Tag Archives: sewing

Not knitting, but FOR knitting

So until today I had not been knitting a lot recently, but I have been sewing.

I finished a second knitting bag using my instructions and adding a zipper pocket that I kept wishing the original bag had. This time I’ve taken pictures and am working on proper sewing instructions with photos that should be a pdf on my blog in the next week or so.
finished knitting bag side view
knitting bag with zipper pocket

Today I’ve been knitting, since we were told that the water was going to be off in the apartment all day. I decided that I would probably like to use the bathroom at some point, so I went to work with Scott. With no computer access I got quite a bit of knitting done, not to mention that this evening was our Twisted Stitchers meetup night so I had another couple hours. I’m working on the ” 103-1 Jacket in Eskimo or Silke-Alpaca with A-shape and ¾-long or long sleeves” from DROPS design using RYC Soft Tweed.

Here’s the picture from the website, mine will be done in a week or so.
DROPS Design Jacket

A little bit of..

It has been a little while since I have posted, and I don’t have finished objects to show for it, but I will fill you in on what I have been up to.

I have been doing a little of this:
Elefuffle construction
Making another Elefuffle to verify the pattern and take pictures of the steps.

and this:
Fuzzy bookmark
Knitting swatches from the Barbara Walker Treasuries ( with my very fuzzy bookmark near by)

and using this
Rowan Yarn Company Soft Tweed
To make a new knit jacket (wip)

and this:
Messenger bag prototype
Prototyping a messenger bag for knitting. I made my first zipper pocket in the lining of this bag using this tutorial.

and this:
Valentino's surprise birthday party
Dancing in a NYC club for Valentino’s birthday party ( he’s the one on the right). Valentino is Scott’s office mate and his wife really surprised him for his birthday. She had a Decoy party on Friday night to make him think that his birthday celebration was over. Then she managed to get him to the club where all of us were waiting. Not a very good picture, but it was 2 am, after all. We had a hotel downtown NYC for Sat. night, so we danced until about 2:30 and took a cab home. I could have danced ’til dawn, but Scott made a little too much use of the open bar in the first hour to last that long.

I also saw Larissa after her trip to AZ and she brought me this:
Yin and Yang yarn
Yin and Yang Yarn from Southwest Trading company. Ideas are marinating in my brain on the best way to use these. Until then, into my stash they go.

As you can see, I’ve been occupying my time with a variety of things, but haven’t had the determination to finish any of them.

I will finish them eventually, but until then,


Making the knitting bag

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

My knitting bag Inside the 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

I cut:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. Turn right side out, iron as needed, and set aside.

To create the lining:

  1. 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.
  2. Measure 3″ in from un-sewn edges and mark a line on each edge of both the 18″ x 6″ pieces.
  3. Decide the size you want your pockets to be and mark those lines as well.
  4. 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.
  5. Open, measure and mark a line 2.5″ from the center line on each side.
  6. 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.
  7. Sew the bottom of the 18″ x 6″ pieces to the canvas fabric
  8. Sew along the marked lines on the small pieces.
  9. 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.
  10. Repeat the corner mitering with the lining.
  11. Iron as necessary

Making the straps:

  1. Fold your 3″ x 2o” strips in half the long way.
  2. Sew one end and long open edge of one strip 1/4″ from edge. Repeat for second strip.
  3. Turn and iron the strips. Sew 1/4″ from each edge of the fold and hem. Repeat for second strip
  4. Sew a zig-zag down the center of each strip.
  5. Set aside.

Putting the bag together:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. (If I had used interfacing, I would probably iron it now.)
  5. 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.
  6. Measure 4″ in from the side seam and mark with pin ( 4 times).
  7. Insert strap 1″ deep between lining and bag, with outer edge at the 4″ mark.
  8. Pin strap in place.
  9. Sew bag lining and strap together by sewing around the perimeter of the bag 3/4″ from edge.
  10. Repeat, sewing 1/4″ from edge.
  11. Sew bag and lining together along 4 corners, from top edge to outside pocket to hold bag and lining together.
  12. 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.

The knitting bag

I have had a serious knitting habit for at least a year and a half. In that time, I have used many things as knitting bags: plastic bags, gift bags, canvas bags, and my favorite – this magazine holder from Michaels that I got on clearance.

knitting box

The thing about my favorite bag is that it is actually a box. A box covered in fabric and handles, but a box none the less. I like it because it stands upright and open and can hold the magazine or book I am working from, needles, yarn and project without a problem. The drawbacks to using a box are that it is not compressible, when tipped it tends to send the contents flying, it doesn’t have any pockets, and it is not the kind of thing you carry around in public. The handles hardly come together, making it possible but uncomfortable to carry.

After a couple of experiments at the sewing machine, I decided that I knew what I wanted my knitting bag to look like and set about making it. I had about 1 yard of fabric from Grandma Beckman that I wanted to use, but I knew it wasn’t going to be durable. So I bought some canvas at Walmart and set to work making a bag that had the print I wanted, but was durable on the bottom, knowing it would be sitting on the floor beside me a lot.

This is the result. (Click for a closer view)

My knitting bag Inside the knitting bag Knitting bag in use

I figured if I was going to put canvas on the bottom, it might as well be pockets. I also knew that I preferred the inside of the bag to be light colored, so I just accented the inside with the print on the inside pockets. The final dimensions are 11.5″ W x 5″ D x 10.5″ H. If I had more experience I would have used interfacing to attach the lining to the bag more firmly, but even still, I love it. I stitched down the bottom of the bag and the four corners to keep the lining in place after assembly, but fusible interfacing would have been much simpler.

I made a number of mistakes that took more time than it would have if everything went perfect, but in the end it was about 10 hrs. of work. If anyone is interested, I can publish the pattern at a later date. I think I will make more after my Christmas knitting is finished, and at that time I will be able to take pictures as I go.

I have also finished my center motif sweater, but still haven’t blocked it. I’ll put up nice pictures when that’s done. In the mean time, here’s a teaser picture in our dirty mirror.

Bag on arm