Thursday, July 22, 2010

Satchel Tutorial

As I've briefly mentioned before, I've been dabbling in sewing lately. Now, It's DEF not my forte BUT I sure am having fun creating stuff! I've mainly been ravaging my closets and drawers for old clothes to cut up and revamp but last night, I brought an old, shrunken wool blanket back to life with the help of my mister :)

I'm so pleased with the outcome and the ease of the process that I thought I'd attempt my first tutorial! I find it a bit ironic that myself, a non-talented sewer, is creating a sewing tutorial. He he :) Hopefully it all makes sense!

To begin with, I had an idea in my head but wasn't quite sure how to execute it. I dug through the depths of my drawer 'o bags (I have a bit of a bag problem) and pulled out this guy whose style I liked and thought I could somewhat mimic.


Step two is figuring out where to cut! I'm not much of a measuring type gal so the fact that I had the checkerboard pattern to go off of helped a lot! I also had the help of my mister with this part. He's REALLY good at design and was an immense help to figuring out the logistics of the whole thing. Plus it was really cute to have him in there helping! :)

Please, if you are an actual talented sewer and find ways this could be done better, share your comments and ideas!

What I really loved about making this piece is that it is one continuous piece of fabric! There's minimal cutting and minimal sewing, making this a quick and easy process! I made my cuts right where I would sew as my edges will not fray so I did not need to hem anywhere. Depending on what type of fabric you use, you may need the extra hem space.

Again, I only took pictures with my phone so I apologize greatly for the quality and the lighting. In an effort to make up for the crappy pics, I whipped up a diagram (below) to help you make sense of everything!
The red lines indicate where you would fold your fabric. I first folded in the wing flaps and sewed them down to make little internal side pockets (one of the mister's great ideas!). You can keep them as super long pockets but I sewed a little line across the middle of the pockets so I could easily reach my phone when it's in there. You may want to make your flaps on the middle portion of the bag though to make your pockets on the BACK part of the purse. I'm fine with the way mine turned out but I think you could change it up a bit, should you like.
I used a long zig zag stitch throughout the entire bag for two reasons, 1) it's extra reinforcement and 2) it's the one stitch that I don't fight my machine over!
I next folded the bottom portion up (the portion with the now-sewed down flaps/pockets) to meet the middle section and slowly sewed the edges together. I only have one size sewing needle and all of these layers together were THICK so I took it slow and steady to not break the needle!

After you've sewed the bottom section to the middle section, just fold down the top for your fringed flap! I made a super long strap out of the scraps so I could carry it over my torso instead of just over the shoulder.
And the end result! Pay no attention to the blonde behind the curtain! ;)
And the inside! Since there were two flaps, I have a pocket on each side. I think something like this would also be cute for a little kiddo to carry around and stash rocks, cool leaves and perhaps a frog or two in during nature walks :) Perhaps out of an old pillowcase?
I'm SUPER pleased with how it turned out! So much so that I began carrying it today! So glad I didn't get rid of that blasted shrunken blanket!

So what do you think? Do let me know if you try it and of course, any pointers are greatly appreciated!

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