Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Stashbusting: Lucy's Cake Bag


At the beginning of the year, I signed up for the Stash-busting Sewalong in a bid to whittle down my stash. The theme for February is making something for a loved one or friend, which is very timely as my friend Lucy recently put in an unusual sewing request that needed quite a large amount of crafting fabric... 

Lucy bakes cakes. Now I'm not talking about a batch of fairy cakes with a bit of icing on top which is what I 'bake' with the children. I'm talking about exquisite birthday and wedding cakes, cupcakes that truly are a work of art, and delicious, old fashioned favourites for her Vintage Tea Parties (more on that in a later post....) Her fabulous work can be seen on her blog - Vanilla Frost Cakes. Anyway, Lucy needed a special bag to transport flat boxes of cupcakes. She'd bought a cake-transporting bag previously, from a cake supplies website, but it was made from that strange, shiny sacking that council recycling bags are made out of and consequently, any stray bike or scooter in the boot of the car meant the fabric snagged or ripped. She wanted something made from a strong, durable fabric, preferably in a darkish colour that wouldn't show the dirt too much. I had just the thing - a lovely orange, bird fabric from Ikea. It's a decor weight and I've used it to make bags with before now, as well as aprons. 


She described exactly what she wanted - a cube shaped bag with handles that could accommodate four boxes of cupcakes snugly on top of each other. After a bit of research I worked out that the easiest way of making it would be to cut a square out of each of the corners so I was left with a giant-sized plus sign. Then, after adding handles and finishing the top edges, I just had to sew the sides up. Pretty easy really. 



I tapered the top corner edges in by about half an inch each so they didn't gape open and would hold the cake boxes a little more snugly. Making a bag this way means that one side is always going to show the print upside down if you use a directional print. 

That white bird appears to be upside down - disgraceful


However, I don't think anybody is going to be shaking their head sadly at the upside down bird on one side of the bag, when this is what's waiting for them inside it. Mmm, cupcakes.


Now that I've worked out how to make these bags, I can knock up more for her, as they only take about an hour to make. If you want quite high sides to the bag, as Lucy did, then you will end up with four large squares of redundant fabric after you've cut the bag out. They won't be redundant for long though, they're the perfect size for cushions - I love it when that happens!

I'm really pleased with how the bag turned out, especially as I had to do a bit of maths to work out how to put it all together. And as we all know, maths isn't my best subject.... Have you ever had an unexpectedly successful make? Maybe something you haven't made before which you've had to figure out how to make without a pattern? It's a great feeling when it turns out well isn't it?! x

30 comments:

  1. The bag looks great, and it doesn't matter at all which way up the bird is flying.

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  2. Awesome job, Jane! Plus those cupcakes are to die for x

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  3. I love this bag! I'm new to sewing and just love reading about all these sewing projects. And no one will ever notice that silly bird! :) Great job!

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  4. How funny, I used this fabric to make curtains with! http://janessewandtell.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/agent-orange/

    Lovely bag

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    1. The curtains look fab, it really is gorgeous fabric isn't it? x

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  5. That is so cute, and so perfectly fitting for her boxes, too. I hope she shared some of their delightful contents as a prize for sewing her such a nice bag. ;)

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    1. Thanks Tasha and yes, she is VERY generous with her cakes! x

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  6. So cute! I also didn't notice the upside-down bird. :) I just recently found your blog and am excited to read through the archives now that I am a subscriber!

    By coincidence, I am visiting London for the first time this April and I may have to pick your brain for fabric stores to visit!

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    1. Oh please do! Send me an email and let me know where you're staying and I'll try to help. x

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  7. Hurrah for stashbusting!! I love the bag! Those cupcakes are super cute!! Did you tell her you got to keep what was inside?

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  8. Oooh, great bag Jane...and what beautiful cupcakes...yummy! I also love that you'll get to use the leftovers for cushions too!

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  9. Brilliant! I might work out the dimensions for my own personalised cake bag too - thank you for the tips! And I love that fabric - so much that I have 18 metres of it upstairs waiting to be turned into curtains (floor length in a room with high ceilings, in case anyone's maths has got them wondering about the massive quantities!) Obviously though that'll be after all the clothes I have to make for myself first...

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    1. Also, I so know what you mean about the maths - I'm disproportionately pleased with successful projects that involved it!

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    2. I think that fabric will look great as super-long curtains, v elegant! x

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  10. This is a fantastic bag. It looks so well. I love the fabric from Ikea too. It's so strong, a million uses can always be found for it.
    Rosie

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  11. I love that fabric, I've tried to justify a purchase several times - my cake making skills don't warrant such a bag! My favourite make that worked out unexpectedly was a super hero costume for my nephew's teddy bear - I had a couple of days notice, he needed it for a school project and I had to work from his description over the phone (he's 5) and some iffy measurements from my SiL (she couldn't find a tape measure)! staggeringly it turned out pretty well and he was thrilled :)

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    1. Ah that's brilliant, I bet you were ridiculously pleased with yourself! x

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  12. What a nice friend:)
    Adorable cupcakes! YUMMM

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  13. What fantastic stashbusting that is! Nobody will ever notice the upside-down bird...I only wish I had a stash of that orange fabric for myself, as I've admired it at IKEA so many times.

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  14. What a great bag. What scrummy looking cakes. Match made in heaven, no?

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  15. How nice are you! Those cakes look just amazing!

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  16. Great pictures Jane. I LOVE my bag, it works perfectly and looks fab too. More cakes coming your way before too long xx

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  17. ooh that's a handy bag and a half. Those cakes are making me drool nom nom xxx

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  18. What a great make - and how amazing do those cakes look! Just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for an Inspiring Blogger Award over at http://helenssewingadventures.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/blogging-award.html

    Helen

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  19. Love the bag Jane. Yes I know what you mean about the pesky maths, but I am sure it is good for us. Having said that... is it possible you could do a tut on the bag? It is such a great size and you could make all of us drowning in fabric readers very happy!

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    1. Lucy's asked me to make another bag so I'll take some photos and see if I can explain it clearly enough for a tutorial! x

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  20. What a fantastic idea! Love the fabric too :D

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  21. This makes me want to re-place all of my grocery bags with home made ones! Hmmm wondering about the maths now. Or you could post a tut and I/we could cheat?

    http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/

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  22. Fantastic blog! I don't think I've seen all the boxes of this subject the way you've pointed them out. I love seeing websites that realize the value of providing a quality information. Thanks for sharing this!
    Cake Boxes

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  23. Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/clever-chicks-blog-hop-27-pizza-rustica.html





    I hope you can make it!



    Cheers,

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

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