Thursday, April 23, 2015

Late Winter Part 3: The sheep bag

You know I love my sheep.  As wool is my muse, sheep are my special patron saints of sorts.  When I saw this fabric by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka (see her great blog here), I knew I had to find a project to use it.  I purchased my yardage on Etsy and bought some of the mustard sheep plus some of the charcoal and mustard scallop coordinating trim fabric.

This bag is the happy result.

The pattern is my own, modified from the size of a bag I dearly love plus some details found on Pinterest.  The strap is actually a recycled belt just threaded through the loops.

The outside of the bag is the linen/cotton blend fabric with fusible fleece attached.  I love the slightly rough texture of the fabric -- not super cotton smooth like regular quilter's cotton.  The fleece adds some heft and stability.  This bag definitely stands on it's own and is not floppy at all.
 I used the trim fabric in a couple of ways.  First, I made the belt loops on the outside using the charcoal scallop fabric plus midweight fusible interfacing.  On the inside, I used the mustard scallops (interfaced) with charcoal pockets.  I always put 2 pockets in my bags.  One for my phone and one for my reading glasses.  Everything else goes down in the bottom of the bag.  Magnetic snap closure keeps everything tidy.
I'm pretty excited about the belt-as-strap concept.  This belt is one of my own and I modified the bag sizing slightly to accommodate the belt.  The original idea was to run strap channels all the way around the bag except where the handle grabs would be.  But, with a buckle to deal with, I changed the idea to belt loops.  This way I could position the buckle on one end so you could actually see it was once a belt.  Very cute.  The black is the perfect accent and keeps the handles from looking dirty.

I am just starting to carry the bag.  The handles might be a little short and I may have to find a larger belt to strand through but that shouldn't be too hard to change.  Another advantage of the design is that to wash the bag I need only remove the belt and I have a leather-free regular bag to throw in the wash.

I still have a fair amount of the fabric and may make some zipper bags or some other little accessory.  Happy Spring!