Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snap Bag Tutorial

I've been meaning to share some directions for making a snap bag for weeks; sorry I didn't get to it before Christmas.

1. Decide how big you want your bag. The bag will have a fold at the bottom, so allow for that in your measurements. For example, if you want a bag that is 5 inches across and 6 inches down when finished, you'll need fabric that is 5 inches by 12 inches. Allow a bit extra for quilting. So cut two pieces of fabric (one for bag, one for lining) that are 6 inches by 13 inches. Make sense?

2. Cut a piece of batting the same size. Layer the fabric pieces with the batting in the middle and quilt using straight lines. Easy peasy quilting. Trim to the correct size (5x12, in our example).

3. Make a casing for each short end (the 5" ends). This is just like adding a wide binding to the end, leaving it open at both ends to insert the piece of tape measure. Be sure to use a doubled piece of fabric for this step for more strength. Sorry I don't have pictures of this step, but I think you'll understand when you look at the pictures below.

4. Cut two pieces off a metal retractable tape measure. Cut them about 5/8 inch shorter that the width of the bag (approximately 4 3/8 in our example). Trim the ends so they are rounded.
Wrap each tape measure piece in strong tape; this will keep the sharp edges from poking through the fabric over time.
Insert each piece of wrapped tape measure into a casing so that the side that has the measurements (inside curve) will face toward the lining of the bag.
Fold the bag in half with the lining side out, and stitch the side seams. I like to stitch a straight seam a scant 1/4 inch from the edge, and then follow that with a zig zag stitch to enclose the edge of the fabric to minimize fraying.
Turn the bag right side out and you're done! Here's one I made from selvages. I like to have this in a variety of sizes. This bitty one is good to corral lipstick in my purse. I have a bigger one to keep basic one-the-go sewing supplies.

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