Friday, November 5, 2010

DIY - fat quarter Date-night Handbag

That's right!  This little number is made from only a fat quarter.  It is self-lined and the strap is made from fabric too!!  It is just the perfect size for a date, wedding, or party.  Anytime you only need to bring your wallet, lip gloss, and phone.  I hope you don't mind the fabric I used.  Mr. Sew Homegrown said it looked like an old couch.  Hmph.  I think it looks vintage.  Guess I'll have to make a different one to go on a date with him...but you know the possibilities are endless - you could make it out of velvet or some sparkly sequin-y fabric or linen or really anything!  So get busy ladies because coming up soon is a giveaway based on your Sew Homegrown projects!
Girls who won the fat quarter/thread combo they should be coming to you soon - only 3 girls have claimed them and if the other two aren't claimed by next Wed. they will go to some other lucky follower :)  So this is a little project you can make when your goodies come in the mail ;)  If you didn't win...
Here is what you will need
a fat quarter of fabric
elastic thread
regular thread
sewing machine

Step 1:  Cut it into a piece 22" x 13".  This is how I did it, but this might get confusing -
Fold your fat quarter in half (length-wise).

Step 2:  Fold the bottom edge up 6 1/2 inches.

Step 3:  Cut the remaining fabric at the top off (save it though b/c you will make the strap out of it).
If you open it up, you have a piece of fabric 13 "x 22".

Step 4:  Fold it right sides together - it will now be 11"x13"  
Like this:
Sew along the top and bottom edge - about a 1/2 inch seam - using regular thread.

Step 5: Flip it right sides out and press.

Step 6:  Fold the bottom edge up to the top, making a rectangle for your bag. 
Sew along both sides - these are the side seams of your bag.

Step 7:  We are going to square the corners - just to give it a little shape.  Simply measure 1/2" both directions from the corners.  Connect them with a line, and sew across the line.
 Trim about 1/4" away from the diagonal line.  Flip inside out and press. 
(My mom would say you must finish those inside seams - zig zag, serge, or pinking shears...)

Step 8:  Elastic Thread  There was a little bit of confusion about this on the scarf, so I am going to try to explain it better.  Using your machine, wind the elastic thread onto the bobbin.  I know it says to hand-wind it, but I have had better success winding it on my machine.  Then put the bobbin in your machine, and thread the needle with regular thread.  Sew a straight line around the opening of the bag - letting the fabric loosely flow through the machine.  You could even place your finger behind the presser foot - where the fabric is feeding through - and kind of slow the fabric as it is feeding through - making it bunch up a little more.  Just release it every couple inches or so.  Once you have sewn around the top, wet it and hand scrunch it.  Toss it in the dryer for a couple of minutes.  You could also just steam press it.  Either process should make the thread shrink up nicely. 
(yes I stitched mine twice - I wasn't very happy the first time and I was too lazy to rip out the first seam...)

Step 9:  Go and fetch that little remnant that you cut off at the beginning.  Open it flat and cut or tear it into strips 3/4" wide and 22 " long.  you should be able to get 7 strips.

 Step 10: Braid three of the strips into one braid.  Braid three more into another braid.  To join them, lay one end of the braid ontop of the other, perpendicular to it, like this:
Sew a little diagonal line where that arrow is.  (Don't forget to put regular thread on your bobbin again!)
Trim off the raw edges and you should have one long, thin braid to use for a strap.

Step 11:  Sew the ends of the strap onto the inside of the bag - where the side seams are located. 
(Sorry this picture is kind of blurry)

For a bonus interest, take that 7th strip and tie it into a little bow on the strap.
And that's it!!  You have a sassy little bag to swing over your shoulder and dash out the door the first chance you get! 

Happy Sewing!


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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