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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Out & About Crossbody Bag

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
A project all about reducing waste...

... or Two Projects for the Price of One

Who would have thought that a decision to make a gift of a quilted accordion pouch would lead to a new little crossbody bag for me? It certainly wasn't in the plans, but funny how things work out sometimes.

If you've read the post about the accordion pouch, you may recall that I had a hard time with the large quilt sandwich that I had to manoeuvre under the arm of my sewing machine. Well, after I cut out the required pieces for the five main pockets — following the layout that was recommended by the tutorial — I was also a bit dismayed by the amount of extra material that remained.

Even as I sewed up the pouch, my mind kept returning to the large pieces that were left behind on the cutting table.

What could I do with the remnants to produce a useful result?

These are the left over pieces after cutting the requirements for the Quilted Accordion Pouch...

By happy coincidence, as I was submitting another project to SewCanShe's weekly Show Off Saturday linky party, I saw a crossbody cell phone wallet that Caroline had just made. It gave me an instant inspiration.

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Now, I'll be the first to admit that my little "leftovers" bag is certainly not as polished looking as Caroline's project, but it does have the same basic utility. It can carry my cell phone, a card or two, and bonus... also my keys or sunglasses.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
Just a little something to carry while "out and about"...

The back of the wallet/bag has some functional bling from which to hang sunglasses or clip on some keys. Actually, I've always liked bags that have no discernible front or back, so it doesn't matter what side is "out" when I carry them. The back side of this one is perfectly fine being seen.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
Closeup of the bling in the back...

I call this my Out & About bag, because it's just enough that very purpose. For walks in the neighbourhood during the summer, you can't beat having a crossbody bag that will hold just the essentials.

You already know that the main materials are remnants from the quilted accordion pouch project. The binding was similarly left over from the Best Nest Organizer Basket. (How great is it that the binding fabric has gold in it to match the gold chevron?)

The pink loops that hold the shoulder strap and flower decoration are pieces of paracord left over from my bracelet making projects.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
Back side of my Out & About bag...

Then there's the matter of the shoulder strap and the flower bling. Both are from belts that I recently purchased on clearance at a discount store. I bought a bunch of belts for a buck each (say that three times fast — LOL) and they yielded not only multi-purpose lengths of chain, but several bits of hardware and bag bling.

I'll post about them in more detail next week.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
Behind the flap, there is a pocket to keep some cards while out and about...

The wrap around flap serves a dual purpose: it's a flap to cover the main opening, but the portion along the back is actually a pocket for cards.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
Yeah, that's my old Sears Club card... :-(

Here is the main storage pocket for the cell phone.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
That's hubby's old cell phone, which — while larger than mine — is still quite a bit smaller
than the average smartphone these days...

The only thing you'll have to keep in mind is whether or not this'll be large enough to hold your phone. My own cell is circa 2012 (!) and is about 2.25" wide by 4.5" high. Obviously no problem accommodating it, but smart phones of more recent vintage may be a tough fit.

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I'll provide a brief rundown of the "how to" on this, but keep in mind that this is not meant as a tutorial.

The largest piece that I had left over from the quilted accordion pouch was about 10" x 8". (The actual size of the remnant will depend on how well the quilting turns out and how close the required pieces are cut from the edge.) This was then cut into two equal pieces for the front and back of the bag, as shown below.

Cutting the biggest remnant in half...

From the other longer, narrower (3.5") remnant, I cut a 7" long piece to use for the flap.

Out & About Crossbody Bag by eSheep Designs
To show scale...
The first step was to bind only the top edges of the two large pieces.

The next step was to bind the entire flap piece, all the way around. (Due to some original indecision on my part about what I wanted to do, I ended up binding the top and then the three other sides, but doing it all in one shot is definitely preferable).

The back part of the flap was then sewn onto the back panel along its bottom edge — trapping the paracord holding the flower bling along the bottom of the flap in the process — and up a portion of the sides (as indicated by the dotted line in the drawing below; stop sewing about 3/4" away from the top edge of the back panel).

Next, the three exposed sides of the two large pieces were bound together. At the top corners, I embedded 4" lengths of paracord with a loop exposed to accommodate the chain strap.

The last step was to install a snap fastener to allow the flap to close.

All in all, a successful recycling project. I no longer need to obsess about the extra materials that seemed so wasteful for the quilted accordion pouch. The only new things that were needed to make this Out & About bag was a snap fastener and some (repurposed) belt pieces.

Speaking of extra materials, this is all that remains of the remnants.

Hmmmm... methinks I'm not done yet! ;-)

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