Monday, 23 July 2012

Handmade Zakka Bag - Week 17

My little elephant bookmark was reminding me that this Zakka Monday was dedicated to a 'delightful linen bag' designed by Mette Robl.   The blog host, Sukie noted that the photo on page 83 of the Zakka Style book makes this little bag look bigger than it actually is.  The finished size is 5½" x 7" which is quite dainty and very desirable.   You may be thinking - 'do I really need another pouch - after all I've already made The House Pouch, the Patchwork Pencil Case, the Zip Organizer and the Orchard Path Pouch?"  My answer would be a resounding 'yes' - this pouch is simplicity itself to make and will come in handy for many, many things.  I am going to use it for my 'lunch-time refresher kit' for work (more on this at the end of this blog).
As you will know if you have read my previous posts, I constructed the elephant bookmark whilst in the Lake District on a wet and cold day in July.  Well it wasn't the only damp, dank day of my holiday.  So, with time on my hands and a couple of sample squares of Moda 'Flora' fabric to hand, I set about making this little pouch.  Bear in mind that I did not have a decent pair of scissors (only nail scissors) or a tape measure - I had to improvise somewhat. 

I am after all, called The Patchsmith so it seemed reasonable that I patch the fabric for the front of this pouch.  Using the inch markings on a walking map (aren't I the resourceful one?) I constructed a pinwheel block from four 2½" moda squares.  I trimmed the block to 4" square, as per the project directions and blanket stitched it onto the front of a linen strip of fabric.  I added a little bit of ribbon and five buttons I had popped in my sewing travel kit (for possible elephant eyes).  This was all I had to hand.  But I am really pleased with the outcome.  The bag is lined with the same fabric I used for my elephant's face and legs.
I bound the top of the bag with binding constructed from another Moda 'Flora' sample square.  However, the pink ribbon I used on my elephant didn't go with the patchwork I had constructed so I needed to come up with a little bit of ribbon for the closure loop.  Employing my newly found resourcefulness - I snipped the hanging loops off a turquoise top I had packed and used a 4" piece of that (what does it matter if my top lay on the bottom of the wardrobe - at least I could complete my Zakka project!).   Finally, I added a handmade button purchased from Hawkshead, the village where I was staying.

This project went together easily and I am really pleased with the results.  I changed the pattern slightly by constructing my body front and back from one linen strip of fabric measuring 14" x 6".  This I folded in half matching the 6" edges thus saving me from having to stitch a seam along the bottom.  I just stitched up the side seams and voila (another of my talents - knowing the odd word in French, German - "Liebfraumilch", Italian - "perdiana", American - "pastrami-on-rye" and Australian - "strewth").  The book actually advises you stitch two rectangles together but I was stitching by hand and wanted to keep sewing to a minimum.  I also constructed the lining the same way.
My 'delightful linen bag' will sit in my desk draw.  It will contain dental floss (to remove spinach just in case Brad Pitt pops into the office), eye drops (so that I can see the boss coming and look busy), small hair brush (for the days when I forget to brush my hair in the morning and only realise when catching my reflection in my computer screen at work!!) and chocolate (for energy just in case Brad wants to take me somewhere secluded).  Stop laughing - it could happen - after all my teeth are clean, my eyes are sparkly and my hair is perfect coiffed   .......... and I have the bag to prove it!

Oooh, I nearly forgot - I know the Russian word for squirrel - unfortunately I don't know how to spell it in Russian - I can only pronounce it - it sounds like 'cott' I think.


  1. Cute little pouch! Thanks again for your take. And you ARE a resourceful one!!

  2. Very resourceful ! Loved this blog post . Made me smile . One more thing for your bag is " lippy" to put on after you've checked for the spinach . ( that's Australian for lipstick ) I'm sure you got it .

    1. Strewth Gina - fancy forgetting the lippy! Will need that after Brad has finished snogging me!

  3. You are too funny and totally prepared for everything now :-) Sweet little pouch, creative way to do it.

  4. Still laughing at the thought of your holiday clothes in a heap while you cut bits off them to make patchwork stuff - you were obviously a Girl Guide and are prepared for all eventualities.

  5. See Brad is slowly making his way out of the running for me. It's all about Ryan Gosling or Tatum. Love your version of the pouch!!!

  6. Oh, my! I laughed when I read the "somewhere secluded" bit, and then read, "Stop laughing - it could happen." Then I really laughed!!!! I believe this is the first time I've read your blog; I love your writing style, so I'll be back! Oh, and nice pouch, too!

  7. Love your version of the pouch! Very happy with all the buttons.

  8. I love how you hand stitched that on, it looks great! And Brad Pitt, teehee!

  9. glad you make use of the little ribbons for hanging tops - so do I! They come in handy for gift tags especially. Great tip for making the front and back from one single piece. You always pioneer the projects for me.