Knitting Sarah Sews a Bento Bag

It’s no secret that I’m a really lazy sewist. Sewing is something I’ve been exposed to and done for almost as long as I can remember, but for whatever reason I do not have the patience for sewing that I do for knitting. These days, I also have two big obstacles. First, I haven’t properly magically tidied up my sewing area yet. Second, the only space for my sewing machine is in the basement. The lighting isn’t great and my beautiful sewing table needs a minor repair (for which I keep forget to purchase the proper piece). My iron and ironing board are stored upstairs.  I have a lot of excuses, as you can see. That being said, every now and then I pull up my big girl panties and get to work and I enjoy the fruits of my sewing labors.

Last Friday, by complete randomness, I decided it would be fantastic to sew myself a little one-skein bento bag. Finally. A few months ago when I bought fabric from Alewives Fabrics for my ‘summer’ (whoops!) wardrobe, I threw in a fat quarter pack from Leah Duncan’s collection, “Gramercy,” for Art Gallery Fabrics because I really wanted to try my hand at some sort of bento bag and I thought the prints included would be fun. Well, *mumble, mumble, mumble* later, I’ve finally done it!

IMG_0448I adore the results!

I used this blog post as a guide — it has a nice and easy to follow photo tutorial which I followed by sight. I admittedly glanced over it, but did not actually read it (lazy sewist, remember?), I just followed the pictures. It turned out well though despite my best efforts to ignore instructions!

The only thing that I did that was unique to this guide was that I used two fat quarters to make my bag. For each half of the bag, I folded the fat quarter into a right triangle right sides together, sewed the sides, and turned them inside out. This allowed me to have the right side of the fabric on both the inside and the outside.  The down side of this pretty aesthetic is that it makes a rather small bag.

Perfect, however, for a single skein project…

IMG_0449This is the bag tied with a full 400yard skein of sport weight handspun inside. It’ll be just about perfect for any hat or sock project, I think.

 Of course, the allure of the sewing machine and all of its magical buttons is strong for the youngsters in my house and I was quickly talked into making another with my daughter using some fabric she’d picked out a little while ago. I was very happy that I’m able to unplug the pedal from my sewing machine and use the start/stop button and speed control so that she could focus on the basics, like sewing a straight line and keeping track of her fingers.

IMG_0452She did great and was very proud of her accomplishment. I’ll admit that I’m pretty proud of her, too.

There was some additional sewing over the weekend that did not pan out. I was trying out a new pattern with a cheap muslin and despite my best efforts there were some pretty major sizing issues. I’m hoping to give that one another try soon as I like the style and even though it’s a summer top, it’ll make a great layering piece over the cooler months. It may be taking months longer than I’d hoped, but slowly and surely I’m going to work my way through my (thankfully pretty minimal) fabric stash. All the patience and good luck you can send my way will be much appreciated!

12 responses to “Knitting Sarah Sews a Bento Bag

  1. I’ve been sewing since I was 11, but only really well in the last few years …… I love putting tops together and seeing the end result. Granted – it isn’t as relaxing as knitting, even when I’m tinking instead of making progress and my knitting skills are not yet what I want them to be, but it is fulfilling. Oddly enough, except for quilts, I almost always sew with knits —– so comfortable when finished!

    • And ironically I am terrified to sew knits! I have a true lack of understanding when it comes to sewing with fabrics that stretch. I do have a nice serger though (thanks to a nice discount when I worked in a sewing shop) so I am hoping to tackle that fear in the coming years. I sewed knits for my kids when they were babies, so hopefully the re-learning curve won’t be too bad!

      • I have a server and still sew with my sewing machine! Somehow I thought I need that thing – I just sew a really small zigzag stitch (narrow and not long) and then if I feel like it, reinforce that with straight stitching 1/4 inch away. For me, knits are easier to sew then non-knits. Go figure. 😺😻😼😽😀

  2. Funny how parallel lives can be sometimes. I purchased two lengths of fabric not too long ago, to make a skirt and a dress. The dress is the stretch fabric, and I have ignored it because I am scared – no serger. 🙂
    The skirt I am ignoring because I have to make a (simple) alteration to the pattern. The sewing machine is upstairs, the ironing board down.
    No sewing for me this summer!
    But I follow a couple of blogs by ladies who make the nicest looking clothes, so I keep getting inspired by them to think I can do it. 🙂

    • I think sewing is more intimidating for me because it’s much harder to undo mistake. You really can’t just frog a project and start over. That said, since writing this post I’ve sewed two dresses and a top! I have one more top already cut out and then I might either tackle a couple new-to-me patterns that are definitely outside my comfort zone (yikes) or I will whip up a couple of the same tops I bought fabric for last summer. We shall see!

      I definitely need to make the leap to knits one of these days – the serger makes it super easy, but I think a zig-zag stitch does the trick, too. 🙂

    • Thank you! I can’t believe they worked out so nicely since I just kind of winged it and I am not super great with he sewing! I will take a win where I can though!

  3. How wonderful that your daughter sewed her own bag. My mother sewed all our clothes as kids and I started sewing my own clothes in junior high school using an old Singer treadle machine.

    • My mom sewed a lot of my skirts growing up and I did some basic things, but never did a ton on my own. Those treadle machines are beautiful! If I had more room in my house I would definitely have one!

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