So without further ado, here are the goodies.
I'll first talk about the drawstring bag, since that was the main item on my to-do list. I was very much inspired by twelve22's drawstring lunch bag (update: Anna will be publishing her patterns for these items in her own book! See the second paragraph of her post), and also Bella Dia's fabric and crochet drawstring bag (discovered while blog-hopping on Friday).
I crocheted the bottom "basket" portion of the bag with a sage green worsted yarn a while ago...that was the easy part. I spent a huge chunk of time yesterday trying to figure out how to assemble the bag. Heh, let's just say I had a lot of brain farts yesterday.
So I measured the diameter of my crocheted basket bottom, and multiplied that by pi to get the length of the rectangle that I would cut out from my fabric to make the cloth portion of the bag. So far so good, right? Except I forgot to account for seam allowance (oops!). And I don't know what I was thinking, but rather than cut out another piece (duh), I just bulldozed ahead and told myself that I'd fix it. How do you magically add inches to a piece of fabric that you just cut? Yeah, I don't know how to do that either, but Sunday afternoon, I was convinced that I could make miracles happen.
At any rate, the inside of the bag is lined with a soft white fleece. I know it's an odd material for a bag, and I spent a couple minutes mourning the stuffed animals that will never be, but it was all I had available. I traced the crocheted bottom on some very stiff interfacing, and cut that out and sandwiched it between two pieces of fleece so that I could give the bag a more defined shape, even when it wasn't filled. I also cut out a strip of interfacing for the side of the basket, along the crocheted part.
I sandwiched the outside fabric, interface, and fleece together, folded it in half width-wise, and used the machine to sew straight down the edge. I was smiling and humming to myself until I realized that the seam that I made would show on the inside of the bag. Ohhhh, so that's why people sew the lining separate from the outside fabric. And I thought I was saving time. I didn't have a seam ripper, and quite frankly, didn't know how to use one. So I did the next best thing. I cut what little excess fabric there was (remember, I forgot to think about seam allowance when cutting the material) for all but the last fleece layer. Then I positioned it so the seam allowance for the fleece covered the reast of the edges, and hand sewed the fleece down.
I also hand sewed the fleece circle onto the tube I just created, and then I pushed this into the crochet bottom. I pinned everything into position, and went back to my sewing machine, and sewed the crochet layer to the inner cloth bag. I then grabbed the top of the bag to see where I wanted to position the drawstring, and then tried to use the machine to make a buttonhole. Apparantly, I had to change the foot, and I attached the new one incorrectly. Thus, I made a bunch of really gross looking knot-like things. And after about 45 min of frustration and yelling at my machine, I consulted the manual. And then I screamed at myself for wasting time because I had been an idiot. Note to self: always read manuals before using the device.
At any rate, I finally made a successful buttonhole, and I used small sewing scissors to cut through the fabric in the hole. I then folded the top of the fabric over to the inside, and sewed a french seam (I think that's what it's called). I went back to my sage green yarn and knit an i-cord for the drawstring, and attached wooden beads on both ends. Then I realized I had to get the bugger through the buttonhole. So I removed a wooden bead, and threaded the end through a yarn needle. I then passed the length through the buttonhole. Now I attached the wooden bead again.
I was very pleased at my bag at this point, and was about to show it to Kyle when I realized that I had forgotton to make a strap for it. Gah, I should have sewed that in when attaching the fabric part of the bag to the crocheted part. So I took some satin that I had on hand (for use on my quilt), and made two tapered ribbons. I machine sewed these as close as I could to the crochet area. Then I realized that this area would encounter a lot of stress from the weight of the contents of the lunch bag, so I would have to reinforce it. After reinforcing these stitches, the area where I attached the "ribbons" wasn't too lovely. So I took out my vintage ribbon, which I had intended to use on this project, anyway, and hand sewed it over the stitching that was visible on the lunch bag. Hehe, so now, when you look at the finished product, you can't even tell that I had so many problems.
Now I can take my lunch to work with style!
Anna from twelve22 also made a sandwich wrapper, so I thought, why not? So here's mine.
I used her suggestion of lining the inside of the wrapper with a synthetic, waterproof material. I chose to use clear vinyl. It works pretty great for transporting sandwiches! The outside fabric is what I had previously used as a table cloth for a small bistro set. As for the inside fabric, I used that to reupholster some kitchen bar stools. Making the sandwich wrapper was pretty easy and straight-forward.
Lastly, I knit an apple cozy from this tutorial. In addition to the leaf and bobble, I also made a small i-cord stem. The embroidery stitch that I used to embroider the first letter of my name is called spiral stitch. I didn't have any apples, but I used it to carry a peach. After all, who said that apple cozies could only carry apples?
Guess who's looking forward to lunch tomorrow?