Scrap Sunday: The upcycling bag

For this one we need to start way back, a couple of years ago ….

Once upon a time…. don’t worry, it won’t get that bad.

Anyway, years ago, I have made a small shoulder bag for my daughter’s best friend. As I quite liked it I made a few more for other friends.

I never actually saw the little girl using her bag. It was always her mother carrying it with this very insisting and slightly scary glare in her eyes… until I made her her own. And one for my equally glaring daughter.

My friend seemed happy. But not only did she continue carrying her daughter’s bag around, she also kept telling me “casually”ย  that her other daughter really liked those bags and that the poor child was interested in placing an order and paying real money for it.

Around the same time she gave me her daughters old rain coat with the words that maybe I could use it for one of my sewing projects. After years and years of heavy hint dropping I finally gave in and made my first proper upcycling project. A bag made out of an old rain coat. Apologies for not taking a picture of the original rain coat but here is the bag:

I chose a London themed lining as it was supposed to be a bag for a young lady so it needed to be cool rather than the usual childish stuff. I am extremely pleased with the result, think it really looks cool. I am not sure what the girl thinks. Probably she never got it, instead there will be a blond woman running through London carrying three bags and glaring at other people who dare carrying nice bags. If you ever see her, don’t look her straight in the eyes, slowly move backwards and keep your bag tightly.

Oh, and just for the record, I also made another one for my niece who asked forย  one for her birthday a few weeks ago.

I suppose my niece liked it… Thinking of it, I haven’t handed it over myself, maybe she never got it and there is a glaring lady with 4 bags running through London…


Scrap Sunday: Keep your belongings with you

Whilst I was rather quiet online I had still been busy making rather quick birthday gifts. So here is a series of small bags, two are made out of waterproof fabric, the one in the middle is made of various cottons. I guess the waterproof ones aren’t exactly scrap fabrics as I have still so much stored of those two that we can hardly call it scrap. The pure cotton one however is cut from rather small pieces of scrap as are all the pocket and lining pieces of the other two.

All have nice patterned cotton lining and two pockets, one with a elastic band on top for more security and one with a zip, big enough for a mobile phone. And obviously another fabric behind that zip ๐Ÿ™‚ I might be unable to use the same fabric for all the lining.

So we have red hearts on white and white hearts on red….


crazy butterflies (I love that one but think it would be too much asย  a main fabric, so perfect as lining) and more subtle flowers …


and my current favourite: orange with dandelion pattern and the crazy butterflies. IMG_3512I think the orange looks particularly great with the outer pink. I had ordered a remnant for a skirt for myself and well, once it arrived, I realised that it wouldn’t really be suitable for a grown up skirt. But it is perfect for linings.

For all three bags I ironed a fleece on the lining which gives it a really nice feel and interfacing on the outer fabric. (loosely following instructions from the Bag Bible) The first two ones turned out too stiff I think. Particularly the cotton one doesn’t actually look great. The natural creases (after turning it inside out) come out much more with that interfacing (which is meant to be medium weight).


For the last one I have invested in some fancy Vilene interfacing and it is just so much nicer. I am not sure if it is because it is woven or because it is a better brand or because it is in fact lighter than the other one but the result is definitely much better.

For all three, I have used hook and loop fastening to close the main flap and I think it fits the purpose but I really need to work on my positioning as the last bag was actually not even closable ๐Ÿ™‚




I have quite a few things lined up but Chloe has jumped the queue.

In my knitting classes I always suggest several mini projects and a little bag for children was one of the ideas. Something like this:

But one of my students, Aksana, was not happy with this. So she kept asking “what if I do this, what if I add that” and I kept replying “you are the designer of your bag, go for it”

So, she made these two for her girls:

Aksanas bag1This is clearly much more exciting so I decided to steal her idea (don’t worry I did ask for her permission ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and designed Chloe – a shoulder bag for children. I made two versions, one very simple and one with a few more skills required. I am hoping that this will help not only my students to finish an easy yet fun project which they can adapt to their level of knitting.

I have decided to include a few explications of knitting techniques with would be new to a beginner but no proper tutorials. There are so many good ones out already, I don’t think I could do that any better.

In the meantime you can download Chloe and start knitting ๐Ÿ™‚