Alrighty. I have completed not just one tapestry bags but TWO!
And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a glimpse of the journey I undertook. This might not be 'the' way to make a bag, but it's my way.
1. Play about with your tapestries until you have a layout that pleases the eye. This may take several days.
Ignore any funny looks you may get from your family during this procedure.
I personally like having the plain background pieces next to the busy background pieces.
2. Press them flat under a damp tea towel, fuse some fusible interfacing on the back (I think this might add strength to the flimsier bits and also hold it together better when you start cutting.)
3. It's unlikely that your pieces will be square. Square them up with a try square from your toolbox.
4. Do not use marker pen to do this as you'll get marker pen on the ironing board. Oops.
5. Zig zag those raw edges. Twice. Because you don't want the whole thing to unravel.
6. For the next piece, repeat the steps above and make it the same height as the first then pin them, right sides together...
This is really just a gratuitous shot of my fingernails as I've been growing them and for the first time in 27 years I have hands like a laydee!
7. That makes it sound like I'm 27 years old. I'm slightly older than that. Stitch together with a generous 2cm seam allowance and press seam open...
Yes it does look wonky.
Better from the front thankfully.
8. Carry on with your next row pressing the seams open. If you offset the joins it will stop the back getting bulky and will run through your machine better when you join your rows.
9. Join your rows. Press seams open.
10. Check for squareness again. Mine needed re squaring for some reason. If you chop bits off, zig zag your edges again. You can add a strip of the bag backing on to the top if you need to, to give you a decent fold over so you're not losing too much of the design.
11. Ignore the voices in your head, nagging you about the ironing pile that needs doing. Don't stop. If you stop you'll NEVER pick it up again. This is a scientifically proven fact. Stop taking photos of your work to save time. Who needs to see a photo of a seam pressed open anyway?
12. Cut a back piece the same size as the front. Zig zag edges, place right sides together and stitch 3 sides together leaving the top open. Clip corners and zig zag over them. You can also add a gusset at this point if you have nothing better to do or like a roomy bag.
13. Turn inside out and fold in top hem. Stitch this down.
14. Add your handles.
And the other one? I took off the handle to use on the bag above and found a leather belt in a charity shop to use as a handle. My local independent and quite attractive cobbler riveted it on for me and I left the ends of the belt on for added quirkiness. That jangly buckle is going to drive me insane though...
Do come back in a year or so when I'll be finally attempting to LINE the bags. I have now earned a much needed break from sewing and I have to tackle the ironing.
I shall be taking my bag to Kirsties Handmade Fair this weekend where I will no doubt be mobbed by women wanting to stroke it. It's very tactile.
Kirstie will want to commission one and I will tell her I did all the tapestries myself and charge her hundreds of pounds. In spite of this we'll become best friends. We'll go to Magaluf together where we'll get up to all kinds of mischief.
So I'll let you know how I get on with that.