It’s time to play again. So get your creative energy flowing and see what you can make from those “false start and reject” patchwork pieces.
I have been sewing since I was six years old and have been collecting things since then, too. As the years went by my collecting became a challenge to find the best deal, the next new craft idea toys and tools, the antique quilt no one wanted…you get the idea. Among that collecting is a very large plastic tub containing every piece of patchwork I have ever created that did not get used in a project. Oh, and some of that patchwork someone else created and gave to me or I bought at a Quilt Guild Show. It seems other people are able to cast out their unused patchwork, but not I.
So let’s make something with that patchwork. What do you have? Get it all out. Sort through and find some things that look like they might work together in a color scheme. Here’s what I grouped together from technique samples when I taught wearables from my “Jacket Jazz” series. The color scheme components are purples and oranges.
Let’s Get Started
1. Start with your biggest patchwork piece. This Continuous Bias patchwork piece measures 13″ X 15″. Do I want it larger? How about that piece of Machine Grid Smocking? It fits, so I stitch it right sides together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press it away from the main patchwork piece. I trim all the edges straight and it now measures 15″ X 17″. That’s a good size.
2. Let’s see if I can create that same size with the remaining bits and pieces of patchwork and manipulations. It’s time to pull-in the lining fabric. After a few auditions I like this Kaffe Fassett sunflower cotton print. What do you think? The lining is also the binding and casing at the top of the bag.
3. Let’s add strips on the side to make the Seminole Patchwork 15″ wide. Another strip of fabric above that will be the piece on which the lining will turn-on to the front. I don’t want the lining to cover the Seminole Patchwork. Again I stitch right sides together and press seam away from patchwork. The piece is now 6″ tall with another 11″ to go.
4. Let’s introduce the lining fabric before adding another row of patchwork pieces. I cut it one and a half inches wide and stitch and flip that strip. Now there are 10″ to go for Side Two.
5. What’s next? What’s left? Let’s square-up some of those odd pieces. Now I sew 3 of them together and get a 15″ wide strip. Just what I need. I sew right sides together with larger piece, press seam to one side, trim even and contemplate again.
6. Let’s add another rest stop with a 1″ wide lining strip before adding more patchwork. Now let’s see if we can make a wider strip with the rest of the fabric manipulations. Yes, with a little piecing and adding on to those strangely cut pieces I think we have a 15″ wide piece. So it’s stitch and flip and press again. I use a steam iron and do not miss this step as it’s very important for keeping your piece flat and even.
7. One more strip of lining fabric will complete the second side of the bag to match the size of the first side.
Oh, dear there are a few pieces left from the purple and orange patchwork. They will go in my collage card making box. Waste not, want not.
Time out…I need to make a collage greeting cardwith the left-over “left-overs.”
Now it’s on to the lining and pockets.
1. Place the patchwork pieces right sides together. Trim if they aren’t the same size. Use a gridded mat to make sure all four sides are even. Place on top of lining fabric which is right sides together. Cut lining 2″ taller than the patchwork.
2. Make pockets from left-over lining fabric. They can be any size you like. Very often the amount of fabric I have left from the lining dictates the size of the pockets I make. Cut two pieces for each pocket you make. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Center and pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 4″ from top edge. Leaving top open stitch on 2 sides and bottom close to edge. Add a second pocket to the other side of the lining. If you prefer, stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets.
3. Place lining right sides together with all edges even. Put patchwork right sides together and layered on top of the lining 2″ from top of lining. Other three edges should be even. Pin all 4 layers together. Stitch two sides and bottom together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Leave 3/4″ free of stitching above patchwork on the lining.
4. Turn right sides out bringing the patchwork fronts to the outside. Lining will be inside bag with 2″ extending above patchwork bag. Fold lining/casing in half onto itself.
5. Fold casing down onto bag. Pin to bag. Top stitch casing through all layers. The 3/4″ on the lining that was left unstitched is where the ribbon will be inserted to make the drawstrings.
6. Choose ribbon or cording twice the width of the bag plus 4″. You need this length two times.
7. Using the opening on one side of casing run ribbon through with a bodkin or safety-pin. Leave tail outside of casing on one end. Run ribbon all the way back to where you started. Pull out small amount. Hold two ends together and tie ends in a knot. Pull tightly so knot doesn’t come out.
8. Do the same with the second ribbon starting on the opposite casing side. Put one knotted ribbon in each hand and pull. The bag closes tightly.
The drawstring bag is complete with lining and pockets and ready to fill.
Now that was simple. Want to see a few more ideas? Here are a few others I have made. Go to my etsy shop to see details for each of them.
I hope you will make a Drawstring Bag from your left-over patchwork pieces. We all would love to see your creation. If you have any questions on the directions I have given you here, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help.
So here’s another challenge. This time there is no prize or deadline. It’s just a simple challenge for you to use some of your left-over patchwork to make a drawstring bag. Then send a picture to me so I can post it on this blog.
Friday I will announce the winner of the little sewing drawer full of vintage lace. Stay tuned and keep stitching. Judy