Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today I'm the Bag Lady

If life is a drag and you haven't done anything new lately, maybe you can try this. All you need is a piece of material, a sewing machine and thread. Actually, the sewing machine is optional if you don't mind hand sewing - it'll just take longer, that's all.

This is simple sewing, on a simple sewing machine. Quick, and uncomplicated:

Start with a half yard of poly-cotton material. That's the stuff that's usually about 44" wide, is machine washable and permanent press, and feels like a dress shirt or blouse. Do not buy anything heavy, textured or stretchy. And get an all over print, not a border print or "picture."

So, you have a piece of fabric that is about 44" by 18"

On the short side, measure and cut off 2 strips, each 3" by 18"

Now you have 3 pieces of fabric - one about 38" by 18" and two that are 3" by 18"

Time to sew:

The two 18" pieces are for the handles, so you do the following for each one:

Fold lengthwise, with wrong sides together, and sew across one end and down the open side.

By the way, the white strip next to the pencil is the selvage (border) I cut from my piece of material. I don't need it showing on my finished product. Do the same with yours if needed.

Now, turn your handle right side out. With a nod of thanks to my sister Suzie, here's how to do this:

Push in the end you just stitched, using first your fingers and then an unsharpened pencil. Keep pushing the pencil through and pulling/sliding the fabric down the outside. When you get the whole strip right side out, just shake out the pencil and your bag handle is "turned."

Finally, turn under the unstitched end, and sew around all edges (both sides and both ends). Now you have a nice finished handle for your bag. Do the same for the second handle.

Making the handles is the hardest part of this, so we're more than half done. Now for the tease: Instructions for completing the bag will be on this site tomorrow.

Are you in suspense? Are you at least a teensy bit curious about the exciting conclusion?

Life is stranger than fiction, they say, so tune in tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a picture, because Odie demanded equal time when he heard Faith was here the other day:

....showing his best side.


(hey)Jude said...

Wrong sides together? I must be getting dense.....It LOOKS like right sides together....have I lost my mind? Hi Odie! AREN'T YOU THE MOST HANDSOME DOG TO EVER APPEAR ON THIS BLOG?!!!And, your bags are just beautiful!! Are these the free gifts you give to your Tupperware customers?

Carol Shoemaker said...

Oops - RIGHT sides together. And I was trying so hard to make this just perfect!!

(hey)Jude said...

Oh thank gawd! I thought I really had lost my mind! whew..............
By the way, your photographs on the process are just the best. VERY well done!