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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Round Bag Therapy

Last weekend the Embroiderers'Guild of South Australia had their Christmas Sale of Work. There was an amazing array of beautiful embroidered things for sale. In a coals-to-Newcastle activity, I bought some bags!

One was a round one - a bargain at $5 - in a very peaceful washed-out blue floral. It is lined in a lovely plain blue cotton. I have been using it all week to hold my current embroidery project and it is terrific.
I also took a pattern from it. The base is a 15cm circle (including seam allowance). The body is a rectangle approximately 100cm x 27 cm. The rectangle is gathered along one long side and joined together along the short sides, to form a tube. The gathers are stitched around the circle. Lining is made in exactly the same way and size.  You put the right side of the bag to the right side of the lining and stitch around the open top, leaving about 6-8cm to turn it in the right way. You then stitch around the top edge, stitch again about 1.5cm down to form a casing, thread a cord and eh voila!  If you use two pieces, 50x27, joined together, rather than one piece 100x27, it is easy to use the seam joins to thread cord, otherwise you need to make an eyelet.

So this weekend I raided my stash for pieces of a suitable size. I now have 6 new round bags. One is batik, lined with a caramel coloured cotton, one is a rayon stripe, remnant of a pair of long shorts I made years ago, line in the silk I used for my smocked dress.

 This one is from a piece of Japanese cotton in gold and pinks. It is also lined with the Vietnamese silk.

This one is a voile, left over from a dress I once had - must be the sixties, lined in an aqua cotton.

The only difficulty with the pattern is in getting the gathers more or less even around the circular bottom. It is a little tricky manoeuvring the machine around the base, but not too bad in this size.

This one is a pink I used for curtains about 30 years ago, lined in pink gingham bought at a school fete.

I went to Hetty's Patch yesterday and got some help to buy the caramel cotton lining and some cord for about four of them. I had a nice time making my choices and discussing projects.

There were inevitably some bits left over which I ran up into small bags.
Finally, I used up a piece I bought in Elizabeth St Croydon, and some left-over orangey-yellow batik from one of the Christmas dresses to make a bag that was appliqued rather than lined. A little trickier, but not much. The top is folded over to form the casing and I needed to do a version of French seams to avoid raw edges on the inside.

It is appliqued as one long piece on to the batik backing fabric, which then forms the inside as well as edging and base.

All in all, a good weekend's work - from a five dollar investment in a bag I will use over and over in its own right!