During the winter I get a lot more craftier. I recently recovered a stool with the striped canvas style fabric you see above (that I found at value village for $1.99 might I add). I had a bit left over so I thought I would make a deep paper delivery bag with some left over faux leather. Perfect for fresh flower or a small grocery shop come spring. I was inspired after I saw this crochet/leather bag tutorial from Courtney to do a "half and half" type bag. Since I am not skilled in the crochet department (yet!) I modified it to my own skills and wrote a bit of my own tutorial on it. All I can say is writing a good tutorial is hard!! So major props to anyone out there who does it! If I left anything out or you have any tutorial tips let me know!
Now I am no professional seamstress and anything I've learned, I've taught myself. My mom always cringes at my pattern-less free-styling. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but you always learn something! The beauty with a free-style approach is that it can be adapted to use up what you have! Don't have as much fabric? Make a smaller version. No faux leather? Use a different fabric to complement. Add a zipper. Leave out the strap and make a fold over clutch. The possibilities are endless! The trick to sewing (in my humble opinion) is just finding the right sequence to sew in for your current project. Once you've got that down the rest is easy. That being said, I made a quick little zippered bag in the same "half and half "style right after this bag and totally messed it up!? A much more simple project and I was sewing in the wrong sequence. Seam rippers are my best friends sometimes!
I would also like to note that looking at these photos has made me realize how sadly dark my sewing area is. Our tiny apartment is in a bit of a U shape and the only area left for my crafty area is in the cradle of the U, meaning no natural light. Yellow incandescent mixed with an orange stained dining table and you've got some some weird reflective colours happening in my photos! Anyhoo... back to the tutorial!
As far as measurements go I was trying to use up what I had sitting around. My pocket, front/back, and bottom all need to be the same width. The pocket was roughly half the height of the front/back. The pocket finishing strip needs to be the same length as the long side of your pocket and the opening finishing strip needs to be the length of both your front/back long side together. For the strap, I just made it long enough to go across my body.
1. Line up your pocket finishing strip (roughly 1" thick) 1/4" from the top of the pocket section good side to good side and pin it down. Just in case: good side to good side means just was it sounds like! We want back of each piece facing out.
2. Run that through your machine sewing closely to the top of your finishing strip.
3. Fold your strip back and iron along the seam. Give it another fold so that your two good sides are now facing outwards and iron again. Basically we are making our own bias tape. Here is a good tutorial on how to attach bias tape.
5. Pin the pocket to the panel so that both good sides face out and sew along the edge of your pocket. I like to back stitch a few times where the pocket stops for extra support. Sew up the middle of the pocket as many times as you like. I made two different sized pockets. This photo show the back to better illustrate only sewing to the top of the pocket.
6. Pin the section of faux leather to the bottom of the front panel good side to good side.
7. Run that side through the machine and repeat by pinning the back panel to the other side of your faux leather bottom.
8. You now have 3 panels attached! Fold this in half good side to good side with the middle being in your faux leather. Run the sides through the sewing machine. Turn inside out and it's starting to look like a bag now!
9. With your faux leather bad side to bad side sew each side of your straps together. Go slow because you can't pin the faux leather together. It has memory and will leave your pin holes in it so you will have to hold these pieces together.
10. Clearly I did not cut my straps to the exact same side. So your's may be better then this!
11. If it suffered from uneven sides like mine did just take scissors to it and trim it up nice and close to your stitches.
13. Sew close to the top edge of the bag all the way around the bag making sure to get those straps on the sides too.
14. Turn your bag inside out. Fold the finishing strip around the top to have the good sides facing out. Iron and tuck the edge under. Iron and pin again. Note: your straps will now be pointing up in the correct position.
15. Sew along the bottom of your finishing strip.
Turn your bag back out the right way and you are good to go! Trim any thread that is poking out anywhere and fill your bag with wonderful things!
Phew I'm exhausted after writing a tutorial! I did take photos of the process to make a similar round bottom bag to hold my yarn and yarn related tools so if this one goes well I will put that tutorial up as well.
I would love to see anyone's version of this bag AND any feedback on my first tutorial would be greatly appreciated!