after months of planning, preparation, collection of ideas, a lot of excitement and also a hint of fear I finally managed to create the very first blog post on Number Twelve.
I’ll begin with a little introduction: My name is Salome, I am 21 years old and am currently studying economics in Bonn, in the west of Germany. With my studies and a quite time-consuming job one might think that I am pretty busy. But those who know me know that I always find some spare time to sew. As my studies can be a little dry from time to time, sewing is the perfect diversion to unleash my creative side and forget everything around me.
One thing you will soon notice: I LOVE to sew! I love strolling through fabric stores, the moment you know you found the perfect fabric, to finish my project with thoughtful details and to know that everything I create is unique and exactly the way I want it.
It all began as a little girl. My mum is a very creative person. She can take a whole lot of nothing and make it into something. Be it any kind of handicraft like knitting, stitching, crafting or finding a way to repair things around the house, even decorations and floral arrangements on weddings were no big deal for her. She has an eye for the aesthetic, a head full of creative ideas and a good hand to realise as she envisioned. Sewing – of course – is also one of her many talents. When me and my sisters were younger my mum sewed countless clothes for us, stuffed animals (one has survived till today), bags, dresses, the list goes on and on. Guess I inherited those creative genes. Inspired by her I then began to sew my way from pillows and scarves up to my prom dress – with a great deal of sweat, tears and extreme joy on the day I finished it.
This is what Number Twelve will be about. I learned many techniques by my mom, but most of my sewing skills are self-taught, and often I had to learn it the hard way by unraveling the whole seam and repeating it till it looked the way I wanted it. For those who do not have a sewing pro/mum at hand I want to provide comprehensible and clear tutorials and DIYs for everybody to understand. I am by no means a professional seamstress but I want to show that sewing is far more easy than most would assume and that everyone is able to learn it. I have a million ideas buzzing around my head, which I cannot wait to share with you. So let’s get started!
Christmas is right around the corner (2 days to be precise) and for everyone who is still looking for a little personal gift I might have the perfect DIY: a small makeup bag. It is both easy AND quick to make. And the best part is, you can personalise it as much as you like. Wether it is for your sister, mother, your girlfriends or even yourself (you cannot have too many, am I right?), hop over to your sewing machine and let’s start!
- fabric (for exterior and lining)
- volume fleece (batting)
- textile scissors
- zipper (22cm)
- marker (tailor’s chalk or fabric pen)
- measuring tape
- ribbons, buttons or the like to decorate your bag
- sewing machine
First of all you need to make your pattern. In the photo above you can find all the measurements. Just cut it out on paper and copy it onto the fabric, lining and batting. You’ll need two pieces of each. Don’t forget to add seam allowance (1-2 cm).
For the bag to be a little more sturdy as well as give it some kind of fluffiness I used some pretty thick volume fleece. But it depends on your needs which kind of batting is best for you. In this tutorial I used some regular volume fleece for sewing but it might be easier for beginners to use iron-on batting, so everything stays in place when you sew. Just take care which side you are ironing on or else you will ruin your iron.
Now lay the batting on the wrong side of your fabric (the side that is not meant to be seen) and do a zigzag stitch all around the edges. If you are using iron-on batting, iron the batting on the wrong side of your fabric and let it cool.
If you want to decorate your bag with ribbons, buttons or even embroider it, the time is now. In case you want your motif to be central, please keep in mind that the lower 4,5 cm will be part of the flat bottom and therefore won’t be seen. As I have some pretty floral pattern I decided to go without extra decorations.
Next we will add the zipper. This might sound complicated at first and believe me, for many years I stayed away from any project that included a zipper, but once you understand how it works and practiced it a few times, zippers won’t scare you away anymore, I promise!
Place your fabric on the table with the right side facing you. Then lay the zipper with the right side facing the fabric on the upper edge of the fabric where you want the opening to be. On top of that place your lining with the right side down (if there is a difference between right and wrong side). You might want to pin it all together to prevent it from slipping out of position. Slowly start sewing along the upper side of the zipper with a straight seam (see picture above). Of course it is easier with a presser foot particular for zippers, but it will also work just fine with a regular one. Also take care of the teeth – if you come too close you won’t be able to open the zipper.
This is what it will look like after you finish and fold it apart. Now onto the other side: just repeat the same process with the other half of the zipper.
And you’re done with the zipper! Wasn’t that hard, was it? On the photos above you see how it should look like from both sides.
The next step is to sew the inner and outer bag together. For that you place the linning with right sides facing each other on top of one another. Same with the fabric (see above). With a straight seam sew along the edges. Leave out the corners as well as a small hole at the bottom edge of the lining. To make it more clear I marked the seams in the picture above.
Here is what it looks like afterwards.
Now let’s move on to the corners. You will need to repeat the next step twice, each for the outer fabric and the lining.
At one of the corners, separate the layers of the bag and align both layers on top of each other, so that the side seam and bottom seam match up. Pin them to create a flat layer and sew with a straight seam. Once you repeated it 4 times, you’re almost done.
Through the hole at the bottom of the lining you can turn the bag, so that the right sides are visible. Handstitch the hole in the lining, tuck it inside and you are done!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If there are any questions left unanswered just leave a note below and I am happy to help.