Sunday, 23 October 2011

Test run Bracelet Bag

On Wednesday (the 26th October) I will be giving the next BIWC sewing class. We will be making the gorgeous Bracelet Bag from Michelle at Keyka Lou (see right side of this page for the photo link to her gorgeous patterns).

I need a gift for a birthday party AND I would like to give the bag a test run before the class, so killing two birds and all... I am about to get going on a Bracelet Bag.

Michelle's patterns arrive in your inbox as a perfectly printable PDF & she kindly provides a printed check square to ensure your pattern is printed at the right size. Her instructions are very clear and are accompanied by photos to ensure you understand what she explains. You cannot go wrong!

Some photos of my process:

Print out pattern & tape as instructed (really easy!)
(To save paper being wasted I print the instructions 2 images per page on Mac settings & the pattern pieces normal size - you DO NOT want these minimized)
& the cut out with non sewing scissors - which are kept in the tool cupboard so husband knows which ones are for him to use ;)

The big orange rubber thing is a knee saver made by Birkenstock - you know home of the German sandal. It is great for working on hard floors!

Choosing fabric...
This pattern only requires two fabrics - Main & lining, but I think I will make the outer pocket in a contrast as well.
Off to the fabric cupboard to see what appeals...

Some fabric combinations I am considering:

Seeing as this gift is for a German friend & I suspect we are the only South Africans she knows, I decided the Mandela fabric was appropriate. It is a ShweShwe fabric. I was about to write some information on ShweShwe when I found this brilliant blog post, written by Dagmar from Durban, and decided I could not have said it better!
Have a look here to see how the ladies in South Africa style this fabric.
Want some ShweShwe for your projects? Place your order before next April when I make my next trip to SA :)

I will cut the pocket piece out of the reverse side of the fabric so that the manufacturer's stamp (mentioned in Dagmar's blog) will be seen on the finished bag as well, so I will leave off the 3rd fabric & line the bag with the large spot for a fun contrast.

*Time saving trick:
Handbag pattern pieces are not too large, so when there are pieces on the fold that I have to cut multiple times, I make one on the fold of a piece of interfacing, then I use this as the template on all the layers of fabric I need to cut it from, pin VERY well & cut all the layers at once.

I use interfacing as opposed to silk pattern paper as the interfacing grips the fabric well, and allows you to pin in place without it slipping around.

And I have one piece of my interfacing cut out at the same time!

The pattern worked out 100%! The handles are a little tricky, and may take a bit of fiddling to match up at the end, but otherwise it was pretty straight forward. I doubted the whole bag would go through the handles, but it did!

And here is the finished product...

Want to make your own? Click on the picture of the bag on the right hand side of the page.
I will have to remember to take photos of the BIWC ladies bags on Wednesday!

Happy sewing....

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