We’re loving the bright, bold and embellished fabrics that have been hitting the shops this year – from parrots to palm trees, the trend doesn’t just have to be for summer. Stitchyour own take on the style with this slightly-quilted bag which makes use of a quirky design.
- Fabric:cotton; Flamingo Paradise, 25cm (with the design centralised); printed,
- m; various (quantities as detailed) Felt: 25cm square,
- Any colour Beads: seed, glass; bugle; in colours to match Embroidery hoop
- 20cm Bag handles bamboo
- Trim the following from printed cotton:
- Bag lining: one 30cm x 60cm piece
- Bag front and back: one 30cm x 60cm piece
- Gussets: two 7cm x 80cm pieces
- Ruffles: two 6cm x 1m strips
- Ruffle edge: 3cm x 70cm
- 30cm square (excluding handles)
Make a tropical bag
Press a 25cm piece of flamingo print cotton and place over a square of felt, right sides facing outwards. Fit both layers tightly into an embroidery hoop and, using coordinating embroidery thread, backstitch around the printed motifs, working through both layers at once to give a quilted effect.
Pick out and embellish areas of the print (flowers, birds,scenery) with tiny glass beads, hand stitched closely together. Sew a selection of randomly scattered beads in other background areas to add texture and interest.
Remove the fabric from the frame and tack a line of stitches around the picture, using the indent left by the frame as a guide. Turn over and trim the felt layer close to the line. Cut the printed fabric into a circle, 2cm bigger than the tacked line. Fold the edges of the cotton over the felt and sew down, to make a neat circular panel.
Locate the template on page 83 and use it to cut the bag front and back pieces from brightly-patterned cotton. Press and lay one piece flat. Position the flamingo panel in the centre and draw around it in pencil, 1cm out from the edge. This pencil line will be used as a guide for the ruffles. Draw a second pencil circle around the panel, 1cm out from the first.
Cut one 6cm x 1m ruffle from printed cotton, take shorter strips of fabric and sew them together into a continuous 1m length if necessary. Fold the strip in half lengthways and press one short end to the wrong side. Starting from the bottom of the bag, place the raw edge on the larger circle pencil line. Make a small pleat and hand stitch to secure. Continue pleating and sewing with backstitch all the way around. Trim and fold the tail of the strip in when you reach the end.
Add the second row of ruffles in the same way, following the smaller pencil circle. When complete, cover the raw edges with the 3cm wide strip of fabric, first folding under 1cm along one edge and oversewing into place. Use running stitches to gather the raw edge of the strip before pinning the beaded flamingo panel centrally over the top. Oversew the panel into place, enclosing all raw edges.
Stitch a 7cm x 80cm gusset strip to the edge of the bag front, with right sides together. Pin and stitch the bag back into place along the opposite edge. Turn right sides out and topstitch the seams with tiny running stitches. Repeat to form the bag lining. Turn 1cm to the wrong side along the top edge of both the bag and the lining then press.
Cut four 8cm squares of leftover fabric to form bag handle loops. Fold each piece in half lengthways with right sides together and stitch along the long edge to form a tube. Turn out and slip each tube through the metal loops of the handles before folding in half and stitching together along the bottom edge. Pin the stitched sides to the inside top of the bag, 1.5cm below the edge.
Place the lining inside the bag so that the wrong sides are facing. Line up both top edges and pin before slip stitching together, securing the handle loops as you work. Strengthen the seam by topstitching with a small running stitch.