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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.