Currently my yarn projects are in a bit of a mess, but they deserve proper storage until I’m ready to tackle them again, so I racked my brain for potential patterns and remembered one seen on the Floating on Cloud9 blog.
Thanks to an inherited stash of fabrics and miscellaneous haberdashery I was all set and the cutting began two days ago. Immediately I finished the first bag of four, but while Michelle Engel Bencsko prefers the zipper very visible on top, I decided not to show as much of it in the next bags. Throughout yesterday evening I finished the next three bags, so here they are!
The light bag is made from a Marimekko fabric, Viri designed in 1982 by Fujiwo Ishimoto, but the rest are question marks. The checkered fabric is some kind of synthetic kind, because it messed up my iron. I’ll be more observant in the future, but it didn’t even cross my mind that someone would have synthetic stuff in their stash; I’m so much for natural fibres in general. Oh well, live and learn. Since the tefal surface (it’s a Tefal iron) looked rather gross, I decided to show it to one of those magic sponges and most of it has come off.
The zipper length used in the pattern is 12”, so I used 30 cm miscellaneous ones from the stash. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the two on top are black rather than navy, and I’d have preferred such a colour for the turquoise one. The checkered one would have looked really nice with a violet zipper to bring out more of red, purple and violet, but I can’t complain for inheriting perfectly good haberdashery in a mixed jumble; it was free. I’m very pleased with the white zipper on the black and orange bag, though, and the grey doesn’t scream too badly when combined with the Marimekko fabric, so all is good. Even the thread I used came from the same inherited sewing basket and these are practice projects anyway.
I don’t have a serger, but picked a dense stitch (in fact the same as I used on the Paasi fabric when making my kitchen curtain). It seems like this stitch type is better suitable for thicker fabrics or two fabrics on top of each other, because the presser foot covers only one of the feed dogs with the latter sort of pulling the light-/mid-weight fabric(s) toward itself constantly. My solution was to finish only the upper side of the rectangle (pre-zipper) with one layer of fabric and instead made a straight stitch around the perimeter, then finished with the dense stitch through both layers, which worked like a charm.
Another reason for going with a straight stitch on top of the dense stitch was that I wasn’t too fond of the finished look when the bag had been turned right side out and ironed. The denser stitch wasn’t very tight overall, but you could see lots of thread in the seam. It was also a practical consideration out of a yarn perspective; you use poky needles and they’ll be put in the bag so the seams better hold.
Here’s a full-frontal shot of one of the bags:
The bag panels measure 10.5”x16” before sewing, so they aren’t large. I was wondering why it took so long in the beginning to finish a bag, but later realised I was switching zipper feet constantly! The stitch type and length obviously also had to be changed, but once I had found a rhythm to it, the last two bags came together quite smoothly. The feet I used are: straight-stitch foot, dense-stitch foot (have no idea what its name really is), and zipper foot.
My first attempt at making a neat top stitching was interesting to say the least (had to start with finding out what it meant), but now I sailed through that step like an intermediate sewer. It’s wonderful to notice progress like that!