I made this bag and the additional sewing notions pouch last weekend and took my usual 200+ photos to share the pattern as a tutorial for you...but my computer glitched and all the good photos which had been formatted and placed in a separate folder 'vanished' like Agatha Christie many years ago without any explanation at all.
My tech savvy husband agreed - they had simply left the building with no clues as to their whereabouts.
So as time permitted this week I've gone through the second-rate photos I still had and painstakingly gathered enough to offer a tutorial...cause it's a really cute and useful bag, and perfect for displaying an orphan stitchery.
My stitchery for the front of the bag was one I designed a few Christmases ago, though by omitting the two little bunches of holly berries in the bottom left of the pattern this loses it's Christmassey-ness and can become just a lovely inspirational design for anyone who enjoys sewing. Perfect for gifts too!
The bird is a pincushion and hanging between the bunting flags are sweet sewing notions and a cross-stitch heart.
I trimmed my stitchery to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" for this bag, but you can use a smaller one if you have it.
First off you'll need -
* a piece of floral fabric 14" wide x 19" high for the outside of the bag
* a piece of tonal fabric 14" wide and 19" high for the lining
* a 2 1/2" x 42" length of lining fabric for handles
* a 3/4" x 42" length of cotton twill strapping
* a piece of medium weight fusible Pellon slightly larger than the fabric pieces
Fuse the Pellon behind the floral fabric. This is now your outer bag and the top half is the front of the bag.
Measure 1" down from the top of the bag front to position your stitchery block.
Blanket stitch applique the stitchery to the bag front.
Quilt the outer bag any way you like.
Put this aside while we make the handles.
Fold the 2 1/2" x 42" length of lining fabric in half lengthways and sew the two raw edges together with a 1/4" seam. Press the seam open so that the seam is in the middle of one side.
Turn right side out and cut into two equal lengths for two handles.
Cut the twill strapping in half and it sew over the seam of the handles.
Pin the handles to the top and bottom of the outer bag. I measured in 3 1/2" either side of the outer edge to position my handles.
Sew the handles in place with slightly less than a 1/4" seam.
Fold your outer bag in half, right sides together and sew down both sides with a 1/4" seam.
I pin my handles down to keep them out of the way.
Draw a rectangle in the bottom corners of the outer bag.
1 3/4" up from the base and 2" in from the side as shown below.
Cut out those rectangles.
Open out the cut away area and flatten it so that the side seam is in the centre, then pin.
Sew along the raw edge with a 1/4" seam.
This gives your bag a nice wide flat base with boxed corners.
Repeat the steps to make boxed corners with your lining fabric.
Slip the lining inside the bag, right sides facing each other.
Pin the top of the lining to the top of the bag but leave a space of 4" between the two handles at the back of the bag.
Sew the bag and lining together around the top edge with a 1/4" seam, but leave that 4" section open.
Turn the bag right side out through the 4" opening.
Fold the open edges in and ladder stitch the 4" opening closed.
Top stitch around the bag opening with a 1/4" seam.
To make the base firm and give added strength and a flat bottom which wouldn't curve I added this...
Cut a piece of template plastic 3 1/4" x 9 1/4".
Cut a piece of fabric 7 1/4" x 10".
Fold the fabric in half lengthways and sew along the raw edges together with a 1/4" seam.
Press the seam open and position it at the centre back of your tube shape.
Sew along one narrow end with a 1/4" seam.
Turn the tube right side out and press.
Slip the template plastic inside the tube.
Fold in the ends and slip stitch closed.
Place into the base of your bag.
And there you have it - your very own Merry Heart Sewing Bag!
Next week I'll share the tutorial for the little sewing pouch which sits inside. It holds embroidery scissors, threads and needles for your sewing day out.
I raided Blossom's craft beads for the ties. Cute huh?
If you'd like to stitch my "Sew With a Merry Heart" design it's over HERE in my Etsy Shop as an instant download.
I'd love to see it embroidered in colours...might have to do another version...mmm.
I took some photos of the bag this morning on our new plant stand near the front door but our beautiful orange door casts it's tangerine hue over everything. Ah well, it's still a beautiful door and I like the photo anyhow.
The plant stand (or bookcase as the previous owners had used it that way) was a $10 find at a garage sale last Saturday and I keep thinking it looks like a church pew. Nice thought.
I may pop my gardening books on the bottom shelf for stability but also just to keep them together.
And there's our orange door, and the orange planter outside, so you can see why I get that hue on things I try to photograph opposite them.
Thank you for your prayers over our Blossom. Still nothing conclusive after the first round of tests but the hospital tests are yet to happen. She did find out a few unexpected things from the doctor which will be good to know in future with regards to her ongoing health.
I'll leave you with this gorgeous photo of Cully May and Rafaella, dressed as princesses in their new sparkly red tutus.
Don't you love the freedom children exude when they simply love something and enjoy it?
Shame that as we get older we worry too much about what others think.
I need a sparkly tutu so I can twirl with my girls.
May our loving God sprinkle unabashed joy over you heart and bless you with opportunities to twirl and sparkle like a little child and enjoy all of His wonderful delights.