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The Fat Quarter Club by Emma Rodgers

Fat Quarter Club Subscription: Drawstring Wash Bag

June 2022

This month’s Fat Quarter Club box had me all aflutter when I tore off Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew’s  signature blue tissue paper and spotted the hummingbird print fabric by Lewis and Irene. I was even more delighted to see that the pattern was for a drawstring wash bag; something I haven’t tried before.

A box full of nectar

Fabric and notions – the ultimate nectar for any sewing fan that’s sure to get us fluttering our wings in excitement! This month’s box includes:

  • 3x fat quarters from the Lewis and Irene collection ‘Hibiscus Hummingbird’
  • Complimenting 3cm wide bias binding
  • Interfacing to strengthen the closing tab
  • Small strip of Velcro (hoop and loop)
  • Drawstring cord
  • Drawstring Wash Bag pattern sheet and instructions by Sew Cosy Patterns
  • A chewy treat

The fabric is a high-quality cotton in three complimenting designs which you can mix and match for your make. I used the lighter coloured fabric with the small hummingbird print for the bag’s outer, and the pink hibiscus print for the lining. This meant I had full fat quarter left over (in the multi-coloured teal) as well as some decent lengths of scraps from the other fabrics. You’d easily get two bags out of the fabric provided if you patch worked the leftovers together or altered the sizing.

Tips and tricks to get you flying through this make

They say it’s all in the preparation, so here are a few tools I made sure I had to hand before I started:

  • Fabric scissors – you’ll also want some general ones to cut out the paper pattern, so you don’t blunt your sharp ones
  • Pins or clips – not only for pinning your pattern pieces, but handy for securing your bias in place too
  • Medium safety pin – for pulling your cord through the drawstring channel
  • Iron
  • Fabric glue – not absolutely vital, but I used some to secure the Velcro in place before sewing

After cutting out the paper pattern and fabric, it’s a straight-forward pattern which won’t take you too long to master. Here are some handy tips and cheats that might help you on your way:

  • Stick a pin in it - pin your bias binding to your lining piece before sewing your basting stitch. This will help to secure both in place and avoid you having to stop-start your sewing to adjust your bias
  • Keep calm and tuck in - if you find your bias binding is a bit too long, and the two pieces are overlapping when you pin it around the edge of your lining, then don’t fret. Just open up the binding again and fold under another 0.5-1cm at each end
  • Pin twice, cut once - Before you trim your seam allowance on the circular piece, pop two pins in to mark the gap you’ve left between your sewing. The pins should stop you from accidently cutting off the seam allowance all the way around (which I’ve done before). It’s important you don’t cut the seam allowance on the gap you’ve left because you’ll want to fold this inside when you come to topstitch so you end up with a neat seam
  • Press on- I avoid the ironing at the best of times, but freshly-sewn makes really do improve their shape and form. Try not to skip the ‘press with an iron’ bits as this is one of those patterns where a lil’ bit of heat goes a long way
  • Go analogue – in the end I decided to hand-stitch the Velcro tab on the flap so the stitching couldn’t be seen on the front (just stitch through the inside fabric rather than going through the front). This didn’t take long to do and made the final look all the more satisfying
  • An extra inch (or two) makes the difference – the very last line of the instructions says ‘You could easily adjust the size of this bag to fit your needs’ and if I was to make this again I’d definitely scale up the circular pieces to make the bag a bit bigger. The included pattern produces a wash bag big enough for a handful of miniatures, but you’ll need to increase the size if you want to use it to hold bigger toiletries.

 

Birds of a feather flock together

Another great bonus of being in the Fat Quarter Club is the Facebook group you’ll become a member of. It’s a friendly community of fellow crafters sharing tips, tricks and excitement about their monthly makes. One member shared that they’d already made multiple bags from this pattern to give as gifts – a lovely idea! And another member shared how they’d used ribbon for the drawstring - a great alternative if you struggle with feeding the cord through the channel or prefer the look of ribbon to cord. The group is a great place to throw out a question or a query if you’re stuck on any step of the pattern.

My birds-eye view

This was my second monthly make from the Fat Quarter Club and, just like the first, I picked up a few new tricks along the way. This was my first-time using Velcro as a fastener; something I previously avoided as I thought it would be tricky. The simple instructions dispelled my fears and left me wondering why I’ve been putting myself through the horror of zips when Velcro is so easy! This was also my first time using bias binding to create a drawstring channel; a notion I’ve only ever used to edge quilts and raw edges. Using it for a drawstring channel is a revelation and something I’ll certainly return to for other drawstring makes.

It’s thumbs-up again for this month’s Fat Quarter Club make. The only downside is that I now need prettier toiletries to go inside the drawstring bag … perhaps even some hibiscus scented ones 😊

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