The Calamity Jane Bag

Since starting my woolly bits love, I’ve collected quite a bit of paraphernalia (surprise, surprise!!). There are two boxes which are great for holding threads and embellishments, but being the size they are, I haven’t been able to find a suitable bag to carry them to class….

20131116-172257.jpgNot wanting to change boxes – they are eminently suitable! – I needed a bag to fit…..

20131116-173643.jpg…and to possibly include my cushion as well….

20131116-173727.jpgFortuitously I obtained some fabric from Terrys Fabrics in the UK.

Choosing was such a hard task!! The fabrics are gorgeous and so reasonably priced, even with the exchange rate. They are 100% cotton, but a heavier weight, suitable for the curtains for which they are intended, but equally suitable for bags, or indeed, quilts!!

I was so pleased when the squishy parcel arrived – the colours are true to the website and being curtain fabric, are a wide width. (Oops, should have pressed that fabric before the photo!!)

20131116-174740.jpgThe plan for my bag had been percolating in my brain; I just trimmed the sides so the piece measured 39″ x 56″.

In my fabric library, there was a heavier weight cotton to use for the lining….

20131116-175723.jpg…perhaps not perfect, but I needed the heavier weight…..

20131116-175830.jpgSo, with bag and lining fabrics the same size, I folded the long sides, right sides together, and stitched these side seams (folded the piece measures 39″ x 28″)….

20131116-180024.jpgAs the bag fabric was one piece, I pressed the bottom edge, then made the bag bottom by folding the side seam along the crease on the bottom edge….


20131116-180542.jpgTo cater for the width of the embellishment boxes, I knew I needed the bottom of the bag to measure 15″….

20131116-180640.jpg….measured, line drawn, pinned….

20131116-180722.jpg…and stitched, with a back stitch at the start and finish….

20131116-180803.jpgI repeated this with the lining piece.

Then in comes the culprit which inspired the name of this bag!

This is bag batting….so stiff it stands on its own!!

20131116-180922.jpgI cut two pieces 39″ x 25″, stitched together along the sides and bottom (the two short sides and one long side), and the bottom treated in the same manner as the bag and lining fabric. As it’s so stiff, it takes a bit of wrangling and wrestling, (reminding me of Calamity Jane!) but well worth the effort as it gives bags such body!

20131116-181323.jpgBack to the bag and lining; I folded the top edge of each under 3″…..

20131116-181430.jpg(See that?? This fabric is printed in the UK!! Why can’t we do that on a commercial scale here??!!)

Then I opened the fold in the bag and made another one at 1 1/2″….

20131116-181700.jpgI fitted the bag lining and the bag batting wrong sides together, tucking the bag batting under the top edge fold….


20131116-181842.jpgwith the wrong sides together, I fitted the lining/bag batting into the bag, tucking the lining/bag batting under the fold of the bag…..


20131116-182101.jpgUsing a walking foot, I stitched three rows of top stitching.

From the middle of the top edge, I measured out 8″ for the handle position (70cm leather handles)….

20131116-182600.jpg….and hand stitched the handles in place….

20131116-182650.jpgAnd there we have it! My Calamity Jane Bag…..

20131116-182726.jpg…which fits the intended pieces, and room for a little more!! No more, shall I open my embellishment boxes with the embellishments all over the place from being sat on their sides!

20131116-182806.jpgThank you Ian, and Terrys Fabrics! And thanks too to Lisa from Chandlers Cottage for coming to the rescue with the green handles.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.

Meredithe x

PS Hope that’s all clear and understandable!

PPS the bag batting is a Victorian Textiles product and can be purchased through your local patchwork store.

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12 Responses to The Calamity Jane Bag

  1. Great job Meredithe! I have used many different battings for my bags, but not that one, so will have to give it a try!!

  2. Ruth says:

    Beaut bag, I love the green handles!

  3. Nice bag and great fabric. I’ve gotten some great ones from Hawthorne Threads here in the US.
    Thanks for the tutorial. I may use it when I’m back sewing.

  4. treadlemusic says:

    Hawthorne Threads is an awesome source!!!!! And so nice to deal with. Your explanation was very clear and I totally understand the name/that stiff ‘batting’ (which is great stuff as long as you don’t have to manipulate it too much!!!!). The pop of pink (lining) is really nice and unexpected. Beautifully professional!!!!! Hugs……..

  5. Love the bag!! I have some of that stiff wadding – I was thinking of using it in the workshop bag I will be making this week when I have some friends visit on Tuesday to learn how to make one.
    Pink nails – how boring – bring back the turquoise/blue!!

  6. Liz McMahon says:

    Aahhh, the green handles make lots of sense now…! :o)
    great bag..

  7. Helen F says:

    “Smarty goanna legs”!!!!! it looks great!!!!

  8. Glenda says:

    Jealous jealous jealous!!!
    It’s divine !!
    I want one to !!!!’
    U are a clever bunny!!

  9. thimbleanna says:

    It looks great Meredithe — and perfect for carrying your little boxes. I love how perfectly those handles match your fabric!

  10. Jan says:

    Love it!! And how I want those green handles…..

  11. Maree says:

    the fabrics and bag look great. with the gorgeous handles. well done .x

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