Having decorated a cotton bag for the competition at Skipton Stitchers, I then turned to the fabric sample which needed titivating and turning into something.
A few years ago I made a project bag to live in my handbag with a little sewing in to keep me busy when hanging around outside somewhere, be it in a cafe or a bus station or a dentists waiting room. I call it Stitching on the Move. It proved invaluable when I was stuck in a broken down train for over 5 hours once or unexpectedly in hospital. Stitching helps keep me calm and passes the time more productively than scrolling down facebook!
It was a wallet style with a large pocket for linen and a hoop and lots of little pockets for thread bobbins. Here’s my original post about how I made it. It’s lived in my handbag ever since.
I recently treated myself to a set of Pip and Chip bobbins, which are acryllic and have the number and colour of the DMC thread printed on the top. I love them but it has made me a little wary about taking the bobbins out of the house as they’re not cheap and I don’t want to lose them. I’ve started using thread cards instead, the ones with holes punched in them to loop your thread through. I also found that the pockets for the floss in my stitching wallet had obviously stretched as bobbins were falling out into the dark depths of my handbag!
Time for a new project bag and a perfect entry for the Skipton Stitchers competition to make something using a fabric sample square.
My fabric sample looked rather retro to me with it’s simple flowers and neutral scheme. I decided to embroider three of the flowers to go on the front of a project bag. I chose three colours of felt, two purples and a sort of light teal colour to make round centres for the flowers. I then stitched a circle of pistil stitch. I rather like pistil stitch, I find it quite useful, it’s a bit like a French knot on a stalk! My original plan was to add a button to the centre, I thought I’d found a perfect button in my stash, a white flower button which also was a perfect fit for a tiny yellow button in the centre…
…but it just didn’t work, too bright!
I then tried a smaller circle of felt with a tiny button in the middle…
I eventually had to admit that the buttons just didn’t work. I removed them and just covered the central circle with more pistil stitches and French knots. They remind me of a clematis flower!
Once I was happy with the flowers I just had to make it into a bag. I used a green quilting cotton for the rest of the outside, using both interfacing and wadding to give it a bit of structure. I did a simple quilting of straight lines to help hold it together, stitched lining to the piece so I could turn it and hand-stitch the opening closed. I edge-stitched the edges and then just had to fold it into the bag shape and stitch the sides together. It closes with a button and a rouleau loop.
It’s about 6.5″ square, so it comfortably fits a 5″ hoop in. I cut a flower shape out of felt to make a needle holder, it’s actually only attached for about an inch on each side so I can hold the felt more easily if needed. I used a triangle of felt to make a scissor holder on the front. The first time I used it the scissors kept slipping out, not in transit but when I was using the pouch. I’ve just added the ribbon so hopefully that will no longer be an issue.
I’m pleased with my sewing bag, I didn’t win any prizes but I’ve made two items which will have a lot of use. If you want to see the other entries and the winners, please follow the link to the Skipton Stitchers blog.