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