Friday, April 18, 2008

A “fat quarters” craft bag

This tutorial is photo intensive,(about 40 images from start to finish) so it will be broken up into several parts.

It got started as a request for some general sewing instructions.. and specific, ones too..

This is what the finished product looks like..

It takes about 2 hours for an experienced sewer to make, about double that time for someone with less experience. It has minimal cutting.. and once you get the concept, you can make bigger or smaller bags.

These bags are fully lined, and nicely finished--they cost about $7 to make, (a package of 5 co-ordinating fat quarters cost between $6 to $10, and from 5 fat quarters, you can make 2 bags.
Use of coupons (and many craft stores have 40% off coupouns) and sales can drive the price down. (And if you have fabric (at least 1/2 yard) you can make your own fat quarters.

Part 1

2 fat quarters of fabric (a fat quarter is about 22 X 18 inches) these can be found in fabric and in craft stores. (you can use remnants or buy a half yard of fabric, too)--the advantage to the fat quarter's is minimal cutting is required.

½ yard (18 inches) of iron on interfacing.
(interfacing comes in several weights..(feather weight to heavy weight)
I suggest medium, but you can use light weight (for a soft bag) or heavy weight (for a stiffer bag)--just be sure to get iron in (and not sew in) interfacing. Most interfacing is 24 or more inches wide. (all you need is 18 X 22 inches)

1 22 inch zipper (I used a standard dressmakers zipper--you could use fancier zippers--but not for the first bag--(fancy zippers often can't be cut to length, and that makes construction harder)

some single or double fold bias tape (optional) if you are a beginning sewer, use the wider double fold—its easier

some ribbon (for a handle or inside loop)--the handle is optional, too, (one of the bags above has one, one doesn't.)

A spool of sewing thread.
Ideally the fabric, zipper, ribbon, bias tape and thread should, if not match, co-ordinate—but how well they match/co-ordinate is up to you.. I tend to like close color matches.. but wild and crazy combo's are OK too!)

You'll also need:

An iron
A sewing machine (a zig-zag machine make it easier, but you could do this on a straight stitch only machine)
A bobbin for the same
A zipper foot for the machine
A sharp scissors
A small ruler (I used the ruler on a stitch gauge)
And a basic idea on how to operate a sewing machine.

This bag is pretty simple to make.. but it does take some skill.

So get your materials together, and get started.

Link to part 2
Link to part 3 (not yet active)
Link to part 4 (not yet active)
Link to part 5 (not yet active)

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