Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Design of My Own

Several weeks ago, I went to my weekly knit-in and brought my current project in a little Japanese Knot Bag which I'd made from a Martha Stewart pattern a couple of years ago. It received a lot of comments. One of the members of my knitting group owns a yarn store (Trish's Crafty Corner, 77 Catherwood St, Saint John west side) and asked if I'd be interested in selling something similar in her store, on consignment. That following weekend, I sat down and drafted (my first!) patterns for two different knitting project bags. They're each sized to carry a smallish project... socks, mittens, a scarf or similar.

First up is a variation of the Japanese Knot Bag. They are usually circular/rounded, but I made mine boxier. Tall enough to accommodate circular or double-pointed needles, an interior and exterior pocket. The squared bottom allows it to stand up on its own, while the signature Japanese Knot Bag handles are perfect for looping over your arm for easy knitting while riding the bus or anywhere you'd prefer not to set your bag down. It's also fully reversible!

The other bag I call the Trapezoid Bag. This bag is wide enough to accommodate 10" straight needles. It has an interior pocket for notions, a magnetic snap closure and reinforced cut-out handles.

I have several more of each design in various stages of completion to bring into the store next week. Stop by Trish's and check them out if you're in the area, and don't forget to check out all her yummy yarn while you're there!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finally! Blossom Bag Completed!

So a few posts ago, I shared the awesome home decor weight fabric I had picked up to make Amy Butler's Blossom Bag. I had all my fabric cut, but was delayed due to not having any magnetic snaps. Then, once the snaps arrived in the mail, I discovered I didn't have enough interfacing on hand, so the project was set aside for over a week until I could get to the fabric store to buy some more. I was able to pick some up on Tuesday evening, and over the last three days I was able to finally complete the bag. It's a straightforward pattern, but it has a LOT of pieces to cut, iron and sew, so it's not a quick project.

After all that, I absolutely LOVE this bag. It's by far my favourite, and most professional looking project I've ever sewn. The home decor fabric made a huge difference in the quality of the finished look, and I'm happy I took the time (and extra fabric) to match up all the stripes...  well, all the stipes in the front ended up matching perfectly, but apparently I wasn't great at visualizing the ones in the back LOL Oh well, the ones in the front are the ones everyone will see, right?

So here's the outside front of the bag:

and the back:

A couple of detail shots... The handle ties were the most fiddly part of the bag to work with, but even they weren't too bad, and I absolutely love how professional they make the bag look.

The great ruffled/tucked in sides, caused by pinching the fabric in around the interior divider panels. These I had to hand-sew in place. Because of the heavier weight fabric and all the layers, even my workhorse vintage Singer couldn't handle it.

The interior, with two divider panels, one zippered:

The only modification I made to the pattern was to add an extra small tuck on either side in the front. Without them, the front of the bag gaped open. I didn't like the look of it, and it made it difficult to get the flap closed properly. The extra little tucks fixed that issue perfectly.

The photos are deceiving, because the bag is actually fairly large. It's 15" wide across the bottom, 8" tall (not counting the straps) and 6" deep. The non-zippered divider pocket is the perfect size to hold my Kobo eReader and my iPod Touch, keeping their screens safe from potential scratches caused by keys and such things. My wallet and coin purse nestle perfectly in the center section, the zippered divider is great for keeping girly unmentionables tucked away, and there's still lots of space left for cell phone, keys and the numerous other things one manages to accumulate in her purse.

The pattern can be found in Amy Butler's Style Stitches book, but it's also available for FREE on the SewMamaSew blog!