Because we live in Singapore, it's a pity we do not get any chance to experience four seasons. We get summer all year long. But if you ask me about my favourite season, I will say it's autumn without batting an eyelid. The cool weather and the beautiful colours of the leaves. All in my memory of our wonderful autumn honeymoon to Japan years ago.
So, I was really thrilled to receive this gorgeous fat-eighth bundle from Michael from Oakshott. Look at the autumn colours! They are SO pretty. I had a hard time convincing myself to pull out the ribbon to work on fabrics.
As you know, I have never worked with solid cottons, let alone shot cottons. When I first saw the Oakshott fabrics, I was surprised by the excellent quality and vibrant colours. Perfect for making quilts or bags. It was love at first sight.
For this project, I knew at once I wanted to make something functional. Something we can use during autumn. Over here, autumn season is when kids finish their examinations and begin their school holidays from mid November. And it's also the time when I'll bring them to the the park and library very often.
And so, I thought of making an autumn tote for books and outdoor plays.
This tote gave me a great sense of satisfaction after completion. Because my kids love it! It's really roomy and not heavy for easy lugging around. There are pockets as extra compartments. And also a swirl hook at the side for hanging of keys or pacifiers or other stuff that needs easy accessibility. I like to hang my car keys.
To match the tote, I made a zipper pouch too.
The pouch can be used for small daily necessities like kids' cutlery, medication or others. Or it can be a stationery case for pens and pencils. I used a pretty zipper with scallop edgings for the pouch that requires hand sewing so that the edgings are not hidden.
The tote and pouch are not difficult to make. They just need basic machine/hand sewing knowledge. In this post, I will show the easiest way to make a tote and pouch that needs no brain wrecking tossing or flipping around.
The Oakshott Autumn Tote
Finished size: 19.5"x14"
What you need:
- a fat-eighth autumn oakshott bundle. You can get it here.
- 3/4 yard of lining fabric. Mine is Imperial Brown.
- thin layer of fusible batting/fleece. I used non-fusible batting and it works too. You can also use fusible or non-fusible interfacing.
- a pair of bag handles.
- coordinating colour thread.
- swirl hook (optional)
1. First divide your bundle into six groups: Orange, Yellow, Brown, Light Green, Dark Green and Maroon. There will be three colorways in each group. So you will be using 18 fabrics out of the 21 in the bundle.
2. Cut as follows for log cabin patchwork (includes 1/4" seam allowance):
(24) 1.5"x1.5" squares
- Orange & Brown each
(7) 1.5"x1.5" squares
(14) 1.5"x3.5" rectangles
- Dark Green
(5) 1.5"x1.5" squares
(10) 1.5"x3.5" rectangles
- Light Green
(4) 1.5"x1.5" squares
(8) 1.5"x3.5" rectangles
(24) 1.5"x1.5" squares
(48) 1.5"x3.5" rectangles
3. Once you have all your pieces cut, assemble each log cabin block with like this:
There will be 24 blocks in all. 12 blocks for each side of the tote.
4. Then arrange the blocks according to your liking and join them together row by row. There will be four rows for each panel. Press seams in alternate directions in each row. Sew the rows together. Now you have two exterior panels.
5. Place the panels on the batting/interfacing, trim and machine quilt. then trim/square up the sides.
6. Now place the quilted panels on the lining (interior) fabric. Pin and cut out the same size as the panel.
7. Cut one more lining fabric same size as the panel to make the big compartment pockets. Fold the lining fabric into half and sew across about 1" from the folded edge. Then align it on one of the interior fabrics and pin in place. Mark the centre of the pocket and sew to separate into two pockets. Sew along the edges to secure the compartment pockets.
8. Next use your 6.5" omnigrid (if you have) and cut 6.5"x13" rectangle for the small pocket. Fold into half and stitch along the edges, leaving a 2-3" opening. Snip the corners. Turn the fabric inside out. Iron flat and sew across about 1/2" from the top folded edge.
9. Pin the small pocket onto the other lining fabric panel, aligning the centre, and top stitch the pocket in place.
10. This step is optional. It's addition of a swirl hook. Cut 2"x3" lining fabric. Fold lengthwise half to find the centre. Then open up and fold in the edges to meet the centre and fold again. Top stitch to secure. Put a swirl hook and measure 4" down from the top edge of the lining fabric panel with the small pocket. Triple stitch in place.
11. Now you are ready to join the exterior panels and the interior panels separately. With right sides facing, sew along the edges of the panels, leaving the top edge untouched.
TIP: I always round the corners of my bags and pouches because I do not like them jutting out. To do it, I use a thread spool to help me trace the corners, machine sew on the line and trim.
12. Turn the exterior panels inside out. Then carefully place the interior panels into the opening and pin around the edges to match before top stitching to secure.
13. Binding time is next. Cut 2"xWOF (width of fabric) of the lining fabric. Machine sew the binding around the top edges to hide the raw seams. You can handsew the binding too.
14. Lastly, sew the handles! Align the handles as in the picture. Triple stitch in place.
That's it! You have an autumn tote ready to go!
The Oakshott Autumn Zipper Pouch
Finished size: 7.5"x4"
What you need:
- a fat-eighth autumn oakshott bundle.
- 1/8 yard of lining fabric.
- thin layer of fusible or non-fusible batting/fleece.
- 6" zipper (I measured the teeth)
- coordinating colour thread.
- D-ring (optional)
- Dark Green/Light Green/Brown/Orange each
The steps of making this pouch is similar to the sewing of the tote. Please refer above for pictures.
1. Create four log cabins. Join two log cabins together for each side of the pouch.
2. Cut another (4) 1"x3.5" fabric of you choice. Take two pieces and join to the sides of the patchworks to extend to match the zipper length. Fold seams outwards.
3. Cut another (2) 1.5"x?" same fabric of your choice. Sew one piece to the bottom of the each panel to make the pouch a little bigger. Fold seam outwards.
4. Place the panels on the batting/fleece and machine quilt in place. Trim to square up the edges.
5. On the lining fabric, place the quilted exterior panels and cut the same size.
6. This step is optional. It's addition of the D-ring. Cut 2"x3" lining fabric. Fold lengthwise half to find the centre. Then open up and fold in the edges to meet the centre and fold again. Top stitch to secure. Put the D-ring, fold tab in half and measure 1" down from the top edge of one of the exterior panels. Triple stitch in place.
7. Now join the exterior and interior panels separately, with right sides together. Leave the top edge untouched. I use the thread spool again to help to round the corners.
8. Turn the exterior panels inside out. Carefully place the interior panels into the opening and pin to secure. Top stitch around the top edges.
9. Cut a 1.5"xWOF for the binding. Machine sew the binding along the top edges to hide the raw seams.
For this pouch, I chose to handsew the zipper because of the pretty zipper edgings. I can't bear to hide them under the binding! There are many many ways to sew a zipper but I use this method because I don't wish to sew bindings for the pouch interior too.
10. Pin the zipper in place, with the zipper teeth in line with the top edges of the pouch. Handsew. Sewing the other side of the zipper can be a little tricky. But all you need is to turn the pouch around to help yourself sew a little easier.
11. Lastly, handsew to close the opening at the corners of zipper.
There you go! The zipper pouch is completed!
Even I'm the last one for this amazing blog hop, you are very much welcomed to visit the earlier blogs because these talented bloggers make so wonderful sewings with the autumn bundle too!
21 October Sonia Spence http://www.fabricandflowersuk.blogspot.co.uk
22 October Rossie Hutchinson http://www.r0ssie.blogspot.com
24 October Mary Menzer http://www.fairlymerry.blogspot.com
28 October Alison Dutton http://www.allison-sews.blogspot.com
29 October Nicholas Ball http://www.quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com
30 October Kati Spencer http://www.fromthebluechair.com
31 October Wynn Tan http://www.zakkaArt.typepad.com
And a big thank you to Lynne from lilyquilts for organising this blog hop! Hope everyone enjoyed reading all the posts!xxx