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Friday, November 5, 2010

Appliqued calico bags

This week I have been using a roll of unbleached calico I bought some years ago to make drawstring bags for larger presents, using some of the smaller pieces from the remnants I bought at the Gilles St Market a couple of weeks ago as appliqued decoration. Most, but not all, have a Christmassy theme.

I washed and ironed the calico before making the bags. Although a very humble fabric, it washes well and looks softer and whiter each time it is washed. The appliques should be colourfast.

Here is the week's product draped over a tree!

I tried out a number of new techniques in making these bags. First, I tried out the applique stitch function on my Janome sewing machine. It gave a very nice finish.

However, for the most part I used the zigzag stitch, which, although less decorative, was much faster. In a batch like this I went for speed, but would use the applique stitch for more one-off work.

I also used applique glue for the first time, in liquid droplet form, to position the pieces before stitching. It was brilliant, making the job much easier, especially since I did a bit of piecing together to use up as much of the fabric as I could. I do like the challenge of recycling and 'making do'.

In addition to raiding my ribbon stash, I also used up some ropey cord I had left from a project now forgotten.
Finally, I discovered that Mettler polysheen no. 40  thread gave a much smoother coverage with fewer thread breakages than cotton or ordinary polyester thread. This was particularly useful in making the last two bags. These are fairy bags, outside the Christmas theme, and very pink.

All these bags have space to applique a name or initial once I have chosen a present to go in them. I am happy that I can quickly make these bags to accommodate larger presents and will have my eye out for other remnants for other occasions.


jillyb said...

Jillian, I am in awe of your fabulous creations!

Jillian said...

Thank you! I'm having a lot of fun.