Tonight’s blog is about something new and different: sewing. Actually it’s something old and different for me since I’ve been sewing since the ripe old age of twelve but it is new to this blog. So here we go… One of my favorite quick sewing projects that has been a Go-to for a last minute cheap gift is the striped scrap bag. I’ve made it many times in a variety of shapes, patterns, & colors. It always (well almost always) ends up being a cute, colorful bag or purse that uses up some of those random small pieces of fabric that we as sewers (that’s Sew-ers not sewers) keep around for Someday….as in Someday this piece of fabric will be something. Most recently I made a giant bag so I could take everything I could possibly need (and then some) with me to work for the night. Though this bag is a bit bigger than any of its predecessors it is made following the same basic steps.
Instead of using or making a pattern for this bag I just decide how big I want the finished bag to be and how many stripes it should have. For example if you want a purse with 3 horizontal stripes you’d measure a square (say 12×12) and divide the height by number of stripes you want (3 4inch stripes). I like to use 3 or 4 strips of fabric in somewhat coordinating colors and then one bigger rectangle for the front flap.
Once you’ve decided how wide the stripes should be it’s time to cut. I like to use my rotary cutter, mat, and ruler from my quilting stuff for all these straight lines but scissors work just fine too. Cut out two sets of stripes and sew each set together using 5/8 seam allowance. Don’t cut the lining, front flap, sides, or strap until you have the front & back stripes cut and sewn together. The sides, bottom, lining, and strap are usually cut from old worn out jeans or khakis. This is especially great for pockets. Why bother sewing pockets when there are nice sturdy ones readily available?
Above is the front & back lining cut from an old pair of men’s camouflage pants with the back pockets of a pair of jeans. I just cut the pocket off the jeans keeping the back on it leaving about an inch of denim around the pocket to sew it on. To get the size of the lining and sides I use the front & back pieces. Cut one piece to match the front & one for the back. They should be pretty close to the same size. On this bag I sewed the lining and striped bag pieces together around the edges so they could be attached to the bottom and sides as one heavier piece. Cut a strip each for the sides and bottom of the bag. Don’t forget to add a little on each side for seam allowance. Then sew it all together.
After the front, sides, and bottom are all attached I add the strap and finally the front flap. Tuck all the raw edges around the top in and sew them down and you are ready to go.