Stuff to put other stuff in

I have (finally!) had some free time to sew in recent weeks, but I have not yet got back into the routine of remembering to take photographs and sharing what I have made. It might take a little longer to reform those habits.

I rummaged around in my box of selvedges and made a pouch. I chose aqua because a handful of selvedges I pulled out of the pile coordinated nicely.

The pouch is again a modified version of Ayumi’s pattern from Patchwork, Please! This version is a little larger than the standard because I could not bring myself to trim off too much of the top selvedges on each side. Having made a couple of these pouches, adjusting the measurements was a breeze. I think I have also finally nailed the necessary adjustments to made the lining fit better.

Zipper pouch made with selvedges

I made yet another zipper pouch!

Zipper pouch made with selvedges

I cut my selvedges generously enough that a little of the fabric pattern and colour is retained.

Zipper pouch made with selvedges

Spots are always a good lining choice!

Zipper pouch made with selvedges

The leaf charm works with the leaf print I used on the base and sides.

The charm I added as a zipper pull is one I bought from Sew Delicious.

On Pinterest, I had seen simple bags for knitting on the go. The bags hang on one wrist, leaving both hands free to work, and the yarn secure and tangle free.

I made a test bag using this tutorial and pattern, which is written in Spanish but simple to follow. I chose Liberty for the lining and linen for the outside. I am happy with the size and shape, but I think I need to make the outside fancier next time. I might also not sew it so late at night that I fail to see that I have missed sewing one quilting line in the grid.

Portable knitting bag

What made me put the prettiest fabric on the inside?

Portable knitting bag

This bag will be handy if I find myself knitting on public transport or in waiting rooms.

Finally, a colleague at Calico & Ivy had made herself a little bento bag. It looked like a cute way to wrap gifts, so I thought I would try to make a few as alternatives to Christmas wrapping.

The Internet is full of instructions on how to make bento bags. I soon realised that the principle is essentially that you start with a rectangle that is three times as long as it is wide. Interestingly, I did not find a tutorial that included seam allowances in its measurements, so I made up my own lined version. In my version, I added a ½ inch to each measurement for seam allowances.

I made mine with a 9 × 26-inch rectangle (determined by the remnant of fabric used for the lining), but this small size means that there is not a lot of fabric in the ties. Trying to minimise bulk, I used a lightweight cotton voile to line it, but the ties are still a bit bulky. A little disheartened, I stopped at one. Perhaps bigger bags work better; they would have more fabric to work with in the ties.

Lined linen bento bag

I would have liked enough fabric in the ties to make a double knot.

As cute as I thought my colleague’s bento bag was, I do not think I will make another. When not wrapping gifts, they are for wrapping up lunchboxes, and I already have a super-cute hand-made bag for that. It was made by my Japanese host family’s grandmother, and I still use it all these decades later.

I am making the most of the quiet week between Christmas and New Year to finish up some UFOs. I hope you are doing whatever makes you happy too!

12 thoughts on “Stuff to put other stuff in

  1. You’ve used your limited sewing time to very good effect. I particularly the knitting/crochet bag you sling over your wrist. I’ve had that idea Pinned for nearly a year now, but never actually getting round to making it for several crocheting friends who work on public transport.

  2. Your leaf charm is gorgeous Carla! I also made a Bento bag, and even though I made what was classified as the ‘large’ it’s not very big at all! I use it because I loved the vintage fabric I chose, but it’s not very practical, is it? Happy New Year!

  3. Gorgeous…a bit of trim on the linen would be beautiful…or can you not turn it inside out? I know your sewing woukd be neat enough! Love the selvedge bag too….I’m working on next week for a few sewing days!

    • I will make a bit of effort to decorate the outside of the next one, Lesley.

      I cannot turn this one inside out because I trimmed off a ¼ of an inch from the bottom of the lining so that it did not bunch up in the bottom of the bag. It worked perfectly, but the bag is no longer reversible. Whoops!

      I look forward to seeing your selvedge bag!

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