Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week 33 or Patchwork Lightweight

My neighbor left some quilting weight fabric on the back steps. I'm not 100% sure which neighbor, but I'm thankful nonetheless. It was long, narrow strips of two types of material plus random small rectangles of another.

My first step was to sew the rectangles into a strip. Just so they would work more easily with their compatriots. Then  I searched my stash for more long narrow bits, because I had what looked like a small bag and half, or a bag without straps, worth of strips. I found the border of a plushie panel from Spoonflower. You've all heard of Angry Birds, but this was Angry Vegetables. Not really something I want to use as a panel, so it became the facing for the upper edge. And, yes, my children like their roots of some evil.

I was rooting around for a bag to imitate for size and found my old hieroglyphics bag from Cairo. It's about 17" square, with no box bottom or anything fancy. Mine had the straps replaced many moons ago and I can't use it for knitting any more on account of the holes in the corners. There's no WAY I paid $26 for that thing, but I did pay with a year of my life. If anyone asks, AFS, at least in Egypt in the 1980's, is like the Peace Corps, the toughest school year you'll ever love. I know I learned a lot more there than I ever would have staying behind to put in a 4th year of high school.
The female half of the snap.

With two strips of green and one each of red and blue, I cut 36" strips and sewed them together to make the bag body. The excess became the handles. I folded it in half length wise and then folded the raw edges into the center. Then I ironed it all nice and flat and topstitched along each edge. I did a rolled hem on the lower edge of the facing strip and all the pieces were finished.

First I folded the body in two and sewed up the edges. Then I pinned the handles and facing in place. Then I took out the pins because I had put the right side of the facing on the wrong side of the bag and the handles were not sandwiched between the two. Then I pinned the facing to the top edge of the bag, with the right sides facing each other and the handles sandwiched in between the layers. At last I sewed the ends of the facing together and along the top edge. Then I sewed 1/4" farther in from the top edge to make it all a bit more secure. I turned the facing to the inside and ironed everything good and flat. One last round of topstitching around the top and I felt like the handles would actually support a load of groceries and the facing would not flip over to the outside.

Folded once and showing the male half of the snap
 on the flap.
The last decision was how big to make the box bottom corners. I used to have a bag that would fold up and snap to itself, so I was working on that concept. (It was similar to this one, but smaller, without the logo, and with only one flap.) I divided the height of the bag(17") by 4.5 and used that number (3.77") for the corner size. I made one corner to the inside, like a normal bag. The other corner I made partly to the inside and then the rest to the outside. That became the flap for the snap that holds it all together. I sewed the snaps in place, first putting the "outie" (male) one on the end of the flap. Then I folded it up and marked where the "innie" (female) side should go. I put a scrap of fabric on the inside to reinforce the connection spot and sewed the last snap half on.
The strip.

Happy shopping!
The strip folded twice and about to
perform snap-mating.
Ready to roll!

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