Zoë: Secret Santa – Craft Bag

For the sew make believe secret Santa swap I had a selection of fabric and embellishments in shades of lilac and purple. I had already decided I wanted to make something craft related. One piece of fabric was quite large, but quite fine, I thought it would make a good lining for a bag. The other pieces of fabric could be used to be made into a patchwork outer. So I decided to make a craft bag.

Some of the fabric was originally from my stash and I still had some more left so I cheated a little and used some of this to make sure the bag was a good size. After looking through my books for inspiration I decided I wanted to use some plastic ring handles, and based the design on my knitting bag I have had since I was very young.

To make the bag I started with two strips of fabric, one from the lining fabric and one made of patchwork. I cut them the width I wanted the bag and twice as tall so that when doubled they would form both the front and the back without requiring separate pieces. The patchwork was just strips of fabric sewn together along the long edges. I cut the strips out to the same length but different widths.

I added a pocket to the lining fabric about half the way up one side. I made the pocket from a small rectangle of fabric hemmed along the top edge and with about 0.5cm folded under on the other three sides to prevent them from fraying. This was then stitched to the lining along the three folded edges.

To put the bag together I folded the patchwork piece in half with the right sides facing and stitched about halfway up each side. I did the same with the lining. I then put the lining bag inside the patchwork bag with the right sides of the lining and patchwork facing each other. This looks the wrong way round but you’ll be turning it inside out after stitching. Attach the lining to the outer layer by sewing around the opening above the already stitched sides. Remember this stitching will be hidden when the bag is turned the right way round so you don’t need to finish off the edges. Do this on both sides of the bag, but leave an opening at the top of each side so you can turn the bag the right way round. Tuck the lining in neatly.

I covered the raw edges at the top with bias binding. I would normally have hemmed it, but I was trying to use all the bits from my pack. I placed a handle in the centre of each top edge and folded the fabric over the part which touched the fabric to hold it in place. Once this was stitched in place the bag was finished.

There were still some bits and pieces left so I made a pin cushion and needle case as well.

I also decorated with bag with some flower brooches. I made these from scraps of fabric, yarn, and buttons.

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