Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Linen Tote Bag and a mission accomplished

Before I start today I must point out that I'm experiencing problems commenting on a few, not all, of your blogs, so if you feel I haven't visited for a while, rest assured I have. I'm working myself up to 'Blogger help' but I'm not quite in the right frame of mind to tackle it yet.

Not too long ago I was contacted by a lovely lady querying if I could make a bag for her. The brief was ('should I choose to accept it' - that's the Mission Impossible bit) for it to be a tote'ish style bag, with a gusset, that had to stand up on it's own as she intended to use it to house her knitting bits. It was a bag that was to travel around alot so it needed to work hard and be able to contain all of the essentials necessary for a work in progress. She wanted the bag to be wide enough to accomodate her knitting needles when they were feeling in need of a lie down and it was to incorporate some of my applique work.

I love these oppportunities a) because it is a customer with a genuine need  and b) it really makes me think about a project.  I was thrilled that she felt she could approach me.

The biggest challenge I faced was how to make it stand up and for this I used fusible fleece for the first time. I got it from here, an amazing little website packed full of useful hints and tips for bag makers as well as mountains of supplies. Fusible fleece offers support to a project whilst retaining a certain 'slouchiness' and I used it with a medium weight interfacing, it seemed to do the trick.

But before I go galloping on ahead,  let me draw your attention to the applique.

'My little house' - ahhhhh

If you've been following for a while you'll remember that this 'little house' started it's life here since then it has gone on to appear here and here each time being slightly adapted, it even appears in my sidebar. It's one of the very first things I ever made using free motion stitching and I love my 'little house'. Does that sound mad? I'm thinking of using it on lots more things and maybe developing it on a range of items.

Anyway back to the bag.........remember it was to be a 'home for knitting'........

.......with enough room for tired knitting needles to lie down.......

........and it had to have a gusset.

I picked up the red gingham from the front door of the house and used it for the lining. I think this is one of my favourite parts of a project, choosing the colours and deciding how they are going to work together.

The finishing touch, a sweet little sentiment ..........

Now although this is destined to be positioned at the feet of an avid knitter, it looks just as nice hanging from a door.

My customer received her bag a few days ago and is very pleased with it which always makes everything worthwhile and keeps me smiling.
Thank you for sticking with this lengthy post, I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Have a good day, I'm off to make some more needlecases after a man has been to see me about my drains, it already sounds expensive doesn't it?


  1. Hi Caroline, the knitting bag is super and the little house is just so cute. Lesley x

  2. It's such a gorgeous bag (and I'm a fan of your little house). Love the gingham lining and the fusible fleece stuff looks like it was a great success. No wonder the customer is happy x

  3. Lovely bag - nice size and nice stance! Aptly timed post as I have just returned from Wheelers Fabrics (again), with interface for a bag.

  4. the bag is lovely Caroline, you can't beat a nice piece of linen lined with red gingham x

  5. I'll bet she was pleased as punch with her bag! It is really lovely, and so perfectly designed for the task. I especially love the gingham door being picked up for the lining!

  6. Oh Caroline, I bet she was absolutely delighted with her lovely bag! Perhaps your next assignment could be to design one with an enormous gusset for a tired mum of three to lie down in. Perhaps it could say 'over the hill' in free motion stitching... just a thought! Good luck with the drains. Vx

  7. Some lovely examples of tote bags there. Sigh. I wonder what sewing machine you have as mine bulks at anything thicker than bog standard.

  8. Well done Caroline its lovely!
    Being a lover of both linen and gingham, especially red, to me its perfect and Im sure your customer was thrilled with it.
    Practical and pretty, and I love the litle house applique.
    Re the blogger comments problem - forgive me if Ive already said it, but un-ticking your keep me signed in box when you log on worked for me when i has similar problems. Also, i've just been advised that the embedded type of comment box can cause some people problems in leaving comments (as opposed to haveing a pop up box), so maybe thats another reason for you experiencing problems. Having said that, you managed to leave one on mine earlier before i changed to the pop up comment box!
    Hope this helps!
    Gill xx

  9. Love it Caroline - Just the right size for knitting and wool too. :)

  10. gorgeous bag! very desirable! love the little house, so cute and cosy :)