Tuesday 24 March 2015

My Tinkering Bag

Earlier this year I started volunteering in a young women's sewing group. They're interested in basics like hemming, using different sewing machines and decor projects like cushions and curtains. I've had a lot of fun teaching them what I know and although I haven't made quilters of them yet - I've got the rest of the year to accomplish that!

What I've found most interesting so far has been seeing how they purchase fabrics (and what influences them to do so) and learning about what captivates their interests. I'm a quilter and am in somewhat of a quilting 'loop' so I'm fascinated to see first hand how new sewers are approaching 'sewing'. All of them are taking their sewing cues from Pinterest which I find really interesting. And through Pinterest they came across Craftsy and through Craftsy they each purchased a pattern for making a kind of utility bag. I've been teaching them how to follow patterns and make up these bags, but don't have a pattern myself. So, when making LE gets too much for my fingers, I've been playing around with my own version. I've been tinkering around with it for a few weeks now and am almost finished.

I'm working by eye, so mine isn't exactly 'right' but its perfect for me and I'm adjusting it to suit my 'portable' sewing needs as I've never found a carry along bag that does. Thinking about it, I don't know what took me so long to come up with the motivation to make my own! Finally I can make compartments with zips - plenty of zips!
Any opportunity to raid my stash is a good opportunity!
My tinkering bag needs a collapsible 'bin' that can safely hold threads and broken needles ( I am finding that many needles are breaking mid use and I really wonder what that is about? dropping quality?) before I can dispose of them safely. And of course, my lid is an impromptu pin cushion! You can never have too many pins when you're hand sewing!
Afterwards, it twists down nice and small for packing away.
Now I just have to create my outer cover and add some handles and probably a top zip too.Until now I've been using smaller bags kept in a larger bag and rummaging through them whenever I need to take my teaching tools anywhere - it's too messy. As for this new style, I hope to get it done today. I'm finding that I need to take me sewing around with me more and more and it's about time I had a tinkering bag all of my own!


  1. Looking so pretty. Love the colours.

  2. Love the way you're making it with all those zippy pockets and the tiny bin - so cool! It would be awesome if you could make a tutorial for this. Thanks for all your generosity, your blog is so inspiring!

  3. So creative!!!! Love the fact you used the selvedge on one of your pockets with the name of the designer still on it. I too would like to see a tutorial but you are already so generous can't ask for more!! I had never heard of a Tinkering Bag. Another Rebecca

  4. I would have happily shared one too, but I don't have a pattern as I have been making it up as I go along and have been working on it for many weeks now in spare time during my volunteering class, so it was too hard to show all the steps. Sorry!

  5. Love your bag Esther, nice for you to make something for yourself.
    Enjoy your handy bag.

  6. I agree that we all could use a great tinkering bag! This would be perfect to take on flights so you could work on epp while in flight. Yours looks so wonderful Esther!


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