It seems I've fallen out of the blogging habit lately, but let me try getting back on track by showing you some recently finished bags.
These are all the medium size from the Grocery Bag pattern, but with the main body piece divided into two fabrics.
One of the best things about this pattern is it's an awesome stash buster. But if your stash is already under control or getting a little low, you want to make some of your favorite prints go further, or you just like the way it looks, making the body pieces from two fabrics is just one more option for how to sew these bags.
I've already made eight or nine bags this way, and it's working out so well I went ahead and made a new chipboard pattern piece to make my life easier.
Up until this week I had been using my very well used chipboard pattern piece I made for the medium size and then added a guideline across the width. Then I pieced the two fabrics together like how it's done in both the Intro to Improv Zip Pouches and the Improv Zip Wristlet pattern. This worked alright, but it's just not as simple to do with larger fabric pieces. There were a couple close calls where I almost didn't sew enough fabric together and it was also kind of fiddly getting these larger pieces both trimmed so the divisions would match up.
So I made a chipboard pattern piece that can be used for this technique. Will come back to that in a minute...
If you are going to divide these bags here are some basic guidelines:
Divide the piece so the bottom section is at least 1/3 of the height and then round the number up to the next 1" or few centimeters.
Then either add in a 3/8" SA to each section or spread 0.75" across both pieces--i.e. add 0.25" to one section and 0.5" to the other. It's easier for me to deal with 0.25" measurements so I opted for the spread out 0.75" option.
To keep the number of pattern pieces down, I made just one piece that can handle both divisions. It's 8.25" high x 17" wide, and then it's marked at 5.5" on each side.