Sewing: shark bag

A friend of mine is really into sharks. Like, really into sharks.  When I realized that I had some shark fabric left over from my sea creatures quilts, (both the crib size and the throw quilt), I figured it was time to make a Shark Bag.  It’s sort of a cross between the fabric basket pattern, but without batting, and a komebukuro bag.  After all those Christmas stockings, it was nice to do something a little new and different, and to invent something rather like a completely different pattern that I haven’t done before.

If I have a regret about this design, it’s that I didn’t properly cut the fabric to make sure that the majority of sharks were upright both on the inside and the outside of the bag.  The sharks aren’t completely oriented upright on the fabric… but they’re mostly oriented to be upright in one direction. Which I missed, until after the bag was assembled.  Which just goes to show you, nobody is perfect.

One of my discoveries is that the automatic buttonhole maker on my machine is neither automatic, nor particularly beautiful.  This is a problem — a traditional komebukuro has eight button holes.

However, I saw a beautiful bag on Pinterest that had loops sewn into the top of the bag.  This struck me as just as easy (and perhaps easier, and also more beautiful) as fiddling with the machine-settings to make buttonholes.  The results speak for themselves, I think; the cord closure lies nicely on top of the bag, instead of scrunching up the sides of the bag.  Elegant.

and I had a quartet of large squares of shark fabric left over from the cutouts of the bag’s bottom and walls.  So I made them into half-square rectangles, folded them into bias-tape-like strips, made loops, and inserted them with reinforcing top stitches all the way around the top of the bag.  Then I inserted a cord, and voila!  Finished bag.

As the last of the three photos shows, I’m beginning to make progress on some of the traditional means of cutting, pressing, and sewing in series.  These seven tabs are the loops around the top of the bag.  I sewed all of these tabs in more-or-less one go through the sewing machine, with the machine running more or less constantly.  One pass through of each folded strip in a line closed the folded-side shut; then the second pass through made a matching seam on the opposite side; then a third pass through resulted in the folded-over loops that could be stuck into the top-stitching on the bag.  Easy.

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