Planning a Sewing Workshop

As I mentioned in my post about My Swedish Peg Bag I am putting a Workshop together for my niece, who is learning to sew.  The first thing she asked to make was a Grocery Bag Holder. Her old one was getting tatty, and she would like one to match her new kitchen.

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I found this free tutorial by Jess of Craftiness is not optional Her instructions look perfect for a beginner and there are loads of photos.  In fact it is a good project for our workshop as it will let me introduce;

Using a rotary cutter, cutting mat and quilter’s ruler

The importance of pressing and trimming seam allowances

How to enclose raw edges with a neat French Seam

How to make a casing (and get the elastic through it)

The only change I made was to make the elastic for the bottom casing slightly smaller than the top (just 17 cm/6.5″) to be sure the bags would not fall out.

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The other project she wanted to try was making herself a new peg bag.  Unfortunately the ones in this free tutorial by Carla of  Granny Maud’s Girl and the Swedish one were both too wide for the space it has to fit!  So I adapted Carla’s pattern to meet her requirements.

DSCN2170For this style of bag the first thing I needed to do was find a coat hanger.  I didn’t have any wooden ones, but I did have these free plastic ones, so I cut them to size with a hacksaw.  I snapped off the teeth underneath and smoothed the rough edges with some sandpaper. 

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Next I drew up a new narrow and long pattern piece, and traced around the hanger to make the pattern to fit.  I cut out the exterior, lining and interfacing (I used Vilene S320 which is a fusible; firm but flexible) and ironed it to the back of the exterior fabric.  Then I just followed the instructions.

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Here is the finished bag, Long Thin Peggy!  I’m fairly pleased with it, it meets all her requirements, and holds a generous amount of pegs.  This project will introduce;

How to line an opening 
Sewing round a curve 
Top stitching

Cutting Mat Bag

Well, I think I’m ready, I just need to write a list of all the equipment I need to take with me as she hasn’t acquired much yet. The first thing will be my cutting board, mat and ruler, which all fit in this bag I made for myself when I first bought it.  Seems a long time ago now, time flies when you are sewing!

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Well on our day of sewing we made another change.  My niece wanted the two bags to match as they would be hanging together, so we skipped the hanger inside the peg bag, and added a hanging tab and loop instead.  I’m pleased to say she did manage to finish both her Peg Bag and Carrier Bag Holder, and here they are hanging side by side in her kitchen.

 

One thought on “Planning a Sewing Workshop

  1. Beginner’s Tips; One of the things she needed to know was that starting sewing from the edge of your fabric is sometimes awkward, and that you can start a little way in and backstitch instead!

    What handy tips would you pass on?