Mini Sew-Together Bag

Mini Sew Together Bag_1Woohoo!!  It’s a Mini Sew Together Bag! A Mini Sew Together Bag has two pockets and is smaller than its big sister.

Mini Sew Together Bag_2 While I love my regular-sized bag, I really wanted one that was just a bit smaller.  After I hatched this idea, I wrote to Michelle, of SewDemented, and received permission to write about this on my blog, as I thought others might like to make a Mini Sew Together Bag. Mini Sew Together Bag_3

(Two Regular Sew Together Bags and Four Mini Sew Together Bags)

But how to do this so I don’t “steal” anything from her stellar pattern?  I made up a worksheet that will help you convert the measurements of the big version to the small version. Yes, you’ll have to use your calculator for about 2 minutes, but then you’ll be able to charge ahead.  And, yes, to make a Mini you have to have the original Sew Together Bag pattern, found *here.*    To obtain the worksheet for the mini, head to BluPrint but then come back here for the tutorial parts.

UPDATE: I have updated the pattern on BluPrint to include a pattern piece for the smaller side panel, as that was difficult for some users.

Mini Sew Together Bag_4 openI was able to crank out four Minis in about a day and half; I think it went so quickly because I had already made a couple of the bigger bags. I still referred to The Quilt Barn’s Tutorial when I became stuck. Mini Sew Together Bag_4b end pattern To begin, trace off the included side panel piece onto a manila envelope, making sure I transferred the dotted line markings. Mini Sew Together Bag_4d Marking After you sew together the side piece and its lining, as per the pattern/tutorial, lay it back onto your pattern and put pins at the dotted lines mark, as shown.  Go the ironing board and iron in a crease on those lines. Mini Sew Together Bag_4e zipperZippers for the Pockets:  Buy the same size zipper you normally would, but shorten it after installation by doing a thick zig-zag stitch at the end, as shown above in white thread.  Cut off zipper evenly with the edge of the pocket pieces.  If you have the pattern/tutorial, this step should be apparent.  Again, these photos are not meant to replace the pattern/tutorial, but simply to show you places where I deviated from the pattern slightly to accommodate the smaller Mini. Mini Sew Together Bag_4cZippers are in both pockets (yes, I am showing about three different Minis, with three different fabric sets). Mini Sew Together Bag_4e1 Attach the side pieces, lining up the pockets with the ironed-in crease on the side pattern.  Refer to the tutorial for more information. Mini Sew Together Bag_4f zipper

(Tab end of zipper)

The long zipper’s placement is 4″ hanging over each side of the Mini Sew Together Bag.  If you have a light colored zipper, you can mark the zipper with pencil at the stop end (below) and then do that thick zig-zag to secure the end.  You can use a 16″ zipper, but I just cut down my 18″ zipper. Mini Sew Together Bag_4g zipper

(Stop end of zipper)

Mini Sew Together Bag_4h zipper end

I sew the zig-zag stop, then attach the side binding, THEN cut off the zipper.

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For the tab ends, I didn’t necessarily slide them all the way to the end of the zipper before I sewed them on (and by the way, refer to the pattern for an easier way to make them, rather than the tutorial).  Instead I played with the tab ends a bit, sliding them up and down the zipper, seeing how big of a “handle” I wanted.  Most of the time I placed the zipper about halfway into the tab end.

Mini Sew Together Bag_5 And that shiny thing in front?  For those of us teachers who use white board markers, you know what a mess the eraser makes in your tote bags. The Community College administrators where I teach give us the white board markers free at the beginning of the school year, but we buy our own erasers. If you leave yours in the classroom, you can kiss it goodbye, so we carry the erasers (and markers) back and forth to class.Mini Sew Together Bag_5aTo keep my sew together bag clean, I made a clear vinyl pouch, sewing a self-binding fabric strip around the top to hold my eraser.  The dimensions were 7″ by 6 1/2″ of clear vinyl; sew two folded strips along the 7″ sides, then with WST, sew the side seams.  Yes, I did a tiny “boxing in” of the bottom corner to accommodate the eraser. Mini Sew Together Bag_5b stuffed Mini Sew Together, fully loaded for school.  But this would also be great stacked with hexies, or other smaller hand-sewing projects.  Because the Mini is a smaller size, it will fit into…smaller places! Mini Sew Together Bag_8 Mini Sew Together Bag_8aI also made a matching tote bag to go with this for a gift, as California will be phasing out our plastic grocery bags.  I used my Grocery Bag Tutorial, found *here.*  The usual request applies: don’t embed the pattern on your blog, refer your friends back to OPQuilt.com to download their own.  And if you Pin anything from this post, please use the correct post address. Many thanks! These little Minis are fun to make and fun to use, and sew up quickly for a cute and fun Christmas gift!

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Circles Block #6 duo In case you are looking for the Circle EPP Quilt-A-Long, because I gave you two renditions of the block in November, we are taking a vacation in December.  Merry Christmas all you EPP-ers and we’ll see you in January.

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I get my zippers from ZipperStop in NYC.  There are other places to locate good quality, inexpensive zippers mentioned on other quilty blogs and in the comments (so check them out), but I can highly recommend Zipperstop, having placed several orders from them.  The zippers arrive quickly, and in the color range I like and I like the prices!

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Sew Together Bag, et al.

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I present to you: THE SEW-TOGETHER BAG!!  If you are from my quilt guild and are looking for the link to buy the pattern, it is *here.*  Yes, you have to sign into Craftsy and make up a name and a pin number.  But there are a lot of great things on Craftsy.  Then open up your computer and link to The Quilt Barn Sew-A-Long for the pattern.  They go together.

Sew Together Bag

I have seen about eight million of these online and on Instagram and get putting it off because, my-gosh-oh-golly, it has four zippers.  And binding!

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And all those pockets!  Okay, I’m here to tell you that you will survive to sew another day.  And that Michelle, of Sew Demented, has figured out easy ways to construct pockets.

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Sew Together Bag_2

The binding was No Big Deal–easy if you’ve done quilt binding, and if you follow The Quilt Barn’s directions.

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So, jump in!  The water’s fine.

Weather 108

And now I have to talk about the weather.  We’ve been having a heat wave.  This is after the crazy rain storm that took out lots of trees in my neighborhood, and ruined concrete drainage ditches in my park.

Riverside Clouds

Tuesday, coming home, I saw these beautiful clouds, a rarity in our area.  Then it got all dark and my phone had this screen:

Weather 106

The power went out…no sewing.  So I did non-electrical quilting things.  And when the power came back on, all the little machines in our house started beeping and whirring and clicking, like they were all talking to each other.

Talenti Gelato

And because this heat wave has broken records, we are glad that they carry my father’s favorite gelato in our local grocery store.  I can vouch for the deliciousness of Tahitian Vanilla Bean, and the jars are very cool for storing stuff once they are emptied.

Circle 5 reject

Then I tried out the pattern for Circles Block #5.  Fail.  Total fail.  Not the pattern, just what I had chosen.  Back to the cutting table.

Block Books

And then some of my favorite books arrived: the BLOCK magazine from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Simple and easy and not complicated reading.

Cotton Couture Colors

Almost finished with this post of trivia, hang in there with me.  I chose a few colors to go with my incoming stack of Couture Cottons, which is part of a QuiltCon challenge.  I hope this heat wave lifts soon, as it’s killing my productivity.

Raincross Guild_LisaBut Lisa has been productive, finishing up her French fabrics quilt for her daughter who has been on a church mission for 18 months and comes home in November.  Lisa will tell you this with a giant smile on her face.  Here the quilt is being shown at the Raincross Quilt Guild last night–a great event.  We both had fun!

And last. . .

Tractor at Sunset

Yes, this is a tractor at sunset.  Actually it’s parked in my front yard, and yes, the demolition on our front yard is going nicely.

Keep quilting: I wish you many happy sunsets too.