DIY time with Philip: A swanky snack bag

This week, by special request, I made a bag. Not just any bag, this bag will serve a very specific purpose for Hersha Steinbock, my Fashion Trend Analysis instructor. Hersha asked that I create “a bedazzled fruit and veg carrier so that I can enjoy my fresh produce between classes and still retain some semblance of my stylish pretensions.”

In an attempt to do just that, the following is what I came up with. Cute as a button, and just a bit more expensive, this bag will have everyone in the break room tucking their sandwich bags back into their brown paper sacks.

To make one of your own, you’ll need (photo 1):

o fabric, I chose a linen liner, for breathability, with a lace overlay
o scissors
o awl
o yarns
o pins
o chalk, or something to mark pattern with
o darner or embroidery needle
o ruler or French curve
o ribbons, about 2.5 yds.
o 1 yd. medium weight brass chain

Begin by cutting three 6-foot-long pieces of yarn. Braid them in sets of three to make the yarn stronger (photo 2).

To make the body begin with the lining fabric folded in two. Mark a crescent shape about ten inches wide, using the ruler or French curve and chalk (photo 3, bottom). Pin the edges of the outline, and cut the shape out, leaving a half inch seam allowance outside the line. Pin the lining shape to the lace fabric that has been folded in half and cut out the overlay pieces.

For the flap, begin with the same crescent shape from the first part, then close the opening of the crescent. This can be freehanded, but make sure you maintain a smooth, rounded shape (photo 3, top). Cut only one lining for the flap with a half inch seam allowance. Then, pin the liner to the lace and cut out the second overlay.

Before constructing the body, make sure the overlay pieces are facing with the face sides together, and the linings are outside of them (photo 4). Knot the end of the braided thread, put it through the needle, and begin by sewing the convex, or outward curving edge. Then, sew one set, lining and overlay, to the end of the seam (photo 5).

Remove the yarn from the needle, and turn your attention to the flap pieces for a while. Begin by threading the second braided yarn, facing the wrong sides of the fabric together, and sewing one edge completely. Flip the right sides out, and begin sewing the unfinished edge of the flap to the unfinished edge of the body, with the overlays facing each other (photo 6).

There will be excess flap at the end of the body, just close up the seam and tuck the end of the yarn between the lining and overlay.

Next, cut the ribbon in half, and string it through the chain back and forth, leaving excess on both ends of the chain (photo 7).

To finish the project, fold the excess flap into the outside body seam (photo 8), thread the ribbon through the needle, and beginning at the joined edges, sew the flap to the body seam. Leave about 6 inches of ribbon hanging from this end.

As you sew up the seam, roll the flap seam into the body seam. As you approach the other end of the bag, stop rolling the flap seam over, but continue wrapping the body seam with the ribbon (photo 9). Make sure the opening is large enough for snacks to fit through it.

Tie the excess ribbon at each end of the bag to the ribbon at the ends of the chain, and either tuck the ends into the fabric or tie bows, whichever you like. Enjoy this new snack caddy and plan a trip to the farmer’s market to fill it up.

Written by: Philip Washington

For more DIY time with Philip, click here.