Introduction: Take Along Embroidery Bag
This project is for all of you crafters who need more time to work on your small projects. I designed an embroidery bag several months ago for myself and loved it so much, I made some more and changed it up a bit. I have embroidered almost all my life. I have found that if I keep my small hand sewing projects in a purse or bag, I finish them up fairly quickly.
Follow along to see how to make a Take along bag with a, scissor holder, thimble bag, pockets, and unique ways to store your thread! Follow through and let's get started~
Step 1: Fabric and Tools
Please note that I did not use the metal tape or magnetic strips because I used a button and flap instead.
Take a Long Bag:
One print and one solid cotton and a contrasting fabric, one for the body of the bag and one for the lining as well as the pocket, scissor pocket, and thimble bag.
Fusible interfacing, Sewing thread, Embroidery thread, Embroidery hoop 6 or 8 inch, Embroidery and sewing needles, sewing pins, sewing scissors, mini scissors,clothes pins large and mini, skewer, ribbon, glue, Accessories for filling the bag, embroidery machine or hand embroider, PC and printer, iron/board, two sided tape, pen or pencil, tracing paper, embroidery transfer pencil, Sulky Solvy, tape measure, batting or stuffing,ribbon,and a lighter to singe the ribbons ends. Fabric or heavy ribbon for the handles of the bag, One Button for the bag closure, Embroidery Text pattern or print the one I made.
Here is where I got the fabric stabilizer or transfer for the designs .
Step 2: Make a Pattern If You Don't Have One
I make a lot of my own patterns because I can't find the one I am looking for. I wanted a card to include with this bag that matched the fabric so I took a picture of the fabric and added text to it and will include it with the gift. This card is just a quick sample of what you can do. I also made a rose pattern by tracing the fabric and outlining it with a transfer pencil and I embroidered it to make a thimble bag. I made the scissor pouch pattern by outlining my scissors and because they had a heart shaped handle, I made the heart shape.
Step 3: Set Up Work Station
Gather tools and supplies:
Please note that I did not use the metal tape or magnetic strips because I used a button and flap instead.
You can make these bags the size that you need. I embroidered the designs before I cut the fabric so I made sure I added extra fabric to be on the safe side. I do this because often times when I make my own patterns, I come up too short.
Take a Long Bag:
Print and solid cotton contrasting fabric, one for the body of the bag and one for the lining as well as the pocket, scissor pocket, and thimble bag. The finished bag and liner are approximately 20 1/8 X 10 1/2 add more for seams and a double hem. Extra if you want the print to overlap the front of the bag. The small pocket is approximately 6 1/2 X 3 1/2 finished; add extra for seams and double hem. The heart pouch is about 5 inches from the bottom point to the center point of the heart add extra for seam allowances.
Fusible interfacing for the pockets, button closure, and scissor pouch.
Embroidery hoop 6 or 8 inch
Embroidery and sewing needles, sewing pins, sewing scissors, mini scissors,clothes pins large and mini, skewer, ribbon, glue, Accessories for filling the bag, embroidery machine or hand embroider, pc and printer, iron/board, two sided tape, pen or pencil, tracing paper, embroidery transfer pencil, Silky Solvy, tape measure, batting or stuffing,ribbon,and a lighter to singe the ribbons ends.
Fabric or heavy ribbon for the handles of the bag.
One button for the bag closure.
Embroidery Text pattern or print the one I made.
Step 4: Pattern and Gift Card
I had a very difficult time trying to find a white embroidery transfer pencil for black fabrics. I thought it was because I live in a small town BUT I looked online and the only ones I could find were chalk and did not hold up through the embroidery process.
I finally discovered Silky Solvy and used it. You place the paper fabric sheets in the printer paper tray and print the pattern onto the Silky Solvy. They work wonderful for dark fabrics. You do not need to reverse the text if using them. After the needlework is done, you wash the fabric in plain warm water by hand and the fabric solvy dissolves. I suggest using a damp sponge to remove all the residue otherwise the design might still have some residue in some areas of the cloth. All in all I was happy with the results.
Another thing to consider when using this product, is make use of the entire page or what you don't use can't be placed in the printer, the second time around that I am aware of.
I took a picture of the fabric so I could order prints with text that would match the bag and I placed the picture in the pocket of the Take A Long bag.
You can use embroidery transfer pencils to transfer the image to the fabric if you prefer but good luck with the darker fabrics. If anyone knows where to find something that works for dark fabrics, please do leave a comment, I would love to know about another options.
Step 5: Transfer Design to the Fabric
If you have an embroidery machine go ahead and embroider the design in the center of the bag following the sewing machine book instructions. I bet it would look amazing~
Press the fabric you will be embroidering to remove the wrinkles before applying the Solvy.
Fold the fabric in half to form a rectangle. Next fold the fabric again to form a square. Turn the fabric so the fold is at the bottom.
Remove the backing from the Silky Solvy and position the text where you would like it to be on the fabric and gently press using your fingers to stick the image to the fabric. I do not recommend pressing hard because it is not necessary and it will make it more difficult to remove the Silky Solvy later on.
Place the embroidery hoop over the image and embroider the text. I made two of these and this text was a little more difficult to embroider than the bag, I am showing through this instructable. Unfortunately, I did not have a picture of this step with the better font.
Step 6: Remove the Silky Solvy From the Fabric
To remove the Silky Solvy follow the instructions on the package. I cut away any loose extra Solvy and I used warm water and let the fabric soak a little longer than the directions and used a sponge to help remove the excess that was left over.
Step 7: Make Pattern for Scissors Holder
Scissor Holder Pattern:
To make a pattern for the small embroidery scissors holder, I outlined the scissors making a heart shape as shown and then made another heart shape and cut off the rounded areas to form the pocket section of the scissor holder.
Step 8: Make Scissor Holder
Cut 2 full size hearts from the print fabric.
Cut 2 full size hearts from the iron on interfacing.I used a heavy facing but I recommend a medium weight.
Cut 2 half hearts from print fabric.
Cut 2 half hearts from interfacing.
Trim the interfacing so it will not fall inside a seam as shown. This will make it easier to turn the pocket right side out after it is sewn.
Press the interfacing to the full size heart and the half heart.
Either machine stitch or hand sew the full size heart front to back with right sides together, leaving an opening as shown, to turn the heart right side out after clipping the curves, using a sharp point for the point of the heart. Press with an iron and close the gap by turning under a narrow seam and close the opening by hand sewing.
Sew the half heart as shown and turn right side out using a skewer to make that nice point and press with an iron.
Step 9: Position and Sew Scissor Pocket to the Take Along Bag
To decide what size pocket to make, I used an index card and placed the scissor pocket on the Take Along Bag. Then I cut the pocket and the interfacing about 6X8 inches. I forgot to cut the pocket on a fold to reduce time but when you cut out the pocket, place the bottom edge on the fold. Please remember to trim off the interfacing so it does not fall in the seam.
Iron the interfacing to the pocket.
Fold the pocket as shown (using a very narrow hem) and sew the top opening with a double hem but leave the sides, until the pocket is pinned to the Take along Bag and sewn in the next step.
Sew the half heart to the full size heart to form the pocket. I hand stitched mine but you could use a sewing machine.
Place the scissors into the pocket and estimate where to sew the ribbon. Stitch the ribbon about an inch long and then tie the scissors looping the ribbon through the scissor handles as shown to see if it works OK. I singed the ribbon ends with a lighter. Remove the scissors and set aside while you sew the scissor pocket to the Take A Long Bag.
Pin the scissor pocket to the Take A Long bag and hand stitch to secure or use a sewing machine.
Step 10: Sew Pocket
Sew the pocket:
Position and sew the remaining pocket to the Take A Long Bag.
This pocket is designed to place seam ripper, thread, needles and things you need while sewing the project. When you are finished simply place these items in the plastic bags to secure and put them in the large bag until needed.
Step 11: Sew Take Along Bag
Before we sew the seams to the bag, we need to attach the handles. I estimated how long I wanted them to be and cut them 11 inches long.
Position and sew the handles to the bag. " Be sure to estimate the seam allowance when you position them on the bag so they will be centered on the bag.
Sew the seams of the Take A Long Bag:
With right sides together fold the Take Along bag lengthwise as shown.
Sew the side seam and across the bottom of the bag as shown. Please note, the bottom of the bag will become the top of the bag after it is sewn and folded.
Turn the bag right side out and press.
Step 12: Sew Lining
The picture may confuse you a little so let me explain. I wanted to use the printed fabric for the lining but it was a little too short. I added white fabric to the print so the white part of the fabric would be closer to the bottom of the bag. The printed fabric could then be overlapped on the front of the bag for accent.
It is time to sew the lining:
With right sides together fold the lining to form a rectangle.
Sew the short end and the long edge of the lining, leaving one end open ( in my case the printed end).
Press the lining and trim loose threads.
Place the lining inside the Take A Long bag and smooth out all the wrinkles so the lining fits nicely inside the Take Along bag. I cut my lining longer; so I could have a nice wide hem that could be seen on the front of the bag.
I folded the lining and the black fabric together towards the front of the bag making a double hem and sewed the hem and pressed.
Step 13: Sew Button and Flap
Sew the Button and Flap:
Center the button on the Take a Long Bag and sew.
Cut a small piece of printed fabric and interfacing the same size.
Iron the interfacing to the print flap fabric.
Fold following the pictures and press.
Sew around all four sides as shown.
Make a button hole and trim the threads and using the seam ripper make the button hole opening as shown.
Test the button hole by buttoning the button to the flap. Pin the flap to the back of the Take A Long bag
and unbutton the button.
Sew the flap to the take A Long Bag.
Step 14: Thimble Bag
Sew the Thimble Bag:
As I mentioned earlier, I traced the flower design from the fabric and outlined it with a red transfer pencil and transferred the design to the fabric. I embroidered it and the pictures are pretty clear how I made a draw string bag and how I threaded a piece of ribbon through the casing to form the draw string.I used a lighter to singe the ends so they would not ravel.
Step 15: Organizing the Contents
Thread Organizer and Bags:
Embroidery thread can get very messy! I purchased some large and mini clothes pins for this kit to store the thread on. I used two sided tape to start the first thread, then I wrapped the thread around the clothes pin and I took the end and taped it as shown.
I used the small clothes pins for the extra thread that was left over before putting the kit away. I used the large clothes pins to store the skeins that will be used for the project and for the thread that has not been separated.
Store them in zip lock bags or you could use clear vinyl and make your own bags.I cut a small hole to thread the bags on a ring.
Step 16: Collapsible Thread Catcher
The collapsible thread catcher was a fun addition, however, I should have made a video. I will do the best I can to describe how to make one. I saw Angie's Bits and pieces video on how she made hers and I made some modifications to include a lid with a pin cushion. I also made the measurements a little larger and changed some of the methods, making it a little easier to sew. Follow through in the next few steps to see how to make one.
Tools and supplies:
Clothes pins optional not shown
Empty Pringles can or a tubed can
Cardboard about the strength of a cereal box that is approx a 12 inch strip and a 1/2 inch wide hard plastic strip slightly shorter.
Cotton scraps, I used a print and solid.
Cotton batting or stuffing. I used raw wool to make the circle a little puffier for the pin cushion lid.
Sewing scissors and crafting scissors and box cutter.
Needle and thread
Crafting glue or hot glue
Credit: Angie's Bits and pieces collapsible thread catcher.
Step 17: Prep Work for Collapsible Thread Catcher
Remove the metal ring from the Pringles can (Optional)
Cut a slice from the Pringles can about 1 inch wide. We used 3/4 inch but I think 1 inch might be better.
Cut a piece of the hard plastic strip approx 10 inches long X 3/4 of an inch wide, from a milk jug or something flexible enough to bend.
Position the plastic strip inside the Pringles ring and trim the plastic to make an exact fit and glue it inside the Pringles ring as shown.
Mark and cut 2 circles from the cardboard,1/8 inch smaller than the circumference inside the ring of the Pringles can.
Cut 2 circles from the cotton batting the same size as the cardboard circles.
Cut 2 circles of the fabric 1 inch larger than the cardboard circles. I used a flower print and positioned the flower in the center of the circle.
Cut a rectangle from the cotton fabric 10 1/2 inches ( this measurement includes the 1/2 inch addition for the seam allowance; to the circumference of the Pringles can), this section goes around the tube: X 8 inches; which will be the height of the thread catcher.
Step 18: Sew the Circles
We will be making the base for the bag:
Make a running stitch around both cloth circles.
Place the batting circle inside one cloth circle as shown.
Lay the cardboard over the batting as shown.
Pull the thread to gather the fabric, so it forms a circle around the cardboard and secure the thread and cut off the extra thread as shown. Repeat with the remaining circle.
Sew both circles together as shown.
Step 19: Bag and Circle
Making the tube:
I modified the bag section and took new pictures using the red fabric to explain the change. The part I changed was, I basted the short ends of the tube section of the bag, before I stitched the short ends of the bag together. Doing it this way will make the sewing much easier when sewing the covered cardboard to the base of the tube. Follow the instructions but remember to refer to the red cloth for the modified instructions.
Press the long sides of the rectangle fabric 1/4 inches along both sides as shown and baste leaving long strings to pull later on (this is optional but it helps when you sew the round covered cardboard piece to the tube later on.
Fold the fabric rectangle in half with right sides together and sew the 8 inch sides together using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the seam open.
While the fabric is still wrong side out, fold it lengthwise slightly and thread it through the Pringles ring and fold the fabric down over the rim of the thread catcher. Continue folding the fabric over the ring until the ends are even, matching the seam allowance. Pull slightly to tighten the fabric around the tube and hold the fabric in place using a clothes pin and make a running stitch around the bottom edge of the ring to secure the ring to the fabric tube.
Push the inside layer up through the ring up and out. Place one covered cardboard circle inside the tube and pin the circle to the fabric tube as shown. Slightly gather the basting stitch so the excess fabric will snug up to the cardboard circle and pin to secure. Sew a whip stitch all the way around the tube as shown. Carefully remove the basting stitch. Push the circle back through the tube as shown and repeat this process at the other end of the tube as shown.
Step 20: How to Collapse the Thread Bag
Close the thread bag to store:
Twist and turn by following the pictures.
Step 21: Pin Cushion Lid
Sewing the pin cushion:
The pin cushion is nice because it is a pin cushion as well as a lid for the thread bag. You could use a small lid to stuff the padded section into, instead of gluing the cushion directly to the lid. I made one that had a clear lid and the bottom of the bag had a rose centered that could be seen when the lid was on the thread catcher.
Choose a method of your choice to make the pin cushion or just use the inside twisted fabric to stick the needle into. I loved the idea of making the pin cushion though. I made the cushion like a yoyo but very small and then I pulled the thread tight to form a small ball and glued a piece of scrap colored cardboard to the top of the lid and then glued the rose in the center of it and glued a ribbon on the sides of the lid.
I cut a small circle and basted it like the others and slightly pulled it to fit the under side of the lid and glued it. The lid fits too loose if nothing is added to the inside rim of the lid.
Step 22: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
The Take A Long Embroidery Bag was great fun creating. I am very pleased with this particular one though, because of the added thimble bag, pin cushion, and scissor pouch, thread organizers and the collapsible thread catcher. I also love the embroidered text! They are great time savers for any needle work hobbyists. I hope you make one for yourself!
Thanks for stopping by and do have a safe and happy February!
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