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Tote with side loops

Tote with side loops

Everyone has at least one ordinary tote bag at home as they are without a doubt the most useful bags. This stunning bag is just a plain tote bag with added loops at each side to give it a more interesting shape. Polka dot fabric […]

Organza tote bag

Organza tote bag

A combination of appliqué, embroidery and beadwork is used \ to create the design on this delicate little bag. It is made from contrasting shades of silk organza and the bag constructed with French seams so that there are no raw edges inside. This bag […]

Duffle Bag

Duffle Bag

Duffle bags are ideal when you are using public transport as you can have your hands free to hold on! They are also great if you have things to carry and need to hold on to young children or push a pram. This bag has been cleverly designed with a lining that has in-built pockets so that you can keep keys, mobile phones and other paraphernalia safe. The bag should support its own weight but use interfacing to add body to a lightweight fabric.

Materials
1 m (1 yd) of 152-cm (60-in) wide spot fabric
50 cm (1/2 yd) of 152-cm (60-in) wide stripe fabric
50 cm (1/2 yd) iron-on medium-weight interfacing, optional
2.5 m (21/2 yd) blue cord
Eight 11-mm (1/2-in) silver eyelets and setting tool

Seam allowances are 1.5 cm (5/8 in) and machine stitch is straight stitch.

duffle bag 1

Cut a 73 x 42-cm (29 x 161/2-in) piece of spot fabric and, if it is too soft, back it with iron-on interfacing. Cut a 73 x 15 cm (29 x 6 in) piece of stripe fabric so that the stripes are vertical along the length. Pin the stripe fabric to the spot fabric with right sides facing, 12.5 cm (5 in) from the bottom edge of the spot fabric. Machine stitch a 1.5-cm (5/8-in) seam, fold down and press. Tack the bottom edge.

duffle bag 2

Cut two 6.5 x 10-cm (21/2 x 4-in) strips of stripe fabric, fold each in half lengthways and machine stitch 6 mm (1/4 in) from the cut edge. Turn the strips through and press. To make the bottom cord loop, fold one strip in half widthways and pin 4.5 cm (13/4 in) from the bottom edge. Check that two thicknesses of cord will fit through the loop. Pin the back seam of the bag and machine stitch. To make the toggle, fold the second strip in half widthways and stitch a back seam. Turn through and open out the seam. Flatten so that the seam is in the centre and stitch down the seam line.

Tip: if using a fabric with a one-way pattern, pin it upside down in Step 1 so that it ends up the right way up.

Cut a 25-cm (10-in) circle in stripe fabric and interface. Mark the circle in quarters with small notches on the outer edge. Mark the bottom edge of the bag in quarters in the same way and then pin the base into the bag, matching the notches. Tack the base then machine stitch. Trim the seam to 6 mm (1/4 in) and overlock or zigzag.

duffle bag 4

To make the top binding, cut a 73 x 11-cm (29 x 43/4-in) strip of stripe fabric so that the stripes are vertical along the length. Fold it in half widthways, machine stitch the seam and press open. Fit over the bag with right sides together so that the stripe fabric is 2.5 cm (1 in) down from the top edge and the back seams match. Machine stitch 1.5 cm (5/8 in) from the top of the stripe fabric. Fold the fabric up over the top of the bag and press. Turn under 1.5 cm (5/8 in) around the top edge and press.

To make the inside pocket, cut a 73 x 20-cm (29 x 8-in) piece of spot fabric. Turn over and machine stitch a 1.5-cm (5/8-in) double hem along one long edge. Fold the pocket panel widthways into six equal sections and press to mark. Pin this pocket panel right side up along the bottom right side of a 73 x 42-cm (29 x 161/2-in) piece of spot fabric. Machine stitch down the pocket panel on the pressed lines. Stitch the back seam and inset a 25-cm (10-in) circle for the base to finish the lining. Tuck the lining inside the bag and pin. Machine stitch around the top edge near the bottom of the stripe panel. Turn over and press a 1.5-cm (5/8-in) turning and then fold the stripe fabric over the top edge of the bag. Tack then machine stitch around the top and bottom edges of the stripe fabric band.

duffle bag 7

Mark the position of the eyelets with pins around the top edge of the bag in the centre of the stripe panel. Space the eyelets evenly about 8-9cm (3-31/2 in) apart, beginning with two eyelets 4 cm (1 1/2 in) in from either side of the back seam. Insert the eyelets following the manufacturer’s instructions. Thread the cord through the eyelets from one side of the back seam and round to the last hole. Feed the ends through the toggle made in Step 2 then thread the ends through the bottom tab. Check the length of the cord so that the bag can open fully and secure with a knot.

Velvet Evening Bag

Velvet Evening Bag

Crushed velour has a gorgeous, opulent quality that is ideal for making an evening bag and because it is for the evening, it is worth going over the top with the embellishments. Ostrich feather trim and beautiful bead fringing are added to make this a […]

Dolly Bag

Dolly Bag

A dolly or Dorothy bag is a traditional style that was originally used by bridesmaids to carry confetti, flower petals or rice for throwing over the happy couple. Made in white or cream silk with matching pearls, this dolly bag is the ideal accessory for […]

Beaded Shopper

Beaded Shopper

Dye techniques such as tie-dye and batik can produce gorgeous patterns on simple cotton bags that can then be further embellished with embroidery and beads. The product used for this bag is called Easy Batik it has a similar effect to hot wax but is much easier to use. You can draw out any motif on the bag – use giant punches such as this swirl for inspiration.

Materials
Ready-made shopper
Pale pink and deep pink cold-water dyes
Two sachets of cold dye fix
220 g (8 oz) household salt
Giant spiral punch and sheet of paper
Pencil
Dylon Easy Batik
0.5-mm (No. 5) gutta nib and bottle
Stranded embroidery cotton in deep red, fuchsia, orange, and pale orange
Approximately 25 ceramic washer beads

Beaded shopper 2

You can begin with a white bag, but for a subtle effect, dye the bag pale pink. When the bag is dry, insert a piece of card inside the bag to separate the layers. Punch or cut out your choice of motif several times and arrange on the bag. Draw around the motifs lightly with a pencil.

Beaded-shopper-3

You can paint the Easy Batik or transfer to a gutta bottle for greater control. Shake the bottle well before use and make sure the Easy Batik penetrates the fabric. Go along the lines and then fill in.

Beaded-shopper-4

Leave to dry for several hours then cover with a cloth and iron each area for 2 minutes.

Now make a deep pink dye bath in a large container. Wearing rubber gloves, lower the bag into the dye and move about gently from time to time for up to 30 minutes. Lift the bag out and rinse in cold water until the dye runs clear. Wash in hot water with detergent to remove the Easy Batik.

Use simple embroidery to embellish the motifs. Two strands of cotton and a running stitch along the pencil lines are very effective. You can vary the colours from motif to motif for a more colourful look. To complete the bag, attach beads in between the motifs with a few stitches.

Holdall

Holdall

Fabric paints are a quick way to decorate a simple dyed bag. There are lots of different types of paint such as gloss, pearl and metallic that can be painted, stamped or applied using a nozzle, as shown here. Materials Ready-made holdall Tin of cold-water […]

Mini Tote Bag

Mini Tote Bag

Give plain bags a personal touch with simple embellishments such as buttons, brooches or fabric motifs. You can buy ready-made bags in plain fabrics such as denim or various types of cotton fabric in white or cream. Materials Ready-made tote bag Tin of cold-water Dylan […]


Creative

Velvet Evening Bag

Velvet Evening Bag

Crushed velour has a gorgeous, opulent quality that is ideal for making an evening bag and because it is for the evening, it is worth going over the top with the embellishments. Ostrich feather trim and beautiful bead fringing are added to make this a really stunning bag. The bright red is ideal for teaming with that little black dress, but of course, you can make the bag in any colour. Keep the feather trim, beads, and crushed velour the same shade for a classic look.

Materials
60 x 25 cm (24 x 10 in) red crushed velour
60 x 20 cm (24 x 8 in) ultra-soft iron-on interfacing
Red sewing thread
20 cm (16 in) ostrich feather trim
Red quilting thread
Beading needle
Beads:
2 tubes of size 11 red seed beads
1 tube of 6-mm red flat oval beads
1 tube of 6-mm red rice beads
1 tube of 4-mm red faceted beads
1 tube of 3-mm red teardrop beads
60 x 20 cm (24 x 8 in) red taffeta, for the lining

Seam allowances are 1 cm (5/8 in) and machine stitch is straight stitch.

Iron two layers of interfacing on the reverse side of a 10-cm (4-in) square of red velour (if you have a heavier weight interfacing, one layer will be sufficient). Draw an 8-cm (31/8-in) circle on the interfacing side and cut out. Now cut a 50 x 20-cm (193/4 x 8-in) piece of velour and iron one layer of interfacing the same size as the velour to the reverse side. Fold in half widthways with right sides together and machine stitch the back seam. Mark the circle into quarters with small notches on the outer edge and mark the tubular bag panel around the bottom edge in quarters in the same way.

Machine two rows of gathering stitches around the top and bottom edges of the velour tube (see Techniques, page 13). To do this, increase the stitch size to 4 and machine stitch 12 mm (1/2 in) in from the top edge and then 17 mm (3/4 in) in from the top edge. Repeat with the bottom edge. Pull up the gathers around the bottom edge slightly and then, matching the notches, pin the circular base in place to the bottom edge of the tube. Adjust the gathers so that they are evenly spaced and tie off. Snip into the bottom seam allowance of the bag panel to flatten the fabric then machine stitch around the edge of the circle, removing the pins as you go. Pull out the gathering threads and then zigzag the seam and trim neatly.

Turn the bag through and pull up the top rows of gathering stitches until the flattened bag measures 20 cm (8 in) across. Cut sections from the ostrich feather trim with about five or six feather fronds and tack in little groups around the whole top edge of the bag. Machine stitch across the feathers, just above the seam line. Triple zigzag across the ends of the feather trim to secure.

velvet-bag-4

To make the binding, cut a 5 x 43-cm (2 x 171/4-in) strip of velour. Fold it in half widthways so that right sides are facing. Machine stitch 2 cm (3/4 in) into the back seam and reverse stitch out to the edge again. Repeat from the other edge to create the hole through which the gathering ribbon will be threaded. Press the seam open and set aside.

Tip: choose one of the new ultra-soft iron-on interfacings that will stretch slightly with the velour but give it enough body so that the bag holds its shape.

Thread a needle with a double length of red quilting thread. Bring the needle out below the h../ binding on the right side. Pick up three seed beads and a flat oval bead, three seed beads and a rice bead, three seed beads and a faceted bead, three seed beads and a teardrop. Miss the last bead by taking the needle through the next bead and back up the bead strand. Sew a faceted bead at the top of the strand. Continue around the bag adding beaded fringe strands every 7 mm (3/8 in) just below the binding. Alter the number of seed beads or double the strand length occasionally.

With right sides facing and matching the back seam, pin the velour strip from Step 4 around the top of the bag. Machine stitch and then trim the seam to 1 cm (1/2 in). Fold the strip over the top edge of the bag and pin. Machine stitch around the bag just below the binding from the right side.

To make the strap, cut two 2-m (2-yd) lengths of red quilting thread. Thread both lengths through the needle and knot the ends together 15 cm (6 in) from the end. Pick up seven seed beads and then a decorative bead of your choice. Repeat until the strap is 50 cm (20 in) long and knot both threads together. Sew the ends of the strap into the bag on either side securely. Make a lining from a 20 x 43-cm (8 x 17-in) piece of red taffeta and an 8-cm (31/4-in) circle. Press under a 1.5-cm (5/8-in) turning around the top edge and tuck the lining in the bag. Pin and then hem to the machine stitching inside the top of the bag. Thread a length of ribbon through the casing and tie the ends.