Posts Tagged ochre

Sewing: drawstring bag tutorial

Before I begin, here is my sewing machine!

FR_Model45

Since I’m amalgamating a couple of drawstring bag tutorials, I thought I’d show you one from start to finish. I’m using Scrapstore fabric again – pretty gold/ochre with bird and leaf print, and a white lining.

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First of all, cut your fabric. I have two 9×12″ pattern pieces and two 9×12″ lining pieces. I’ve sewn my Beads of Courage and BCCA badges on to the front (much easier when you remember to do it first!) – just zigzagged all around their edges. You can see I made a measuring grid too – it’s much easier to make sure your right angles remain right angles if you measure with a grid rather than a ruler. Slightly annoyingly, this grid is 11×11″, so I later also made a cardboard template for these pieces that I can just draw around. This grid was made with the cover from a fabric sample book.

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2. Pin a lining and a pattern piece together along the top, face-to-face. Do the same with the other two. This will be the top of the bag, so make sure your pattern pieces are the right way up. Sew a 1/4″ seam along the top. Do a few reverse stitches at either end to hold it (aka stay-stitches). I also do the trick where you pull on one of your trailing threads and use it to pull the other side through just enough that you can catch it with a needle and pull that thread through to the same size – you can then knot them together and snip them off. You don’t need to do both, I just don’t like cutting off ends on the right side of the piece, so I pull them through to the wrong side if possible.

I’ve drawn on 1/4″ seams in pencil all the way round – I don’t always, but it can keep things neater. If your pieces aren’t perfectly the same size, draw your seams so that the smaller piece is on top, since this means you will be able to see the edges when you sew it (and make sure both sides have the same total useful width, or your seams won’t be exactly on the edge creases).

I kinda prefer when my initial measurements and cutting don’t have to be perfect, but it does make things simpler if they are reasonably close!

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3. Open up your piece like a book and press open the seam you just sewed. (Repeat with the other half). I made the marks for the two drawstring channel gaps on the back (wrong) side of the pattern fabric. They are at 2″ and 2.5″ from the centre of the seam. If you move them closer to it, you’ll get a bag that has more usable volume inside it when closed, since the drawstring will be closer to the top. This is up to you – I think these ones look quite nice closed.

If you are using a wide flat ribbon rather than a round cord, you might want to make the gap bigger.

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4. As well as those two channel gaps on the pattern side, leave a biggish gap near the bottom on one side of the lining. You’re going to pull the whole bag through this later to turn it rightside-out. The original pattern suggested leaving this at the bottom – I find it shows less if you have it at the side instead.

Place one of your pattern+lining pieces on top of the other, right sides inwards, pattern-to-pattern, and with the seam in the middle lining up. Put a few pins in to hold it together, and sew all the way round, leaving the gaps you just drew. The photo is after sewing – you can see the stay-stitches next to every gap.

If you forget to leave a gap, then put stay-stitches at the edges of where it should be, and go back and rip out the stitches between. This is really annoying, so hopefully you only do it once…

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5. Snip off your corners to remove extra bulk and press all the seams open on both sides. Especially press where the unsewn gaps are, because this will keep them neat and the raw edges inside.

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6.Turn the whole thing inside-out through the side gap!

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7. This is what you should end up with – use a long pokey thing through your gap to poke the corners fully out (pencil, mandrel…) and press it nice and flat. You now have a closed tube with the pattern at one end and the lining (currently inside-out) at the other.

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8. Here is the gap you left, with the neatly pressed edges. The original pattern says to handsew this closed. That does look better, but also takes ages, so instead I just sew straight stitch as close to the edge as I can.

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9. The gap is closed! This also shows up less if you use thread that matches your lining, but rethreading the machine a different colour in the middle of the bag is not going to happen.

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10. Push your lining inside your bag so everything is in the right place and you now have your proper bag shape. Here’s a pic looking into the bag – you can see the sewn gap if you look for it, but all the other lining seams are lovely and clean. (This is why I moved it away from the bottom – if you look straight into a bag in normal circumstances without stretching it open, there’s some looser fabric at the sides so the bottom is what you see most).

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11. Now you have the drawstring channel to sew. I made a couple of bags where the lining was slightly smaller than the outside, and wondered why I kept catching creases on the outside. Then I remembered that the first bag I made, I sewed on the outside when I did the channel and after that I’d sewn on the inside. Sewing on the outside means that you can keep the outer smooth, and if you do have any mismatches you can catch them inside or have a tiny extra fold at the seams.

So, you’re going to sew around the top of the bag like this, keeping the area you’re currently sewing on nice and flat. Start at the edge of one of the gaps you left in the pattern fabric seam. It’s easier if you draw a line on the outside to sew along too – I didn’t do this here.

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12. Here’s a view from underneath the fabric where I’ve lifted it up so you can see where the foot is holding it down – I don’t have a free arm so have to be careful to keep the other side of the bag well out of the way and not sew the two together.

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13. Sew all the way around the top and bottom of the channel, enclosing it so your cord can’t go anywhere else. Pause often and pull more fabric round towards you so you always have a reasonable amount to be sewing on. Eventually you will be back where you started and can stay-stitch to finish.

This is why you might want to draw a line… I ended up with rather a curved channel on the back. I don’t have any tailor’s chalk so just use pencil, which can take longer to remove and is why I didn’t draw one here.

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I got my front side nice and straight, though! And a drawstring bag is rarely completely flattened out when in use, so you won’t notice the curve most of the time.

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14. Add your cord. Put a safety pin through one end and go in through one of the side gaps, all the way round and out again. Then repeat for the other side. Tie your cord ends off and there you are.

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15. Finished bag!

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Here are a few previous bags. In the closeup you can see what I meant about catching a fold when sewing the channel from the inside.

BoCbag5

BoCbag5_corner

This one below was not Scrapstore fabric – the teddies came from eBay and the blue lining is 100% polyester that actually makes a pretty good lining for a bag like this (also used as the lining just above).

BoCbag6

I saw this spaceman fabric in one of the little theme bundles at the Scrapstore and grabbed it because it is perfect for BoC bags! There tend to be a lot of florals, other nature-themed prints and elegant patterned upholstery fabric there, but things like this are rarer. The pieces aren’t big enough to cut a full 9×12″ piece so I will combine them with another fabric.

spaceman_fabric

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CiM colour testing: Chamomile and Caboose

I got a lovely big pile of new colours to test and then had kiln controller issues, which means so far I have only had time to try these two!

Chamomile

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This colour surprised me! Look at the difference between the rod colour and (most of) the beads. Those spacers were batch annealed because of the aforementioned kiln problems, and before they went in the kiln they were much more like the rod colour – still swirly with transparent and less transparent areas, but a yellow ochre rather than a green ochre. The gremlin went into the kiln straight away, and they all came out like this! Which frankly I find far more interesting.

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A spacer close-up: I etched the left two. I’m not what I did to the warmer-coloured one differently than the others – struck it less? The stripe round the middle suggests I added a small last amount of glass to match size with the previous one. (Which I did, though I couldn’t tell you with which bead).

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End-on: those green variations make me happy! The rightmost bead in particular: I just find the distribution pleasing.

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I made a gremlin with little red flowers. You can see it’s opaque enough as lips and eyelid, but there’s still glow and reflected light from transparent/translucent areas. The feet are yellower and more transparent – they were done towards the end, just before I added the vine, so they get much less in-and-out of the flame. There’s an area on top of the lip that’s gone yellow again too. That’s next to where I heated and raked a bit of the vine, so that’s consistent with it being the initial colour and the green developing as it strikes more, unless you reset it.

Overall, the swirliness and colour differences remind me of some of the Vetro odds, but a lighter, non-cored colour. I’d like some more, which I hadn’t thought I would from the rod alone.

Caboose

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This is a coral red. It does look slightly darker here under my halogen light than under incandescents or sunlight, but it doesn’t change nearly as much as some reds. It’s pretty uniform and not streaky, which can again be an unwanted issue with many opaque light reds.

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Spacers, left two etched.

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A little gremlin with steely blue flowers.

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This one’s quite a small gremlin!

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Colour testing: CiM Orange Crush, Firecracker, Rudolph, Ocher, Sunset

In the limited edition reds and oranges section, I have three transparents and two opaques.

Orange Crush, Firecracker and Rudolph

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I left these trios of spacers on the mandrel so you could see what the striking is like. I deliberately struck all three colours, which was not difficult. Orange Crush is an orange that strikes from transparent to misty. The bottom of the furthest out bead is transparent while the top is cloudy.

Firecracker is a medium light red with orange tones – you can see that the end spacer is less struck and much more orange.

Rudolph is a true red, and has less colour variation in striking. The end bead is mistier but is still red.

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I also made lentil beads and small dotty rounds which have a core of Effetre white encased in the colour and then white dots. You can see from the lentils that both the reds go quite opaque, while orange crush has streaky translucent and transparent areas.

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One of the orange crush spacers cracked on one end – that end had a thicker layer of orange and you can see that it went more opaque and lighter than the other bead – may have had something to do with it?

CiM Ocher and Sunset

Ocher is CiM’s spelling, I would normally write ochre :p

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Ocher is a greenish mustardy yellow. Sunset is an orange coral type of colour. I could see Sunset striking as I worked, but it doesn’t really seem to unstrike again so I got a more uniform colour than I was expecting.

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You can see in the spacers that ocher is bit streaky and the sunset is pretty uniform even as spacers.

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I made a gremlin out of each to see how they did sculpturally – there is still variation visible in the ocher. The only lighter part of the sunset gremlin was the soles of its feet, which you obviously can’t see here! They are done at the very end. I used marine for the little heart on the ocher gremlin, and the sunset one has a scar and an awesome little skull murrini by Jolene Wolfe (Kitzbitz Art Glass).

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I did some random thin stringer trails over a background of Effetre black. You can see a little bit of colour variation in the sunset dots, and also that at this thinness they aren’t entirely opaque, particularly the ocher.

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Last of all, I did some tiny ribbed cylinder beads with ocher, sunset and Effetre dark sky blue. Ocher and the dark sky blue react together a little to give a dark out line, while sunset doesn’t. What I find interesting here is how different the ocher looks with other colours next to it – it is much yellower when alongside the sunset. Dark sky blue on top of sunset has a tendency to fuzz out and spread at the edges instead of having a sharp line.

I used dark sky blue rather than turquoise as it tends to grey up less. I did give them a bath in Lime & Grime to remove any that there was.

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52 earrings: #30 Orange Chevrons

I’ve collected a nice pile of different colours of embroidery threads to use for my kumihimo. Here’s a pair of earrings I did in oranges, pink, peach and ochre.

#30 Orange Chevrons

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The kumihimo is a flat braid chevron pattern – I had some difficulties with the tension in this braid, had to go in and tighten it up some more and then found I had tightened it too much in places… I work without weights on the threads and I suspect this braid would have been easier with them.

I wire-wrapped the tops of the braids in copper and knotted the tassels at the bottom, some with frosted seed beads on them.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 29 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design: http://www.earth-shine.co.uk/
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio: http://www.blue-box-studio.blogspot.co.uk
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass: http://kitzbitzartglass.blogspot.co.uk

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