As our Fruitful gift to you we will be doing a collection of Christmas-y posts early in December (keep an eye out- they will be great!) but I thought I would get the ball rolling and share with you a little gift that I made for my nephew over the weekend. I am very excited to have one gift ready to be wrapped!
So here is the Dr Seuss Reversible Library Bag (or swimming bag, toy bag, colouring-in bag....whatever tickles your fancy):
|Mr T being a bit possessive|
There is a tutorial after the jump if you are keen...The Reversible Library Bag Tutorial:
You will need 2 pieces of fabric approximately 0.5m long (depending on the size of bag you want to make). The dimensions of my bag are 42cm long x 33cm wide and I used 0.5m lengths.
|How cute is this fabric!|
Trim a section off the side of each piece of fabric so that you end up with a rectangle measuring 0.5m x 0.74m. Keep the trimmed sections as you will use them for the handles.
|Two rectangles 0.5m x 0.74m|
Important: Keep both pieces separate at the moment, just do exactly the same thing to each....
Fold each rectangle in half, right sides facing so that the dimensions are now 0.5m x 0.37m. Iron to help make sure everything stays flat and straight. Sew along the side and bottom of the each piece of the bag (leaving a 2cm seam).
At this point it is probably worth while to fit the two pieces inside each other to make sure they will fit together nicely latter on. Just put one piece inside the other and give it a good shake.
|This is just showing that the two pieces fit well together....they are not sewn together at all yet.|
Separate the two pieces again and sew the side seams down flat. The next bit is a bit tricky to explain because I wanted my bag to have a "bottom" so that it would have a bit of width. If you are happy to just have a basic, flat bag then you can skip the next few steps.
Remember you are still working with each piece separately. Just do the same thing for each piece.
Fold the fabric up 8cm from the bottom stitching line and iron.
This is the tricky bit (not actually to do- just to explain!)...
Hold on to the bottom stitching line and move it so that it is in line with the crease you just ironed into the fabric.
Holding it there pull each sides of the fabric out either side of the stitching line. You will end up with the corners kind of caving in and so you push them down to make a diamond shape then iron.
Confused???? Sorry! Basically you are trying to make a rectangular base for your bag so you are flattening the base of the bag and folding the 2 corners in but it is just complicated because you are trying to do it while the bag is lying flat. To get an idea of what you are aiming for, find someone to hold the bag up for you just above a table and then get them to lower it until there is a base. You should notice that the corners sit out like two little triangles. Fold them under the base. Still confused???? Just try it...once you have a little bit of a fiddle you will see what I mean. These pictures might help:
|This is what you are going for. The base will be the rectangular section that is lying down flat at the moment.|
|This is what I mean by the corners kind of caving in and making a diamond|
|All folded down and ready to sew|
If you can't work it out please don't throw your fabric away and hate me forever- just forget all about the base and continue on. Your bag will still be fantastic!
If you managed to work it out then you are now ready to sew through the diamond section to secure the base. Using the above picture as a reference you simply sew from the top corner of the diamond to the bottom corner (perpendicular with the crease line that you can see in this picture). You can then trim the excess triangle section off.
|After trimming the triangular sections off it should look like this|
All the hard work is now done! Turn one piece of your bag out so that you can see the right side of the fabric. Leave the other piece of your bag as it is and fit it into the first piece.
Now put that part aside for a moment. It is time to make the handles.
Using your spare pieces of fabric from the beginning cut 4 long rectangles (2 of each type of fabric). I wanted my handles to be about 3 cm wide so I cut my fabric into 5cm x 50cm rectangles (basically just add 2cm to whatever width you want)
Fold 1cm over on each long side of the fabric and iron.
Now sandwich them together right sides facing out. Remember to use one of each type of fabric for each handle so that you have reversible handles. Sew along each side close to the edge.
Now time to put it all together. Decide how long you want your bag to be and turn over the top seams so that all the raw edges are hiding between the layers of the bag. Iron and pin along the edge. Also insert the ends of the handles in between the layers and pin them where you want them.
Simply sew around the top edge of the bag and you are done! I did a double stitch (one line about 1.5cm in from the top and then a second line about 0.5cm in).