Creative articles about sewing

Advent calendar 2014 – the 21st door

I like to hang small bags on the Christmas tree. Sometimes these have had a little gift inside and sometimes a sweet in a bright wrapper.

This year I thought that instead of using fabric or felt, it would look prettier to make the bags from organza and design a pattern using the software.

You can download the pattern here.

The organza was very fine but stiff so I hooped a single thickness and then used some Madeira self-adhesive Avalon Plus on the back. This made the material sufficiently firm to embroider and the water soluble backing can be either left in place or removed when the bag is completed.  A suitable size is around 100 millimetres and after adding a circle for a hanger, still means that both sides can be fitted in the standard hoop.

Art Canvas has a number of simple shapes included, although not all are the right shape to make a bag. The hexagon is particularly good as are the other polygons with odd numbered sides. They are easy to sew together leaving a reasonable sized opening in which to insert the present.

heptagon

I changed the polygon to a seven sided shape and the pen width to 1 millimetre for all the shapes drawn. Two stars were drawn inside, and the image was converted and digitised manually in Embroidery canvas.

Digitising with a step fill then an outline for the heptagon and the same for the stars enabled the underlay fill to be removed. The fills could then be changed to something lighter such as a lace or blackwork fill.

Lastly, a satin stitch circle was digitised so a ribbon could be threaded to tie to the tree. Each object was coloured differently, as it is so much easier to use the Colour film and locate each part as well as changing the order. For example, the pattern is sharper and crisper if the filled area is sewn first and then the outline sewn round afterwards. Once completed, the whole pattern should be changed to a single colour, checked in slow redraw, any start and finish points altered, then vertical mirror used to form the two sides of the bag. If one part is to be sewn in a different colour then change the object and re-check the stitching.

Remember to save the pattern at different stages using “save as” so if a mistake is made it can be rectified without starting again.

7sided-done

Send to the machine and sew out in just white thread using the brush to sew straight through then cut round the edges and using a small zigzag, sew the pieces together from the right horizontal point, down the sides and round the bottom to form a bag with the top open.

I decorated my completed bags with crystals, but you could add tiny bows, glitter or hand stitching; whatever you want to try.

P1000483_bagsforblog

 

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  • Jan Allston

    Wonderful – they will look very pretty on my Christmas Tree Dawn – thank you for the designs.

  • Hilary Gooding

    Dawn, they are so delicate and pretty – almost like snowflakes to hang on the tree. This is such a lovely idea. Thank you. Hilary

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