51. Fabric Bag With Lots of Pockets

I cleared out my fabric stash cupboard this week and found quite a few projects that were started but not finished. Fortunately, not as many as there were at the beginning of the year and not all of them are mine. However, when I tried to give them back to their creators, they were all returned with, ‘oh, you can finish it or make it into something’ Some even denied having anything to do with them. (Could this be next year’s blog?)

This week’s make was a project I started ages ago.  I was going to make a matching cushion for some curtains I had made. You can tell how long ago this project was started by the fact that the curtains were put on freecycle last year and are long gone.

I still like the fabric and as I’d already quilted a huge piece of it, I decided to make it into a bag with lots of pockets.  It might be useful as a diaper/nappy bag or for lugging around crafting bits and pieces. The piece I’ve started with is a rectangle measuring 92cm x 41cm.

So, I finished the quilting off then added a pocket to the inside.  For this I folded a piece of contrasting fabric 25cm x 25cm in half, and sewed it to the inside of the bag along 3 sides. I then made this into 2 pockets by stitching along its height with contrasting thread.

Then I started to make the pockets on the outside.  This turned out to be a bit trial and error as I was making up how to do it as I went along.

For a large front pocket, the yellow one below, I used 2 squares of fabric 25cm x 25cm.  Sewed them right sides together on 3 sides, turned them right side out and sewed the top closed with contrasting stitching.

Then I made a run of pockets around the bottom of the bag using  a strip of the main fabric, 106cm x 40cm. I folded the strip in half lengthwise and placed the open edges along the bottom of the bag.  As this strip is slightly wider than the bag, I pinned it in place so that the pockets stuck out a bit like pouches. Hopefully this will mean that it will hold bulky items. At the front, I made a pleat in the strip in the hope that it might lie flat when nothing is in that pocket.

I then sewed the strip to the main part of the bag attaching it at the sides and bottom.

(The pocket didn’t lie flat so I slipped a piece of elastic into the top fold.)

I made the straps by using two strips of fabric folded over some batting and then stitching along the length.

I also used an old duffle coat toggle to the front and crocheted a strip of yarn as a loop fastening.

I was going to add this to the blog as make number 46 but have decided to give it to one of my lovely daughters so will save this make and publish it after Christmas.  As it is now Friday, I’m going to have to make something very quickly to get it in for this week.

9. Brush, Pen and Pencil Roll

This week’s make is super easy and very useful.  I use mine to keep different types of pens, pencils, scissors and other arty supplies together so that I can grab it and go when inspiration strikes.  It would be equally good for make up brushes.

By far the easiest fabric to use is the type that doesn’t need hemming -something that doesn’t fray.  I’ve used faux suede -I found some in The Fabric Warehouse in Cowley, they also have an Ebay shop.

Once again, you can make one of these rolls whatever size suits. So, decide what you want to keep in the roll and that will determine the size of fabric you will need. The piece I’m using is  a remnant: 52cm x  40cm.

I’ve used pinking shears to cut a zig zag edge on all 4 sides.

Fold one long edge up by just under a third and stitch each side together (mine is folded up 12cm).  You will be able to see the stitches when the roll is finished so feel free to make a feature of them and use a contrasting colour of thread.

Once you have the 2 sides sewn decide how wide you would like each pocket to be and sew some more vertical seams from the bottom fold of fabric to the top of the flap.

Secure the the ends of each vertical seam.

Fit the longest item that you will be storing into the roll.

Fold the edge of the fabric down to check that it will cover the tops of your pens, pencils or brushes.  It doesn’t have to meet the other flap.

Fold the ribbon in half.

Attach where the ribbon folds to the outside of the roll about where the top of  the bottom flap is on the inside.

Fill the roll with whatever you are going to store, roll it up and tie the ribbon in a bow.

You could also use a strong cotton, maybe something like gabardine but you would probably need to factor in hemming the raw edges and making it with the side seams on the inside.

This make would be a great Mother’s Day (April 3rd in the UK) gift for an arty mum or one who likes to keep her make-up brushes clean and tidy.

On another topic, I’ve had a lot of feedback from readers saying how much they love the origami earrings (Make 3). If you would like to buy them, I’ve added them to my folksy shop.

An Ultimate To Do List

I don’t know if this applies to many people but I always seem to have lots of different lists on the go.  Some of them don’t even make it onto paper.  Daughter S passed on her copy of Real Simple magazine which featured the Ultimate To Do list that I will be transferring all my lists on to. I’m sure it will help me be more organised – I’ll let you know.

You can get a copy here