In my seeming inability to stop joining make-alongs, I have joined in on the Christmas in July MAL (#ChristmasInJulyMAL on Instagram) which is being hosted by Dana Rae Makes, who is a lovely and talented knitter and designer I met through the Rainbow Sock Chronicles.
The premise of Christmas in July is to indulge in a little Christmas knitting – whether that is using some gifted yarn, making something you wanted to make at Christmas but didn’t get the chance, using up advent calendar things, or whatever (you get the idea).
I am not a confident sewist at all, and I find the sewing machine intimidating. I would really like to get over that though and one day make something I could wear. Where better to start than a little project bag! And why not start in a make-along!
I popped into Malber Fabrics in town, asked the lady if they had any Christmas fabrics. They have tonnes apparently! So I bought a half metre of fabric, a half metre of lining, some interfacing and ribbon.
I used the pattern by Ellie of Crafthouse Magic which offered a drawstring and a zip option. I don’t have a zipper foot on my sewing machine, so I opted for the drawstring version.
I got to cutting out the pieces with my rotary cutter, half watching the rugby semi finals. Then it was time to get the sewing machine out.
First up, I needed to wind a bobbin.
Threading the machine is always one of the things that boggles my brain a little, but I managed to do it without calling my mum. Victory #1.
I tested the tension and stitch size on some scrap fabric before getting going on the bag proper.
I need to learn to trust in patterns a bit more, and know that they will make sense. I couldn’t quite get my head around how the drawstring channel worked, but kept at it anyway. My iron even saw the light of day!
I always worry that I will break a machine needle on a pin, but the needle survived to sew another day! Victory #2.
I found a use for some of the washi tape I had lurking around as I started top stitching the drawstring channel, which worked out rather well (we won’t be taking a look at my wobbly top stitching in any great detail!).
As I dealt with the ends and sewed the final bit up, I thought I had come up with an ingenious idea for threading the ribbon – a kebab skewer!
Unfortunately, the ring end was a little too big to fit through the gap, so I resorted to one of my thicker darning needles. I had to borrow an extra pair of hands to work the ribbon all the way through, but I got there.
And so, with a knot in each end of ribbon, I had a finished project bag, that actually looks like a project bag and isn’t sporting any obvious problems! Victory #3.
Safe to say, I am pretty chuffed with my efforts.