Friday, 24 February 2012

Homemade Bag

I've made several different kinds of bags but this one is my favourite.

I had an old one and liked the style and shape of it, but wasn't fussy on the fabric it was made from.  So I made a paper pattern from it to use for my own homemade bag.

That determined the size and shape of the front flap, so I could go to work on creating a new one.  Firstly, I cut a piece of muslin a few inches larger all round than the pattern.  Then I simply stuck random pieces of fabric all over it.

Once covered, I machine zig-zagged across all the places where the pieces of fabric overlapped.  Now comes the fun bit...

Using a cutting mat, (big breath), I sliced the whole into 2" strips: then turned some of these round, top to bottom.  That done, I stuck these strips down closely together on another piece of muslin and zig-zagged down each row.

Back to the cutting mat - I turned the piece 90 degrees, and sliced 2" strips again and repeated the last step.  That leaves you with a square-patch effect, but each of the squares will be completely different and contain all sorts of shapes/bits from your original arrangement.

I trimmed it to fit the front-flap pattern and embellished it to within an inch of its new life, with different hand embroidery stitches, tiny metallic bits of things and even managed to fashion a butterfly and a spider's web.

For the rest of the bag, I chose a tan suede-effect fabric and used a magnetic catch for closing.

This is another technique that is not just fun, but very economical in using up all manner of scraps you might have hanging around.

Not just for a homemade bag, though.  It can also be used to make cushion covers, wall-hangings etc and I'm sure others will have lots of other great ideas for how to use it.

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