Whilst browsing for a new blind recently I discovered the Hillarys craft competition and decided this was just the excuse I needed to get out my machine!
I didn’t really have a project in mind and choosing from the four fabrics on offer was difficult as I could see potential in all of them! Eventually I decided on this Rayna Apple fabric.
Each entrant is sent 1 metre square of their selected fabric with which to make an item of their choice and adding any other materials required.
I decided that the lovely upholstery weight of this fabric would make it ideally suited to a bag; something that could be used to carry my craft equipment to workshops or as a shopping bag.
These A4 plastic storage boxes have become an essential item for carrying projects and therefore were the key to sizing my design.
Other essential elements included pockets suitable for specific items and zipped pockets for security.
The Rayna fabric design is linear and directional so I had to do some careful planning to line up the motifs on the pockets with those on the main body of the bag and to be able to cut out suitable handles.
These are my plans and prototype made up in paper:
I chose a contrasting fabric for the lining and to add a band to the top of the bag – Kona cotton in Pomegranate. I think this contrasts well with the grey tones.
All the main bag pieces were interfaced using an iron on woven interfacing. I decided to omit a wadding layer as I want a bag that can be folded up if necessary for shopping trips and the wadding adds extra bulk and structure.
The top band was stitched to each of the main body pieces; pockets were constructed and stitched to the outside of each main body piece and squares were cut out of the bottom corners so that the base could be squared off. The side and bottom seams were then stitched.
I added a zipped pocket into the seam joining the top contrast band and the main fabric on one side of the bag.
To square off the base the seams are pressed open then the side seam and bottom edge seam are brought together, (with right sides together), and this diagonal seam is stitched.
When turned through this gives the bag its boxy shape.
The main lining pieces are joined in the same way as the outer bag except that a gap is left when stitching the bottom edge – this is for turning through after joining the bag fabric and lining together. Before constructing the bag lining I also inserted a zipped pocket.
I used strips of Rayna fabric and lining fabric to construct open ended straps; as these are quite wide I folded the central area together and top stitched in order to make them more comfortable for carrying.
I also made a lined pouch with a magnetic snap fastener and a key fob both of which I stitched into the top edge of the bag.
Here is my finished bag – plenty of room for all my craft essentials and more!
On one side the pocket is large enough to hold an A4 cutting mat whilst an A3 cutting mat will fit inside the bag.
The other side has a divided pocket so I have 2 compartments each large enough for glasses or a small sketchbook. The outside zipped pocket is useful for anything I need to keep accessible like keys or a phone.
The inside – 3 x A4 craft boxes, rolls of paper/fabrics, my Hussif, books and an A3 cutting mat – and still room to spare!
I can see the pouch being really useful for my camera, rotary cutter, fragile items …. so many things.
And what’s left? – only 2 small strips!
Thank you Hillarys for a competition that is a challenge but a pleasure to complete, and, of course, for the lovely fabric.