When we first checked in at the Sewing Summit we got this awesome blank canvas bag filled with tons of goodies. At first I was just super excited about being there and the amazing generosity of the sponsors, but as the weekend progressed I started to wonder what I was going to do with yet ANOTHER bag! When Erin announced in the Google group that there would be a contest for revamping our blank bag I knew exactly what I was going to do!
First I dyed it tangerine since orange is my go-to color. I haven't worked with dye since I did tie-dye at Girl Scout camp so this was my first step outside of my comfort zone. It turned out beautiful with lots of variations to give it a marbled look.
Bag body and straps
Then I took the bag completely apart to start with a fresh canvas. As you can see by the picture, I probably should have taken it apart first for a more uniform dye job, but it didn't really matter since all the undyed parts were later covered. The body of the bag was cut into 2 - 16"x18" pieces, which was basically the entire bag.
I cut each strap into 4 smaller strips and did a 4-plait round braid. I safety pinned the ends since they would eventually be sewn into the bag & at this point I wasn't sure how long they would need to be.
I knew what pattern I was going to use, but I wasn't sure how to decorate it yet so it sat for a few weeks after that.
In the meantime I participated in the Post Sewing Summit swap and made this fun mini for my partner, Becky. I really enjoyed this simple foundation piecing technique and thought it would be a fun way to highlight some of my favorite designer fabrics.
I started with some of my newly acquired Outfoxed and went from there. I was going to do a rainbow of colors again, but I changed my mind and decided to step further out of my comfort zone and work only with cool colors. I made a larger version of the Boxy Cosmetic Bag and added my braided handles to the side to make it easier to zip & unzip.
I used the same fabric to line the bag as I did on the back of Becky's mini & finished off the seams with a contrasting binding tape. I didn't do the prettiest job, but it looks better than the exposed seams would have.
Here is the final product...
I love this bag and I love that it will always remind me of Sewing Summit. And it will definitely be filled with hand work for next year's retreat! :D