Japanese Knot Bag Pattern #3

Since last week I have been working hard to make a decent inventory of Knotty Jewelry.  I’ve learned several macrame knots and how to connect beads to create some lovely pieces.  I will post more about the bracelets (what I’ve made the most) as well as tutorials and photos soon.  I’ve been delaying the post because I don’t have a great way to display the jewelry yet.  I’m researching some DIY displays, so maybe next week I can post something about the jewelry.

In the meantime, I wanted to do a follow-up post to the Japanese Knot Bag postings from a few weeks back.  If you remember, I posted a lovely small bag with a pattern and then a medium sized bag with a wonderful pattern.  You can find the original two patterns here and here.

Let me start this with the disclaimer that I am a beginner at sewing.  This is the third JKB that I have made and each one was easier than the one before.  I say this because both of the links to the free patterns I used were very informative and helpful….so, if you know what you are doing, either pattern will probably make the perfect bag for you.

The first two bags were kept uniform with the same material pattern around the entire bag.  Since I was branching out on my own with this bag in particular, I purposely used two fat quarters with similar patterns but different color shades.  I also did not use a fleece liner but kept it cotton fabric.  It keeps the bag lighter for turning and doesn’t affect it’s usefulness in the least.

To start, you will need to cut the pattern found in this post.  I love the round bottom on the pattern.  It gives the bag shape so when I set it on a table, it doesn’t fall over!

Alright, let’s talk about assembly now because I use this post for the instructions on how to put the pieces together.  It starts with joining the seams of the pieces together following the instructions.

JKB #3 Together and Turned

This is what my bag looks like at this stage.  I have the lining of the bag sewn to the two outside pieces and the seam follows the side and across the “U” of the bag.

Now it is time to pin and sew the bottom to the piece.  There is one circle for the interior of the bag and one for the outside.  I just picked the material I had more of, so the bottom of my bag matches the panel on the left in the photo.

Let’s start pinning.

JKB #3 Pinning Bottom 2

JKB #3 Pinning Bottom Other Side

Now you should have the right sides pinned together for the lining to be completed and another for the outside panels.  Sew the bottoms on with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Tuck the liner into the outside piece and follow the final assembly instructions.

After a nice press, this is my finished piece:

JKB #3 Finished Piece Side B

I love this bag!!!  I use it as my main purse.  The size of this bag holds just enough of my essentials I can run errands with it AND when you secure the top, you can place the whole bag inside a larger bag and not have to worry about combining purses for bigger days out.  Let’s not forget the best part about the Japanese Knot Bag is the ability to be hands free while keeping your items securely in your grasp.

I hope you love all three of the bags I created using this pattern or combination of patterns.  I expect I will be making more of these to add to my craft fair inventory….and more for me!!

Make one for yourself.  I promise you won’t regret it!

 

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Japanese Knot Bag Pattern #2

wrote this week about a beautiful Japanese Knot Bag I created and posted the link  to the free pattern I used.  The past three days I have been able to put the smaller bag to use on a daily basis and I love it more now than I did when I first finished the bag!!!

Today I want to expand on the first posting for two reasons: (1) the assembly instructions for the first bag are difficult to follow for a beginning pattern, (2) the options for larger bag sizes are available for free and the templates show different assemblies to try.

So, before my sewing machine had a chance to cool down from the first bag project, I grabbed up some scrap fabric I had and some fleece and got started on this pattern.  The dimensions of this bag are just slightly larger than the first bag, but the set up for the bag itself is different with a sloped base versus the circle bottom of the other pattern.  It makes the piece easier to work up since you would be working with less cuts and less connections.  Both patterns do say that you can use a lining or not use a lining.  For this piece I used the lining as the inner fabric of the bag.

The bag turned out lovely and the turn work and hand sewing aspects of this pattern are so much easier to understand and work through as a beginner than the first post was.  Here is what my finished piece looks like.

Japanese Knot Bag Medium Size

It is large enough to hold a small crochet project and that works well for me during long car rides.  It will take up less foot space than my current bag and it will keep my travel project small enough I will stay focused, lol!

The pattern provided by The Chilly Dog is so comprehensive and easy to work that I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern when I put it together.  I did make the job really easy by using a cotton fabric for the outside and a pretty white fleece fabric for the interior.

Before I put away my work, I created one more Japanese Knot Bag using the pattern from here and used assembly instructions from here to create a bag that I thought had the greatest attributes from both patterns.  If you are advanced at sewing then you may be able to figure out how I put the pattern from one with the assembly from another…..for those of you who don’t know how to do that or just wanna see how I did it, check back.  I will post the third installment during the holiday break.

Happy Hooking!

 

These Japanese Knot Bags are Amazing!

So, yesterday I woke up with nothing pressing on my to do list and after quieting the household; I grabbed a fresh hot cup of coffee and starting scrolling my Pinterest boards.  Some days I will just scroll the home page boards until I find something interesting to do.  Yesterday I knew I wanted to make something for myself and I had already decided that I wanted to sew something so the project would work up within the day.

From my sewing board I found lots of wonderful ideas for things to make and sell at craft fairs or things I could make as gifts for others….I even found the cute items I could make for my kitchen…lots of things, but nothing got me excited until I came across a pin I created for a Japanese Knot Bag.

Japanese Knot Bag.jpg

Isn’t it fantastic?!?

I love smaller purses.  I have a giant bag that I carry every important thing I could possibly need while away from home; buried inside that monstrosity I normally carry a smaller bag with essentials for a quick run into the store or a day out and about.

I found the free template pattern and directions for putting it all together here.  It’s a nice template, everything prints well and the directions come with photos to help.  The link is to a direct pdf download….that is how I found it on Pinterest.  I am sure there are more patterns and photos at Show Your Workings, however I wanted to get right to making this bag, so I haven’t had time to go back and see what’s there.

Here is a photo of it laid out after the final sewing.

Japanese Knot Bag2.jpg

For this pattern I did use a lining of fleece to give it some thickness.  It worked up well, but that added layer of fabric to work with for a first try threw me off more than once and a pattern that I should have worked up in an hour or less took me most of the day.

Maybe I was just having an off day….maybe I wasn’t able to pay attention to the directions like I would normally if I wasn’t so distracted with other things on my mind…..well, no matter the excuses, it was a tough pattern to finally put together.

In the end I was so tired of fidgeting with the pattern that I wanted to avoid the hand sewing aspects of this pattern at all costs……so, I ended up with a rough edged short handle.  It is on the inside of the work and barely visible, but I know it’s there.

Having said that, I do love this bag!!  I have been thinking about replacing my store bought purse since summer.  I couldn’t wait to stuff all my things into my new bag.  I’m happy to report that everything fits perfectly!!!!

After a quick photo shoot with the new bag and I wanted to jump online to find another free pattern for a larger size of the same bag.  My thought was I could use a larger one to replace my other store bought bag or if that wasn’t feasible; I could always use it to carry my crochet projects around with me.  When it’s a “can’t lose” project, I normally can’t wait to get started and this was no different.

Check out the second bag that I made yesterday…

Japanese Knot Bag Medium Size.jpg

Come back tomorrow and I will share the free pattern I found for this medium sized bag.  This one looks more professional than my first bag and it was easier to put together also….I’ll tell you all about it….tomorrow 🙂

I would love to see your Japanese Knot Bag if you make one.  The smaller one could be done in a day or less if you are faster with patterns and sewing than I.  So, if you are thinking about one for yourself; Do It!!!  You won’t regret it!  Then come back and tell me all about it!

Happy Hooking!

Shopping, Stitches and Projects

Last week I was able to turn a request from my daughter into a trip to one of my favorite craft stores 🙂  I’d call that a win any day! We spent the better part of a day last week just wandering around looking at all the cute Spring décor and projects the store was displaying.  After putting a decent dent in the budget with a yarnstravaganza, I started working on one of the projects I purchased supplies for. Shopping Trip

The creation my daughter wants is a slightly larger than toddler sized backpack for my granddaughter to use in lieu of a diaper bag.  My granddaughter will be three in just a handful of weeks and she needs something that will carry a few pull-ups, wipes, a change of clothes, a cup, a toy or 10 and maybe a favorite stuffed animal.  The plan is to make something that will grow with her for a little while.  I decided to look up the average sizing for toddler backpacks and adult backpacks and come to a measurement that I hope will be sufficient without being too large for her to carry by herself.

I began the pattern and started writing it out as I was creating it.  I really just got started when I ran out of yarn….it’s the big beautiful skeins of t-shirt yarn and if you have looked locally in your town, I bet you have found the same limited selections I have.  My second trip to the craft store for more of the same yarn I was using proved unsuccessful.  I found yarn, but not in my color and although the accent color would have been great for another project, it would not work for this one, so I had to table this project until my store stocks more some time next week.  When I start this project up again I will be sure to post pictures AND a pattern for you to use and I’m so excited to see how it will turn out.

In the meantime, I lost my cloth bag that I put my sunglasses in, so I needed to replace it quickly before I destroyed my super cute pair of sunglasses for this summer….and a pouch pattern becomes extended into a perfect carrier for my sunglasses and a template for a wonderful woven cross body cellphone bag.  Sunglass Case

This bag seems indestructible because of how tight the weave pattern is.  Nothing…I mean nothing is going to fall out of the sides or between the stitches!  The stitch I used is called the Tunisian Stitch and boy does this stitch feed my OCD!!!!  I’m going to post a link to the tutorial for this slightly complicated stitch.  I would consider it at the very least an intermediate stitch to learn and work with.  The sunglass case I made is small enough that you won’t need the special hook that the tutorial call for, but you will need it if you love this stitch like I do and want to do larger projects…(I’m working on a purse for my daughter already!!)

I hope you grab some scrap yarn and just give this a try.  You might be surprised at how easy it is to pick up and work.  The woven pattern assures that you won’t drop a stitch…at least not without knowing it.   If you do make anything, I’d love to hear about it and see your work, so message me in the comments below.  Happy Hooking!!

Aqua Beach Tote

I definitely have summer on my mind.  It’s a little surprising given that the weather here has gone from sunny and in the 80’s last week,  to a chilly rainy mess.  Still, it is spring and that means that the pool will be open in just a handful of weeks.  About the pool….

It’s rare that I go to the pool by myself and even if I plan a solo trip for some sun Aqua Toteworshiping I pack for everyone just in case.  Last summer I carried this wonderful oversized duffel bag that I had purchased from my friend’s Thirty-One Purse party.  It held everything!!  When I say everything, I mean it held four beach towels, pool toys, sunscreen and not sunscreens, drinks and snacks…everything.

I love it and I will use it again this year, but I’d like to have a duffel to put the wet items in and know that they will dry out quickly.  I followed a wonderful pattern for a market tote that you can find here.  While you are at Daisy Cottage Designs, check out more of her free patterns and find some great inspiration for another project. I modified the design slightly to create a larger bag for my pool needs, but I will be making the market tote size in this pattern as well.  It’s great for a beginner just starting out and it’s got the repetition of stitch work that I like.  If you want to make the larger version, just follow her pattern and use t-shirt cotton yarn and a K Hook.

Although this bag is beautiful in its simplicity, the picture of the market tote displays a large color contrasting flower.  I admit I was inspired to add one to my beach tote and after a quick search through my bookmarks, I found the pattern I love the most for its size.  You can find the Triple Threat Flower here.  It’s a lovely flower that pairs well with a button in the middle and enough size to really makeTriple Double Flower an impact.

 

After one day of work and a skein and a half of Bernat’s Home Décor Yarn, I’m ready to tackle the pool or the beach with this lovely soft unique beach tote.  I hope you will give these two patterns a try; make yourself a beach tote, a market tote, or just a pretty flower to embellish a headband you already own.

Summer Teal Cross Body Bag

My obsession with pouches has moved on to the next level!  Over the pasSummer Purse Teal-Multi 4t month I have been trying some different stitch styles attempting to design a functional hand bag that would also be so uniquely mine.  It had to be a bag I would be excited to show the world.  After several near hits and a few miserable fails, I am thrilled to share this Summer  Cross Body  Bag.

I chose a cotton yarn because I thought that would be a great medium for a summer item.  Also, I tend to stitch loosely, so the cotton yarn should offer some stability and a little less stretch.  I do think that this bag would be beautiful no matter the yarn chosen.

 

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Perfectly Pretty Pouches

Necessity is the mother of all invention, right?  Well, that’s how this cute little pouch pattern came about.  I work in the restaurant industry and often have trouble keeping my cash in my apron.  One busy afternoon I was fighting to shove the wadPouches of loose bills deeper inside the pocket when I realized that it was only a matter of time before some of my hard earned money would slip out and hit the floor, so after a few failed attempts…..a perfectly pretty pouch.

The pattern is simple for beginners, can be made in a variety of sizes and the use of buttons/baubles is endless.  I wanted this particular pouch to be stretchy and durable so I opted to use worsted weight acrylic yarn.  Of course, there are several mediums that would work for this pattern and purpose.  If you choose cotton yarn, it will be durable and survive through endless washing, but it won’t be as stretchy as the acrylic yarn.  Using t-shirt yarn could be the best of both worlds and I will be trying that medium on the next pouch I create. Continue reading