Little Bitty Bag
This is a great gift idea and a way to use up those fabric scraps. I filled them with girly goodies and will be giving them as holiday gift - cosmetic bags. It finishes up at 4.5" high, 7" wide, and 1" deep at the bottom
For this sassy little bag you will need a sewing machine (with zigzag feature), a zipper foot, 9 inch zipper, basic sewing supplies, a piece of thin cardboard to create a template (I used a empty cereal box), an iron and a serger is optional .
I would rate this as an easy project - but the zipper on a slight curve could be a challenge, if you have never sewn a zipper before please practice on scraps. In the pictures you will see different base fabrics, I was doing assembly line sewing and made 12 bags instead of just one.For the base I used cotton duck/cotton canvas from JoAnn's, but you could use denim (great recycling idea). You need a somewhat sturdy fabric for the base, the base will become the inside of the bag and where the fabric strips are sewn. Here you can see I found cotton duck in bright orange, cream and green. Cut a 9.5 " by 13" rectangle from your base fabric.
*TIP: use a light to medium colored fabric, this makes it easier to see what your storing inside.
For the outside of the little bitty bag I used 12 - 1.5 inch strips of fabric for one bag. You can use fat quarters cut into strips or scraps sewn together to make the strips. I used the large floral fabric as my color palett to help choose more fabrics from my stash. I used 10 different fat quarters, but it would look just as good if using only 3 different fat quarters.
ETA: try this link for my pattern
The above link should open as aPDF and print in the correct size - but check the size everyone's printers are different!! Use the dotted line at the bottom and trace this twice on your cardboard making a pattern with two tops (one up and one down) and the bottom in the middle. (scroll down some to see my cardboard template) Save your template to use later.
Line up two strips of fabric right sides together, place on the base fabric with the raw edge of the fabric on the second line (or the 1/4" from center line). This will make the actual seam line go from corner to corner.
Sew using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press open, next line up another strip right sides together and with raw edges together sew 1/4" seam. Then do the same on the opposite side.
Continue adding strips to cover the base fabric (if you look closely you will see I have two corners not covered, but I checked with my template I then trimed the corners off).
Using the template trace the outline on the base fabric (do not worry about the lines being seen as they are in the seam allowances). This outline includes your seam allowances and will be the line to which you cut out the pattern.
Finishing the edge stops the fabrics from fraying. I used my serger to finish off the edges and cut them at the same time, by lining up the outline with the cutting blade and using a 3-thread overlock stitch narrowed to 1/4".
The zipper goes on the curved edge of the fabric. Place the zipper right side down on the right side of the outside, line up the edges together and pin in place. *Tip: line up the bottom zipper stop to the raw/finished edge of the fabric (see below). Use a zipper foot and sew on the zipper. *Tip: when half way through stop with needle in the down position raise the presser foot and move the zipper to the out of the way, as the zipper pull can be bulky and hard to sew around. (in the photo above I started sewing from the bottom of the zipper and then half way I move the zipper to the bottom)
After sewing one side of the zipper, you need to see where to line up the next side. To do this fold over the zipper and note where to zipper stop is, use this as a reference to line up the next side of the zipper. Fold the fabric in half with the outside/strip-ie sides together. Pin the zipper with the zipper edge and raw/finished edges together again noting where the zipper stops are. Sew just as before, and also use the tip to move the zipper pull again if needed (I did).
Unzip the half-way finished bag and turn rightside out, then slowly/carefuly zip the bag closed. Finger press and use an iron to press the curved edge with the zipper.
You should have something that looks like this - your almost done - YEA!!
Turn the bag inside out and leave halfway unzipped. *Tip: do not leave zipper closed, this causes a problem when you want to open it and the zipper is sewn closed - ask me how I know. Starting at the bottom of the bag (folded edge) sew up the sides, making sure to put the finished edge/zigzaged edge in the seam allowance, stop just on the zipper tape (do not go all the way off the edge) back-stitch to lock your stitches. Then trim the corners as shown above (see my finger ;0) this will remove the bulk from the corners when you turn them.
To create the bottom of the bag fold the side of the bag down with seam allowances open and line up the side seam to the center bottom (is that clear as mud?). See picture above, the bottom of the bag is on the bed of the sewing machine the side is facing up in my fingers and the zipper is wide open and to the left. (I may need to add more pictures to explain this) Stitch the little corner, back stitching at the start and finish. *Tip: Now if you don't want to make the bottom this way - well then don't it's ok and your finished!
Turn the little bitty bag rightside out, finger press to make nice and neat.
You now have a Little Bitty Bag to give someone a little bitty smile :0)
If you make a bag please show it off on the LaBellaColori flickr group, I would love to see them.
and for fun.................