10 Easy, Thoughtful Gifts to Make for Crafters: On-the-Go Knitting Bag: Guest Post Series by Julie Anne Eason

Handmade gifts are appreciated so much by other crafty-type people. They understand the gift is an expression of your regard for them. They know you spent time thinking about them while you made the object and that each stitch and every cut is filled with warm wishes and creative spirit.All  the trading systems have been developed by the experts putting themselves into the shoes of the traders, taking up their roles and realising what would be the expectations of a normal, casual trader. Visit the following site of the various trading systems to know how and based on what have they been developed. And it’s even better when the gift is something beautiful they can use every day. So, what are you making for the maker in your life? We’ve got 10 ideas for knitters, sewers, scrappers and all around craft enthusiasts. Just for fun, we’re going to unwrap one at a time. And because we’re all super busy this time of year, each project takes just 15 or 20 minutes and little (or no) money. You might even be able to complete all 10 with items you have sitting in your craft room right now.

Here’s gift number eight: On-the-Go Knitting Bag

I like to knit on the go, while I’m watching a soccer game or waiting at the airport. So, I keep lots of these knitting bags on hand with a project inside I can pick up and put down without thinking about it. I keep one in each car, one in my gym bag, anywhere I might have a few minutes to knit. The special thing about these bags is the extra long shoulder strap. You can sling it across your chest and knit away without worrying about my yarn rolling around or falling out. You can also add an outside pocket for a pattern and an inside pocket for a measuring tape, stitch markers and small pair of scissors.

You can use just about any fabric for this bag, though I prefer using heavy tapestry printed upholstery material. The size you make really depends on the size yarns your gift recipient knits with. I tend to knit socks and lightweight items, so my bag is smaller. If your knitter uses bulky weight yarns, be sure to adjust the size accordingly. This is a super easy bag you can make in about 30 minutes with scrap fabric you have on hand.

Step 1. Figure out how deep and wide you want the finished bag. Then cut out a strip of fabric that measures the same width and three times the depth. So, if you wanted an 8″ x 10″ bag, you would cut a strip 8″ x 30″.

Step 2. Fold the rectangle up from the bottom until the folded part measures the same as your desired bag depth. So, in our 8×10 example you would have 2 pieces at 10″ and a 10″ piece left over. The folded part is your bag and the single piece is your front flap.

Step 2-A. If you want pockets, now is the time to sew them on. You can make any size rectangles you want for pockets, hem and sew them onto the main pouch section. I usually add a full-length pocket on the outside to hold my pattern. Also, if you’re going to embellish any part of the bag, with embroidery, applique, or whatever, now is the time to do that.

Step 3. Pin the folded part together. Sew or serge up the sides of the folded part, and hem the flap either with a facing strip or just folding it under. I usually serge all the way around the raw edges. Then iron the serged edge of the flap under and hand stitch it down.

Step 4. Cut a long strap about four to six inches wide. I go for a good 40″ long piece, but adjust according to your preference. With right sides together, sew it in half lengthwise and then turn it right side out and press flat. Now you have a long finished strap and all you have to do is attach it to the sides of the bag (on the inside.) For bonus points, you can decorate the flap and add a fancy closure. Why not throw in some handmade stitch markers while you’re at it?

Julie Anne Eason is making her list and checking it twice. In addition to writing for Handmade Spark, she also runs a number of websites including SeriousSewing.com. She writes helpful reviews on items like the Brother CS6000i sewing machine, Janome Xpression embellisher, Juki sergers and cutting tables.

See the rest of Julie Anne’s tutorials here.