Adventures in Sewing
Pattern: I started out using a pattern from sew4home’s website, but modified it as I went along. Here’s the link to the original pattern: http://www.sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/travel-accessories-fleece-lined-shoe-bag
Fabric 1: Cheetah Rose cotton (3/4 yd) from Hobby Lobby
Fabric 2: Gray with White Dots (3/4 yd) from Hobby Lobby
Notions: 1/4″ silver eyelets, 1/8″ white twisted cord (1 yd each bag), 2 white cord stops
Pattern Alterations: The pattern includes instructions for a two-piece outer bag with a flange for decoration. I chose to keep the bag simpler and only use one fabric for the outer bag. I also opted to line the shoe bags with a contrasting cotton fabric rather than use fleece.
Summary: I’m still working on the Drama Bag set and the latest component of the set is the Shoe Bags. Since my daughter often needs to take two pairs of shoes to shows, I made two bags, but flipped which fabric was on the outside. (You can see the other parts of the Drama Bag set here: Makeup Pouch and Square Makeup Bag).
Glitch 1: The instructions call for two 1/4″ grommets and a grommet tool for installation. I didn’t have a grommet tool and did not want to purchase one for this small project. I did, however, have an eyelet tool so I opted to install eyelets for the drawstring. (I think there is a difference between eyelets and grommets, but I’m not sure what it is.) I put the first eyelet in and did not like how it came out. One layer of cotton is actually very thin and the area around the eyelet puckered quite a bit. It also looked like the slightest strain on the eyelets would pull them straight out of the cotton. (That wouldn’t be good, would it?) I decided that the eyelets needed a little reinforcement. I cut a piece of medium weight fusible interfacing (about 1″ x 4″ in size) and fused it onto the wrong side of the outer fabric roughly where the eyelets would be installed. This gave the single layer of cotton a little more body and hopefully will keep the eyelets in the bag.
Glitch 2: Step 11 of making the draw cord casing instructions tells you to stitch around the bag 7/8″ from the top folded edge of the bag and this should clear the grommets (in my case, eyelets). However, when I made the first bag my standard presser foot did not quite clear the eyelets and the seam got pretty wobbly under the eyelets. When I made the second bag, I kept the 7/8″ distance but used a zipper foot when sewing this seam and that turned out great.
Glitch 3: I wanted to use a pretty colored cord for the drawstring, but the colored cords that I could find in town were satin and slightly under 1/8″ diameter. I thought the diameter would be a little lightweight for the application and I wasn’t sure that the cord stop or a knot would hold on the satin finish. I bought standard 1/8″ twisted cord instead – the kind you see in sweatshirts and sweatpants. The color options were very limited (black and white) and I chose white. When I tried to put the cord through the cord stop, I found one cord went through the hole with no problem, but getting two cords through the hole was a real challenge! (OK, almost impossible…) I didn’t seem to have enough hands to push the cord stop open fully while also mashing down on the two cords to squeeze them through the hole. I also found that the cord frays very quickly after being cut. My solution? After I cut the cord the length I needed, I sealed the end with Fray Check. While the Fray Check was drying I used my fingers to squeeze the end into a smaller diameter so that they looked like the ends of a shoelace. This made the ends just small enough that I was able to get two cords through the hole in the cord stop.
Final Thoughts: These shoe bags were quick and easy to put together and if you want to make them fancier, then the embellishment options are endless. (I might even make one for me just to try out some embellishment.) My daughter thinks the bags are great fun and is already using them for her current show! She likes the bag with the roses on the outside best; I like the one with the dots on the outside. What do you think?