Making a Spinning Wheel Accessory Bag Pt. 2

In my March 11th post, I outlined the process I was using to design a small bag to hold my spinning wheel accessories, such as my oiling pen, a spare bobbin, and my threading hook.  I left you at the point where I was appliqueing the sheep to the front of the front bag panel.  Today we’ll continue on and show you how to finish your little bag.

1.  First measure one of your bag pieces.  You’ll need this measurement for step #2.  Once you have your design of choice appliqued to the front and/or back of your bag panels, you will need to sew your bag together.  I placed the right sides together and sewed a 1/4″ seam around three sides of my bag, leaving the top open.  Turn right side out.

2.  The next thing you will need to do is decide if you want to line your bag.  If you do, choose the fabric you wish to use and cut out two pieces the same dimensions as the measurements you took in Step #1.  Putting the right sides together, sew the lining together around 3 sides, just like you did for your bag.  You will not be turning this right side out but you do need to turn down the top about 3/8″ and press this.

3.  Choose what material you want to use for your handle.  I used a dense wool for the main handle with a felted wool accent that I topstitched on top of the dark wool.  You will also want to take your bag to your spinning wheel and a tape measure and hold it about where you want it to hang and then measure how long the handle should be.  Add a few inches to this measurement because you’ll need the extra slack when you sew the handles into the bag later.  You’re ready to cut out your handles now.  The dark wool is 1-1/4″ wide and the accent strip is 3/4″ wide.  I centered the green strip on top and topstitched it along both of the long sides.  No need to hem your dark strip.  The wool is dense enough that it shouldn’t fray.

4.  Place your lining inside the bag, wrong side against wrong side.  Now take your handle and place an end between the lining and the bag (right side of the handle facing out).  I stuck it down in there about an inch and pinned it before stitching it in place.  You are going to stitch it back and forth across your side seam to secure it in place.  I stitched it about 1/4″ from the top edge of the bag.  Don’t worry.  This stitching will be covered in just a few minutes.  Repeat on the other side of the bag for the other end of the handle.

5.  The next thing I did was pick some felted wool to use as a scalloped border around the top of my bag.  I discovered that one of my scrapbooking rulers made an excellent template for the scallops.  I just traced along the ruler and cut out my border.  Then I placed the border along the top of my bag (straight edge of the border aligning with the straight top edge of the bag) and pinned it in place, leaving the excess border hanging for the moment.   Be sure that you catch the lining, the bag, and the border – all 3 layers- as you are pinning.  I then stitched the border along the top of the bag.  When I neared my starting point, I trimmed off the excess border so that my ends would butt together and finished sewing it on.  This step was the trickiest part.  When I was finished, I went back and doublechecked to make sure my lining was securely caught by the stitching.  I had to do a little ripping and restitching in a few spots where the lining had shifted but it was quickly fixed.

6.  Now you just have to decide if you want to hand stitch the bottom part of your border or machine stitch it.  I took the lazy route and machine stitched it.  It isn’t perfectly aligned but I’m telling myself that this adds to the “rustic” charm.

7.  Here is the finished bag, showing the lining.  I’m sure there are more polished ways to put a lining inside a bag.  You could do piping and/or facings but I just wanted something that could be done quickly and with a minimum of fuss.  This fits the bill.

8.  Voila!  Here is my finished bag all set to go on my spinning wheel.  I had originally planned to do buttonhole stitching around the edges of the bag but after I got this far, I decided that it just wasn’t “asking” for the stitching.  It seemed to me that it wasn’t going to look quite right with this bag so I left it off.

9.  Here’s the finished bag on Valentina all ready to be filled with my accessories.  Have fun designing your own bag and happy spinning!

Making a Spinning Wheel Accessory Bag Pt. 1

Valentina, my newest spinning wheel, needs a bag to hold her accessories.  I’ve seen some nice knitted ones on pictures of other people’s wheels but I had a bag in mind for Valentina and just couldn’t find one already made up that looked like my vision so I decided to make my own.  I wanted one that had a rustic look with a folk art feel to it.  So today I gathered my materials and started working on the bag.  Here’s what I’ve done so far.

The first thing I did was make some sketches of the sheep that I wanted to applique on the front of the bag.  I decided to use the design on the right so the next step was to draw and cut out each individual piece of the sheep.  If you’ve ever done applique before, you know that you need to cut out each piece of the design separately, i.e. the sheep face, the legs, the main body, the ear, and the pieces of the blanket over its back.

The next step was to gather bits of felted wool and other bits of wool that I’ve collected for projects such as this.  I had decided to make my bag out of felted wool, line it with a cotton print, applique the design on the front in wool, and outline the edges of the bag in a buttonhole stitch.  Once I decided what colors I was going to use for each piece of my pattern, the next step was to trace the pattern on the wrong side of the wool and cut it out.  For some pieces, I fudged and just pinned the pattern to the wool and cut around it.

The next step involved deciding how big I wanted the bag to be and cutting two pieces out of the wool for my bag.  Now I was ready to start appliqueing the pattern pieces to the front of the bag.  I had decided to just do a quilt stitch around the raw edges of the sheep pieces.  Since I’m working in wool, I don’t really have to worry too much about fraying and since I don’t plan to be throwing this bag in the wash, again…I’m not worried about turning under my raw edges.  Any stray threads will add to the charm.

You might be wondering how I got that little tail on the sheep.  The grey wool was actually a beret and the little “tail” was in the center of the beret.  I wasn’t using this beret any more so decided to cut it apart and use the wool for applique.  When I saw the little tab, I immediately thought, “sheep tail” and incorporated it into the design of the sheep.

An important thing to remember when sewing an applique pattern is that you want to start with the pieces that are on the bottom layer of your design and work your way to the top layer.  In other words, the sheep’s face and feet where the first things I sewed down.  Next came the sheep’s main body.  Now, I’m working on the “bottom” layer of the decorative blanket and will working upward, finishing with the smallest circle.  Finally, I’ll sew on his ear.

That’s all I got done today on it because I was also teaching a friend of mine how to machine quilt so most of my time was spent doing that.  Tune in Saturday for the next steps in making the accessory bag when I’ll (hopefully) be sewing the front and back of the bag together, inserting the lining, and adding a strap.