My mum has the
irritating endearing habit of preempting any and all surprise gifts with a request for her own gift. Lately, she requested her own Mother’s Day present, which was, absolutely infuriatingly exactly what I planned to make for her in the first place – a bag to store her knitting in.
Mum’s a sporadic knitter. She goes through phases of intense obsessive knitting followed by a couple months of dwindling motivation, so she needs somewhere to put all her stuff while she gets her mojo back.
This has been the first project that I’ve actually sat down and drawn out (very badly, sorry!) a proper plan for what I wanted to achieve, with sizes and working out exactly what fabric pieces I need. I’m actually really proud of my planning, I think it’s the next step of my crafty education and I’m excited to work on things of my own design. I love following tutorials and feeling proud when my item turns out right, but I’d also love to be able to write a tutorial of my own for things I’ve created!
As I’ve specified in my plan, I wanted there to be one side of sewn in pockets, with an elasticated pocked stretching the whole of the opposite side, to house mum’s knitting needles. The picture above shows the making of the inside portion of the bag. I sewed on a segment of fabric matching the outside and used this to construct the sewn-in pockets. I also used another piece of the blue lining fabric to make the long pocket on the other side. I finished the tops of both the pockets with bias tape, but threaded elastic through the one on the right to make a stretchy pocket!
I decided to go with this crazy floral fabric for the outside of the bag because she’s a major fan of bold, bright retro-y patterns, and I used the plain (but still pretty bright!) blue for the lining. The whole effect is very bright and in-your-face, but then, so is my mum (in the best way!), so it’s perfect.
In the end I decided to do away with my pre-planned strap-and-button idea to close the bag. Once I made up the lining and outside portions I could see that it didn’t need a fastening method, it wasn’t hanging wide open and my mum had no need for it to be fastened super securely. It just wasn’t necessary.
I was so pleased with the finished product, and so was my mum, which is really all that matters. There are things that didn’t turn out so good (see Notes for Next time for a critique!), which I guess is going to be the case with things I’ve thought up myself, inevitably there’s going to be something wrong that I didn’t consider!
Notes for Next Time
- Planning was good! Measuring pre-existing items and taking seam allowance into account to come up with dimensions that mean I achieve my desired goal was so rewarding. Maybe I’ll make one or two other things of my own thinking before I hit another tutorial binge!
- I did make a teensy mistake when constructing the elasticated pocket – shown in that picture over there! I definitely used too much elastic (and maybe not enough pocket fabric too?) and while the pocket was stretchy, it definitely wasn’t the taught, secure, needle-holder I’d envisioned!
- On another note though, that picture also shows my nicely sewn on binding, which I was so happy with. I’m definitely feeling more comfortable about using it, which has to be a good thing! I’m seeing how versatile it can be! I’m also proud of myself for thinking of using it to finish my raw edges instead of just folding them over! It gives the whole bag a bit more of a professional (or at least less home-made) look this way.
On the whole, my mum adored her present and I think that’s the best note of all!
This post will be seamlessly scheduled for Monday, as I’m off to sun myself in Turkey for a couple weeks. I’m so excited it’s unreal. Hopefully my scheduling skills will mean I’ll actually post while I’m away, yay! I’ll also be keeping up with all your lovely blogs as I sit by a pool drinking cocktails (not to brag, or anything, ha!)