Here is a preliminary description of what I did to make my knitting bag. More detail and pictures may follow after the holiday. Best to read all instructions before starting.
I am definitely a novice seamstress, so use at your own risk.
Please comment or send me an email (sarah_beckman*at*yahoo.com)if you use this pattern, I would like to know what works and what is confusing. Feel free to ask questions, and I can’t wait to see other people’s bags.
Stellar Babble’s Knitting Bag
(18″ is the width dimension for the fabric)
ed: Requires 1.25 yd (or less depending on width of fabric) each of print fabric and canvas
1 18″ x 27″ from both print and canvas
1 18″ x 14″ from both print and canvas (makes 4″ pockets on the outside, if you want them deeper, extend the 14″ measurement 2″ for every inch of pocket. Keep in mind that the bag is 10″ tall.)
2 18″ x 7″ from both print and canvas (makes 6″ deep pockets on the inside)
2 3″ x 20″ from canvas for handles – adjust length to your preference, just leave 1″ on either side for sewing to bag.
To make the outside of the bag:
- Sew the 18″ x 14″ pieces right sides together along just the 18″ edges with a 1/2″ seam. Turn, iron and sew 1/4″ from the edges just sewn.
- Fold this piece in half (print side together) so you have an 6.5″ x 18″rectangle. Iron crease as reference line. Open, measure 2.5″ on either side of center line and mark a line parallel to the center line ( I fold and iron there to make a line). Measure 3″ in from un-sewn edges and mark a line perpendicular to the center line on both edges. ( Between these lines is the width of your bag)
- Fold the 18″ x 27″ print piece in half with wrong sides facing to make a 14″ x 18″ rectangle. Iron crease as reference line.
- Open and align the center lines of the two pieces with right sides of print facing each other and pin together. You should have a 13″ piece of canvas ( backed with print) centered on a 27″ piece of print fabric. Sew along the marks on the canvas piece to attach the canvas to the print and make the bottom of the outside pocket and corner of bag.
- You should now have two pockets 4″ deep x 12″ long. Decide how many and what size pockets you want on your bag and sew the canvas to the print fabric as desired. (I made one more line perpendicular to the center line so that I had a 7″ and a 5″ pocket). (Keep in mind that you will have 2 2.5″ pockets on each end of the bag when it gets sewn up)
- Fold in half with canvas on the inside, align edges of canvas, and pin all layers together. Sew along the 14″ side seams with 1/2″ allowance.
- Iron the bag flat. (This is where I would probably cut 2 sided fusible interfacing in two 17″ x 10″ squares and attach to print fabric above the sewn line to help keep the lining in place later. But I haven’t done it, so it could be a complete failure.)
- Now fold the bag so that the side seam and center fold are aligned and make a mitered corner 2.5″ deep. If everything went well, the lines that hold the pocket on should cross at the corner of the miter. See this tote-bag tutorial for a picture of the mitered corner. Sew across the corner ( should be 5″ across) to create the width of the bag.
- Turn right side out, iron as needed, and set aside.
To create the lining:
- Sew one 18″ x 7″ print and one canvas piece right sides together along just the 18″ edges with 1/2″ seams. Turn, iron and sew 1/4″ from the edges just sewn. Repeat for the other two 18″ x 7″ pieces.
- Measure 3″ in from un-sewn edges and mark a line on each edge of both the 18″ x 6″ pieces.
- Decide the size you want your pockets to be and mark those lines as well.
- Fold the 18″ x 27″ canvas piece in half with right sides facing to make a 14″ x 18″ rectangle. Iron crease as reference line.
- Open, measure and mark a line 2.5″ from the center line on each side.
- Align edge of 18″ x 6″ pieces, with print facing outward, on the 2.5″ lines on the right side of canvas. Pin in place.
- Sew the bottom of the 18″ x 6″ pieces to the canvas fabric
- Sew along the marked lines on the small pieces.
- Fold in half with pockets on the inside, align edges of pockets, and pin all layers together. Sew along the 14″ side seams with 1/2″ allowance.
- Repeat the corner mitering with the lining.
- Iron as necessary
Making the straps:
- Fold your 3″ x 2o” strips in half the long way.
- Sew one end and long open edge of one strip 1/4″ from edge. Repeat for second strip.
- Turn and iron the strips. Sew 1/4″ from each edge of the fold and hem. Repeat for second strip
- Sew a zig-zag down the center of each strip.
- Set aside.
Putting the bag together:
- Put the lining inside the bag, making sure side seams are aligned and mitered corners are on the bottom of the bag. (Pat from my knitting group (Twisted Stitchers- meetup.com) suggested cutting a piece of plastic canvas and placing it in the bottom of the bag between layers. I think this is an excellent idea. I would probably cut it 1/2″ smaller than the bottom rectangle, so that the bottoms could be stitched together.)
- turn it upside down, put something heavy in the bag, or otherwise ensure that the corners are aligned and the bottoms are touching. Pin in place.
- Although I didn’t do this until the end, this is probably the best time to sew the bottoms together. It is a tricky proposition, but I managed to sew over the stitching on the outside pocket that defines the edge of the bag in order to hold the lining to the bag.
- (If I had used interfacing, I would probably iron it now.)
- Fold the top edge of the outside and lining of the bag down aprox. 1″, so that the lining is even or slightly below the outside. Pin in place, leaving a gap for the handles.
- Measure 4″ in from the side seam and mark with pin ( 4 times).
- Insert strap 1″ deep between lining and bag, with outer edge at the 4″ mark.
- Pin strap in place.
- Sew bag lining and strap together by sewing around the perimeter of the bag 3/4″ from edge.
- Repeat, sewing 1/4″ from edge.
- Sew bag and lining together along 4 corners, from top edge to outside pocket to hold bag and lining together.
- For extra strength, you can sew a box with diagonals for each strap.
Put your knitting in it and take some pictures, you’re done.
I know this would be better with pictures and if I had more sewing experience, but hopefully, it gets you started.