I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Saturday 6 March 2021


 Easy to sew, eco-friendly, perfect for gifts.....

Not just any Bag

What do you do with your leftover bits of fabric? I like to use every scrap of my fabric and this is my go-to favourite  project.
We all need bags now and what could be better than to make your own? A pretty bag is less likely to be left at home and no matter how simple the design they are always admired. In fact mine are often admired so much that I give them away and end up with none for myself

This particular Tote bag was made almost entirely on my embroidery machine. Sweet Pea Australia
 It is made from quilting cotton and trimmed with fau

Please don't feel that you cannot make a nice bag if you do not have an embroidery machine, most people don't.

There are such a lot of books which show you how to make bags easily and they are worth every penny 
 Buy them on Amazon.co.uk 

My favourite is this one, it is full of every sort of bag you can think of, with full instructions. I use this book a lot and have made many of the bags featured in it

You will also find lots of free tutorials and ideas on the Internet.

I tend to make new bags with the seasons , these are definitely spring like. I sometimes make one with a waterproof lining or out of showerproof fabric. Faux leather ( pleather) is also a good choice, just don't use pins. 

At its most basic level all you need are two rectangles of fabric and two handles.  
 But what if you take a rectangle of fabric and divide it up so that you have two or more centre panels, a top strip and a base.   Thus will give you a very special  bag, but still easy because there are no rules when making bags, you do as much or as little as you want .

Don't forget to add half an inch around each section for seam allowances if you are making panels or patchwork. 

This is my  middle section. I chose embroidery on denim,  but the possibilities are endless
You could use contrast fabrics for the sections. A stripe fabric could be positioned in different directions,  you could do some simple appliqué.  You could do some hand embroidery,  embellish with lace, ribbon , rhinestones.  Get the idea?

My centre panels are backed with wadding (or batting) I am adding a top border and this needs backing too.

To keep the bag in shape, I am using a woven interfacing which is used by tailors. You could use a heavy weight Vilene instead
This will form the base of the bag.

In this photograph all the pieces have been joined together , and I am using it as a template to cut out my lining. I like a nice surprise I side and found this lovely piece of fabric in my stash
You need to make two handles which are just 3" or so widths of fabric, at the length you prefer , sewn down the centre ,turned right way out, pressed and top stitched.

Fold the bag in half and stitch the side seams.

To form the base, Squash the side seam on top of the base seam and mark a line 2-3" down from the point. Stitcn straight across, doing the same with the lining 

Measure the position for your handles,  making sure they match on each side and stitch them to the bag on the outside. 

When you are sewing the lining pieces together leave a gap of around 8" at the base.

Have the bag the right way out and the lining inside out and put the bag inside the lining, matchimg up the side seams and tucking the handles in. Pin together all around the top and then stitch 
Pull the whole bag through the gap you left in a seam and push the lining inside the bag.
 Press the bag making sure that the lining does not show on the right side. Pin and then topstitch to hold it in place.

Close the gap in the lining by hand or machine. And add a  no sew popper if liked 

With this simple method you can make different bags in all sorts of fabrics and sizes. It is a great way of using up scraps of fabric in all weights. I sometimes make one to match a coat or jacket, using some of my garment fabric with other complimentary fabrics 

I made each side slightly different by using two spring flower quilting blocks from Sweet Pea Australia 

The  side panels are quilted but not embroidered 

I am really pleased with these and can't wait until I can go out shopping in a real shop so I can use them. Great for holidays too if you can remember what they are, plenty of room for a book and factor 50 

This is a large shopping bag i made using faux leather.
I added a decorative touch to the front. 
This fabric is easy to sew with a leather needle and a long stitch. Just don't pin anything,  use clips instead 

The bag itself is very quick to make. The fabric does not fray so just go round the pieces with pinking sheers and stitch down. No lining is needed .

I have a lot of other posts on my blog showing you how to make lots of different bags 

 I hope that this post has inspired you to recycle bits of fabric and clothing you no longer wear into something which is beautiful and practical.

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