Friday, March 1, 2013

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

I was a mess last night trying to remember the name of the tool that I posted just a bit ago. It's a bodkin!! I posted the picture on Facebook and the ladies pounced on it right away and my mind has been put to rest. I'm so grateful! Now that my dilemma has been solved, we can move on to the day at hand. 
Two years ago I was ready to throw in the towel and give up on my blog. I always find it interesting to see how fate will step in just when we need it. A few things happened that encouraged me to continue on, one was a message from Kitty. She had read an early Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post, before I named it FFPF, and made the garment that I had posted. She was so pleased with the outcome. Her message encouraged me to continue on. She also became a friend. We've yet to meet, we don't email on a regular basis, and we've never talked on the phone, but I know she is there and she me. Friendship can take on many forms, but when you know that someone is in your corner cheering you on, regardless of whether or not time has been spent together, they are a friend of the truest kind.
Kitty posted a tutorial on her blog, http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/, a few months ago and I loved it. It's a simple bag, it is nothing more than rectangles. How much better does it get? I asked her if she would like to do a guest post on my blog and she happily agreed to do so. The bag is extremely versatile. It can be a lunch bag as it has a plastic lining. It also makes a wonderful makeup bag for traveling. I have it with me now and I love it. You may remember that I was chosen as one of five finalists for the Sew It All contest that will take place this Sunday in Puyallup, WA. Kitty sent the bag to me as a gift and it could not have arrived at a better time. Lucky me!!!  I have not made the bag, but since I have the finished product in my hands, I can say that this is a bag that I'm sure you will get lots of use out of. I am already!! I plan to make a number of these as they will make wonderful gifts.
Enjoy Kitty's post!     

Kitty's Lunch/Makeup Bag

Supplies needed:
2/3 yard of fabric for outside, pocket and handles
1/3 yard of fabric for lining
1/2 yard of iron on vinyl
1/2 yard of craft weight interfacing
2 strips of batting 42" by 1 1/4 inches
16" or longer zipper

Cut 2 pieces of outside fabric, lining, vinyl, and interfacing 12" by 16". Following manufacturer's
instructions, iron interfacing to wrong side of main fabric and the vinyl to the right side of the lining fabric.
(be sure to read the instructions on doing this if you've never used this product. It could really mess up
an iron.) If you are making this as a purse it's really not necessary to add the vinyl lining.
Make two handles. Cut 2 strips of fabric, 2 1/2 inches by width of the fabric. Cut 2 pieces of light weight
batting 1 1/4 inches by 42 inches. Lay the batting on the wrong side of the handle fabric 1/2 inch from the
raw edge. Press this edge toward the batting, then fold the other side down and turn under 1/4 inch. This
will make the handle 1 1/4 inch wide. Top stitch down the middle. Pin the handle to one side of the
purse, as shown below. Pin 4 inches down. This will be your stopping point. Now stitching from the
bottom up, stitch to this point, pivot, stitch across, then stitch back down to the base.
At this point, top stitch the handles above the bag to match the bottom.
Do the same thing to the other side, but insert the pocket between the handles. Stitch across the bottom
of the pocket before stitching the handles.
Adding a pocket. I added a pocket to one side (shown in photo above). With right sides together, stitch
the top and bottom of the pocket. No need to stitch the sides, they'll go under the straps.
The fabric for the pocket and lining is cut 7 inches by 5 inches. The second photo above shows how to place the interfacing. Press and turn.

Add the pocket under the straps about 1/2" below where the straps are to be stitched on top.

I used a 22" zipper because 1. I had it on hand, and 2. I like a longer zipper for this application. When
inserting it the pull-tab doesn't interfere with the stitching.
Place the lining with the vinyl facing up, then place your zipper along the 16" top edge. Place your
outside fabric face down and line it up with the lining and zipper. Stitch along the zipper, being sure to keep the seam allowance even and not stitching through the zipper teeth. Fold the fabrics back and do
the same with the other side of the zipper. It should now look like this.
At this point, I decided to add a little "handle" to the end of the zipper like you see on men's travel bags.
For this purse, I used an ultra-suede belt that I had gotten at a thrift shop.

This is the loop stitched in place on another bag. I also stitched several times over the zipper at this point
to reinforce it before cutting off the excess. On the other end of the zipper, zip the tab down to the center
of the bag and then holding the edges together, stitch across the ends to secure them, as above. I used the same technique for the belt on this purse.
Next, with right sides together, stitch the bottom seam. I trimmed this to 1/2 inch and then covered it with
a scrap of bias fabric. You could also serge it, but it needs some type of finish.

Fold the sides so that the bottom seam is even with the zipper and stitch across. Do this on both ends being sure that the zipper is not completely zipped. You'll need to be able to turn it right side out after the next step.
Fold each of the four corners as shown. The measurement is 2 1/4" from the tip to the ruler and 4 1/2
inches from edge to edge. Use your cutting board to square it up correctly. I used a ball point pen to
mark the vinyl at this point. This is your stitching line.

Cut off corners as shown.
Turn the bag to the right side.
The final bag, ready to be filled with whatever you wish!
The fabric that Kitty used for this bag is a Kaffe Fasset fabric, really pretty. Make sure you check out Kitty's blog, http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/, as she has a number of wonderful tutorials. One of my favorites is an eye glass case which she posted not long after she started her blog. You can find the tutorial here, http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/2011/10/eyeglass-case-pattern-part-one.html and here, http://weirwoodstation.blogspot.com/2011/10/eyeglass-case-pattern-part-two.html. This is a two part post.
Thank you so much Kitty for your wonderful post. I loved having you!!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


  1. Wow!! It's a supertutorial, perhaps i'll make ones like this.

  2. How cute is that! Thanks so much to both of you!

  3. Thanks so much for featuring me today on your blog, Rhonda! An internet friendship is priceless. I'm sure we will meet someday in person.

  4. This is a great tutorial, and I know just the person who could use a bag like this.

    Rhonda, I feel your pain on the bodkin name - I had a similar incident today. On another note, Loyola Chicago is on my daughter's short list, (for now at least) and we are trying to make it up there this month for a visit. I'll let you know if we do.

    1. Oh, please, please do let me know if you are coming my way!! I am now keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn't change her mind.

  5. If the measurements are doubled would that be enough to make it as a duffle bag?

  6. Really cute and great use of the heat n bond vinyl. I have yet to try it!

    1. It holds up well too. I've had the bag for over a year. I keep my cosmetics in the bag and travel with it. It's just as pretty as the day it was made :)