May 27, 2009

Super easy "Charlie bag"

This summer I am putting on a sewing/craft camp for girls here in my home. I did it last year and the girls seemed to have a great time so I thought I would try it again this year. This will likely be the last time I do it however because my wonderful town seems unwilling to support anything other than sporting events and it is a lot of work to put the whole thing together for only 4 girls. But I digress. The camp is for girls ages 10 and up and is 3 days a week for 2 hours a day and only last 2 weeks. The cost is $35.00 and all the girls have to bring is a sewing machine and a pair of scissors. I provide the rest.

Anyway, so I have these 4 girls signed up and I have been looking for some fun/easy sewing projects that we can do. The idea is to be able to complete 1 project a day. This year I am doing 3 sewing projects and 2 scrapbooking projects. In my search online I found this great free pattern. The pattern is for a single sided, really quick grocery bag. I thought it was really cute and decided I would use it as our first project. I developed this tutorial to make the bag lined (and reversible).

To get the pattern you need to go here. You can print this out right on your printer and then assemble it. It was really easy and took I think 8 pieces of paper or something. Click on the button that says "print at home" to print it. You will have to register to print it but this website looks like it has tons of cool ideas so it is worth the minute it takes to do it. It doesn't cost anything to register.

For this lined bag you will need 3/4 of a yard of two different fabrics.

Unfold your piece of material and refold it bring the edges to the middle crease and then fold it again in half on the middle crease. This gives you a narrow piece of fabric, 4 layers thick, the perfect size for cutting out the pattern once but getting 2 pieces. I also folded in 1 inch on the bottom of my pattern because it seemed a bit too big for what I wanted to do. You will need to cut 2 pieces on the fold of each fabric so you will end up with 4 (2 outside and 2 lining). Sorry I forgot to take a picture of my fabric folding. Hope that makes some sense.
Now working with each piece of fabric separately put the the handle pieces right sides together and sew a 5/8" seam backstitching start and stop. Trim seam to a 1/4". Press with an iron. Repeat this with the other 3 pieces.

Now place matching fabrics right sides together and pin the 3 straight edges. Sew a 5/8" seam on each edge but leave an opening on the bottom of the pieces you want to use as the lining. The opening should be about as big as your hand. Make sure you backstitch at each side of the opening. Trim your seams to a 1/4".

Now turn the pieces that you will have as the outside of the bag right sides out and place it inside the lining. This will make it so that you have printed sides together. Match up your seams and pin around the large inside circle. Sew around the pinned edge with a 5/8' seam backstitching start and stop. Trim seam to a 1/4".

Now turn the bag right side out by pulling the inner piece through the opening. The piece you are pulling out will become the outside of the bag. Before tucking in the inside, fold under both sides of the opening and sew closed with a 1/8" seam. Now tuck the bag lining down inside the outer bag making sure to poke the corners together. Press the top edge with an iron so that it is nice and flat. Topstitch around this edge at 1/8".

Lastly, and this is probably the hardest part, tuck under 5/8" on the remaining openings and pin together. I found it was easier to do this by hand than using the iron because you are working on a curve. Now topstitch the pinned openings using an 1/8" seam and backstitching.

And that is it. Tada, a finished bag. If you wanted something stiffer you could apply interfacing to one of the layers. You could also alter the size of the pattern to make a smaller version. I will have to post pictures of the ones the girls make. I bought bright colored polka dot material for them to choose from. They are going to look so cute.

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  1. So cute! I was in 4H as a girl and that is where I learned the little bit of sewing. Oh and my jr high home ec class where we made felt hamburgers. LOL Anyway, these girls are learning something that some day may be a real blessing in their lives.

  2. Cute bag. Your sewing class sounds like a lot of fun. Can't wait to see pictures


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