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My EPP Hexie Fully lined Zipper Pouch

I may have mentioned before that one of my resolutions for this year was to try my hand at English Paper Piecing. I want to improve my hand sewing skills, use up more fabric scraps, and also learn a new craft.

The fact that English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a portable craft and you can do it anywhere makes it extra appealing. To do some research, I headed on over to good old youTube. I know that Nikki from The Stitch Sisters loves a bit of patchwork, and I remembered that some time ago she released a video showing the basics of EPP. It’s really helpful, and it is this that helped me get started.

After sewing several hexagons together, I wanted to use them to make something. I wasn’t ready to sew something as large as a quilt at this stage (at any rate, I didn’t have that much fabric), so decided to have a look on the internet for a free zipper bag pattern. It needed to be lined to hide the wrong side of the patchwork. There are loads of patterns and tutorials as you can imagine, but I eventually decided on this Fully Lined Front Zippered Pouch  tutorial which I found on the Projects By Jane blog. I liked how the zip was inserted part way down the front of the bag rather than along the top edge.

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Love the pretty floral lining

If you get a chance, I would definitely recommend that you head on over to the Projects By Jane blog linked above, she has all sorts to look through including bag patterns, tutorials and applique advice.

The tutorial was good and easy to follow with lots of pictures to help you along. I admit that using slightly bulky patchwork was probably not the best choice of fabrics, as it was hard to push out those corners into neat sharp points despite trimming my seam allowances and corners, but it’s pretty close and that’s good enough for me! This pattern does come with instructions to add a strap, but I didn’t want this.

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View from the back

My reason for sewing a bag is that I am saving up for a fancy sewing machine. There’s actually nothing wrong with my current Janome ( the Janome DC3050 ), but, you know, I can’t help lusting after all the lovely Janome Atelier machines that I keep seeing EVERYWHERE!!  There is no way that I will ever be able to afford one of these machines if I don’t start saving, so here it is – my official saving fund for my fancy new Atelier.

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Just for fun, and to use up more scraps, I have made a fun quilted luggage tag using this tutorial on youTube (of course) by The Crafty Gemini.  I probably won’t leave this tag on the bag in the long run, but as I still had some scraps left over in this fabric I thought it would be fun to make something that matched. Once again if you’re in the market for some crafty inspiration then Vanessa from The Crafty Gemini has hundreds of youTube tutorials.

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The only alteration that I made to the tag was the addition of an eyelet to run the ribbon through. The original tutorial shows you how to sew in an elastic loop to hang your tag with.

I have definitely become a little addicted to EPP, and my next project is  this little quilt sampler which I thought might be a good way to try out EPP using some different shapes.

Eventually when I feel confident enough with the basics, I plan to make a big project like a quilt or picnic blanket using this Tales of Cloth heart pattern.

Take care, 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