Hand sewing is slow, or is it? Here was the assignment: Could I make a useful item in under 2 hours, without much planning, and a few basic sewing supplies. This is what I came up with. A lined bag you can make in an hour or so using a big old pair of linen pants:
- pair of old linen pants
- fabric for lining
- tailors chalk
- button hole thread, needles
- vintage leather belt (Salvation Army has plenty of those)
(First thing you’ll notice is that I didn’t waste any time ironing…)
The idea was to make it easy by cutting out the front and bag piece as one unit. As this pair of pants had some pleats in the front, it makes for a more triangular shape. You can also just cut out square pieces using only the back part of the pants (or the front for that matter). The beauty of taking pants, is that the pockets are already made and I love to know at least where my keys, my purse and my cell phone are.
Turn the fabric to the wrong side, pin it together and stitch with a running stitch. The belt area will be harder to stitch, because usually it’s re-enforced with some stabilizer, but it’s not too bad either.
Cut out the lining. Just place the bag on the lining fabric and trace with some tailors chalk. Cut out.
Turn the fabric inside out, pin together and stitch the lining all the way around leaving the top part open. My lining was an old bed sheet and I incorporated a finished seam part, which saved me a bit of ironing and folding the seam over when you stitch it together with the outer part.
Leave the lining inside out and place it into the bag (like in the picture above). Use a neat slip stitch to sew the lining to the outer bag. Almost done.
One more thing — a strap. You can use a variety of things (you can make your own fabric strap, or use old chair webbing, but who has that really lying around?). How about using a vintage belt. Cut the edge of the belt with the hardware like you see in the picture. Punch 4 (or 6, but I was lazy) holes into the belt. If you don’t have a hole puncher, use a hammer and a small nail. Put if on a safe surface, so you don’t drive a nail into the dining room table.
Needless to say, you can use any fabric for the concept.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Don’t take pictures when it rains.
2. Love the leather belt strap. Makes it easily adjustable and looks good. Will use this again.
3. Like the shape of the bag, but would also explore square shapes and using different parts of vintage clothes.
4. All in all an hour well spent, triggering lots more ideas for exploration.