Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flower Bag Tutorial

The daughter of a friend of ours from our church was recently baptized and I needed a gift on the fly, so I quickly made up this little bag for her on Saturday morning to take her scriptures to church. It could easily be adapted for a market bag, book bag, any kind of bag!

Start by cutting a piece of denim (outside of bag) 13 1/2 x 17 inches, and then cut a piece of contrasting fabric (inside of bag) 13 1/2 x 21 inches.

NExt you need to cut two straps, 37 x 3 inches, a pocket 4 1/2 x 5 inches, and a piece of contrast fabric to tip the pocket that is 2 x 5 inches. I initially cut it pink, but then changed it to floral fabric, which you'll see later.
The kids at our church have the motto "choose the right" ("haz lo justo" in Spanish) so I wanted to put that on the pocket. I printed letters I liked off the computer, then turned them upside down and traced them on felt so that any pen marks I didn't cut off would be on the back of the letter, not the front.

Next, fold the fabric accent fabric in half and iron, then in half again. Fold this over the edge of the pocket and sew in place. Iron opposite side of pocket under 1/4 inch. Hand sew your felt letters (or anything else you want) on the pocket now. I used a backstitch to sew on my letters in thread that matched the felt. Then, line up pocket in the middle of one side, with decorative edge 2 inches down from one of the short sides of the outside fabric of the bag. Top stitch in place along folded edge. Side edges do not need to be sewn because they will catch in the straps.

Next, follow the flower tutorial here to make a fabric rununcula on the opposite side of the outside fabric from the pocket. I cut small circle out of felt and hand sewed it using a back stick to the center. I then cut a stem and leaf out of green felt and attached them also with a backstitch. When you finish these steps your fabric will look like this:

Now it's time to attach your lining fabric. Fold the lining fabric down 1 inch on each short side and iron. Fold it over again and iron again. It should now fit over your outside fabric with a 1 inch overlap on each side. Top stitch the two sides.

Next we have to do the straps. First, I got lazy and didn't do this but you need to take some heavy interfacing and cut two strips 3 x 20 inches. Iron this to the wrong side of each strap in the middle. You will need this to make the straps sturdy enough. Then, fold the straps in half length wise and iron, then fold in each raw edge (length wise) 1/8 inch and iron. Now mark the center (bottom) of your bag by folding the two short sides together and making a small mark.

With the folded edge to the outside, overlap one raw edge of the strap 1/4 inch from your center marking. Pin strap to edge, fold back and pin down other side, once again finishing 1/4 in overlap from center mark as seen here:

Starting on the inside edge, sew from center to edge of bag on the strap, continuing and sewing all the way around the inside (open) edge of bag strap. Then go back and sew the outside (folded) edge of strap, starting at the center and sewing to the edge (top) of bag. When you get to the top, sew a big "x" to make sure it is secure.

Pin the second side the same as the first, but instead of overlapping fold strap raw edges under 1/4 inch and the line the up with the center. Sew across folded end of straps. You should now have this:

You're almost done!! Fold the bag in half, outsides of bag together, and sew up each side, then zigzag. Or if you have a serger, serge up the sides.

Next, fold bag so that side seam goes along bottom center of bag, making a point. MArk 1" in from tip of point and sew across tip of bag. Repeat on opposite side.

Now turn the bag right side out and fill with goodies, it's all done!
Pocket side of bag. You could put initials or anything here, or just leave it blank. Have fun with your bag!

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