FRIDAY ! FREEBIES Elegant Evening Bag from Scraps of Fabric

What can you do with tiny scraps? Today I’ll demonstrate with a free tutorial using scraps, Steam-A-Seam and decorative stitching. You may recognize some of these fabrics from last Friday’s bag.

The end result of all those scraps - an elegant evening bag.

The end result of all those scraps – an elegant evening bag.

Let’s get started.

You’ll need:

  • scraps of fabric that ‘go’ together
  • 12″ X 12″ Steam-A-Seam (you can use iron-on interfacing but you have to create it on the ironing board as pieces will fly as soon as you move them).
  • 12″ X 12″ lining fabric
  • 8″ X 8″ flap fabric, 8″ X 8″ batting, 8″ X 8″ sandwich backing fabric and 8″ X 8″ lining fabric.
  • Coordinating threads
  • Button or pin to embellish, if you want.
Step One: Organize and cut up your scraps.

Step One: Organize and cut up your scraps.

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Be careful cutting the scraps. Without a ruler, it’s easy to cut yourself – as I did.

Step 2: Cut out a piece of Steam-A-Seam in 12″ X 12″. Fortunately, it comes in 12″ widths.

Step 3: Cut a backing fabric of 12″ X 12″

Step 4: Lay Steam-A-Seam on top of the backing fabric with the grid side up. Press lightly (important!). If you press too long you will destroy the second sticking effect of the Steam-A-Seam.

Press Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 on the wrong side of the backing fabric.

Press Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 on the wrong side of the backing fabric.

Step 5: Peel off the grid layer and you’ll feel that the top of your backing fabric is now sticky. Begin placing your scraps at random onto the backing fabric. One of the advantages of Steam-A-Seam is that you can reposition the pieces as you wish since it will stick again.

s10234Step Five: Once you’re satisfied with your layout, iron the fabric scraps on the backing fabric with a more thorough ironing.

5Step Six: Head to the sewing machine. Here’s your chance to practice your free-motion skills. You’ll see that mine aren’t yet that good but with all the fabrics, the lines won’t show too much….fortunately!

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I used shiny gold thread to create a spiral on top of the free motion squiggles (the only word that can describe my messy free motion.)

I used shiny gold thread (on the front) to create a spiral on top of the free motion squiggles (the only word that can describe my messy free motion.)

Step 7: Prepare your flap. The flap measures approximately 8″ X 8″. Cut also batting and a backing fabric in the same size. Also, cut a lining fabric in the same size. To start, quilt the top of the flap. I used some straight lines in green and then did some decorative stitching in gold.

Under side of decorative stitching.

Under side of decorative stitching.

Continue step seven by placing the flap and lining, right sides together and sewing around three sides leave open the side that will attach to the back of the bag.

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Turn and press the flap and do an overcast stitch on the raw edge. I placed the flap about 3" down the back and in the center from right to left. Stitch, press and turn over. Then top stitch.

Turn and press the flap and do an overcast stitch on the raw edge. I placed the flap about 3″ down the back and in the center from right to left.

Stitch, press and turn over. Then top stitch. Don't top stitch all the way up or you'll not be able to apply the lining.

Stitch, press and turn over. Then top stitch. Don’t top stitch all the way up or you’ll not be able to apply the lining.

Step 8: Prepare the lining and, if you want, a pocket. Cut the lining the same size as the bag fabric, 12″ X 12″. If you want a pocket, create one now and sew it to the right side of the lining. Be sure to put it far enough down so it doesn’t conflict with the seam sewing the bag to the lining.

13Step 9: Create a strap for the bag. I couldn’t find a nice metal one so made one from a braid using two strands of necklace leather and one strand of white and gold ribbon. Mine is about 30″ long.

Tip for braiding without help - stick one end under your sewing machine needle and braid from there.

Tip for braiding without help – stick one end under your sewing machine needle and braid from there.

Step 10: Assemble the bag. Sew the side seams on the main fabric and on the lining. I left about 3″ open on one side of the lining so I could turn it inside out later. Attach the straps to the outside of the main fabric at the seams. Now, put the right side of the bag in the pocket made by the lining. The lining will be right side inside and wrong side (seams showing) outside. Be sure the strap, flap and everything is stuffed inside. Now, match the seams of the lining and main fabric all the way around. Sew.

Step 11: Finishing. Turn the bag right side out. Press and then top stitch all the way around the top of the bag. I broke at least one needle sewing over my straps so be careful.

Step 12: Embellish. I started out using a pretty button from my favourite button supplier, Mission Clay Works, but then wasn’t sure if I liked it. Here are some options using various sparkly pins. See which you like best…nothing is also an option since the flap is nicely decorated already.

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Another view of the finished back of the bag.

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Sweet Pea Quilting carries everything you’ll need for this project. I used Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 which provides the stickiness without the bulk. You’ll always receive a warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting.

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