How to upcycle fabric scraps into a quilted tote

With sustainability at the forefront of our minds it’s really important to think of ways we can reduce our impact on the environment. Using our fabric offcuts is a small way we can reduce waste and landfill and make something beautiful that we can use for years to come.

As sewists we all have a few (bags of) fabric scraps! 

I’ve been using lots of Ruby Star Society fabrics this year for various projects and collected every little scrap to be used at some point. 

I was going to make a scrappy quilt or cushion cover with all the off cuts, but then I changed my mind and actually a decent sized tote bag would be more…handy!

I cut up all my bits of fabric and just randomly sewed them up just enjoying the process and not really planning how it would look. That’s the thing with scraps they tend to be haphazard!

I used some left over batting from another quilt project and some larger pieces of fabric from my stash for a lining. My pieces ended up measuring approx 14″ x 13″. I used my machine to stitch some quilting lines throughout the bag pieces. I then stitched the sides and bottom on the bag together.

I made box corners on the inside at 2.5″ up from the corner, trimmed them and turned the bag right sides through. At this point you can bind your unfinished edges if your machine can cope with the layers. I finished the top edge of the bag with bias binding which I turned to the inside of the bag and top stitched.

I had some faux leather bag handles in my stash which were just the perfect match and stitched them on with some strong thread.

I love how this bag looks, it will be perfect for popping to the shops or for a sewing project bag and the fabrics are so fun! I can’t imagine throwing away such gorgeous fabrics, my scrap bag is still growing and I may tackle a quilted jacket at some point!

How do you use your scraps?

Back to school – DIY Project bag tutorial!

I can’t believe we are thinking about back to school already…it’s been such a bizarre year! Back to school may mean the return to school for your kids, you if you are a teacher or nursery carer or just marking the start of the Autumn and a new begininng!

When it comes to Autumn I get excted about the prospect of cosy evenings snuggled up with a hot drink doing some mindful stitching or making some new garments with more of a winter feel.

This year it’s also going to be about getting organised and trying to get back into some sort of routine. 

 

I’ve been scouting Pinterest for a useful bag to store projects or for my daughter to use for school (PE kit etc) and have found some really gorgeous drawstring cotton bags. I’ve adapated the design slightly and come up with a good sized bag perfect for carrying a few craft bits, knittong, make-up, school stuff or just for your wallet keys, face mask etc! It’s an adaptable pattern and could also be used for a lunch bag with some wipe clean fabric.

This works brillaintly in the Rico cotton canvas in Rose   but would also work brilliantly with quilting cotton….a little patchwork one would be fabulous! I’ll definitely be making a few more of these!

You will need:

1/2 metre fabric for lining and main body of bag. I used the same fabric for both but you could make the top drawstring part of the bag from a contrast fabric.

1/4m iron on interfacing (I used a heavy weight one as I wanted a very structured bag but be mindful this created very thick layers to work with whilst sewing!) 

28″ of 25mm webbing or similar

64″ cotton cord

Scissors

Cut the fabric as per the template below and use a 1cm seam allowance unless otherwise instructed…

Step 1.

Pin outer bag fabric with right sides together and stitch along long bottom edge. Press seam open.

Step 2.

Press interfacing to wrong side of outer bag fabric. the interfacing is slightly smaller than the main fabric

Step 3.

Once you have ironed on the interfacing, fold this piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side.

Step 4.

Now we are going to make some box corners. Pinch the corners making sure the seam line down the side of the bag matches with the fold line along the bottom .

Step 5.

Measure 2″ up from the point and mark a line across the corner. Pin in place and stitch across this line and trim the excess away. Repeat for the side.

Step 6.

That is your outher bag ready for the rest of construction! Give the seams a little press and marvel at those box corners…so very satisfying!

Step 7.

Take your two pieces of webbing and pin to the outer bag 3″ in from each side seam on both the front and the back and stitch in place using a small 0.5cm seam allowance.

Step 8.

Now to prepare the lining. Fold the lining piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side, leave a gap of 3″ in one of the side seams, this is where we will turn our bag through later!

Step 9.

Prepare the box corners in the same way you did for the outer bag in steps 4 & 5. You don’t need to turn the lining right side out as it will be attached to the main bag as it is.

Step 10.

To make the top drawstring part of the bag. Fold each piece of bag top fabric in half length ways with wrong sides together and give them a good press with a hot iron

Step 11.

Pin the two top pices together with right sides facing and at each short end mark a 1″ point either side of the centre crease you ironed into the fabric in step 10. This will become the channel for the rope later. Stitch down both sides leaving this 2″ gap open on each end.

Step 12.

Press the seams open and top stitch down each side of the seam you have just sewn, close to the edge, to make a neat opening for the cord to go through.

Step 13.

Fold the channel in half with wrong sides together and the raw edges meeting and press.

Step 14.

Mark a line 1″ from the top fold (where the holes for the cord are) and stitch all the way round, this will be the channel for the cord.

Step 15.

Now we are going to attach the channel we just made to the main bag. With right sides together pin the cord channel to the bag making sure to match the side seams. Stitch al the way around.

Step 16.

Now to add the lining! Pop the bag inside the lining, right sides together and pin the raw edges. stitch all the way around using a 1.5cm seam allowance.

Step 17.

Turn the bag through the hole we left on the lining. Stitch the gap closed. Give it a press and then top stitch all the way around the bag just below the handles to hold the layers neatly together.

Step 18.

Add the cord drawstring by thread through one of the pieces starting at one end (I used a safety pin to help puch it through) then do the same on the other side of the bag and tie both ends in a knot.

There you have it! This is a really great make…we can’t wait to see yours! If you do give this a go make sure to tag us on instagram using #sccrafty

Fennel Fanny pack review- with A Beautiful Mess fabrics

Bum Bags are back in a big way…and I for one am grateful! I love them for gigs, festivals and dog walking, so I can be hands free but access my phone/ keys/ money/ poo bags really quickly if I need! I also feel safer with my valuables where I can see them!

So when I saw the Fennel Fanny pack all over Instagram I was keen to give it a go. 

It’s a downloadable pattern from Sarkirsten.com and it’s only $12! So I bought it and printed it off, then the hard part was deciding on fabric…

I went with the ABM Flower Market range but decided in the end to use the Succulents green fabric for the inside and out, I just love that sage green and thought it would go perfectly with the pink hardware I bought…so summery and fun!

I made a few mistakes and got myself in a pickle while making this I’m not going to lie! I thought the instructions for the side tabs could have been slightly clearer as I managed to put them in upside down the first time! I also found stitching round the corners of the bum bag a real pain…but that’s probably because I mis-read the pattern instructions fo the front of the bag…this picture shows that I somehow left the top of the bag above the zip too big…not sure how that happened but I trimmed it down and carried on!

The finished result, however, is incredibly pleasing and I can see how this bag is an addictive make! It would be a fabulous gift for a friend and you easily make a whole bacth of these up for Christmas pressies! Hey, why not start on them now and get ahead of the game!

I’ll definitely be making more and will remember my mistakes from the first time…that’s how you learn right?!

Who else has made one? What did you think of the process?

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