Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sew What? When The Yarn Meets The Thread

Favorite phrase of the night: "That's what seam rippers are for."-Grammy

I decided it would be really cool to put a lining in the crochet purses I made last month which I modeled after this crochet purse from one of my favorite crochet blogs, Tangled Happy. Only problem was...I can't sew for shit. My awesome Mother In-law bought me a sewing machine two years ago for xmas and after reading the manual I could thread a bobbin, thread the top, and do a basic, crooked as hell, stitch. But I still couldn't "sew".

I knew I couldn't do this alone so luckily my grammy was there to save the day! She and my grandpa drove over 400 miles just to come visit and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to break out the sewing machine and have the master seamstress show me a thing or two. Not only did I learn how to sew, I was also shown how to properly do a whip stitch by hand, since what I was calling a whip stitch was actually a basting stitch...who would have thunk ;). Good thing too because a whip stitch kicks a basting stitch's ass any day. According to grammy, the basting stitch was around before the use of pins, but now that we have pins to secure fabric before sewing, we don't need that stitch anymore. Be sure to click on the links above for the video tutorials!

We had such a great time too! We talked and sewed and grammy reminisced about her "learning to sew days" back in high school where her sewing teacher was also her sex ed teacher; apparently they were a little short staffed. It was hilarious listening to my grammy recount learning about the birds and the bees from this spinster cat-lady of a teacher who never had a boyfriend--let alone sex. Good thing she had such a strict sewing teacher, who wasn't distracted by men or sex, because she was able to concentrate her frustrations into her sewing. This teacher may not have ever had sex, but it seems she was anal about her sewing. She made her pupils sew paper until they could create a perfectly straight stitch before they were allowed to move on to fabric. Thanks spinster, sexually frustrated teacher, because of you my grammy is pretty amazing.

So here's how to make a lining for your crochet bag: Find some non stretchy material for your lining, like cotton or satin for example. Fold fabric in half and measure your bag. Cut fabric so that it is 1 inch bigger than your bag on the top and sides.
Once you have your lining sized, cut out a pocket from another piece of material. Fold in the edges so it's nice and pretty, make sure you iron as you go. it's really important to iron down your folds. It makes it sew much easier! Sorry, couldn't resist :) 

Grammy, showing me how to iron the edges of the fabric under. I used this lining for a pretty sea-foam green bag I made. Pictured above.

Now position your pocket and pin to the printed side of your fabric! Then sew the bottom and sides to your lining.

Fold your lining so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing you and your pocket is on the inside. Position over your bag and place your pins where your bag meets your work surface. Then sew the sides of your lining.

Now, fold down the top about an inch and iron it flat.
Slip your liner inside of your bag and whip stitch to the crochet part all the way around. So easy, even this tomboy could do it!

Thanks Grammy!!


  1. Oh my gosh these turned out soooo cute!!!!

  2. I always break my stitch rippers, and usually it's just by stepping on them. All my stitch rippers have a deathwish, apparently.

    I was actually talking to T today about sewing! I was wearing a dress I made and told him it means so much more when people tell me "I like your dress!" if you've made it yourself. I went on to say, "I never really did the learning stage of sewing... I never made pillowcases or jammies or aprons before jumping up to clothing."

    I've yet to make anything that is professional quality, but each thing I make turns out better and more wearable with practice. :3 So keep at it and don't back down! I think you should make a ridiculously frilly apron to wear when you're doing cooking things ^.^

  3. Very cute, I made the orange one in purple. Thanks for the all the pics, so I can follow them when I put my lining in, but who knows when, am too lazy... haha