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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A barrel bag I made so long ago ...

Bummer I got no original pic to show you only the new bag... The first bag was made for my Daughter inlaw when she had Cobi, and to my supprise she still had it, So I just gave it a good wash and thought I would love to show it to you all but I confiscated it and passed it on, with Cobi's permission after promising him a new updated print bag. These are great bags for kid's sleeping over, to pack their PJ's and spare clothes in.
So I thought maybe I could give a few measurements and the pattern if you would like to make your own bag for someone special. It is a project suitable for a moderately skill sewer. A fair bit of machine quilting is involved, piping and sewing in a zipper. Recommend you chose a Hardwaring fabric for the outside, maybe ticking, denim or even kiddy print curtaining. Thin wadding or even an old towel will do the job. If you haven't noticed I am big into recycling old towels for pot holders, placemats and linings. Some matching material for the inside lining. An open ended zipper nylon or metal if you have too and can't get anything else, prefer nylon, the size depends on the with of your bag. Matching Piping is pretty to sew onto the side pieces but you don't have to do that step. For all my sewing lines I have used a Blue washable pen, marks come out so easy with a little cold water. And don't forget you need a few strong needles cause you are bound to break a needle or two.
Layer the outside material facing (rightside to the bottom), then the wadding, then the lining (rightside to the top) pin together before cutting with a rotary cutter if you got one or just use a sharp scissor. (My bag was 65cm X 115cm and after neatening it up was 63cm X 110 cm for the main piece)Mark out the size of the bag you require, width is easy but the diameter need a little thought ... so I would say you need to cut out the two side panels first on a little paper 12 x12 inch or 35cm square, is that to big for you project? round the corners of with a saucer, placing the saucer on the two outside lines, mark off the 4 corners and cut, that's you first pattern piece. Adjust if you want a smaller bag. Happy with that? Now measure the 4 sides of the main panel, mark with a blue washable pen for a perfect rectangle. Now the zipper .. adding on 5cm for the fold either end of the main panel and pin it down. You need to sew the zipper on either end of the main panel, making sure they line up. That should give you the lenght of your bag I suggest you measure and mark before just cutting madly, arrange you paper pieces like any other pattern. Cut out , mark lines, use heaps of pins to keep the pieces flat and together and quilt along the lines, zigzag outer edges. Quilt side panels the same way.
There is one other piece you need and that would be the handles for the bag. measure and cut out 5 inch/13 cm wide strip.(lenght of you main piece X 2 1/2) Join the strips at each end, cut out wadding the same size, place that in the middle and fold material to lie flush to each other, pin down. Place Reinforcement tape over the join, pin and sew down.
Ready to put your handles on? lay the main piece rightside up, measure the half way mark and draw a line lenghtways, now measure a 5 inches eitherside of this line(adjust for the size of your bag) this mark is inportant to space out the handles. Place the handle piece either side of the second line to suit. Pin down the straps leaving the top part of the handle unpinned/unsewn,Make sure both unpinned sides measure the same. Sew down the handles and reinforce the end by sewing a X a few times. Now back to the fold for the zipper, fold over and pin, sew two rows next to each other.
Now you are ready to sew the side panels in place, did you add some piping to them? Fold main piece in half, mark the halfway mark with pen both sides, same with the side panels. pin the two right sides together on the marked spots, and pin the rest together xarefully , giving enough material around the corners, you should meet at the top.
That would be right, just showed you my join haha, anyway stitch it down twice and zigzag the edges together. You can never have enough reinforcements. Turn inside out and sew in the zipper. Pin and sew the zipper in, leaving a long tail inside the bag, for an open ended sip I would just sew the end closed (slowly with my machine, you did not see that, great needle buster) The bigger the bag the harder it gets, trust me. Wash out the blue markings from the pen and neaten up all the threads and stuff and your done. If you find I missed out on a step please hallow.
I'd be happy to answer any question you may have.

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