Friday, September 30, 2011

Owl Bag Tutorial

E. started school this fall too. She's in an early childhood class four mornings a week and needed a mama-made bag of her own. My original plan was to make a messenger bag and applique an owl like the one on her second birthday dress. O. suggested that it should actually look like an owl, so I came up with this little guy.

I kind of love him.  Actually, there's no "kind of" about it.  I've been trying to decide if, at age 32, I can pull off using the bag when E. isn't, but I'm pretty sure the answer to that is a resounding no

Want to make an owl bag of your own? Here's how:

1 yard of main fabric, medium to heavy weight
1 yard of lining fabric
1 1/4 yard heavyweight sew-in interfacing
1 1/4 yard fusible featherweight interfacing 
Fusible webbing of your choice -- by the yard, the sheets are too narrow
12" square of fabric for the face
2 - 5x10" scraps for wings
Smaller scraps for eyes
Magnetic snap (optional)
Small piece of plastic canvas (optional)
1 packages of piping (optional)
Spray adhesive or fabric glue stick (optional)

** All seam allowances are 1/4 inch **

Print the pattern, making sure page scaling is turned off, and assemble.  Please note that to save paper the pages for the main body run horizontally, and the gusset pages are vertical.   I just realized that the gusset is mislabeled as the strap on the pattern, so please pretend that it's correct until I get a chance to go fix it.

Cut the two body pieces and one gusset (on the fold) each from your main fabric, lining fabric and both interfacings. Also cut a 5x30" strap piece from your main fabric.

Apply the heavyweight interfacing to the main fabric body and gusset pieces, either by basting or with the spray adhesive or glue stick.  Iron the fusible interfacing onto the lining pieces.

If you are using a magnetic snap, apply the pieces 1.5 inches down from the center on each lining piece.  If  magnetic snaps are new to you, Rae has a great tutorial here.  I like to reinforce mine with a small square of plastic canvas also.

Plastic canvas
Both sides applied

If you want any tags or pockets on the inside of your bag, add them now.  E. didn't need any pockes, but I did put on a tag.

Next, trace the face, eye pieces, beak and wings onto fusible web. You'll want to trace the nice Photoshop drawn circles for both sets of eyes, I just left the wonky badly-traced ones on the pattern for a placement suggestion.  ;) 

Tracing the face.  I used Heat'n Bond Lite.
Applique the face pieces onto one of your main body pieces from the bottom up: face, wings, outer eye, middle eye, pupil, beak. If you need an applique refresher, here is a tutorial.

Baste piping to the right side of the sides and bottom of the front and back pieces -- not the top!

Now pin the gusset to one of the body pieces, right sides together. I like to mark the centers and then pin from each center out.  Sew.

Repeat with the remaining body piece, then turn right side out. 

Baste piping to the right side of top edge of the bag. You will need to angle the piping where you start and stop.  I would *not* recommend doing this on the gusset, as my machine didn't like the number of layers once the strap piece was added also.  The center back may be a better choice.

Sew the lining gusset to the lining body pieces, leaving an opening for turning.

Prepare your strap by ironing it in half the long way.

Then open it up and iron each side to the middle.

Think  I need to wash my ironing board cover?  Eek.
 Refold along the original fold and iron again.  Topstitch both edges of the strap.

Center the strap on the gusset and baste into place.

Pin the lining and bag right sides together and sew along the top edge.

Reinforce the strap area by bartacking (sewing a tight zigag).  Turn the bag right side out.  Sew the hole in the lining, either by machine or by hand.  As many of you know, I avoid hand sewing at all costs, but decided to suck it up and do it for this bag. I'm glad I did, since you can't even see where the opening was.

Fill it up and enjoy!  We usually have a spiral notebook, E's leg braces, and a thermos of milk for snacktime in the bag, with some room to spare.

It fits perfectly in the basket of E's fancy-schmancy adaptive stroller.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pirate Map Backpack II

Two years ago, I made O. a backpack for 4K. He picked out the fabric and piping, and I enlarged the made by RAE toddler backpack pattern and added some pockets to it. It was much loved, and held up better than I would have imagined, only getting a few tiny holes in the non-interfaced side bottle pockets near the end of last year.

When I told the boy that I was going to make him a new, bigger backpack, he was adamant that it be the very. same. fabric. However, it was nowhere to be found in quantities larger than a fat quarter.  I happened to have another pirate map print in my stash which he deemed acceptable.  I ripped apart a ready made backpack that had seen better days to use its padded back panel, bottom fabric and strap padding and constructed it in the same way as his other backpack. 

I wanted this one to be more weather-resistant, so decided to try iron-on vinyl.  I'm not entirely certain how I feel about it yet.  It was easy to apply, but it's quite noisy -- crinkly sounding -- and not as sturdy feeling as I'd hoped.  Which I would have known if I had taken the time to make a test project of some sort, but you know me.  I was sewing up the bag the day before school started.  If I were to use the vinyl again for a bag to be used daily, I'd probably add some interfacing as well.  We'll see how it wears over the school year.

O. wanted a simple front pocket like on his other bag, and side bottle pockets.  I used rip stop nylon for the box-pleated side pockets and for the straps. 


Once it was done, it looked ridiculously gigantic, especially for a first grader, but when we got to school, most of the other kids' bags were just as humongous.  The increased capacity has already come in handy, and I imagine we will appreciate it even more come snow pants season.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Playing Catch Up

My poor sewing machine has been about as neglected as this blog over the summer, but I did accomplish a few things.  Most were back in June, so I'm foggy on the details, but fortunately there's photographic evidence!

After the kindergarten quilts, I think O's teacher was concerned that I might hate her, so I made sure to sew her something as a thank you gift for the last day of school.  I decided to go with a gathered clutch and a key fob.

Let's pretend it's not crooked in the photo, okay?
I was excited to find the dotted ribbon, which was a perfect match IRL (my photo skills lately have been sorely lacking).  The clutch went together pretty well, although the corners by the zipper don't look nearly as nice as in the tutorial, and I should have made the lining a wee bit smaller.  O. picked out a dragonfly charm for the zipper pull, since he said she really likes dragonflies. 

I also made myself a key fob, which I have been finding surprisingly handy, especially for quick trips like school drop off and pick up, when I am wearing a skirt or dress with no pockets. I put a quick release key chain thing on mine, since the husband is not so fond of the key fob.  Plus he's more likely to have roomy pockets.

Shortly after school let out, a friend had a birthday.  I made truffles and packaged them in this lunch/gift bag.  I don't remember anything about sewing up the bag, so it must have gone quite well!

I really like this fabric, can you tell?

After that, I didn't touch my machine all summer, other than a few repair jobs, until I made O. a new backpack yesterday (post on that coming soon!).  I did knit a few things, though.

Two Snapdragon Soakers.  The first from Peace Fleece for a friend's little guy, the second from O-Wool, a custom order for another friend's cloth diapering store.

Then another friend sent me this link and asked if I could knit something similar for her to take pictures of her new nephew when he arrives. A stockinette rectangle?  Yes, I can!  I used Aloft.

I think it will be much more interesting wrapped around a newborn!

So, that's what I did on the sewing and knitting front this summer.  I always have grand aspirations and accomplish little.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...