Tuesday, 27 January 2015

What I'm Making: Embroidery to Go Bag

Last week I finished an Embroidery to Go bag - a tutorial by Sara from Sew Sweetness.

With a cute pocket for an embroidery hoop

This is a gift for Leonie (@aussieleo on Instagram) as part of the Aussie Handmade Birthday Club. 

I know that Leonie likes to do embroidery and I have had this bag on my to do list for the longest time, so I was glad to have a reason to actually make it. I used a mix Mustang prints on the outside and Foxfield on the inside - they went together very nicely!

I didn't do the cute little hand stitched panel that is included with the tutorial. I haven't done a lot of hand stitching apart from cross stitch and a bit of ladder stitch to close seams, and I didn't think it was polite to practise on a gift. I also used a shorter zipper. This was for no other reason other than it was what I had. When I bought the materials to make this (aaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago) I couldn't find a 28 inch zip that the pattern calls for. Nor have I been able to find one since. Does anyone know where I can buy longer zippers? 

I'll be honest, I had some problems making this bag. If I were to make another one I would definitely do a few things differently.

Firstly, I would use a longer zip. Like the pattern says. Der. I guess you can't always just wing it and make do with what you have on hand. Lesson learnt. 

I also would interface the panels differently. The bag has a zip that goes the whole way round and the pattern calls for each of the interior and exterior pieces that the zip is inserted into to be interfaced with Pellon Thermolam. Interfacing and translating interfacing requirements from patterns into what is available in Australia is such a thorn in my side! I used Vilene H640 and it just made the corners and seams on the inside so bulky. The interior didn't sit in as nicely as it probably would have with a less bulky interfacing, especially with the larger seam allowances on the inside.

The pattern also includes dividers so that you can sit your embroidery floss in there nice and neatly. I don't know if I was just tired so I didn't measure correctly, or was too engrossed in the Modern Sewciety podcast I was listening to (I am so hooked), but my dividers were just too big for the bag. I sewed them together and I thought "Hmmm", but I will be the first to admit that I am not very good at estimating how big things are (although surprisingly excellent at packing the dishwasher). But no. Just too big. So now I have some nifty dividers, I guess I will have to make a little bag to put them in after all ;) 

And finally, you have to sew the whole lining in by hand. By hand. BY HAND!! I have actively avoided patterns that require sewing the zipper in by hand. Remember, this bag has a long zipper...

Hand stitching forever
At the end of the day though, the bag is sweet and it looks quite neat. It is a quick make - even with all the hand sewing I made it in one night. I just had sore fingers by the end.

The other side with my little label

I also whipped up an infinity scarf to go with the bag.

I am glad to have these done. February is creeping closer and I don't want to get behind on my birthday committments!


  1. What a cute little bag! I've been looking for something to make for a swap and this is just perfect!


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