Thursday, 26 April 2012

Under Construction

Now that I have my shiny new sewing machine, I'm going to say a fond but relieved farewell to my mum's old machine by sharing with you the last project I made with it. Fittingly enough, it ended up being a Christmas present for my mum.

I've been toying with the idea of making a shoulder bag for a while - I figured the basic construction of it would be the same as a lined pouch, just with an open top and shoulder straps. I wanted to put up a pattern and tutorial, but in my last-minute rush (I started making it at 11am on Christmas morning!) I sort've ran out of time to take photos. I'll share what I have though.

The main difficulty was with the straps. To make a lined item, you sew it inside-out and then flip it round at the end. Figuring out how to sew the straps on so they'd actually be in the right place after flipping it took a lot of thinking about. I eventually worked it out - you sew them on upside down in between the lining and the outside of the bag.

Sewing the strap to the lining - the outside panels got sewn on top of this

I was also worried that the straps wouldn't be able to hold the weight of the bag. In the end I copied some of the green canvas grocery bags I had in the house and attached them with a cross pattern. Then I stitched over the crosses about 3 times for good measure.

Marking out the strap attachment

I lined the underside of the straps, too. Before attaching them to the bag I just sewed the lining and the outside material together along the long sides and the bottom, then turned them inside out. Because they were long and thin it took some coaxing with a ruler, and at times they looked somewhat inappropriate...

After the straps were on, the rest of the process was pretty straightforward. The bag itself came out really nicely - I like how the leaves are only at the bottom of it so they look like they're growing up towards the top. Mum uses it as a toiletries bag now though, so maybe I should've lined it with plastic!

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