A few months ago I saw the Patterns by Annie Double Zip Gear Bag and thought it would be a really good knitting bag. Unfortunately it only came as a printed pattern and the postage to Australia was 65USD!! After I recovered from that shock I checked the postage to domestic USA and it was 92 cents, quite the difference! I bought the pattern and had it shipped to my son in New York. Then I waited and waited for him to come home. By the time he got here he had a suitcase full of my purchases, but that’s another story.
In the meantime Marjorie from MarjorieSews on IG published a self-drafted knitting bag which looked brilliant and she kindly shared the design with me. I had to make them both!
First up is Marjorie’s bag. This is basically a drawstring bag with internal pockets.
I used some upholstery fabric that I got from the local recycling centre for the outside, and fabric leftover from making a friend a neck pillow from her son’s shirt for the inside.
Whilst Marjorie gave me really good cutting diagrams I had to intuit the order and method of construction in places. I finished up forensically examining her photographs to see if I could divine her construction methods. I don’t think mine is as nice as Marjorie’s, but I’m pretty happy with it.
Every part of this make is recycled or free. The drawstrings are from those grey pyjamas you get on Qantas flights and the toggles were harvested from an old top.
I tried to work out how I wanted the pockets to work and I sewed a couple of compartments on one side, but left the other side as one big pocket to hold my travelling knitting needles in their packet. The pocket is quite large and I found that it sagged a bit, so I used that sticky velcro to secure it (also from my stash) as I was too late to sew velcro in.
I didn’t use any sort of wadding in this bag as it’s going to be my travel knitting bag and I want to squash it into small-ish spaces. It still stands up on its own though, so I didn’t need to interface it in any way.
Then Archie arrived home with the Double Zip Gear bag pattern. It’s a much more structured bag, so I used some Soft and Stable from My Fabricology, which was left over from my travel bag, as the batting for the first one. Once again everything was free or recycled. The outside fabric was harvested from upholstery samples from REMida, the local recycling centre.
The binding is from some fabric left over from making trousers, and the zips were reclaimed from an old computer bag.
I used another shirt from my friend’s son for the inside, quilting the three layers together with squares. The mesh for the mesh pockets was leftover from making Mark’s travel bag.
I didn’t do the best job of the bias binding because the seams were so thick. My machine valiantly sewed the bias on one way and then handstitched it down.
The whole time I was making this bag, Mark was checking it out to see if it would be a good bag to hold his first aid kit that he keeps in the car. This is not some small kit with a few bandaids; he has everything that anyone could need if stranded in the bush with something semi-serious. He doesn’t have any snake venom antidote – yet! We tested my bag and decided that he didn’t need the internal pockets or the external zipped mesh pocket. I just gave him the solid external zipped pocket to hold implements such as scissors, tweezers, scalpels, safety pins, etc.
I used the same upholstery fabric as I used for Majorie’s bag, and once again recycled zips from a computer bag. The contrasting fabric on the inside flap and to bind the zips is leftover from some black jeans I made.
The zip ties on this one are from some rubber tubing from Bunnings, which I had used on Mark’s bow bag. I’m rather fond of this stuff, it can be knitted and crocheted; I just knotted it here and might replace it with a piece that I’ve crocheted.
I didn’t use Soft and Stable for Mark’s bag, I used the headliner wadding that I used on his bow bag and I didn’t line the inside of the bag as one side of the headliner is a really nice suedette, which is a perfect self-lining. There is no discernible difference in structural integrity, but I don’t think the headliner compresses quite as well as the Soft and Stable. It is, though, half the price, which can make a difference on a large make. I did have to fish a fair amount of fluff out of my machine after the headliner was used, so that needs to be kept in mind.
We are both thrilled with our bags and all three are in use already.
I was just thinking that I’ve had enough of bags for a while, but I keep seeing all these delicious totes…