Over the Summer, Maddy wanted to experiment with using our new sewing machine and decided to have another go at a bag she had tried once before and hadn’t been so pleased with. This time she put a little more thought into how to build up her pattern and layer the seams so it worked as she wanted and the result was really rather good.
Here’s how it went… in fairly general terms!
1. Cut out two rectangles of fabric, the outer and the inner. In this case it was yellow spotty fabric and some calico inside. Put them right sides together and pin.
2. Stitch down each long side about 5mm from edge and turn through.
3. Fold the tops inwards so ragged edges are inside and pin flat. Ironing at this point is a good idea.
4. When you are happy the tops are level and the inside doesn’t show above the outside, stitch as neatly as possible, about 5mm from the edge.
5. Fold it in half so you have an accurate idea of the size of each panel.
When Maddy did her version she actually attached the cat motif before the lining and sewing. On reflection this made it stressy and if you are neat, attaching the motif all the way through the inner and outer layer of fabric is probably no big deal. Who sees the inside anyway? It’s up to you but if you want it all contained inside the lining, you need to do this bit first and be careful you place it correctly, bearing in mind seam allowances).
6. Use the cat outline to cut out a version of the motif in fabric and also in felt. (Click on the picture, right click and view and you’ll get a full sized version). Top tip, cut a mm or so outside the line to make you fabric version and a mm or so inside for your felt version.
7. Put the felt version on top of one side of the bag on the outside. Put the fabric version on top. The felt adds body and makes it more like applique. Pin it carefully and then very slowly stitch the cat to the bag. Maddy did zigzag stitch and straight stitch for the paw outlines. You could just as easily hand sew it. Maddy used yellow to match the body of the bag.
8. Fold the bag, lining sides together, in half. Stitch neatly down the left and right side (Not the top….!!!)
9. Next you need some wide ribbon. Cut a piece long enough to cover the length of each side of the bag and made a shoulder strap. It has to be attached to the sides so it folds equally over the front and back edge. Start at the bottom of one side (turning the ribbon under if it will fray) and pin it up one side. Then do the same with the other side, starting at the bottom again and making sure there are no twists it the strap.
10. Machine it in place, near to the edge of the ribbon to make it neat.