a small disability. I BREAK all machines!! In multiples.
Therefore for my “first” make project I have kept it simple and made a little bag for my Ida to fill up with bits she finds and like’s organising. You can make your own and turn it into a gift bag, a shopping bag, a party bag or a little one’s “stuff” bag as I have.

Follow my simple instructions to make a similar one.

You will need : a sewing machine, sewing thread, fabrics, paper to make the paper pattern, pins, and iron and ironing board and decorations to make your bag pretty.

  1.  Find/Buy old fabrics and embroidery threads and set up your sewing machine with the coloured thread you have chosen to use.
  2.  Use the pattern below to cut out the bag body (1) and strap (2).  It's best to pin the paper pattern to the fabric then cut it out. I’ve used plain calico for the body and floral fabric for the strap. You can be as inventive as you like.  
  3. Make the main part of the bag by French seaming* the sides together. Don’t forget pressing* is the key to good french seams*! These french seams* have a 1.5 cm seam allowance*. To french seam* simply put wrong sides together, stitch vertically down each side, 0.9 cm from the raw edge. Trim away the raw edge leaving 0.3 - 0.4mm. Open out seam and press flat. Turn inside out then press shut with right sides together making sure you have crisp edge where the seam is. Stitch 0.6 cm from the edge all the way down each side again. Then press.  Turn correct way round so the seam is inside the bag and press again. See illustration below
  4.  Do exactly the same with the strap making a long tube with an opening each end. Press flat. 
  5.  Press the top of the bag up 2cm on the wrong side* of the bag to make a hem*. Then press up 0.5 cm to make the neat hem* finish. Before you sew into place, pin the strap into place. I have cheated and only have one strap. Pin the strap to the wrong side of the bag on one side and then loop over to the back of the bag and pin on the opposite side.
  6. Sew the top hem* of the bag including the straps into the stitching.
  7. Decorate the bag in whichever way you decide. And most importantly play and have fun while making this!

  • The Pattern.

*Translation of strange terminology I have used. 

  • French Seam. See image. A french seam is a tidy finished seam.

  • Hem- the edge. In sewing we finish a garment by pressing up the fabric and turning over to create a finished edge. 

  • Seam allowance- This refers to the area between the stitching line and the raw cut edge of the fabric.  

  • Wrong side/Right side- Most fabrics have wrong sides and right side. The wrong side is the side of the fabric you don't want to see. The Right side is the side you do want to see. See above image on Seam allowance. 

  • Press, to iron

Have fun making!

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