Star Spangled Banner Clutch!

Hello There!

I’ll tell you now, I’m not American. I do, however, love national flags! I also love any excuse to craft, so with Thanksgiving this week for our cousins across the pond, I thought this project would be perfect. Now, this post is actually a continuation of a post yet to come (Bit Timey-Wimey, all will become apparent)! My first Minerva Blogger Network post will be launching  Saturday 7th December, and the first Saturday of every month following that. In the spirit of all things thrifty, I made this using the left overs from this project and used it as my first “Absolute Beginners” post, where I’ll be trying things out for the first time. Today’s new joy is interfacing. Wikipedia hits the nail on the head with its description:-

Interfacing is a textile used on the unseen or “wrong” side of fabrics to make an area of a garment more rigid. interfacing can be used to:

  • stiffen or add body to fabric, such as the interfacing used in shirt collars
  • strengthen a certain area of the fabric, for instance where buttonholes will be sewn
  • keep fabrics from stretching out of shape”

It’s also commonly used in handbags, which is what I’ll be using it for today. I used a single sided Iron-On interfacing, which I found quite handy, however a Sew-In in also available (Double sided is available too which is akin to double-sided sticky tape in that it will fuse on both sides!). Interfacing usually starts from around £1 per metre, and it can be tempting to leave it out to save those pounds, but sometimes it is needed. So always think about how thick the fabric you’re using is, and what kind of finish you’d like.

Now, to the project in hand!

Ta-Dah

The clutch itself is a very basic shape. I used an A4 sheet of paper as a size guide, as this was how big I wanted my finished item to be, and a big ol’ leaflet that a “large cable TV company” posted through our front door (Thank you Mr. Branson). I created a template by marking 3 rectangles next to each other, long edges together. You can amend this to any size or shape you want. In the end rectangle I marked the centre of the end long edge, and created a triangle to form the flap of the clutch, leaving 1cm between the bottom of the triangle and the beginning of the central rectangle.

My Template

Using your template, cut out your main fabric, your interfacing, and your lining, remembering to leave seam allowance.

Now it’s time to iron on your interfacing. If you’re using sew-in interfacing this is where you’d also pin your lining!

First of all, take a small off cut of material and an off cut of interfacing. Fold the material in half and place the interfacing inside to make a sandwich, if you will, and iron. Now you can tell which side is fusible, and you won’t fuse your interfacing to your ironing board!

Place the fusible side of your interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, and lay down flat and in-line with your fabric and begin to iron. You want to use your iron as more of a heat press, as opposed to moving it about as you would ironing a shirt. A little wiggle here and there helps, as does steam, but you want to fuse your interfacing is stages, working from the centre out. You can use a pillow-case or tea-towel as a barrier but for the photos I ironed straight onto my material.

Ironing

Now it time to pin your lining. Place the correct side of the lining to the correct side of your fabric and pin, only, the flap of the bag and the very bottom seam.

Flap Pin

Sew where you’ve pinned leaving the sides open.

Flap Seam

Pretty Seams 🙂

Bottom Seam

 

Turn the  right way out. I used magnets as fasteners, so this is where I glued them inside the bag between the main fabric and the lining. Make sure you get good quality magnets! Otherwise they won’t be strong enough through the fabric :). If I was to do it again, I’d use a different clasp method.

Fold the bottom seam up to meet the base of the flap and pin the sides. You should be able to see the correct side of the lining. Sew where you’ve pinned.

Final Pin

 

Turn the bag the right way out and Tah-Dah! Star Spangled Banner Clutch. So if you’re looking for a last-minute Thanksgiving gift for someone, or a Christmas present, whip this up! It took about an hour, and that included taking pictures!

Hope this helped, and hope to hear from you soon.

Craft or Glory!

Katie B

 

B.C.-Before Crocheting!

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to my Crochet Diaries! A section of my blog dedicated chronicaling my learning to crochet, which will lead to The Big Project! But that’s a story for another time.

Let’s start at the beginning. All good stories start there. My previous ventures in yarn based crafts, as my dear mother can testify to, weren’t too pleasant. I couldn’t make a pom-pom without donating £20 to the swear jar first! Then I was inspired at work to learn to crochet. I said I’d start in the new year (this was in October). Then I saw it. MyBoshi. Two German guys in a rural Japanese Ski Lodge get bored and get taught to crochet by an old lady. They go home, and make a brand of it, you couldn’t make it up (“Boshi” is beanie in Japanese)! They shades are SPECTACULAR, seriously. You can order one to be made for you on their website, or you can get the supplies to make your own. So lets just say by November the 10th I was at the counter at work buying a hook and yarn.

As a personal early Christmas present, I treated myself to the MyBoshi branded crochet hook (6mm) for £1.99, but you can pick standard crochet hooks up from just  0.99p! I picked up a budget 50g ball of Double Knit (DK) yarn for 0.89p, but learn from my mistake. BUY. CHUNKY! Chunky yarn is better suited to a 6mm hook anyway, but it also makes it easier to learn where to put the hook, and help you develop your finger work. (side note-DK yarn would be best used with 3-4mm needle I’ve been advised).

Then, it was on to YouTube to find a tutorial. I would highly recommend this video, as it is the most well explained I’ve found, by far.

part one- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqca00LdmAc

part two- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlTdOMTDkug

Thus began the practicing. Yes I said practicing! Anyone who knows me knows, and as you will soon learn,  I don’t practice. I’m one of those annoying people who can kind of just pick some things up as I go, but here some things that require practice, and even I admitted I needed practice with this. I’d already decided I’d be making Christmas scarves for people, so there was no way I was using my £5.99 King Cole Krystal straight away! (to justify the pennies, they’re 100g balls and one ball makes one chunky scarf. Makes money sense now, doesn’t it :P). So a couple of “ooh!” and “ow!” cries and 2 days later, I had a few crocheted squares dotted about my coffee table. Lining them up you can see my progression. My first few looked like fans as I learnt tension and loosened up my chain stitches et c.. Then, I practiced with a Chunky yarn at scarf width, seeing if I could actually keep 20 or so stitches continuously! So now it’s Day 5 and I’m using a 9mm crochet hook with my King Cole Krystal yarn! In total, I’d say I’ve put in 10-13hrs. Not long really! You could crack the basics in a weekend, easily. Plus, if you’re like me and like pretty quick results, you can see your progress pretty quickly, as opposed to knitting.

That’s all for now folks! I’ve just started one christmas present, so we’ll see how it goes!

Don’t forget to check out my regular craft posts, and see you next time.

Katie B x

As you can see, they left a little to be desired in the beginning!
As you can see, they left a little to be desired in the beginning!
Proudly displaying my first real Square!
Proudly displaying my first real Square!