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Let's make Christmas 2020 a HANDMADE one!
Are you creating a truly Handmade Christmas this year?
Dang, I am. For sure. And this year I totally follow up on my good intentions. Nothing can stop me, well I am at home anyway. Right? And I hope you're with me. Let's make all the presents we possibly can this year!
So, let's make all the Christmas WeeBrawBags this year. Shall we?
They are the perfect little gifts for pretty much everyone in your life. Fill them up with treats for your bestie, like a quilty Wee Braw Bag stuffed with precious scraps and notions. Or make some as teacher gifts filled with chocolates and maybe a gift card. Use them as modern little stockings or Christmas calendar bags. And of course, make a project bag for your incredible mother-in-law who's knitting Christmas jumpers for everyone each year. You get the idea - everyone loves receiving a pretty WeeBrawBag.
But of course - why not also use them instead of gift wrapping? Reducing the mad waste of wrapping paper each year for Christmas. Not only good for the environment but you can also impress Mrs blue Owl, your Brownie teacher from 30 years ago. This is the way... erm year (sorry, I enjoy watching the second season of the Mandalorian a little too much).
And did you that know the Wee Braw Bag pattern actually comes in two sizes? Yes, two!
The one pictured here is the larger one and it's a great size for a project bag - enough space to keep 2-3 skeins and a smaller knitting projects like your hat or pair of socks WIPs. And the smaller one is a great fit for your kids Legos on the go or as a snack bag.
But you know what - after making a couple WeeBrawBags yourself you'll get the idea of how to construct them. And you'll be ready to pretty much customise them to your liking. Size them up or down or make them more rectangular. I promise, they are so easy and you'll get the idea after making only a couple. You'll become a WeeBrawBag expert in no time!
Ok. Now let's talk about the materials you will need for making your own WeeBrawBag a little.
- Cotton tape
- Cord stoppers (optional)
I like to use quilting cotton - simply because that is the fabric I have the most of at home as a quilter. And there's a great choice out there with modern and fresh fabric. Just have a look around what you like or even better, use the fabric you already have at home. But of course, you can also use thicker fabric like canvas. Your Wee Braw Bag will get a bit more structure which is quite nice as well, especially if you plan to size up your project bag a little.
And regarding the style. I like using fun prints for my bags as a feature. Like on my Christmas WeeBrawBag I am using the Tinsel Santa Print by Cloud9 Fabrics for the front pocket. For the rest I used more neutral solids (Cirrus solids also by Cloud9 Fabrics for this one) to not overwhelm the bag too much. Saying that though, I love a good scrappy Wee Braw Bag as well. It's such a great little project to use up all your smaller scraps and finally give them a purpose. Or integrate some of your orphan quilt blocks into your front panel. Seriously, there are no limits.
I am mostly using quilting cotton (which is slightly thinner) but I sill want my WeeBrawBag to have enough structure. And to achieve a little more of said structure, I strongly recommend using some kind of fusible interfacing. My favourite one is SF101 by Pellon. It gives just the perfect consistency to quilting cotton, almost feeling a little like canvas. But of course, if you are using canvas in the first place you could skip the interfacing altogether.
Cotton tape is kind of optional. Sometimes I am using some at the side of my bag but most of the times I skip that step. But if you're looking to add a little extra to your bag or maybe you like to turn your WeeBrawBag into shoulder bag - why not adding some hardware with the help of some cotton tape at the sides? There are super gorgeous ones ones out there to chose from.
Ok. Cords. There are so many options out there. Personally, I like to use slightly thicker ones to make them a bit of a feature to my WeeBrawBags. And I am very lucky to have a friend sending them over to me from Japan. But there are so many options out there. Maybe use some bias tape you made yourself using the same fabric you used for your Wee Braw Bag. Or have a look into parachute cord in various sizes and colours. Or how about cutting little strips of left over knit fabric, a little like hoooked zpagetti. Seriously, so many options and I am sure you'll find something you'll love.
Again. Totally optional but I am using them for a long time now and so many of you are asking me where I get mine from. And again, I get mine via my friend in Japan. But there are some great alternatives out there. How about cord locks that are usually used for hoodies and sportswear and they have them in great colours. Or have look into fun, chunky beads. Just make sure the holes are big enough for the size of your cords (remember, you need two of them going through each cord stopper, lock or bead).
For the assembly of my WeeBrawBag I am using Aurifil 50wt in white. That's for steps like sewing the pocket panels together, attaching the casing, boxing out the corners,... - all the seams that are hidden in the inside. And for topstitching I am using Aurifil 28wt in a corresponding colour, usually a couple shades lighter then the actual fabric so it nicely blends into the overall bag. These seams will be seen later on, so investing in nice thread here makes definitely sense.
I like using wonder clips instead of pins. They are just so much faster to use and I tend not to lose them as quickly. But that is personal preference. Apart form that, your standard sewing notions will do to make a lovely WeeBrawBag yourself.
Sooo many of you asked me over the years for an extra little tutorial on "faux" piping - the little extra fabric along the top edge of the pocket.
And yay, I listened. In the Christmas WeeBrawBag pattern you will find the extra step of adding "faux" piping. It's super simple but ohhh so effective. You will love it. I am sure.
And as there are so many visual learners out there, I thought I'd also do a quick video tutorial for you. Not on the full bag - just on how to add the "faux" piping. So, here we go:
I really hope many of you will join me in the quest of making this year a truly Handmade Christmas. This year more then ever!
So, please find your copy of the pattern in my shop. And I am sure your family and friends will love to receiving more handmade presents made by you. Made with love.
But why not also try the Christmas Glitta Pouch this year? Now you made a big pile of Wee Braw Bags for everyone, it's time to learn your next skill. Sewing with vinyl and inserting zippers. Sounds tricky? I promise, it's super duper easy and as always I'll carefully talk you through the pattern step-by-step. I know you can do it.
Glitta Pouches are super quick to make but they are oh so fun. Read more about the Christmas Glitta Pouch on my latest blog post and check out my little video tutorial.
Happy Sewing + please Stay Safe, my friends.
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