Monday, 16 February 2015

BAGS of Fun!

Weavers met for our February meeting today. We welcomed two new members, Neta who we know already from Guild and Kathy who is new. Neta spins, knits, felts and is about to add weaving to her repertoire. Kathy has been a weaver in the past but has given it a rest to breed miniature schnauzers. She is keen to revitalise her weaving skills now that she has moved to Blenheim. 

Show and Tell photos will be posted in a few days but for now this post will be a tutorial for a nifty little bag that captured the imagination of several members at the last meeting.  It's quicker and easier to make than to describe so don't be put off by the instructions. Some people tried their hand at making one today but most will be finishing them - or even starting - at home.  Some people missed out on the bag discussion as they were busy helping whoever needed assistance and having mini tutorials on whatever was needed. Thanks to those who willingly share their knowledge and experience. So for them - and for those who didn't quite "get it", here is the "Bandana Bag." A bandana or square scarf is easy because it is already hemmed.

Start with a bandana or a square of your chosen fabric. It is well worth while squaring up your piece first if it is not quite square, If you have raw edges you need to deal with them first.
Divide it into three across the diagonal as shown. (Measuring's good!)  Check the width at top and bottom to make sure it's straight.  Fold the east and west points across as shown and stitch where they overlap. Stitch only the top two layers or you will not be able to use the envelope pockets. TIP: If you are using a bandana with printing on one selvedge, fold that side down first so it will be covered.
Fold in half with the stitched points inside (i.e. inside out)  Don't be fooled by the "right side" written on the flap - trust me!  Stitch the side seams where marked x - - - x leaving 2.5 cm clear at the top for the casing. Turn the bag to the right side.
Fold the flaps down, one on each side. Now stitch across the top of each flap to make a casing for the draw strings.  Thread two cord or ribbon draw strings through both casings, one from each side, and tie the ends.

Options include an iron-on interfacing over the whole square if you want a bit more body, or lining the square with another fabric before you start (a good way to deal with raw edges).  This is not necessary for the main part of the bag which is self-lined but it gives a lining to the two envelope pockets on the outside.

Embellish as you wish. Cheap jewellery is fun!  You can go casual . . .
or upmarket with a silk scarf . . .
or you may like to go off on a different tangent and make a book. Use interfacing and slip a piece of card into each envelope pocket. This sketchbook has pencils in one of the pockets but you may think of many more ideas.

By October we want each member to make a handwoven bag for a display at our Area Exhibition. This is just one simple idea; there are dozens of others. Have fun finding them.

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