Woven Heart Bag

Materials

  • Two pieces of contrasting fabric
  • 13 x 36cm (5 x 14in)
  • 18 x 36cm (7 x 14in) wadding
  • 18 x 36cm (7 x 14in) lining fabric (could be the same as one of the outer pieces of fabric, or totally different for a contrast)
  • 13 x 72cm (5 x 28in) firm iron on Vilene
  • 120cm (48in) of bias binding in a matching colour
  • 60cm (24in) cord or double knit wool
  • Stranded cotton

Finished Size

17cm (7in)

Skill Level

Beginner

Getting Started

  1. Cut the Vilene into two pieces 5 x 14in. Press firmly on to the wrong sides of the main fabrics. It is important it is well attached to the fabric.
  2. Trace two the fabric shape templates from the pattern and copy them onto a piece of card.
  3. Fold each piece of fabric in half, wrong side out. Try and ensure that the fold is exactly on the grain of the fabric. This ensures it will fray less. Line up the bag template along the folded edge and draw round it, ensuring you mark all the lines too. As this is not an heirloom project, Jane used a biro to ensure clear, visible lines but a pencil would do. They will not be seen on the final bag.
  4. Cut round the outside line, but not along the fold. Carefully cut along the drawn lines to create flappy loops of fabric. The fabric will try and move, so make sure you hold the fabric flat so the cuts are even on both sides.

TIP! Mark the position of the lines outside the edge of the template, then join up the lines with a ruler. This ensures that they are accurately placed and totally straight.

Figure 1: Starting to weave the strips
Figure 1: Starting to weave the strips

Weaving the bag

  1. Turn the fabric over to the right side and re fold along the fold line.
  2. Weaving the strips takes a bit of thought as the finished heart needs to open. Don't worry if you get it wrong first time, you can always undo it and try again. The Vilene stiffens the fabric so it should not fray too much. The edges are not neatened at all.
  3. Take one of the fabric pieces and place it at right angles to the other. Taking the strip nearest the top of the heart, slip the first strip of the other piece in the middle of this strip. See Figure 1.
  4. Next slip the strip through the middle of the second strip, as shown in Figure 2. Then slip the third strip in the middle of your weaving strip and continue on with the in and out action until you reach the end of the row.
  5. For the second strip, start with the opposite: slip it through the middle of the first strip of the other piece, then slip the second strip through it.
  6. Continue until the whole bag is woven. If at any time you cannot open the bag up, you need to stop and start again.
Figure 2: Weaving the strips
Figure 2: Weaving the strips

Finishing

  1. Using the template, cut two pieces of wadding to size, thin cotton wadding is best for this.
  2. To keep the lining of the bag pristine, the quilting is done before the lining is inserted. Jane did this without a backing, but if you are using a fluffy wadding, you may also need to cut two pieces of backing fabric the same size as the wadding cut above.
  3. Insert one piece of wadding into the bag and using all six strands of the stranded cotton, sew French knots in the centre of the plainer squares. See Figure 3. You could add more embellishment such as sequins or little love charms if you wish. Repeat for the other side of the bag.
  4. Cut the lining using the template. With right sides together, seam down the open side. If you wanted, you could cut extra for this seam to make it folded in and totally hidden. However, it is unlikely to show through in any case. Insert the lining into the bag, wrong sides together.
  5. Cut 24in of the bias binding and machine a seam as close to the edges as possible to make a tube. Cut in two. Using a blunt darning needle, thread the wool through the two tubes to create two handles. Pin in place at the top of the heart, making sure that the two straps are equal and that the bag will hang nicely.
  6. Attach the bias binding by hand, slip stitching on the outside first, all around the top of the heart, using a matching thread. Make sure that you sew the lining in place at the same time.
  7. Turn the bias binding over to the inside of the bag and stitch in place, making sure that the stitches will not be seen on the front of the bag.
  8. Push the handles so that they point upwards and top stitch in place.
  9. Fill the bag with tiny goodies such as chocolates and love tokens and give to someone special or treat yourself.
Figure 3: French Knot
Figure 3: French Knot

 

TIP! Start sewing the bias binding on the side which will be the back of the bag and over to one side so that the join at the end will be less noticeable.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 16 Number 1 - January 2007