Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sewing: The Fat Quarter Bag

See that bag? The one up there ^? I made that!

Last week a my crafting friends and I hired out the room in which we usually crop for a marathon 6-hour, 6-sewing-machine bag-making day.

[Purely by concidence, on the same day my fellow Copy + Paste blogger Kirsty was posting about a challenge in which she created a patchwork project in a set time limit too - the results of which you can see here].

So we've all been working under strict time pressures it seems lately and as Jan commented, once all our machines were set up, the room swiftly took on the appearance of a bag-factory sweat-shop:
Darcy brought in a 'Melly & Me' pattern for a handbag using four fat quarters of fabric. After some deliberation I chose which colours I wanted to use and brought with me 2 fat-quarters and one piece which was twice the size, which I reckoned made it a 'fat-half' ... even though that sounds quite wrong ....

Anyways ... one of the first steps was to quilt the bag. I chose to do freestyle curvy lines rather than a straight line grid, purely because if you call it 'freestyle' no one can tell you've done it wrong!:

After the quilting part, there was lots of ironing and fiddly things to tackle and the idea that we'd walk away from the day with a complete bag seemed like a pipe-dream. Something of a panic set-in as it began to feel like we'd spent all day making a rather elaborate ... place mat:
From it's humble place setting conception, several hours and three homemade Mars Bar crispie cakes later ... a bag was born:
Isn't it cute?

I'm really proud that, while it wasn't possible to get it finished in the time we had the room booked for, after driving home I unpacked my machine, plugged it in and kept going until it was complete .... which took until 10:30pm!
For a small bag it's surprisingly roomy and really rather pretty inside.

I'd been saving that fat-half of button fabric for something special and I think this might just have done it justice. I also managed to sneak on a few extra [real] buttons too:
So there it is the 4 fat-quarter, 12-hour-shift [with tea breaks and showering time included] handbag! While frantically trying to complete it in time, [before a rather strident caretaker evicted us!], I actually broke into in a sweat!

Until then I'd not been aware of the possibility of turning to sewing my own accessories as a means to keep fit.
Aerobic crafting ... it's the excercise of the future dear reader ...

Dare I ask which crafts leave you perspiring and breathless?


  1. ha! fantabulous! I love the button fabric and so pleased you got it finished. No stopping you now...extreme sewing!

  2. OOh lovely. I don't get sweaty with any of mine, but I did give myself tennis elbow doing too much crochet. Does that count?

  3. Cute indeed! Gorgeously so - and well worth all the effort you put into it :)

    Can't think of any crafting that makes me even remotely sweaty ... unless tree pruning counts?

  4. That is such a beautiful bag well worth all your hard work. I am so impressed that you did it in that amount of time and the fabric, just perfect.

    I did get a sore knuckle yesterday while trying to cut out new stamps on kling-on but I can't say I got sweaty :)

  5. Thanks all :) I think I'll take all of your suggestions:
    tree-pruner's perspiration;
    Stamp cutter's knuckle and
    Crocheter's elbow ... and make 'When Hobbies Go Bad'for cable TV.

    Thanks for the inspiration! ;)

    p.s: Amanda, there was actually fabric left over too.

  6. Absolutely beautiful bag, beautifully photographed. I love it!

  7. So very gorgeous - am hugely impressed and inspired (of course)! Did you deliberately make it to go with your Coraline coat, or was that a happy accident?

    Also, does panicky-sweat count? Because if so, yes. Hell, yes - do that all the time, especially ticking down to a deadline. :)

  8. The next time someone says " it only takes 4 fat quarters" I'm going to run to the nearest coffee shop! Had a great time really and we made some lovely bags.

  9. Oh that is stunning Julie

  10. Aerobic crafting? Now you tell me - I've just joined a gym. Think they'll let me knit on the exercise bikes?

    Beautiful bag, by the way. Loving both fabrics muchly.

  11. Blood, sweat and tears....... but a fabby bag!

  12. That's gorgeous, I love the fabric! There is also 'Making Your Daughter a Mermaid Costume for the School Production'....and yes, she was seven, and yes, the shell-bra was padded! :O

  13. That is gorgeous and now I can't wait for my sewing machine to arrive!
    Love the idea of aerobic crafting as well!


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