14 October 2013

Boo Bags

If I had it my way, it would be October all year long.
The crisp air is delicious, the fashion is divine, and I live for the string of holidays to follow.
I decided to celebrate by making some scrappy trick-or-treat bags and sharing the basic tutorial with you. 
Materials Needed per bag:
  • FAT QUARTER #1: Cut two 9 x 11" panels for the bag exterior. 
  • FAT QUARTER #2: Cut one 8 x 11" panel for the bag exterior and two 2.5 x 15" strips for straps.
  • 1/2 YARD LINING FABRIC: Cut two 11 x 12.5" panels.

  • FROM SCRAPS: Cut four sets of 2.75" squares and two sets of 3 x 5" blocks.
  • EMBROIDERY THREAD (optional) 
Now, there are about a million other embellishment options, all you have to do is replace a plain 9 x 11" block with a fancy one. For example, I created the pinwheel bag by taking two 4" squares of the orange stripe, two 4" squares of the black-stitch fabric, and sewing them into half-square triangles. After I sewed them into a pinwheel, I just framed the block (off-center) with scraps and trimmed it to my 9 x 11" exterior piece for the front. The rest of the instructions are the same!
Using 1/2" seam allowance, sew the 9 x 11" blocks together with the 8 x 11" block  in between, as indicated below. Press the seams to the darker fabric. 
Center the bag exterior onto the batting. Quilt as desired. (I went a little crazy with a freemotion woodgrain but this can be very minimal.)

Trim the excess batting.
Retrieve the scrappy block pairs. Sew each pair right sides together using 1/4" seam allowance. 
Clip the corners.
 Separate the front and the back and cut a slit in the back. 
 Turn right-side out.
 Push out the corners and press flat with an iron. 
Arrange them onto the bag front/back as desired and apply a fabric glue to keep them in place. (I like Thermoweb's Super Stik glue stick--it's super strong and washes out later.) 
NOTE: I know it shows the patches overlapping above, but the top one isn't glued on yet. It's best to glue and stitch down the bottom one first! 
Use embroidery thread to add some decorative stitching. It doesn't need to be perfect--in fact, it looks better when it's a little wonky. 
Fold the bag in half, right sides together, and sew down the sides using 1/2" seam allowance. 
Now, we are going to make the bottom flat so the bag can sit on its own. Grab a bottom corner and separate the batting and fabric layers of the bag. away from each other and press the seam into the center. 
Use a ruler to measure and mark a line 1-1/2" down from the point. Sew along the draw line; trim to 1/4" below seam. Do to both sides.
 Turn right-side out and you can see how we've just made the bottom square so it stands on its own. 
Bring the lining pieces right sides together, and sew together using 5/8" seam allowance, leaving the top completely open and a 6-7" gap in the bottom. 
Create the same flat-bottom effect by measuring 1-1/2" down, sewing along the drawn line, trimming, etc. Keep the lining inside-out.
Fold each 2.5 x 15" strip in half, right sides together. Stitch along the raw edge of the long side to form a tube. Turn right-side out and press flat. Note: It is much easier to turn right-side out if you actually stitch one of the short-sides closed. You can use a dowel to push the short-end in and keep pushing until you come out of the open end. Iron flat. 
Top-stitch along both sides using 1/8" seam allowance. 
Pin the straps to the exterior. Make sure they are centered--use a ruler if you must. 
With the bag exterior right-side out and straps pinned in place, bring the lining right sides together with the bag.

Pin all around the top, taking care to line up the side seams of the bag/lining. 

Sew along the top-edge using 1/2" seam allowance. 
Turn right-side out by pulling the bag through the hole in the lining bottom.
Tuck the lining inside and top-stitch along the top using 3/8" seam allowance.  
Pull the lining back out and hand-stitch the hole closed using a double-threaded needle and ladder stitch.
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 Tuck the lining back into the bag and you are all set!