Friday, 13 August 2010

Knitting Bag from a Scarf

I bought some beautiful vintage scarves when my sister was here a few weeks ago. I thought at the time they would make good knitting bags. Here is the story of what happened to the first one.

  • Scarf - big enough to be folded in two and make a bag. 
  • Lining - same size as the part of the scarf you want to use.
These can be any materials at all but two slippery materials will be harder to sew than one slippery and one cotton type or two cottons.
  • Ribbon for drawstring - you need 4.5 x the width of the bag
  • pins, thread, scissors (rotary cutter etc makes straight cuts easier but not essential)
I gathered my materials together. I used a cotton FQ as the lining but you could be cunning and use another scarf.
I liked the red band at the top of the scarf so I used the two ends and cut out the middle.
I wasn't paying any attention to measurements - I just cut a length that looked good in relation to the width of the scarf. I cut the lining the same size.

I put the lining right sides together and sew straight round 3 sides, leaving the top open. Then I put the right sides of the scarf together and sewed across the bottom and then up the sides - but leaving about 1cm unsewn where the red band started to add the fastening later on. See cunning digram.
Red arrows show where the line of stitches skips a centimetre.

For me, this is the most difficult step because it totally defies logic and I don't have a picture because I did it wrong (again) the first time and had to rip back and start again. So...deep breath. Turn your lining right side out and press the seams. Leaving the scarf with right sides together. put the lining pouch inside the scarf pouch and match up the top edges. Pin around the edge so you end up with the right sides of your lining and scarf together but hidden from view.

Sew around the top of the bag leaving an gap big enough to pull the whole thing inside out through. I'd say about 2.5 inches but it's up to you. If this is your first one leave a bigger gap.

Pull your bag inside out using the gap you left. This is mine, with a yellow circle showing the gap.
This can be quite fiddly but is worth taking time over. You could iron it at this point but I'm not big into ironing so I skipped that.

Push your lining inside the bag and smooth everything into place.
You'll still have that hole, but we're about to close that. You are going to sew a line of stitching around the outside edge of the bag to keep the lining secure and smooth inside so pin it to start you off and then sew just a few mm from the edge.  Action shot.

You are now going to sew two more rows of straight stitches around your bag to create a cranny for the ribbon to run through. Take a good look at this technical diagram:
The green circle is where in step 2 we left a little gap when sewing the sides of the scarf. The yellow oblong shows the stitching around the edge of the bag (no laughing at my messy stitching) from step 6. So that leaves the two blue oblongs to show where the cranny stitching goes.  How far apart the two rows are depend on how thick your ribbon is. I used skinny ribbon and so mine was about 1cm. Try and keep it even all the way round.

Almost there. Using a bodkin or some other needle, thread it with half your ribbon then poke it through the gap from step 2 on one side.
You are going to go all the way around the bag without coming out of the gap on the other side, so you'll end with the bodkin appearing again from the same place where it went in. Now flip the bag over and do the same thing with the other half of your ribbon. If you've used thick ribbon take a minute to make sure it's laying flat inside the cranny, then tie the protruding ends together to make sure they don't get lost.
Ta da!

Fill with wool or whatever else tickles your fancy and feel proud of your achievement!

This would also serve well as a toiletries bag, or for clothes pegs, or toys, or sweets, or as a lavender sachet for drawers or....practically anything really!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Great bag! I love the cunning-ness (is that a word) of the ribbon casing.

Where did you get that fabulous fabric with equations on?

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