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Sunday, January 12, 2014

In the light of the moon... My 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' bag, based on Amy Butler's Blossom Bag pattern and tutorial

Ever seen a piece of material that you 'just had to have'  - but when you bought it you had no idea what you were going to make with it...


I think anyone who sews, has probably more than one piece of material that's lurking in their sewing area, that's been bought, with no specific project in mind.

This was one of those pieces for me:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, written by Eric Carle, is very close to my heart. It's a book that I've read a gazillion times with both of my girls. I can reel most of it off by heart. For me, it's a lovely, happy book, filled with bright, cheerful images, and lots of good memories of 'reading' time with my girls.

So...when I saw this piece of material I "just had to have it"! Though, I was pretty good, and I waited, and waited until it was on a special at my local store - then I bought it.

I brought it home, put it in the fabric box. And there it stayed... Until, my friend (and sewing buddy) showed me the fab new bag that she had made for herself, from Amy Butler's Blossom Bag pattern and tutorial, that is available for FREE, yes FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

on the sewmamasew website.

I guess it's fair to say that I'm a bit 'out-there' sometimes, with the fabrics that I use, for some projects. I love making things from a fabric, that's design would normally be thought to be used for something completely different.

So off I trotted to download the fab free pattern and instructions from the site.

Now, as my sewing buddy will vouch for me, I sometimes (make that 'often') struggle with the instructions for patterns. I prefer to make things from my own designs when I can. That way, if something turns out wrong, I can say it was meant to be that way in the design lol.

This was one of those struggling projects. After a few phone calls with my friend, I mostly worked it out.

With a few changes, this is my Blossom Bag based, finished item:

I used the 'spotty' parts of the material (which appear at the beginning and end of the book) for the main outside parts of the bag, and handles.

I wanted to make it look like the caterpillar had 'eaten' it's way through the bag (like he does with the food in the book), so his bottom appeared at one side of the bag, and his head at the other:

When you open the bag... the caterpillar has turned into a... Beautiful butterfly :)

Later in the making of the bag process, I returned to the store to pick up a small amount of material, from the same series. Luckily at this stage, the material had been in the store for quite some time, so they had reduced the price even more! This material showed the food from the book, complete with the 'holes' where the caterpillar had eaten through. It also showed the caterpillar on his leaf. I used this extra material to make the zipped pockets that are inside the bag. Note: my zips don't match. This is because I used zip's from my 'recycled bits box' (which I will talk about in another future post in this blog).

Most of the purple, used in the handles and lining was from a random piece in my fabric stash box. I thought it matched the purple bits in the designs fabulously, and it seems to make the other colours 'pop' a little bit more. I later had to buy a tiny bit more (matched as best as I could) as I was a little bit short. 

Wonky fancy stitch on the back of the bag:

 I've bought a larger magnetic clasp, that I'm going to replace the smaller one with, 
to allow the flap to close a little easier.

There were a few mistakes along the way, but I'm pretty happy with the result 
and it brings a smile to people's faces when they see it :)

Let me know what you think :)

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