Midwest Knit Girl

Say Hello To Mr Greenjeans

Posted on: March 18, 2009

Hello Mr Greenjeans!

Mr Greenjeans is finished at last. The photos are of the sweater in the unblocked state and since I had put it down for quite a few months in between knitting times, it has some dents where you can tell it sat on holders plus it just needs to have the crap beat out of it to lay some of those other stitches down and make it look nice. I thought I was going to run out of yarn so I did a decreased k2p2 on the cuffs instead of the cables. I also didn’t do the buttonhole as the pattern required because I’m going to make an I-cord twisted loop instead. But I still consider this done.

Mr Greenjeans

Mr Greenjeans

And Now For Something Completely Different
I’ve been sewing. Crafty little woman, aren’t I? I joined a sewing challenge swap on swap-bot. It’s for all levels of sewers. Now, I didn’t have to make a quilted tote bag but I wanted to because I didn’t want to do a zipper. Zippers and I don’t mesh. I also didn’t have a pattern so I wasn’t 100% how it was going to turn out. I knew I could do this, I had quilted a couple of pillows about 20 years ago and I do sew once in awhile. But it still took thinking.

Basically, here’s what I did. Since the challenge required using fat quarters (18″ x 21″ pieces of fabric), I had a nice shape to start with. Then I did the following (I’ve never written what I’ve done for a sewing project so bear with me). If you can’t figure out what the directions mean and the pictures don’t help you, just let me know and I’ll try to explain better.

The final ‘fabric’ I created (to make the tote bag) was 2 large pieces that were three rows by three rows of 5″ squares, each of these large pieces had a backing fabric (lining) that I included so I could use batting.

  1. I cut  5″ squares, 10 of one design and 8 of the other.
  2. I created 9 rows of three squares using 1/4″ seams to sew the short sides of the strip.
  3. I sewed three strips together lengthwise, using 1/4″ seams to be the back of the finished bag, three strips together for the front of the bag.
  4. I cut a piece of another fat quarter for the backing for each of the 2 – 9 row finished pieces above (the lining).
  5. I took a piece of fusible batting, laid down the lining wrong side up, place the batting on it, laid the 9 row finished piece wrong side down on that, then steam ironed the whole thing.
  6. I stitched next to each seam on each of the two large pieces.
  7. I chose one end of the bag to be the top, folded the edge down about 1/2″ and ironed it, then repeated that so I had a nice folded edge. I also made handles of some skinny strips and placed each end of the handle under the folded edge. Pinned it and sewed it along the edge.
  8. I flipped the handles up as if I were carrying the bag and sewed a box stitch where the handle lays over the folded edge.
  9. I repeated steps 6 and 7.
  10. Now for the fun part. French seams, oui?
  11. I placed the bag WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and sewed a seam around the three sides, trimmed the excess fabric.
  12. Then I turned it so it was RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and sewed another seam.
  13. Done.

The only problem I encountered, which I can fix next time, is that the batting and all the seams when I did the french seams made it really bulky. This meant I couldn’t do a final edge stitch around the bag afterwards, just too much there. So I’ll skip the batting that close to the edge next time. Which will be this weekend as I will be making another one for my cousin’s birthday.

Bag made from FQ's

Close up of the bag handle

Inside the bag

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1 Response to "Say Hello To Mr Greenjeans"

[…] for the small squares. I made some changes in the purple and pink bags that weren’t in the green one: flat bottoms and tab closures (though the purple one I didn’t have the raw edges of the tabs […]

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