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Group One
In & Out of Studio 3D
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
What's Your Bag? - a Stencil Tutorial AND Sewing Lesson
Topic: Sewing

I have had SO much fun creating with the stencils I got from My Favorite Things and had one more technique I wanted to try using the Graduated Dots stencil - painting on fabric.

I had on hand 6 different colors of metallic Lumiere acrylic paints and a non-stick craft sheet.

I chose from my stash a piece of printed quilting cotton to work on.

I cut 12 squares from the fabric to work on. Then I cut up some sponge to apply the paint with.

The paint was applied through the stencil by tapping until solid coloring was achieved.

I made two panels of each color and washed the stencil between colors.

The silver and the White Pearl look almost the same!

After 24 hours drying time the fabric was ironed on the front (which reminds me of the time I looked at the settings on my iron and, upon seeing 'acrylic' wondered why you would want to iron paint?) Well, this is such an occasion, but most likely not what they meant.

The paint jar said to also press the fabric on the back.


I had this wonderful painted fabric and just started creating on-the-fly to see what I could make with it.

I started by trimming all the blocks down to 5 7/8 inches square. This strange measurement came about because that was the size the smallest one was and they all had to be the same.

Each block was then quartered.

The result was a mix of 48 awesome dotted fabrics.

I worked to find a layout I liked - semi-random.

I remembered I had some iron-on interfacing with 1-inch grid marks on it - left over from making a watercolor quilt. And I also decided at this point that I wanted to make two pieces of 'fabric' out of my squares.

I laid out half of the blocks, face up, on the 'sticky' side of the grid, centering the blocks inside of a 3 inch alignment. This left a little bit of adhesive exposed between the blocks.

This was covered with a pressing cloth and ironed to adhere the fabric squares to the backing.

I folded the piece, right sides together with a crease along the marked grid.

I set the stitch length to 2 and stitched 1/4 inch from the edge of the fold.

I continuee with all of the seams which went in this direction. Here's how it looked at this point.

I turned to the back and clipped almost to the stitching line at each of the intersections.

This clipping is what allows the fabric to be folded in the other direction without binding at the intersections.

I folded along the marked grid and turned the seams in opposite directions to reduce bulk.

Then I stitched 1/4 inch from the fold.

On the next pass the seams fell in the opposite directions so they would lay flat.

I worked my way across and when done, pressed all the seams from the back.

And then pressed from the front.

I trimmed off all the stray edges of the interfacing.

And now I had two pieces of 'fabric' from which to make???? something!


First I measured to see what size I had to work with (everything from hereon out was made up as I went along). My fabrics measured 14 7/8 by 10 inches.

I cut two pieces of unbleached muslin to the same size, to use for a lining.

From the original un-painted fabric I cut 4 strips at 1 1/2 x 22 inches. These would become the handles.

I set the stitch length to 1.5 and stitched the two lining pieces together 1/4 inch from the edge on one long side and both short sides. I backstitched at the top edges.

I placed the feature fabric right sides together, carefully matching the seams on the feature blocks, and stitched down the short sides and across the long edge at 1/4 inch. I also backstitched the ends of this.

I put my hand inside the bag and made the corners lay with the seams on top of each other.

I measured up 2 inches from the corner and stitched straight across (this is called 'boxing the corners).

I trimmed away at 1/4 inch from the seam.

These steps were repeated with the lining.

I set these pieces aside to tackle making the handles.

I placed two of the strips together and stitched up one long side. Before stitching the end I placed a long cord inside and stitched over it. Then I kept pushing it back against the completed seam as I stitched the other long edge.

To turn the strip, I just pulled on the cord and voila!

I cut the end off to release the stitched-in cord.

I worked to square the seams and pressed them flat.

Then I top-stitched 1/8 inch from both edges with a 3.0 stitch length.

I added a magnetic snap to another piece of the plain fabric and built a 'tab' around it that looks like the handles. I also attached the other half of the magnetic snap to the feature fabric.

With the bag right side out the handles (cut down to 16 inches) and tab were pinned to the bag with extra fabric extending off the edge for construction strength.

The lining was turned wrong side out and the bag was slipped inside of it.

The side seams were opened flat and pinned together.

The remainder of the top edge was pinned together.

The stitch length was set back to 1.5 and I started on the front straps and sewed right around to the back and to the front again. I did this with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and backstitched the beginning, the end and over each of the handles and the tab.

This left an opening between the handles on the front.

The bag was turned right side out through this opening.

The lining was tucked inside the bag.

The edges of the opening were turned in and stitch length was set to 3.0. I then started at one side seam and top-stitched at 1/8 inch around the top edge.

I turned the entire bag wrong-side out and folded at the side seams.

I used a 2.0 stitch length to make a 1-inch seam through all layers, 1 inch from the side seam. (yep, I backstitched both ends of the seam).

I turned the bag right side out and... tah dah!


Squeal! Is that the cutest? And no pattern required!

And I really did make it up as I went along.


Posted by studio3d@ccgmail.net at 12:01 AM PST

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