Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Building a better bag

 It was a great weekend for my family.  My paternal grandmother, Sophie, celebrated her 100th birthday.  Relatives gathered from across Canada and the USA to join in the festivities.  Pictured here: front row, my daughter and my grandmother, back row, myself, sister Nancy, sister Shelley and mom Elaine.

My grandmother is my quilting inspiration.  From early years, I remember her appliqueing on quilt blocks.  She belonged to a group at the church that made quilt to raise money for church projects.  She always liked to keep her hands busy and there was never a shortage of blocks to work on.  She no longer works on quilts, though she is always happy when my mom or I show her one of our newly finished quilts.
 It wasn`t a quilt I was working on this week, but a special project for my neighbour.  Starting materials: a plastic shopping bag, a metre of yellow fabric and t-shirt.  When I was pre-washing the fabric, it was leaking all sorts of extra dye. This was my chance to punch up that boring plain yellow fabric I purchased for the lining.  I bunched the two fabrics together and left them to sit for several hours.  The result is a much more interesting piece of mottled yellow fabric.
 I made a pattern from a plastic grocery bag.  I used this style as it`s the type of plastic bag my neighbour uses to carry his paperwork for the running races he organises.

Pattern size, 16.5 inches wide and 20 tall.  The circle opening 3 inches.

I cut two pieces from the t-shirt, centring the logo.  I did have to piece the top edge to have space for the circular handle area.  Then I cut two pieces of cotton lining.  Putting right sides together, I seamed the sides of the bag.

Next, put the t-shirt pieces inside the lining with the right sides together, and align the top edges.  I used a lot of pins to keep the t-shirt fabric from rolling.  Sew with a quarter inch seam.  Press, clip as needed and then turn right side out.  Again, press, and then top stitch to keep it looking neat.

 It was at this late point that I realised I forgot to add a pen pocket.  I cut a 6 x 12 inch piece of lining, folded it in half and stitched the two sides.  Turn it inside out and stitch across the top fold a few times to add some stiffness.  Next, find the best spot for the pocket and draw a line for the pocket bottom placement.  Draw a stitching line on the bottom inside of the pocket.  Place the pockets with these two lines matching.  Pin in place and stitch.  Note that the pocket top is near the bottom of the bag.  Flip the pocket into place and stitch.

 This is a simple way to make a pocket and it results in a double stitched bottom. I hate it when a pocket opens up on the bottom and I start losing items.
 I took and extra step with the bottom.  First I pinned the t-shirt together.
 keeping those pins in place, I then matched up the lining at the back, then matched the front and added more pins  Now all four layers are matched at the bottom.  I stitched this seam twice.
 I boxed the corners with a four inch seam, double stitched.  I trimmed of the corners and zigzagged the cut edge.   I did a stretchy machine stitch around the circle handle opening.
Voila, a finished tote bag suitable for a running race director. This should safely carry his race binder and papers and any other small items he needs on hand. And as a bonus, it is so so very bright, it can`t possibly get lost.  After I finish posting this, I`ll be delivering the bag to my neighbour. The only thing more fun that making a gift, is giving it away.   This week, are you giving away any thing you made.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

I hope that you are having fun and  making progress on whatever project is dear to your heart at this moment.  Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your needlework post.

Also linking up with Lorna for Let's Be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts. 


The little book of Nessie said...

Your grandmother has reached a great age. Happy birthday to her! Great bag too. Regards, Nessie

Roslyn said...

Your bag looks great! I tried once to make a bag similar but was not impressed with my effort. That was back in the early days of taking our own bags along, and since then I have collected dozens from various events and now I need to recycle the recycled bags, LOL
You are blessed to have had quilter mentors in your family, I am the first, and only quilter in my family as far back as we have seen [200 yrs at least]. Since I have all sons and grandsons there may be no one to follow me although my oldest GDS used to sew with me and has made a quilt!
My DILs are not sewers either.

Lin said...

What a lovely family photograph. Many congratulations to your grandmother. Super bag - we have just spent a couple of nights with friends and I took a little crazy patch heart filled with lavender for my friend. She loved it - sadly I forgot to take a photograph! xx

QuilterinMotion said...

I love your bag and I love that you made it for your neighbor. I like the whole thing! I"m going to share it on Friday Finds on my blog, QuilterinMotion to show others what they could do for a friend or neighbor. Thank you for sharing.

khowardquilts said...

Would it be of any benefit to to put iron on interfacing on the t-shirt? I have a bunch of t-shirts that I may make into pillows and I thought bags might be an alternative project. I love your bag.