I’m a sewer, knitter, spinner, baker, embroiderer… I could go on. But basically, what I’m trying to say is I have more than just one creative outlet. In fact, I have many. So many that I now have to stop myself from acquiring more.
This little bag is multi-functional. It not only gets to feed my love of sewing but it’s a project bag for my knitting featuring a fabric divider on the inside to keep my yarn separate and organized. It also uses several different textiles – which feeds my love of being creative. To add texture and richness, the bottom outside of the bag features a vegan leather. Quilting with heaver thread also contributes to the texture.
If you’re not a knitter, there are many other uses for this bag!
To make this project bag, you will need quilt weight fabric for the outside of the bag. You can certainly make this without using leather or vegan leather, I just love the mix of materials in the finished project. You will also need fabric for the inside of the bag, for the inside divider, quilt batting to add structure and a zipper at least 12 inches in length.
- To make a two toned exterior, cut two pieces of the top fabric 12 x 7 1/4 and two pieces of the bottom fabric (for my bag, I used a vegan leather) 12 x 7 1/4. If just making with one fabric on the exterior, cut two pieces of fabric 12 x 14.
- Cut two pieces of batting 12 x 14.
- Cut two pieces of interior fabric 12 x 14.
- Cut one piece of fabric 12 x 18.
- Cut one piece of batting 12 x 9.
Time to Assemble
If you are making a two-toned exterior, the first step is to piece together your fabrics. Sew your top fabric to the bottom fabric along the long side using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
If you are using a fabric different than quilting cotton, consider using your walking foot for this project as it will help keep your top and bottom fabrics from slipping.
Press open your seams. If you are using a synthetic fabric, be sure to use the appropriate (low) iron setting.
Place your exterior/outside fabric wrong sides to your batting and quilt as desired.
For an added decorative touch, I used a 12 weigh thread. I loved the heavier look of the thread with this heavier fabric. When you use a thicker thread, you need to adjust your sewing machine needle. For this project, I used a 100/16 needle. For the bobbin thread, I used a regular weight fabric and used the auto tension on my Janome Skyline S5.
Creating the Inside Project Divider
With the fabric you have reserved for the inside divider in your bag, fold in half so it measures 12 x 9 1/2. Take your 12 x 9 piece of batting and sandwich it inbetween the fold.
Fold in the bottom seam by a ¼ inch, topstitch to finish. You won’t see this stitching in your finished bag. Quilt this middle divider piece to give it more structure.
I used just a basic zipper construction for for this project.
With one piece of external fabric and one piece of internal fabric, place the zipper sandwiched in between. Place the right side of one side of the zipper to the right side of the top of the external/outside fabric, and the wrong side of the same side of the zipper to the right side of the internal/inside fabric.
Use the zipper foot attachment for your sewing machine and sew as close to the zipper teeth as possible. Open up the side panel, press light if needed (I was able to just finger press), and then top stitch along the zipper teeth to create a nice finish.
Do the same with the other external and internal pieces of fabric.
Instead of pinning this, I like to use clips to keep everything in place while I am sewing. Remove the clips as you come up to them as you sew.
Open up your fabric pieces so the external pieces of fabric are right sides together and your internal pieces of fabric are right sides together.
Take your middle divider piece and sandwich in between your internal pieces two inches from the bottom of this section (it won’t get attached at the bottom when you complete the next step but that’s okay, it will sit flush to the bottom of your bag when you complete the work needed to give the project bag a flat bottom).
Make sure your zipper is open (so you will be able to turn your bag right-side out) and then sew around all sides of the bag using a ¼ to ½ inch seam. Leave a two-three inch opening around the bottom of the inside pieces (also so you can turn right sides out).
Create a flat bottom for your bag by marking a two inch square on the bottom corners of both the outside and inside pieces.
Open up the corners to create a diagonal line that matches up on each side. Sew along the diagonal. Trim corners.
Turn your bag right side out. Finish the seam you left open at the bottom of the inside of the bag. There are two options for this. You can turn your seam in and finish with a neat topstitch, or for a really professional finish, you can hand stitch closed with a blind stitch.
Now fill your bag up with your favourite project and enjoy!
I can see myself making these as gifts for multi-crafty friends, too!
What is your number one crafty outlet? What other creative outlets do you enjoy?
What weight of thread to you usually use for quilting?
Also, zipper construction – do you find it fun? Yay or nay?