Sunday, June 8, 2014

Project bags galore!

I don't think I've ever posted about my project bag sewing. This is surprising, since I love to have little bags to carry around my knitting in. Years and years ago when I very first started sewing seriously, by that I mean things other than square baby blankets, I saw a Yarn Pop knitting bag somewhere.  I thought they were awesome and talked endlessly about them, but was not willing to spend the $20 to buy one of my own. At that point in time I still stored all my in progress knitting in clear plastic zipper bags! I even emailed my step mother a link to them,  secretly hoping she'd just make me one! Instead, she lent me a copy of  Sew What! Bags and assured me I would be able to insert a zipper in a small tote bag. This was the "teach a man to fish" approach, but I was not convinced and it took me a while to actually try because I was afraid to completely mess it up.
Originally I was going to make a bag with a buttonhole where the yarn pop bags have the grommet but in the months between coveting it and making my own, I realized I just wanted a simple zipper pouch that the project could be completely tucked into when not knitting on it. I guess I still don't get why you would want the working yarn to come through that grommet, and what do you do with the project when you aren't working on it? Do you have to tuck the whole thing into ANOTHER bag? Not for me.
One afternoon while my son watched Diego on the bed next to my sewing table I gave it a real try. I had collected my supplies, which were fat quarters from Joann's and a cheap zipper. I was amazed when it actually worked and I had this perfect project bag in about an hour.

The bag still gets a lot of use and is perfect for toting around an in progress sock or hat project. It really only fits one skein of yarn and the pattern, which is perfect for me. I love that it's lined and love that I found a zipper the exact shade of blue to match the flowers on the inside! 


I became a bag making machine, and made many more soon after that, a number of which I have given as gifts to fellow knitters.

As my sewing abilities improved I went in search of more interesting patterns. I began seeing Noodle-head's open wide zipper pouches EVERYWHERE in blog land. I made a bunch in different sizes. I like that they stand up on their own so you can sit a yarn cake squarely in the bottom and the yarn just flows right out! The smallest size one has become my tool kit and holds everything I need and then some. 

Soon after making those zipper pouches I started seeing the drawstring project bags all over the place. I made this gravity defying one first. OOPS I guess I'm still no expert if I can sew bunting completely upside down and not notice until the ENTIRE pouch is complete. I was so embarrassed to have this with me at Stitches this year that after seeing an entire booth of self "locking" drawstring pouches there I was inspired to try my hand at some new ones. 

Using ribbon to make the drawstring channel and then two drawstrings is the magic to the self "locking" part. This one is my favorite! I love the bicycles and that it's lined with denim for more structure. It is a perfect size for a slightly larger project like a child's sweater. And once I'd made one larger enough for a child's sweater I knew I needed one to hold my Burrard Cardigan and ALL the yarn and pattern stuff for it. So I made this one!

It is pretty big. I used 4 fat quarters to make it and didn't trim them at all. Since I don't usually take sweater projects on the go I wanted something to store the whole shebang in the house. This currently has ALL the yarn, the finished back and sleeves, the in progress fronts and the clipboard with pattern attached. It sits by my knitting chair and looks all neat and tidy! I love this fabric and really wish Joann's had it on a bolt, I've only seen it in fat quarters. 

The next logical step for my sewing skills seemed to be the ever prevalent in blog land, box tote. I mashed together a few different tutorials to make this one and it has become my go-to sock tote! I love the structure of it and the fact that it is compact and easy to carry.  It is perfect to hold a yarn cake and the pattern needed for any socks. It currently has two skeins of yarn in it since I'm doing a contrasting heal/toe on these self striping socks. 

Who knew I could blab on about project bags for so very long. I guess I'm a bit obsessed. Anyhow if you have a sewing machine and can sew even a vaguely straight line, don't purchase a project bag! Go make your own. Then you can choose fabric to match your unique personality! I think I have to go to my local fabric store now, and buy some Echino before they run out of it AGAIN! I think I need to make a few more box totes!!!

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