Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee

Entries in Bags + Pouches (24)

Sunday
Nov182012

4 Seasons of Embroidery Gifts!

Is it better to give or to receive? For us crafters the answer is neither; the real joy comes in the creating! Embroidery is one of the most satisfying ways to share this joy. The mesmerizing rhythm of stitching both soothes and stirs as a once-empty cloth becomes a beautiful field of texture. Best of all, embroidery projects make wonderful gifts because they are truly one-of-a-kind heirloom treasures!

This year we plan to use our new 4 Seasons of Embroidery Packet as a starting point for all kinds of unique gifts, starting with this monogrammed 40 Minute Tote! Our master embroiderer, Erin, used our woodgrain alphabet transfers to stitch this lovely monogram on a cool gray linen-cotton background. The silvery tones of the delicate embroidery transform this simple tote into an elegant carry-all with a personal touch!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul262012

Amy Gropp Forbes of Eclectic Mom: Inkodye!

As a child I loved making sun prints, and as a mom I have bought sunprint paper many times for my kids. So when I discovered Inkodye Light Sensitive Dyes, I couldn't wait to try them! Instead of paper, Inkodye harnesses the power of the sun to create images on fabric. For me this is definitely an exciting development!

I knew my kids would enjoy trying Inkodye too, so we set up a big table, gathered our supplies, and got ready to experiment. I cut a yard of Moda's Muslin into about 16 small pieces, knowing that I would probably patchwork them back together again. Having a lot of scraps to work with eliminated the pressure to get it "right" on the first try and kept us all loose and creative.

We started out by testing Inkodye's colors with a few simple stripes. It was magical to watch the very pale dyes come alive the moment we stepped out into the sun. I really responded to the warm red tones that we got doing this first test, so I used red and orange dyes for my project. Sometimes I mixed the two together or added a little water to get a variety of shades. (For a similar sun bleached look, Purl Soho also suggests Inkodye's Color Extender. It lightens the dye's color while preserving its thick consistency, and it also gives you a whole lot more dye to work with!)

The next step was to get printing! We knew we wanted to play with botanicals and so snipped a few blossoms, leaves, and stems from our garden. Ferns and Japanese maple leaves made particularly nice prints, but we also tried hydrangea leaves, a clematis vine, and some other flowers too. We all loved watching as each print evolved in the light, surprising us every time!

Some designs I started by brushing on a color and exposing it before adding any leaves. After letting the fabric expose for ten minutes I brushed on a second color and placed the leaves for a second exposure. Even layering a lighter dye over a darker one created some pretty, subtle prints. For a few pieces I did not use any leaves but instead just experimented with brush strokes and pattern using a special comb (above). 

When we were finished dyeing, I started to think about what I could make with our fabric. I had plenty of fabric for a quilted bag and so with some Quilters Dream Cotton Batting, I got busy. To read all about my piecing and quilting process, just visit my blog, Eclectic Mom!

Once I had created a lovely piece of quilted fabric, I turned to Molly's fabulous 40 Minute Tote pattern. I used my own fabric for the outer layer, 3/4 yard of Shot Cotton in Watermelon to line the bag, and Gutermann's Cotton Thread in color 4930 to sew it.

Get the whole scoop, including more construction details and a few modifications, at my blog, Eclectic Mom. Just click right here! Thanks, Purl Bee, for hosting me this week! Can't wait for next time! - Amy

Friday
Jul132012

Easy Drawstring Bag: Four New Sizes!

My creative mind does not work in a super linear fashion, and as a result, I'm always juggling a handful of projects at once. I somehow manage to keep all of these various projects quite well organized, if I do say so myself. How? Easy Drawstring Bags, loads of 'em!  Some big, some small, some bright, some subtle, the more I make the more I use and not just for knitting and sewing. I find they come in handy all the time, as a cute gift wrapping alternative, a toiletry sack, a shoe bag, a pajama pouch, the list goes on!

Actually, we originally designed the Easy Drawstring Bag to store a bundle of colorful Felt Jelly Bean Bags, but since then it has become an integral part of all of our lives, tidily tucking away all sorts of things. And so, when our dear friends from Martha Stewart asked us to do a post for their wonderful Craft Department blog, picking which project to share was a no brainer. You can visit us at Martha Stewart right here!

For this new version of the Easy Drawstring Bag, we created four more sizes and we gave them a fresh look with some of our very favorite fabrics. We chose Kokka's timeless Small and Large Ginghams, as well as the slightly nubbly, handsome blues of Kiyohara's Upholstery Weight and Linen Blend Solids. To jazz up these classic colors and prints, we paired them with the richly textured, cotton-linen Fishtail Braided Cording and electric Neon Lacing. You can find these and even more fabric and trim options right here!

For instructions on how to make these super fast and simple Easy Drawstring Bags visit the project journal right here!  -Laura

Sunday
Jun032012

Molly's Sketchbook: The Forty Minute Tote

I love straightforward, well-constructed projects that yield something practical. I know this might sound a bit boring, but the efficiency and elegance of simple design really gets me excited. So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite all time projects (if I do say so myself) is my Twenty Minute Tote. It’s something I go back to again and again, any time I want to highlight a special fabric. I love its streamlined engineering and the fact that it really does only take 20 minutes!

And so, in this same spirit of economic design,  I thought I’d expand the Purl Bee’s family of quick totes with a new roomier bag, the Forty Minute Tote. As useful and everyday as the original, this one has the added features of an inside pocket, a boxed bottom and a linen lining.

The Forty Minute Tote comes together in a quick, clear way, and it features a new favorite fabric, Robert Kaufman’s Cotton Linen Denim. This fabric is a beautiful deep indigo blue reminiscent of your favorite pair of jeans, but with a slouchy drape perfect for a bag. I also used our very cute Reversible Webbing for the handles and the soft-but-sturdy Waterford Linen as the lining. And of course, true to its name, it takes only 40 minutes to make. I promise!

ps- The lovely wooden hooks featured in these pictures can be found here: http://www.livewirefarm.com/stores/timber-products/categories/hooks

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May062012

Molly's Sketchbook: Summertime Wallet

My favorite summertime haunt as a child was the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a timeworn amusement park about an hour south of San Francisco. It featured a creaky wooden roller coaster (The Giant Dipper!), carnival games, and corn dogs. I loved the relaxed atmosphere and laid back California beach style of the boardwalk. Everyone wore flip flops and puka shell necklaces. Surfers in wetsuits ate ice-cream on the pier, while hawkers sold neon tee-shirts that said “Hang Loose”.

Now that I live in New York the name of the boardwalk may have changed, but I still love going to the beach every chance I get. I relish in the carefree attitude of summertime at the seaside, whichever coast I’m on!

With beach season fast approaching, I wanted to honor this breezy style with a special summer accessory. A canvas wallet seemed like the perfect thing, a simple way to hold some bills and cards in order to pay for all that funnel cake and skee ball! This wallet is durable and quick to make, so you don’t have to be too precious with it or worry about it getting wet. Plus, as a nod to my eco-conscious northern California roots, it’s made from 100% organic Cotton Duck, which comes in a rainbow of pretty colors. --Molly

ps- These would make a great gift for dads and grads!

Click to read more ...