Monday, December 26, 2011

Sock Project Bag

Merry Christmas!  Well, the day after, anyway.  My sister has been knitting socks like they are going out of style.  I believe she started knitting socks for everyone for Christmas in the summer.  Smart thinking, Lady!

She may have been sick of socks by the time I gave this to her, but I sewed her a Sock Project Bag.  What is that? you say.  It is a mini drawstring bag that holds one ball of yarn and the in-process socks with needles so you can carry it wherever you go.

I saw an ad for it on the Lion Brand website:

Original Bag from Lion Brand

Yes, the socks-on-the-clothes-line pattern is very cute, but it was sold out when I looked into buying it.  Like everything else, I thought, "I can make that, no problem!" 

It has a round-bottom, a drawstring and a wrist strap.  Oh and the retail one is reversible.  Bring it on, Lion Brand!

Fabric on the Right is for the Sock Bag

I made this over Thanksgiving weekend, the same day I made the Knitting Needle Wrap.  This will be for my sister's birthday, which is right after Christmas, but I gave it to her early, while I was visiting this month.  She can never wait until her birthday to open her presents.

I will try and condense this into a tutorial.  I took a ton of pics, so I hope that it is helpful.

  • Half yard of two different fabrics, Color 1 (C1) and Color 2 (C2)
  • Matching Thread
  • About 1 yard of Grosgrain Ribbon, 5/8" wide 
  • Toggle
  • Scissors / Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Ruler
  • Marker or Pen
  • Calculator (Yes, there is Math involved)
  • Iron & Ironing Board
Start by ironing the fabric.  Take a ball of sock yarn to use as a guide in determining how round the bottom needs to be.  I used my flour canister lid and traced it onto a corner of both fabrics.

Tracing Isn't Just For Kindergarten

Cut out each circle.  I will call the olive green fabric C1 and the brown/aqua fabric C2.  It really doesn't matter which is which, since it's reversible, but for the sake of it, they are labeled.

Measure the diameter of the circle (from one edge to the opposite edge).  To calculate the circumference, multiply the diameter by pi.  Yes, pi.  (Isn't this exciting, using math while sewing)?!  My calculator has a pi button, but if yours doesn't, then take the diameter and multiply it by 3.14.  

My diameter was 7".  So 7 x 3.14 = 21.98".  Let's round up to 22" and add another half inch for the seam allowance (22.5").  This is the width of the tube needed to fit your round bottom.  Don't you feel smart now?

Perfectly Calculated Pieces

Once the width is cut to what your circumference worked out to be, cut the height to about 11.5".  It only needs to fit a ball of yarn, needles and the working socks.

Now, the retail bag has pockets on one of the fabric sides.  Since there is extra fabric, take a scrap piece and use it as a pocket.  I chose to use C1 as the pocketed fabric.  Fold and press a 1/4" edge on the wrong side, along the top.  Sew.  Then press another edge on the flanking sides. 

Pocket Action

Line up the bottom edge that was not folded, along the bottom raw edge of the fabric in the middle (like in above pic).  Sew just the pocket down along the 2 sides and bottom.  I also sewed a line up the middle, bisecting the pocket.  Put aside.

Bottom Pinned

Take C2 fabric and attach the round bottom to the tube.  Place right sides together and work your way around the circle, pinning the tube.  When you get to the end, you have extra fabric for the tube.  This is so you can sew the side seam so it fits the bottom exactly.  (Just in case your math was a bit off, the added extra half inch seam allowance is here to save the day).  Pin the tube side and sew the whole length.  Now pin that last section onto the circle.

This is the tough part: sew the bottom to the tube, using about a 1/4" seam allowance.  A little story here (going off on a tangent) is that I tried making a wine gift bag out of fabric when I was about 19 years old.  I had no idea what I was doing, using my mom's sewing machine.  I was Miss Know-It-All back then, so I  didn't ask for help.  Well, the bag was pretty sad looking and I had not sewn a round bottom bag since then.  I feel pretty good that I did it well this time.

Phew, My Round Bottom Phobia Has Been Cured!

Turn the tube right side out.  Yea, one bag down, one more to go.

Take the fabric with the pocket, C1, and do the same thing as you did for C2.  One exception, when sewing the side of the tube, leave about a 2" hole for turning.  Trust me.

Turning Hole - A Fabric Miracle

For the drawstring, we need to make a hole on one of the fabric top edges.  I chose C1 to have the hole.  Find the middle of the top edge, opposite of the side seam.  Measure about 1" from top edge and place a mark.

Button Hole Mark

Make a button hole at the mark, going horizontal.

Now the fun part:  take both bags and turn C1 inside out and C2 right side out, if they are not already like that.  Place C2 inside C1; the right sides of the fabric should be facing each other.  Line up the side seams.  Just to check yourself, the one with the pocket, turning hole and button hole is on the outside and the other bag is on the inside as in the below pic.

Make Sure It Looks Like This

Pin the top raw edges together and sew a 1/4" seam allowance.  Turn this beauty out with the turning hole.  It will look like the bags are end to end.

Nothing Is Wrong, Really!

Now, fit C2 into C1.  Press the top seam.  From this top edge, sew 1" down.  This will be the casing for the drawstring.  

Take the ribbon and make a loose bracelet around your wrist, big enough to easily slide off.  Add 1" to that length.  On the outside, top edge, on the side seam, topstitch the ribbon in place at the very top edge and where the bottom of the drawstring casing.

Wrist Strap - For the On-The-Go Knitter

Once sewn, take the remaining length of ribbon and thread it through the button hole (safety pin works well).

Or Use a Handy Threader

Once the ribbon is in place, thread the ends through the toggle.  With the drawstring at it's loosest, adjust the ribbon.  Make a knot a few inches from the toggle.  Cut the ribbon near the knot.  Sear the edges of the ribbon edges with a lighter or flame, being very careful (you don't want your project to literally go up in flames).

Believe it or not, the project is done!

Side With Pocket Out

Or turn it the other way:

Pocket Is On the Inside

I'll admit, this took awhile, but it came out so cute, that I really did not mind.  It was worth the time to make my sister something useful for her birthday.

Not Too Shabby!

My sister did, in fact, teach me how to knit socks, maybe I can get her to follow my tutorial to make me a Sock Project Bag for my birthday.  What'cha think, Kathy??

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