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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bucket Bag in Waxcloth

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
My version of the bucket bag...
Last week, I stopped by Shades of Bold and saw the incredible collection of bucket bags that Marilyn had created using a free tutorial from Sew4Home.

I left a comment saying that I was planning on making one out of waxcloth.

And here it is.

It's not exactly the same pattern. Being a rebellious sewer (I'm not rebellious otherwise, believe me), I had to change up some things. I started by combining elements from another similar Sew4Home bucket bag pattern.

This second pattern has an accent fabric on the bottom, an idea that I liked and thus extended up to the strap tabs and strap on my version of the bag. (Both of my fabrics are selections of waxcloth that I purchased from our local Jysk store during this past January's clearance sales.)

I also could not bear the thought of carrying a bag that did not have a single pocket in it, so I added a large, roomy vertical zippered pocket to the front exterior. The zipper was rescued from an old purse that had been given to me for the purpose of salvaging parts.

Other changes? I used a couple of rectangular rings instead of D rings, which actually made more sense to me. Because I was working with waxcloth on the exterior, I could not fuse anything to it, so instead I interfaced the lining with fusible fleece. The same challenge presented itself with the strap, so I just sewed in the Decor Bond.

Check out Craftsy's latest promos...

Finally, I didn't have any Timtex so just used some Peltex for the support on the bottom of the bag. (Not familiar with Timtex, so I don't know if it is exceptionally stiffer than Peltex.) I added purse feet — finally making use of a set that I scored for 9 cents on eBay a couple of years ago. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't; this was meant to be a beach bag and a flat, un-punctured bottom is probably preferable.

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
A secure pocket for my keys, phone or wallet... 

The pocket fabric and interior lining for the bag is from a pillow sham (of a duvet cover set, also purchased during that same clearance sale at Jysk). I really like the pattern, and it coordinates nicely.

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
Interior view...

Here is the back and side view of the bag...

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
Couldn't find D rings so used rectangular rings instead... made more sense to me actually.

I found this cording at Walmart for $3 and — of all things — it came with a bag of mini quick release buckle clips that ended up being exactly what I needed for the drawstring element of this bag. (I had originally just ventured out to pick up the metal rings.)

Cousin Cord
Three lengths of cord and a bag of buckle clips for only $3! (Brand name is "Cousin")

Here is a close up of the closure on the drawstring...

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs

I took the entire length of black cord, triple folded it and threaded it through the grommets, thinking that multiple cords would give the bag a unique look. With the ends pushed through the slot on each half of the mini buckle clip assembly, the cords are able to slide freely when pulled. In short, the mechanism works exactly as needed!

All that remained was to secure the ends of the cord. I braided them for a couple of these photos just to show the option, but I'm still playing with the final look. Considering just tying each end of the three cords into a couple of large knots.

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
Bottom of my bucket bag with purse feet... (you'll note that I took care to fussy cut the bottom accent pieces)

Verdict? I love the look of the bag... inspired yet so inherently simple. I just might go through my tiny stash of material to make this with regular fabric too — with a different fabric on either side. And I'll likely just make a one piece strap. I love the ingenuity of using snap fasteners to create an adjustable strap, though — it's easy to do and adds visual interest.

Oh, and if you wanted proof about how the basic drawstring bucket bag design is all the rage right now? Just yesterday, I found this ad in a glossy flyer from The Bay:

Bucket Bags @ The Bay
Current bucket bags by Steve Madden, Ivanka Trump and Vince Camuto... image courtesy of The Bay

Check out Craftsy's latest promos...

For those who want to try it with laminated cotton/waxcloth/oilcloth (or leather/faux leather for that matter), keep in mind that you have to be close to perfect in your sewing and preparation because there is no second chance to re-do any seams. And when it comes to the top facing and the side strap tabs, remember that you really can't pin anything! (Not only that, you need to rethink the usual practice of "stitch on the same sewing line as before" because you cannot put repeated holes in the same place. This applies to those strap tabs. I ended up stitching a smaller box with an "x" through it to secure the tab to the body of the bag.)

My collection of big paper clips came in handy for me!

Sew 4 Home Bucket Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
Creative thinking helps when you can't use pins!

Despite the various challenges of working with the waxcloth, I'm glad I tried it out. The tutorial itself is a quick project and for those who have never before tried, it introduces the installation of grommets, snaps and purse feet.

What more could you want in a freebie?


  1. I love it, Rochelle. The zippered outside pocket is a great add to this bag. It is good to be a little rebellious when sewing.

  2. Oh I love it! I've been making some bucket bags myself. I made the one with the octagon bottom...whoa! I love the vertical zip pocket...and all that fussy cutting....:)

  3. Rochelle I love that fabric. Timtex is pretty much the same thing as Peltex, just a different brand.

  4. Rochelle, I have no words, other then I am speechlessly impressed. You've taken a freebie pattern and totally made a designer bag out of it. Thanks for sharing your creative process--my mind just "ate" it up. The drawstring closure is so clever! I would like to try that, too. Everything about this bag (and Marilyn's versions) makes me want to try it. Excellent!!


  5. Beautiful Bag! I noticed recently "the basic drawstring bucket bag design is all the rage right now". I should start making some. Rochelle, I thought I was following your blog and just noticed (because your link at Christine's blog) I wasn't. Crazy. So I'm following now. I read some recent posts and let me tell you I like that chevron you made. I love geometric prints! It must be great to design your own fabric.

  6. Rochelle, cannot wait to see what you come up with for your new bucket bag pattern. You are so intuitive in your designing and I just know it is going to be fabulous. I'll definately be watching for this pattern to be available for purchase! Of course, I'm sure lots of other will as well! After your tie bag pattern, you've got some big "bucket" flip flops to fill, but I think I can speak for all those that have commented here and say with confidence that we have no doubt you'll ecxceed our expectations.


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