Today I have some diagrams for you to help you make pattern pieces that can be used for making these divided bags.
Here are the diagrams for all three sizes:
Some of you will notice these don't include metric equivalents, and my apologies, but metric numbers make about as much sense to me as inches do to you! I give approximate metric equivalents in most instances, but when they need to be added up with the seam allowances included and get to another number with accuracy (the height of the pieces), it's just beyond me. But the basic idea of how to figure them out can be found in this post.
To make a long lasting pattern pieces, get some chipboard and use packing tape to join enough pieces together to accommodate the perimeter dimensions given in the pattern instructions.
Then mark the measurements given in the diagram above along both sides of the pattern piece.
The top number in the diagrams is for the upper section of the divided bag and the lower number is for the bottom section. They are oriented vertically, so you'd mark your piece out tracing from the number down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side.
The fastest way I've found do to this, in the least amount of space, is this:
For the bottom section of the bag, begin by making a registration mark off to the side of the lower number. In the next step, the horizontal line across the top of the section will be hidden, so you need these marks to orient the piece.
Then trace from the lower number down the side, across the bottom, and then up to the lower number.
Turn the pattern piece upside down, line up the edge with the registration marks, and mark the top of this section. Instead of turning the piece upside down, you can simply keep sliding it upward. The only issue with this is the pattern piece needs more space to maneuver.
Slide the pattern piece down until the lower number matches the registration marks, and trace up the side, across the top, and then down to the lower number.
Now you have two pieces outlined for the bottom section. Repeat these steps for the top section using the larger numbers marked along the sides of the pattern piece. Then sew the sections together using a 3/8" SA.
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.
Anyway, aren't these bags cute? Take a look at them by clicking the photos, or visiting this section of my etsy shop. If you are wondering about the fabric, go to this post.
Here are my two most recent grocery bags and though it wasn't planned, they both ended up made from two super sweet strawberry prints.
This is the medium size and the fabric is from the Yours Truly collection by Kim Kight for Cotton + Steel:
This one was a gift and I was proud of myself for getting it done in time to get photos. I'm a last minute gift maker and there have been a few things sewn right down to the wire and then there's no time to get pictures. But not this time!
There's also one fat eighth of this print here in my etsy shop. It's not enough to make a grocery bag, but enough for some patchwork, buttons, or a pouch of some sort.
This large one is made from a light weight cotton canvas from Kokka:
Look at those grouchy kitties! They look like they are protecting the strawberries from the birds and taking their job quite seriously. Two One of these bags are is available in my etsy shop here.
Kokka doesn't name their fabrics as far as I know, which makes it harder to reference them (you listening, Kokka?), but this print comes in a few colorways and can be found on etsy at these links: