Bag making series #1

Hi peeps,

Happy new year!

I hope that you all had a nice Christmas and new year.

This year, I’m starting off with a series about bag making. As you know by now, I love making bags so I thought I would share a few things with you to help you along as you make your own bags.

Of course, I have made bags with both fabric and yarn – knitting and crochet. So, you could say that I’m an experienced bag maker. 😊

First things first:

  1. Decide on the type of bag you’d like to make.

What kind of bag do you want to make? A shopping tote bag, a handbag, a zipped bag, a small bag, a big bag? The list is endless. Pinterest is good if you want to get a few ideas about the kind of bag you would like to make. There are also lots of websites that offer free patterns so have a browse and see which ones you fancy making.

Depending on the type of bag, will depend on which fabric to buy. If you wanted to make a shopping tote bag, for example, then you will need a strong fabric such as a canvas or an upholstery type of fabric as these are suitable and durable ensuring the bag lasts a longer time.

If you wanted to make a small zip bag/purse, then a cotton fabric would be fine. If you wanted to make a more decorative bag with yarn, then use interesting colours and designs.

I like making granny squares and join them together for bags, but I prefer to line them with fabric as this works best for me. I’ve also knitted bags too with a chunky yarn and again, I lined it with fabric to make it better.

  1. Find the right pattern for your bag.

Again, either Pinterest or You Tube are the best places to find bag patterns, as well as Blueprint (formerly Craftsy) have free patterns and videos so you can follow along and make the same bag as those do. I either do this or make a pattern up as I go along.

  1. How much fabric/yarn do you need?

Make sure you order plenty of fabric/yarn, so you do not run out half-way through your project and be aware that if you choose an obvious print that needs to be matched up at the seams, then you will need extra fabric to make sure your pattern matches up correctly. Be aware when cutting out your fabric, where you want your pattern to start and end. If cutting out the front and back piece, for instance, please check that the pattern is where you want it to be so it will match up perfectly.

Do be aware of the seam allowance and add on extra fabric for this. I’ve done this before. I lined up the pattern perfectly on both the front and the back pieces, then I realised I didn’t allow for the seam and my pattern ended up not quite as perfectly as I planned.

  1. Creating your own look. How to tweak patterns to make them your own.

Find fabric that you love to make your bag your own. Decide on a colour theme, then decide if you want to add a pocket, a different closure, a different handle/strap, do you want to add a key chain for your keys? The list is endless.

  1. Enjoy the process. Even if it doesn’t go right. Learn from mistakes and continue to improve your bag making skills.

This may sound obvious but it’s pointless making something you don’t enjoy. It can sometimes be difficult to carry on with a project that isn’t going as well as you’d like it to – believe me, I know!

If you find you cannot carry on with it then leave it for a few days and come back to it when you’re fresh, then usually, you find it goes along smoothly and you wonder why you had an issue with it in the first place.

Crafting is all about learning new things and improving your skills. If one way doesn’t work out for you then try another way, there’s always more than one way to do something – it’s trial and error. If you don’t make mistakes then you will not grow as a creator, so try not to be discouraged but keep pressing forward. 😊

Thanks for reading,

Feel free to share,

Sarah.

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