Sunday, 1 June 2014

Summer Sewing Week: Bags

To finish up my week of summer sewing, I made two simple bags. (I also did some incredibly boring sewing, like refashioning this cream maxi dress I made last summer into a maxi skirt, too boring to even show you a photo (though I took one, before I realized how boring it was!) and doing some mending/re-hemming etc from things that had piled up.)
Lined shopping bag and zipper pouch to stuff it in -- it folds up into thirds to fit inside neatly.
First, a replacement simple lined shopping bag. I've used the very first bag I ever made, three years ago in August, regularly. It lives in a little matching pouch my handbag in case I need a shopping bag when I pick up a few groceries or whatever. However, my original bag was pretty small and my sewing wasn't 100% the best, and it was also unlined and had now frayed a bit, so I decided to replace it. Here is my new, larger, lined, better sewn bag, complete with a quick lined zipper pouch to stuff it in when I'm not using it.

The pink stripy fabric is my oldest stash, dating from August 2011! I had bought a few pieces of fabric at that point but then used them immediately. At the time I really thought I would buy fabric for each project as I started it. Let's all just laugh hollowly at that optimistic idea, shall we? Anyway, when this arrived in the post it was not what I was expecting and I put it away until I could think of something to do with it. From such small beginnings are mammoth fabric stashes built, alas. At any rate, I used all of it. The lining (which you can't see) is a cheap cream coloured polycotton from my bag stash. This bag is to no particular pattern, it's just a big rectangle with boxed corners, and the zipper pouch, honestly, I can't remember what tutorial I tended to use, but I've made so many of these now I no longer even look it up.

Robot Tote Bag (click on it to see the little robots in more detail!)
My second bag is just another tote bag, although I suppose the making of it is marginally more complicated. It's the Ava Rose Tote pattern by Artsycraftsybabe. I've made it at least a half a dozen times before -- in fact I've got all her patterns and I've used all of them several times actually. She's kind of my go-to pattern maker for roomy easy tote bags, mainly because they are the perfect fit for A4 notebooks etc. This fabric is called Robots and Rivets and it's part of the John Lewis children's home dec fabric range. I bought this last summer, just before I moved to Ireland. I thought the little robots were stupidly adorable and I had to have it. Needless to say I didn't pay John Lewis prices: I bought the fabric at Standfast in Lancaster, which is a fabric printer with a little factory shop. The fabric is usually flawed (as this one is) or a remnant but when you buy fabrics with patterns that you're fussy cutting into small pieces anyway, it rarely matters. The lining is another basic polycotton from my bag stash.

I still have what I hope will be some fun summer garment projects on my list of things to make, and I pulled a bunch of fabrics from stash for those yesterday while I was re-organizing my fabrics. It's going to be all cardigans, summer dresses and summer tops as well as a leather bag recycled from an old jacket in my sewing room for the next few weeks I hope. :D


  1. I especially like the second one!

    1. Thanks! I love the robots on that fabric. Not really sure I am of an age to be carrying a robot tote, but who cares.