Friday, 19 June 2015

The prettiest peg bag and beautiful views of Cambridge.

I love Cambridge so much! It is on my top five best cities list. Every now and then, we decide to hop into the car and visit just for the hell of it. It is always so inspiring - maybe it's just university towns but this one is extra special. So before we get started with this week's project, have a look around Cambridge with me.....

Classic old English - phone booths in the market place

The educational potential reaches out and draws the visitor into its embrace.

The history is all around you.

The bike is king and queen in Cambridge and it is the transport mode of choice for most. They are everywhere.

The chapel in Gonville & Caius college.

Everywhere is perfect!

The backs and the famous punts - perfect weather too!

Rob having a bit of a nosey.

The pretty little market place. We gorged on Cambridge strawberries and the most delectable cherries.

Says it all really...

Again, says it all!
The weather was postcard perfect for this.

Ah, bliss! As I said, a really beautiful city and worth a visit. And if I may offer a tip - if you are arriving by car, choose a park and ride on the outskirts of the city. Cheap to park all day and great service. That is the way to go in the future.
But as you will know by now, we are here to sew as well and with the lovely weather upon us (sorry to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere) we are tending to put the clothes outside to line dry and that means pegs! Sooooo, I thought that it might be nice to update the ole peg bag!

One of my lovely editors, Katy  has designed some wonderfully evocative fabrics - ask for  Priory Square by Katy Jones where you love to shop for fabrics. I have chosen two of my favourites for this week's project. Take a look...

How fab are they! Totally on-trend as you might expect and lovely to work with.

So what will we need this time?
-a wooden coat hanger
-your two fabrics - a fat quarter of the aqua and two fat quarters of the other one
-plain solid cream cotton - a fat quarter will do it
-things to make a label - felt, stamp, distress markers and black ink pad
-scrap of orange felt
-pinking shears
-coordinating grosgrain bow
your usual sewing needs

This is going to be a French seamed project because I am not a huge fan of unfinished or zig-zagged edges. I like everything finished off in the lining too so here we go!

Firstly make the label. There is a post in the archives and you can find it here with detailed instructions on how to make a homemade label for your work. I have used a couple of Tim Holtz distress markers to colour mine and a butterfly stamp which goes well with the fabric.

And the result up a bit closer and mounted onto a piece of orange felt...

Pink around the endges for a cute look. The label will be mounted in the centre bottom.
So to begin the bag itself. I am going to try and do without a print off template this time and see how we do. The coat hanger will form the top of the bag and the sides are simply square.

Firstly, cut a square of your fabric for the outer to measure 44cm x 33cm and then use the coat hanger itself to round off the top so that you end up with a shape like this....

It is fine to practise on a piece of paper first, in fact, I would for sure. Always have a roll of brown paper with your sewing kit for making patterns and templates and then keep them in a box to be used again and again.

Now cut three more pieces the same (using this one as the template). You need two of your second fabric and I have used a plain off white cotton for the lining piece because you won't see it when it is in and this saves money.

Now find a round object which measures about 11.5cm diameter (think saucers and the like).

Take the piece of plain solid lining and crease it down the middle to find the centre...

Measure down 8.5cm and make a circle by tracing around your chosen template with the water soluble marker on the wrong side of the lining....

Now take this lining piece and your aqua fabric and pin them right sides together. Sew around the circle on your machine and then cut out (1/2cm in from the line) and clip the curve...

Now 'post' the lining through the hole and iron it very flat and perfect on the other side so that now you have this...

Then top stitch around the centre hole to stabilise the lining....

Add the label next....

I found a scrap of tangerine cotton lace which made a perfect tab too.....seeeee, told you never to throw anything away!

You have two pattern pieces left over. Place them wrong sides together and baste around the outer edge and from then on treat them as one, pre-lined piece.

Now normally, we would sew the whole thing up with the lining sides together but, as I have already ranted, I am not a fan of yumpy inner seams. So, take the back and the front and pin them together with the wrong (lining) sides together....

Now sew a narrower than normal seam right around the outside, being very careful to catch all four layers as you go. Leave a 1cm hole in the top for the coat hanger wire too.

Trim the extra fabric back and then turn the bag inside out through the centre hole. Iron the edge flat and then sew again, enclosing the raw edges inside the seam using the normal seam allowance...

Now turn it the right way out again and push the corners out with a chopstick or something similar so that they are nice and sharp. As you can see, the inside is very neat. If you have some stray threads on the outside, just snip them away.
Finally, put the coat hanger in - I am not going to pretend that this is easy and be gentle to ensure that you don't tear or distort the bag. Attach the bow to the base of the coat hanger hook.

And that's it! A peg bag. Obviously this is also handy to hang in a wardrobe for stockings or other similar things too and it is great for laundry room storage of other kinds. Here is is again....

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx