Category Archives: Bags

Gift and remnants

About 5 years ago I bought some fabric with the same design as  the old postbags used in our little country. I made two bags with them (which you can find here and here), but there was still a bit left.

So for Father’s day this year I decided to make a toilet bag for my husband.

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I started with cutting 2 rectangular pieces from the fabric, as well as 2 similar pieces for the lining. This fabric is coated, and therefore perfect for the inside of this bag.



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The zipper was sewn in between both layers.

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The boxed bag was sewn together with right fabric and lining at once. I tried to make pictures of this, but it was too hard to see anything. There are many tutorials on youtube about how to do this.

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So there it is; a boxed pouch with no raw edges!

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Something else what has been on my shelves for a long time are red fabrics my mother-in-law brought with her from India. I did make a blouse with them, but had leftovers which I didn’t really know what to do with. The fabric is very thin and slippery, almost silky. and most pieces were too small to really use; except for a patchwork infinity scarf.

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I’ve sewn the pieces together with straight lines, folded the whole piece and stitched the long side. Then it was turned right side out and both ends were sewn together, leaving a small piece to handstitch.


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Groetjes, Dorien

Posh produce bags

Back in January I told you about the little produce bags I made to use for vegetables, fruits, nuts and so on. You can find this post here. They are great to use, and ever since I didn’t use any plastic bags anymore.

But, I don’t have to buy all my veggies myself, since my neighbour started a little kitchen garden and especially in the summer she comes over with her hands full of the most wonderfull vegetables. Of course I thank her every time, but now I wanted to make her something special. So I thought of the little produce bags (she has to do some shopping in the winter, doesn’t she?).  But not the plain bags as I use them.

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I made three bags with a blackwork embroidery. This because the fabric is very light and doesn’t hold a heavier design, but also to keep the weight of the bags as little as possible.

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Every bag has its own design: ‘homegrown vegetables’, tomatoes and carrots.

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My neighbour was very happy with the bags; she even didn’t want to use them because they might get dirty!

Because I liked the bags so much, I decided to make more of them. A couple for myself, and a set for the shop. In the next couple of days I’ll make more of them and list them as soon as they are finished.

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The bags measure 25 x 31 cm (10 x 12 inch) and have emboidery designs of tomatoes, bell pepper and lettuce.

Groetjes, Dorien


Going to make an effort

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At the last moment I find time to make a post in the first month of this year. So much for New Year’s resolutions! Usually I don’t really make them, and this year is no different, except for one thing. I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and kept putting off inquiring about it, but now really was the time to do something. What I’m talking about? Trying to be a lot more conscious about waste. Looking at all the garbage produced by our household is quite shocking. So the intention is to reduce this. We won’t go ‘zero-waste’, at least not now because I don’t think that is realistic for now. But the first step is trying to avoid all plastic (and even paper) bags used for produce and bread.

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So I started with making these 4 drawstring bags with sheer fabric. In the first picture you can see them after my first visit with them to the shop. Which was quite strange, because there was nobody else, using their own bags, and at first it was a bit awkward to use them.  But I’m sure this will get better, the more I do it.

These bags are just fine for produce not weighing too much, but the onions already were too heavy. So I had to think of something else.

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A piece of cotton I cut off some curtains a while ago was just perfect. It still is thin and light, but a lot stronger than the sheer fabric. So I used every inch of it to make bags in different sizes. The large one is perfect for bread (10.5 x 16 inch), and the smallest measure 7.5 x 9 inch.

And making these bags, I realised that one kind of food I’m really fond of, is cheese. So I looked around and found these wonderful beeswax cloth tutorials on the web.

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A piece of cotton and some beeswax are all that is needed. After grating the wax and sprinkle it around the fabric, it was put in the oven (fabric folded).

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After just a few minutes, the wax melted and holding the fabric to cool down, it became sturdy and ready to use.

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I wonder how this is all going to work in reality, and I know there are a lot more possible, but for now this is the first step.

Groetjes, Dorien


Here comes the postman

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This is a present I made for our oldest son. A backpack with lots of room and quite a few pockets.  On the front there is a zippered pocket and two smaller pockets beneath it. Both sides have an open pocket and inside there is a compartment for a laptop, a pocket for cell phone, a zippered pocket and two more for all the bits and bobs he always likes to carry around.

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The bag itself closes with a zipper. This is the easiest way of closing a bag, and I know that if there wasn’t a zipper, the bag wouldn’t be closed at all; it’s so much work to close buttons or straps!

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The top can be used as a roll-top with the straps or just left as it is, to have
more room for all his stuff.

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To carry the bag I made two soft but sturdy straps which can be adjusted.
All around a faux leather piping gives the bag a more sturdy look.

The boy was happy with his bag; I’m ambivalent about it. The bag itself looks great, but if I had to make it again, I think I would use a different material for the straps. They are now made with a cotton band, but it is a bit too fragile for this bag. So next time I think I would choose (faux) leather or something like that.

Groetjes, Dorien

Gift for Big Boy

Every year it seems the days in December have less hours then the days in any other month. Don’t you agree? So much to do and somehow it all has to be done this month. Including special celebrations and occasions at school or work. And then there are the holidays! So not much time for needles and yarn, but I still have to show you the present I made for my husband.

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He had  been asking for a bag like this for years. This kind of fabric, a sturdy bag with enough pockets and matching the size of his laptop. There were 2 problems with this list of demands. First the fabric. You can find a lot of fabric with this logo, but then the stripes are printed onto the fabric and he didn’t like that. They had to be woven into it. But finally this summer I found this fabric. Problem #1 solved. Then the sturdiness. My husband actually wanted the bag to be able to stand on its own when empty. I didn’t have a clue. Then I saw a piece of not too thick, but very sturdy felt. That was the solution. I made a bag with pockets on  both sides, a piping around and lots of zippers and clips.

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Then I made a lining, also with a few pockets.

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The lining was made half an inch smaller than the outer bag. I cut pieces from the felt which fitted exactly between the piping, and hand sewed them with a few stitches to keep them in place. Then finally the lining was put in and I sewed it by hand.

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What I really love about this bag is of course first of all that it matches all of my husbands wishes, but also the way it turned out. The look of the piping and the brass coloured zippers and closures, give it a robust look.

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This was the last gift I made this year for the December month. And I think this is probably the last post on this little blog of mine this year. So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a wonderful New Year, and I hope to see you again sometime next year.

Groetjes, Dorien

For Boy #1

Tonight is the night! December 5th we always celebrate St. Nicolas’ birthday, and we exchange gifts with each other. And like every year, I’ve made at least one gift per person myself.

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I used this fabric because Boy#1 is a sea scout. He loves to sail, and he also loves activities like hiking with a compass.

Recently he started a new hobby; photography. And within just a little bit of time, he collected some equipment to do this like a pro. One of the items is a tripod, and he did get a bag for it. But as usually is the case, it was made of cheap, inferior material, and was actually good for nothing. So this is what I came up with:

The bag has straps, made out of one piece of fabric which was foulded, and the double stitched with twill tape.

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The strap was closed to a ring, and then stitched onto the bag making 2 shoulder straps.

As you can see the zipper is on one side, starting from the center of the top.

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Hope he likes it!

Groetjes, Dorien

Happy Colours Galore

As promised I have collected pictures from the wonderful projects that have been made with the circles-in-squares pattern I made for my Happy Colours Blanket.

Of course there are a few beautiful blankets made:

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Love the randomly chosen colours of both smaller and larger circles, as well as the placement of the circles.

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In opposite to the other projects, here was chosen for a limited amount of colours, and some circles ar made with just 1 shade, others with 2, and the larger circles sometimes with 3. Simple but stunning.

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Only small or only large circles: the difference is huge, but I like that in both blankets the colour choices are seem tho be thought through very carefully.

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2 Square blankets, one with a very straight alignment, the other with the circles scattered around. One pale, one bright. And yet, somehow these blankets look as if they belong together.

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This blanket too is made with a limited amount of colours, but the look is very bold and bright too. It shows that with only 2 different large circles a blanket can become this beautiful.

And then there are some very special projects:

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How cute is this? A very warm welcome into the world I think.

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A smaller project! Just a panel to cover a bag, made with selfstriping yarn. I can imagine a blanket may be a bit daring for a lot of people, but this shows how you can make a wonderful small item, with smart use of yarn and pattern.

Another project which isn’t too big: a cushion! In this case the large circle is in the corner, but it could be anywhere.

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The simplest idea I can’t show because the lady whose idea it was, didn’t give me permission to use her photo, but all she did was crochet the circles in different sizes, not make them into squares, but just sew them onto a pillowcover.

And the showstopper can’t  be anything else then Gordana’s beautiful Pouf cover.

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She was one of the first ladies who used the pattern, and what an amazing job she did!

I hope you enjoyed this little gallery of happy colours!

Groetjes, Dorien

I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing….

Hello lovely ladies. How are you doing?? You have all been so kind to me lately, with all your nice comments and questions.

So as I mentioned in my last post, I was thinking of making a new toiletry bag, because I’m going on a trip in 2 weeks. The idea was a bag with a large compartment for bottles, and a lot of smaller pockets. I thought it would be great if it could be hung as well. So, this is the idea I came up with:

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After drawing this, I needed quite some time to figure out how to construct this. I didn’t want the seams to become very thick, and especially the way of attaching the compartment to the back gave me some trouble.

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This is the front, with a fabric button, because I couldn’t find a matching one, I made it myself.

Then looking from different angles:

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Maybe you notice that it became a little bit different than the original idea. I skipped the pockets on the top, because I thought it was becoming too large.

Now there are 2 zippered pockets, and on top 3 small pockets, which I gave a little bit extra space by folding the seams.

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Groetjes, Dorien

A Boys Bag

After a few days working on the bag together with my son, I can tell you that this is one of the best experiences I’ve had with sewing. It is so wonderful, to hear him express his ideas, looking for fabric and colours, thinking of pockets and zippers. He knows what he wants and knows how to explain that to me.

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Inside the bag he wanted a few pockets for small items like his cell and his wallet,

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and a large pocket for his tablet.

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He wanted an adjustable long strap, which can be taken off from the bag,

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a zippered pocket on the back and a small embroidery with his initials,

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and pockets on the front. Together with two handles that completed the bag!

As you can see in the first 2 pictures I used bias tape for the seams; that way it looks a lot nicer and I don’t have to worry that the seams get disturbed in any way.

Groetjes, Dorien

A flower fairy-tale factory

Once upon a time there was a lady who saw a beautiful flower scarf somewhere on the internet. She immediately knew she wanted to have such a scarf, so she ordered one with bluebells, oxeye daisies and purple tulips. As the scarf arrived she was even more excited, and now she also wants a scarf with roses. And while she is waiting for this scarf to arrive, she is showing off her flower scarf to her friends, and they like it so much, that they order their own scarf.

So you know what is going on up here. It is almost like a little flower factory on my table.

But that’s not all I’m working on. My son is quite interested in fashion and design. And he knows very good what he likes and what not, and what he wants and what not. And because he has a limited budget, he very well knows to find his mom.

This time he came to me with this:

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He ‘designed’ a bag, but was too anxious to actually draw it. So he wrote everything down, and together we collected the fabrics.

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It’s all denim; some new, some used from old jeans and a jacket.

It is so much fun to do this together with him. Every next step I ask him how he wants it; he has to make all the decisions and he is quite good at it.

 

Groetjes, Dorien