January 13, 2010

Very easy bag

I made a bag last month. N1 wanted to buy a bag to take the big drawing book to art class. None of her other bags would fit this long book. like any self-respectng sewist, I decided to make her one. This is a simple book bag, just a long piece of fabric..



Easy instructions:
put book on  fabric , 2" from edge. Fold so book is enclosed and fold is the bottom of the bag. Leave 1/2" at sides and 2" at top. cut fabric. Take book out. Fold up, sewn on two sides, hem the top, attach straps. takes 15 minutes to make.

For those who like pictures, a tutorial can be found at ehow here , screenshot:

I took the prettiest pink i had in my fabric stash and made a simple appliq to embellish... a square of polkadot babypink, a length of satin ribbon for the N. just sewed on with a regular straight stitch. I pulled off a few threads from the square to give it a frayed look. Just big enough for her art book and color pencils case.

If you attach the straps lower, the top of the bag will naturally fall into the bag and make a closed look, because there is extra fabric at the top.

January 7, 2010

using up the fat quarter

With the fabric leftover from the tote bag, I made mini wallets. I am a big fan of the mini-wallet… just big enough for IDs and some cash, you can stick it in your pocket or the pocket of any bag you might have. Considering that I have a diaper bag to lug around most of the time, I find it is very easy to take just the wallet and leave the big bag in the car.
I used the dimensions of the wallet I already had. It was a simple plastic fold with four pockets. Its best feature was that it had a pocket that opened towards the center, so coins would not slide out. 

A simple tutorial for something like this, is available here at purpleperson.
I covered the fabric with contact paper so it was stain proof...Much needed for someone like me.
Then I got the idea of clear pockets with contact paper... Just fold the plastic sticky sides together to make a sturdy clear pocket. I sewed bias tape around the sides to keep it all together. The corners are wonky, but it’s neat enough. 
When ponnu chinnu saw my new wallet, they wanted one too... Since I had just enough fabric to make another one, I did. This time I made clear contact paper pockets and put one riyal and a little magnetic phonebook in the pockets. 

That’s one hours work. But then, I have only one. What will I make for the other one? Till then, this kids wallet will go in storage… to give on a birthday or some such special occasion.


Edited to add: while netsurfing, i found this tutorial at polkadotchair
  at on how to make a checkbook-size laminated wallet using iron-on-vinyl or oilcloth.  Do check out Melissa's blog, she has many wonderful tutorials.

January 6, 2010

sewing a bag

I made a tote bag. It is so easy, the easiest thing to sew... just sew 3 sides, box the corners, and then attach straps... like this

I bought the really pretty rose print canvas fabric from Daiso. it was a fat quarter and cost 7QR. the straps were from the same shop, thick webbing. I reinforced the bottom with iron-on interfacing and made the bag...

Turns out, I hate the bag... it is too wide and floppy; I think I should have used batting or something heavier. This big bag is not my style , though it is a really nice print. The problem is, I boxed the corners too big and so the bottom fabric cannot be seen at all. I had cut out the corners before bringing it right side out, so I did not notice this until it was too late… now I am thinking about giving it a deconstruction.

I browsed a lot of tote bag tutorials and this one caught my eye at HGTV . This was sort of like I wanted it, but it does not say where to put the handles. I love the look of the bag, but this looks too sophisticated. Will I be able to make it?

Then I found another tute at skip to my lou. Here everything had step by step photos and was the clearest tute I have ever seen. So I am going to un-sew all the seams in this bag and make a smaller tote.

Lets see how that goes.

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