Although I always seem to have more bags than I know what to do with, I didn't have a suitable bag for choir. I wanted a dedicated bag, so I wouldn't be chasing up music and pencils and so on every week. I had a bit of a cursory look online for patterns but found nothing that really appealed to me, or met all my criteria:
- big enough for my current folder of music, with potential for more to come
- holder for my water bottle
- pocket for my choir scarf
- pockets for tea, pencils, erasers, and odd bits and bobs
Our choir is called Jacaranda Jam (we're on Youtube at a school function, where we were 'invited guest performers' - Song 1, Song 2, Song 3). Our 'uniform' is black and purple with the choir scarf, which is a swirl of blues, greens, and purples. I wanted my bag to reflect that colour scheme.
My plan became to make a simple tote - a rectangular bag, with a quilted outer, lining, pockets and shoulder straps. No fasteners or fancy bits. Just simplicity. I did not take photos as I went but the basic steps I took were:
1. Piece the squares together into a 6 x 10 'mini quilt top'. The bag is just this one piece.
2. Quilt the top and iron-on pellon with a fancy stitch over all the seams. I ummed and ahhed about whether to use bag wadding, which is stiff, but decided I didn't really need the bag to stand up on its own.
4. Sew the pockets. All the pockets are double layers; no hems.
5. Sew the pockets to the lining fabric. The bottle holder has no base, and on a side seam. I used my actual water bottle to determine where to attach the sides of the holder. If the holder is sewn flat against the lining, it will pull.
6. Sew the lining into a tube, and partially sew the bottom seam in from both corners (about 4 or 5 inches).
7. Sew the outer into a bag.
8. Sew the base corners (this site has great instructions for box corners) in the outer and lining.
9. Sew the handles.
10. Pin the handles, outer and lining together and sew around the top opening. Refill bobbin.
|This little gap of about 4 stitches is where my bobbin ran out while sewing the outer and lining together.|
11. Reinforce the handles. Because they come out from between the outer and lining, I folded them down the outer about an inch and then back up. Over that double layer I stitched a box with x through it.
|Handle top-stitching for reinforcement|
13. Sew up the hole in the base of the lining.
14. Fill with stuff.