Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bee bag

At long last, an actual entry about something crafty! This is my bee bag, based on the Wasp Bag pattern from Machen/Machen, found here. I whipped it up on the Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend--it took probably 4-6 hours total to complete. This outer fabric came from an upholstery remnant, a gift from a friend who was cleaning out her stash, and ended up being perfect! The lining is a quilting cotton I bought at my local quilt shop to complement the bees. It kind of looks like honeycomb, but is actually a Fun Quilts design with lots of spirals and swirls. Cute.

The bag itself is VERY roomy, which I'm liking. I made some alterations to the pattern because I wanted to do things MY way (remember this post?). I used a heavy fusible interfacing for the bag body but ironed it onto the cotton lining instead of the outer bee fabric because the weave on the back of the bees is pretty big and I was afraid it would cause puckers or gaps. This seemed to work out fine.

The pattern also has you pressing under the seam allowance for the straps, pinning them together, and then top-stitching all the way around. I thought I could get a more precise connection if I sewed right sides together and then turned the straps inside-out, pressed, and THEN top-stitched. I think I was right, and turning them wasn't too tricky as they're wide enough to make it easy.

I modified the key strap and am really liking using one! I can't believe I never thought of that before. I also eliminated the interior pocket.

I used a heavy Timtex interfacing for the top panel on each of the sides. This wasn't a fusible interfacing, though, and I didn't want it to wiggle around, nor did I want to edge-stitch it to one of the pieces because I wanted to keep it out of the seam allowance. What's a girl to do? Use some Heat-n-Bond, of course! It worked fine and everything is holding up nicely--and it's been nearly two weeks of constant use already!

I also opted against using a magnetic snap, mainly because I didn't have one, but also because I didn't know how to attach one and wanted to finish! The photo above is a detail shot of the button on the strap. The pattern calls for attaching the button BEFORE top-stitching the strap (which is what attaches the teardrop end to the panel) but I didn't want the button to get in the way of my presser foot, so I saved that part for last. I stacked two buttons I got at my local quilt shop and sewed them on with one strand each of two different green embroidery flosses. I like the effect.

1 comment:

Vladkin said...

I love this bag! My next project shall be a tote bag... simple, yes, but good practice. Plus, I like tote bags. :)