Sunday, 19 October 2014

'Tote'ally useful bag! {with JOFY stencils and stamps by Jo Firth-Young}

Hi everyone, Jo here with a sewing project this month - its lovely to make something pretty and useful... and good for the environment too - this bag I've decorated will be great for shopping trips (no more need for plastic bags!).

I wanted to use my flower stencil PS009 in a really simple way (another 'less is more', 'clean & simple' project) - using it as a template for applique shapes.
I teamed the stencil with the sketched flower image from JOFY25 which is designed to stamp over the top of the stencil flowers.

The bag I used is a simple ready-made calico bag measuring just over 40x40cm. I raided my fabric stash and selected a red cotton with white spots - a nice bold colour that would great against the calico bag.
I used Bondaweb to attach the flowers to the bag - this is a really good product that melts when ironed and fuses/bonds fabrics together.  First the Bondaweb is ironed onto the reverse of the fabric.

I used the solid flower from the 4 options on the stencil and drew around the shape with a fabric pen (the ink fades after a period of time/in daylight) & on the reverse of the fabric (on top of the Bondaweb) so that the edges would be clean. I also flipped the stencil so the flowers changed 'direction'.

I cut out the flowers & played around with laying them on the bag finally deciding on the placement below - this would leave space for other embellishments.  (NB - I only decorate one side of bags like this because I don't want embellishments to catch on my clothes and possibly spoil the bag or my clothes)

I removed the backing from the Bondaweb and ironed the flowers in place (temperature depends on the fabric being used - no steam).

At this point I decided to unpick and open up one side of the bag - this makes it much easier to sew the detail using my sewing machine, but if you would rather hand sew detail onto the bag you wouldn't need to unpick anything.
I used Archival ink for the stamping - I find that it is 'safe' and 'permanent' on fabric when it is ironed to 'set' the ink.  I liked the flowers like this - really striking but then I decide the bag needed more...

... and so I stamped lots more sketched flowers...

I chose yellow cotton to add detail to the centre of the flowers - if you don't have a sewing machine you could add detail using hand stitched running stitches.

The sketched flowers looked a bit plain so I added simple lines of yellow stitching to these too.

I sewed the bag up, adding a line of zig-zag stitching around the top to coordinate with the red flowers.
Nope, still not 'finished'!.... hmmm ... BUTTONS!  of course, the flower centres need button centres... I hand sewed these on because I like the look of the tied ends of cotton.

Here's the finished bag again.  

I had a lot of fun making this and its inspired me to make some more - great for christmas presents don't you think??
I hope its inspired you too - use your stencils as a template for applique - and by using Bondaweb, or iron-on interfacing its really quite simple.
Take care

A huge thanks to Jo from PaperArtsy HQ. I LOVE bags, and I love red, Perfect combination. Everyone should make one of these, let's save the planet, one bag at a time!

We would love you to join in with our monthly challenge. If you are inspired by any of this month's guests who have blogged between Oct 1st 2014 and Oct 31st 2014 then join in and link up your creativity HERE. You will go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. You need to add your link by 19:00 (London time) Oct 31st 2014


Hazel Agnew said...

Clever, clever you! This is so lovely. Stitching just rounds it off beautifully! X

Helen said...

What a gorgeous way to decorate a plain back, love it, Jo.

Helen said...

bag even!!

Unknown said...


Craftyfield said...

If only I stopped being so scared of my sewing machine I'd try this!
I love the bright but clean look and the idea of making unique gifts like these.

craftytrog said...

Gorgeous! x

Lucy Edmondson said...

I absolutely love this, Jo! So useful and great tips and ideas. Lovely to see you demo at the craft barn,

Lucy x

Julie Lee said...

Such a pretty bag! I love those finishing touches - the stamping is great and the stitching and buttons too! xxx

Deborah Wainwright said...

Wow Jo love your bag will have to have a goo at this x

Unknown said...

Such a fab idea, no chance of me sewing one, need to try and find a plain one and have a go xx

Etsuko said...

What a lovely bag!! Stunning idea and very useful xxx

Jeanne Kelly said...

This tote is so gorgeous! I love how you used flowers and then stamped over them. The addition of yellow thread was perfect too; just gorgeous!

massofhair said...

If my sewing machine comes back soon i shall definitely have a play with this Jo. Great to see more sewing projects on here:-) xxx

Kirsten said...

That is SO LOVELY!!!!

craftimamma said...

Fabulous little tote bag!

Lesley Xx

Art By Wanda said...

I really like the way you did the bag and the colors!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow truly gorgeous stunning bag, it would make a fantastic gift, love it. Happy Creating ☺ Kezzy xxx

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