Friday, 26 December 2014

Sewing without a pattern? I too like to live dangerously!

Sometimes I like to live on the wild side. And by this I mean sew something without a pattern. My husband asked me to make a bag for his mom for Christmas to replace the gift bag she has been using to carry her iPad, wallet, and miscellaneous stuff back and forth to work. So I had a general idea about size in mind, but otherwise was working from a figure-it-out-as-you-go place. 

I started off with Bluebird Park from Kate & Birdie Co with Moda Fabrics. I love the colours, textures and adorable animals from this line. In fact, prior to knowing about the fabric collection, I had used cards with the hedgehogs and bunnies for my wedding shower thank yous! 

Next, I decided it would be cute to fussy cut some of these designs into 2 inch hexies to feature them on the bag. I hand sewed them together using the English paper piecing technique. 
English paper piecing means all hand sewing
I decided to wrap this patchwork around the side of the bag to add interest in the front and back. I chose the dark cross hatching fabric to fill in the remaining of the patchwork portion to give contrast to the business of the hexies. I also selected a dark brown to use as the base, handles, and lining of the bag. 
The layout
I used a decorative stitch from my sewing machine to dress up the handles, and the pocket I installed on the inside.
Handles close up
A peek inside - a pocket perfect for an iPad
I used a blanket stitch on my sewing machine to applique the hexies to the background fabric and the base. 
Blanket stitch applique
Initially, I was going to square off the hexies by cutting around the perimeter to make all the lines straight. But when I was laying out the bag, I decided to keep the hexies intact for more visual interest. I think that this was a good idea; I love the way it looks, especially at the top where the handles attach to the hexies.

Front view

Back view
Lastly, I used a magnetic clasp for the closure, and used the blanket stitch to top stitch around the upper perimeter of the bag. I filled the bag with little treats that my mother in law will like, and wrapped it up for Christmas. I sure hope she likes it! 

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