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My Pattydoo Milly reversible shopping bag

My love for all things Pattydoo continues. Not only do they have a super range of sewing patterns, some written in English and some in German only, but they also have some great free patterns and this is one of them! Fortunately this is one of the patterns that you can print out in English too, so it’s a winner all round.

 

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So, this free pattern is for a reversible grocery bag. It is available in a small (children’s) size, and a larger adult sized version and you can choose to make it with webbing handles or fabric throughout, as I did. Because it is reversible, it is effectively lined so this makes it nice and strong too.

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I’ve been on the lookout for a pretty shopping bag for a while, and wanted something different to a regular tote bag. I wanted a bag that I could carry in my hands or in the crook of my elbow (not a shoulder bag) rather like a regular 5p plastic carrier bag, and I also wanted it to be reasonably sized so that I could fill it with plenty of shopping.

I was totally taken with the shape of this bag, in particular the pleats, and I knew that I had some pretty quilting cotton in my stash that I had been saving for a project like this.

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I could tell from the images that I had seen on the internet that the handles were going to be a little bit too long for the style that I was after, so I shortened them by 7cm. As mentioned before I wanted it to be ‘carrier bag style’. I simply printed out the pattern, cut it out and shortened the handle by 7cm before cutting it out. The width of my fabric was quite narrow, and I didn’t follow the cutting layout that Pattydoo had suggested. I folded both my selvedge’s into the centre to give myself two folded edges, and jiggled the pieces to make it fit. It worked out fine though and I managed to get each bag cut out with no problems. Take care if you have a directional print to make sure that your pieces are laying in the correct direction before you cut it out.

Along with the inverted pleats which I think are so cute, I love the way the boxed corners are sewn. I think they’re really pretty and give an interesting finished result.

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There are no written instructions to make up this bag included in the PDF, instead you are directed to a great Video tutorial which takes you through the whole step-by-step process of making it. Although this is spoken in German (I don’t speak German), it is really good and clear and is a great way to follow along with the sewing process.

The fabric that I have used is a quilting cotton from a range by Tanya Whelan. It was purchased from a small independent fabric shop which is no longer in business, but I will leave a link here for one alternative source of this fabric from this range that I have found. It also gives you a good idea of the coordinating colours and designs available in this collection. I really recommend quilting cotton or something of similar weight/strength for this project as the finished result is a really strong and sturdy bag.

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It’s a quick sewing project, and I am so happy with how it turned out. I am definitely keeping this for myself, but it would make a great gift idea too I think. I have a little fabric left over and when I get a chance will make a small pouch to keep it tidy inside my handbag so that I have it with me at all times.

I am on the lookout to replace my big shopping bags sometime soon. You know the large jute shopping bags that look like this:

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Our jute bags are on their last legs and I would like to make a set of bags like this using upholstery fabric probably and webbing handles, but cannot seem to find a good sewing pattern (it doesn’t have to be free) that looks similar to this design. If anybody has any good pattern suggestions for something like this, I would love it if you could leave a comment below and I can check it out. Thank you so much!

Let me know if you have a go at the Pattydoo pattern, I would love to see your makes!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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My Secret Valentine Exchange swap 2108.

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Time has really run away from me just lately and I have just realised that I did not blog about my Secret Valentine Swap experience last month.

So, for those who are unfamiliar, this is a friendly crafting swap, organised by the amazing Sanae and Ute and I understand that this is the fifth year of it taking place.

The idea is that you secretly make a handmade gift for your assigned partner, to be sent out in time for Valentines Day. You will also receive a handmade gift from another partner. Such a lovely idea.

I chose to sew my items, but any craft that you are into is acceptable. Some knit, some paint, some crochet, some wood turn and others have made jewellery, to name but a few.  I imagine pretty much every craft has been covered by this exchange.

In order to help you make something for somebody who is essentially a stranger, you answer a couple of short questions regarding your taste and style, and this information will be passed to your partner. You will also be given their social media information so that you can take a little peek to see if this helps you make up your mind on what to make for them. I think the idea is to use bits and pieces that you already have where possible, to try to keep your costs down. Ooh and it is an International event so you may receive or have to send your item abroad.

This is the second year that I have taken part and I loved it so much last year that I couldn’t wait to take part again this time.

They lady who I made for lives in the U.K. I will not link her here, as I have not asked for her permission, but I had a little peek over at her Instagram to see if this would give me any clues as to what she might find useful. I must admit, nothing jumped out at me, so to play it safe I decided to make her a fabric basket, as I have made a couple of these for myself before and I think they are super cute as well as very useful. I knew that her colour preferences were blue ( which is lucky as anybody who knows me will know that I wear lots of blue – therefore meaning I have lots of spare blue fabric), and I made a large quilted basket.

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This was pretty quick to make, and I felt like I could do more. So I also decided to make a smaller bag, made up with small patchwork pieces to add to gift her too. Again it is a bag that I have made before and I use it to keep my Clover Wonder Clips in. The bag came together really nicely and I also bought some Wonder Clips for her in case she might like to keep some in her bag too!

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Finally I raided my felt stash, and cut several different shades of blue felt into circles to stitch together to make some felt bunting.

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I was excited to package it up and send it off to London in time for Valentines Day.

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So the gift that I received bowled me over!  Again I won’t mention her as I haven’t her permission, but I received the most beautiful Seamwork Almada robe from my lovely partner.

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I cannot tell you how beautiful it is. My clever partner has chosen something that I will treasure and truly love wearing. The fabric is super soft and the colours are right up my street. I cannot believe that somebody would make something so lovely for me, and am truly moved by such kindness.

If you are active on Instagram, you might want to take a look at the hashtag #2018sve and check out all the wonderful items that were given and made during this wonderful exchange. I believe that there were 576 participants worldwide this year which is incredible!

I think this is a great way to share your love of craft, with like-minded individuals. Thank you so much to Sanae and Ute for organising such a huge event. It really is fabulous. It is also a great way to make new friends. I now have two new sewing friends (alongside the two new sewing friends that I made with last years swap).

Belated Happy Valentines/Galentines day to you all. Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Fabric Snack Bag Tutorial

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I’m always on the look out for a project that will use up the small scraps of fabric that are lurking in my fabric stash. This is a good one. These fabric snack bags are lined with waterproof PUL fabric so are practical and washable. If you don’t have PUL  or prefer not to use it, and do not require your bags to be waterproof, then they could easily be lined with another piece of fabric. They are also very quick and easy to make, and I think look pretty cute too.

I have made these bags in two sizes, and have chosen different fastening choices.

You will need:

  • Fabric scraps. For the large bag you will need one piece of outer fabric measuring 40cm x 20cm, and one piece of PUL or other lining fabric measuring 40cm x 20cm. For the small bag you will need one piece of outer fabric measuring 30cm x 15cm and PUL or other lining fabric measuring 30cm x 15cm.
  • Sewing machine and thread.
  • Fabric scissors, or rotary cutter and mat.
  • Fastenings of choice. I have used Velcro dots and KAM snaps.
  • Point turner or something similar like a knitting needle or chopstick .
  • Clover wonder clips or pins.
  • Cup, glass or plate to trace a curved edge.

To start, I cut my fabric and lining pieces.

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I have cut enough pieces here to make 2 large bags and 2 small bags.

So that the flap of your bag has neat rounded edges I used a coffee cup to trace a curved edge on two of the corners of each outer fabric and lining fabric piece. You will only need two rounded corners on each piece. Leave the remaining two corners as they are. See pic below.

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Place your fabric pieces and lining pieces together with the right sides facing.

I clipped these in place using wonder clips as I didn’t want to puncture the PUL using regular pins. The clips do a really good job at holding everything in place.

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Next you will need to sew all around the edge leaving an opening of approx 4cm so that you can turn it through to the right side. I used a 1cm seam allowance. After stitching, I like to give it a good press to set the stitches in place, take care though to use a pressing cloth so that you don’t melt the PUL! Clip and trim the edges so that it will lay nice and flat when turned.

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Turn your bag right side out now, and use a point turner or something similar like a knitting needle or chopstick to get a good sharp point on those corners. Again careful pressing with the iron at this stage is helpful. You don’t need to sew the opening closed, just turn the seam allowance at the opening inside and press into place.

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Fold your bag over and decide how deep you want it making sure to leave enough room for your flap to fold over and your flap fastenings. You will probably want to turn it up about 3/4 of the way. Clip or pin in place.

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You are then ready to stitch all around the edge of your bag. I used a seam allowance of approx 0.5cm for this. Start at one of the bottom corners of the bag and stitch up the side, around the curved edges of the flap and down the other side edge. We are now ready to attach your fastening of choice. I have used Velcro dots for this bag, but later on you can see what they look like using KAM snaps too.

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To make sure your Velcro dots line up, close your flap and place pins in where you want the dots to sit. The pin will pierce the flap and the bag below and at this point you can simply peel off your Velcro and place where the pin hole is. Your Velcro dots will perfectly line up.

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I used two dots for each bag. You could use more, or use a strip of Velcro too.

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For my second small bag I used two KAM snaps as fastenings. I love how these looked, and decided to use the snaps as the fastenings for my larger bags too.

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On the darker blue bag I added a line of stitching across the straight edge before stitching the bag closed all the way around.

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Just for fun, (and because I never use the fancy stitches on my machine), I added a decorative stitch along the straight edge on the larger bags. I did this before I stitched the bag together all the way around the outside edge.

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There you go, a pretty way to carry your snack with you when you’re on the go. You could definitely play around with sizes, I have suggested 2 sizes here, but if you need different dimensions then go for it!

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These bags are simple and quick to make and could be used for lots of things, not just snacks. What would you use one for? Make up? Pens and pencils? Store cards?  Or maybe stick to biscuits. Yes, definitely biscuits for me!

Hope you have enjoyed, I welcome your comments.

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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Fabric Wine Bottle Bag Tutorial

Don’t panic, it’s nearly Christmas and you’re looking for a quick last minute gift idea –  I’ve got your back. This is such a pretty and thoughtful way to gift a bottle of wine, it takes very little time to whip up and you may well have enough fabric in your left over stash pile without buying any more. I have made it with 2 fat quarters of Makower Christmas fabric from their Scandi collection but it is perfect using any fabric you like for whatever occasion you need a bottle of wine for!

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You will need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 6 1/2″ x 15″ for the outside of the bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 6 1/2″ x 16″ for the lining of the bag – note this is slightly longer than the outside pieces which allows for the ‘turnover’ at the top of the bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 5″ x 2″ for the casing which the ribbons thread through – use the same fabric that you have used for the lining
  • ribbon – the ribbon I used is 1/2″ wide, and I used 2 x 24″ pieces
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter and board, pins, coordinating thread, sewing machine, tape measure or ruler
  • needle

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Firstly take your 2 small pieces of fabric which are going to be the casing which the ribbon is threaded through and press a 1/4″ hem all the way around on the wrong side of the fabric. You’ll need to do this with both pieces.

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Pin one of the casings on to the right side of one of the outside fabric pieces. I placed it so that the top of the casing was about 2 1/2″ below the top edge of the fabric piece. Repeat for the other casing on the remaining outside fabric piece.

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Take both of your fabric pieces to the sewing machine and sew along the top and bottom long edges of the casings, leaving the short ends open so that the ribbon may be threaded through later.

Next place the two outside fabric pieces with the right sides together, pin, and starting at the top, stitch down one long edge, along the bottom, and up the other long edge. The top edge should remain open. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance for this. Take care if you are using a directional fabric that it is laying in the right direction!

Repeat this step with the lining fabric pieces. Pin them with the right sides together and stitch from the top down one long edge, along one short edge and back up the other long edge. Again you should have one short edge left unstitched. If your fabric isn’t directional then it doesn’t matter which way up it is when you stitch it, but if it has a directional pattern like mine then you will need to stitch the three edges so that when it is attached to the outside bag and pulled through,the turnover  will be the right way up. This only applies to the lining bag – it almost feels like you are sewing it upside down – but trust me when it is finished the one inch band at the top will be the correct way up!

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Although not the best photo, above shows both outside and inside bag stitched around three edges. Although the wrong sides of the bags are shown you may notice that the lining bag (with the little heart pattern) is ‘upside down’. As explained  this means that when it is stitched to the outer bag and turned through the pattern will show the right way up!wine-bottle-bag-6

The next step is to give the bottom of the bags some shape so that they will sit nicely. Pinch open one end of the bottom of one of the bags so that you have a triangular shape. Measure down 1 1/2″ from the point and draw a line across with a pen or pencil. Pin it in place, and repeat with the other 3 corners. Take your bags to the sewing machine and stitch along the lines you have just drawn.wine-bottle-bag-7

When all 4 points have been sewn, trim the edges. The bottom of both bags should now have a bit of shape.wine-bottle-bag-8

This is the fun bit. Turn the lining bag right sides out now. Place it inside the outside bag so that the bags are inside each other with their right sides together. Make sure you match up the side seams. Pin into place. Again using a 1/2″ seam allowance stitch around this open edge leaving a gap of approx 2″ so that you can turn it through to the right side. You will probably need to remove the extension table on your sewing machine and just use the free arm as this opening is quite small.

When you have done this turn it inside out through the opening you have left and take it to the ironing board and give it a good press. You should be left with a neat little 1″ band around the top of the bag. If you feel that topstitching the top of the bag will help keep it’s shape then go for it! Thread your needle and sew the little opening closed with neat small stitches.wine-bottle-bag-10

Time to thread the ribbon, starting from the right side of the bag thread the ribbon through the casing to the left side, take it around to the back and thread through the casing back through to the right side of the bag again. Repeat with the other piece of ribbon but starting at the left side of the bag and threading it the opposite way around to what you did before. I used my fancy new ‘elastic glides’ from Hemline for this but you could simply attach a safety pin and thread it through using that too. Take care not to twist the ribbon, it will look much better if it lays flat in the casing.wine-bottle-bag-11

Tie the ends together and slide the ribbon around so that the knot is hidden inside the casing and Voila! You are done. Pop your bottle inside, draw the ribbon tight and there you have a beautiful fabric wine bottle bag – so much prettier than those bottle bags you can buy from the shops

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Made for each other..

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, I think it makes that boring bottle of wine so much more special. Let me know if you give it a go!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x