Friday, 30 January 2015

Cute Little Zip Bag

I got the nicest text from my son the other day asking if it was alright to go on a really long bike ride in the forest! It certainly was alright and we braved the balmy 6 degrees to head off into the wilds of Norfolk with a biking picnic and some homemade Anzac biscuits.

The frost was making the best patterns on the car windows in the early morning.

The midwinter really looked bleak but I love the forest at any time of the year.

The crisp air is the best tonic in the world and the forest was at its beautiful best. The biscuits were good too.....

NEWSFLASH:Since I started to write this post, it has snowed! Now I have some real pictures for you! Happy days!

I will post the biscuit recipe in a week or two. They come out of my Nana's ancient recipe book and they are a bit of an Aussie tradition - the Anzacs being the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACS) in the first world war and these biscuits were allegedly sent to loved ones at war because they travelled and lasted well. Yum too and that is reason enough! 

Well back to sewing which is the reason that we are here today isn't it?! I have a small bag with a zip this time. It has patches too and a quilt-as-you-go feature and it is fully lined and  it has a trademark label! I won't bore you with the making of the label again- you can find my link here and read all about it in detail.
Here is a little preview of the bag....

I cannot say that I am always a fan of zippers! Maybe it is because I was put off as a child, always being told how difficult they are but actually they are not. I learned to sew on my Nana's old Singer and this machine was born before the zipper foot so that may have a lot to do with it!

Anyway, I am trying to be brave and carry on! So what will we need this time?
-small piece of natural linen
-small pieces of about four/five different fabrics which take your fancy
-fat quarter print fabric for the lining
-fat quarter thin wadding
-brown perle 8 cotton
-7.5 cm x 4 cm ecru cotton tape for the label
-stamp of your choice
-black ink suitable for fabric
-18cm zipper
-small amount of cotton lace
-your usual sewing needs.

Firstly, prepare your zipper. Cut two squares from your fabrics measuring 6cm x 7cm and sew them over the ends of your zip like this...

Topstitch too, it looks better and it will keep everything stronger. 

Next, cut two pieces of wadding to measure 22.5 cm x 19 cm. This is generous and will be trimmed back a bit later.

This project uses a quilt as you go method which means that these panels come together really quickly. I won't take up your time again with the whole technique. You can find it here if you need a refresher. Cut 10 strips form your fabrics measuring 5 cm x 11.5 cm. You will have two of each one, one for the front and one for the back.
Sew the strips to the wadding so that it looks like this...

Now cut two pieces of linen 22.5 cm x 8 cm and sew it to the top section of the panels.

Make a running stitch with perle cotton on the linen. This both forms a decorative bit and keeps the linen nicely in place.

Attach the lace just under the linen panel...

The label comes next! Make this with your chosen stamp and affix it to the front centre. You only need the one of these.

Cut two pieces of your chosen lining fabric 22.5 cm x 19 cm. By the way, when choosing your lining, remember that a lighter one makes it easier to see into the depths of the bag.

Swap to a zipper foot next and pin an outer and a lining piece with the zipper sandwiched in between.

Sew along the zipper and then repeat for the other side. You will now have something that looks like this...

The lining is underneath.
You can topstitch along the zipper on the linen to keep the lining neat too but stop about 3 cm from each end if you do this so that finishing the bag is possible.

Now pin the lining to the lining and the outer to the outer and, leaving a small gap in the lining for turning out later, sew all around. Be very careful to match up all seams, panels, edges and so on. 

Turn out through the gap in the lining and slip stitch the gap closed. Stuff the lining down into the bag and remove any loose cottons.
Here it is!

I still don't like putting in zippers and I don't ever see myself listing it as a hobby but it is not too painful and the result is a pretty  bag which is useful for holding so many things. 

Well I hope that you have enjoyed this! You can really dive into your scraps for this one and make very useful things for every aspect of your life. See you next time!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx