Sunday, 14 April 2013

A sewing bag

This is my workbox. It belonged to my mother-in-law, and was passed to me when she died. I use it almost every day, and it is a constant, happy reminder of her.

My workbox

However it’s not really suitable for taking on public transport.

I’m going on a sewing course in Liverpool in a couple of weeks, and far and away the easiest way to get there is by train. I don’t want to take the workbox with me, and as carrying a pair of dressmaking shears loose in a bag is a bad idea for a lot of reasons, I’ve bought a small plastic box which is the perfect size for my scissors, pincushion, needle box etc. Then I decided to make a bag to hold the box and any other things I’ll need.

A hunt through my stash turned up a bright curtain fabric remnant, which was ideal, and some sheeting which was a good match for the lining.

Bag fabric and lining

The great thing about making bags is that rather than trying to find something which is ‘near enough’ the size and shape you want; you start off with the ideal dimensions of the finished article, and work backwards. In my case, the bag needed to hold the box and another essential item at the bottom, have room for the samples I hope to complete on the day, and be a size which fits comfortably over my shoulder.

Because the pattern has an obvious direction to it, the bag needed to be made from two pieces of fabric sewn together, rather than just folded at the bottom. This was when I discovered that the black ‘stems’ are not evenly spaced. I added a base piece of plain black cotton to the bag, so the mismatches at the join won’t show.

The mismatched join

Unfortunately the required dimensions meant that there was an untidy-looking narrow strip on green at the side seam. I covered this with black cotton tape.

Side seam before and after

The handles are made from thick cord which I got from the ‘£1 bundle bin’ in my local fabric shop, also covered with the plain black cotton. I added a strip of the black cotton at the top of the bag as well.

The completed bag

The lining has two pockets, which are just the right size to hold pattern envelopes, plus an elasticated pocket sewn into the side seam. This is to hold a thermos flask. I like to drink a lot throughout the day, and find it best to have my own supplies with me, just in case.

Interior shot

So all in all, a made-to-measure means of transporting my sewing stuff, for very little cost. (And a little bit of stash reduction, to boot!)

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