Tuesday 23 October 2012

Sudha's Chevron Tote QAL - Part 1

We have with us the very talented sewist,  DQ Sudha, who is doing a very entertaining  informative QAL on making chevrons from striped fabrics and then turning those chevvies into snazzy totes. Do check out her pages TheBowtiqueShop and Madras Motif to have a dekko at her work. Over to Sudha...

I should be banned from Pinterest. For looking up Chevron print items (read bags, dress, and what not.!) And now I am engulfed with this pattern. Despite the popular zig-zag trend, Chevron patterned fabric is hard to come by. But with simple quilting techniques, we can make our own! Yes, WE CAN.! I tried my own take on it and created a comprehensive tutorial to share with you guys. Hope I make sense, and your brains dont zig-zag on me.! Here goes:

Okay…..basically, you take striped fabric, cut bias strips in two different directions, and sew them together to create a zigzag chevron! I know, I know, no big deal. This fabric pattern can then be used into loads of projects like curtains, wall hangings, clothings, quilts, pillow/cushion covers. And this time around I am going to show you how to make a tote bag out of this fabric. Stay with me.

NOTE: Now for this QAL, I tried to work with a couple of varieties of stripes, some broad stripes, some thin stripes and some multi-coloured stripes. Each gives a different look. Each pretty. As a beginner, I would suggest using two colored stripes. With three or more colored stripes, not every strip matches up easily with its counter strip. You will require more amount of fabric when using multi color. For example – white, red, blue stripes when flipped will have blue, red white. Now that will be difficult to match. Difficult and not impossible. :)

You will need:

- Approximately 3/4th yard (For this bag only my front is Chevron pattern, the back is plain old stripes. So the 3/4th is for the front alone.)

- Your fancy-schmancy cutting tools - rotary cutter, mats or just plain old ruler and scissors like moi.!

Lets get started. The hardest part of this project is cutting strips at 45 degree angle. For this you will be cutting on bias. (Not hard enough.!, considering you guys are quilters.!)


Lay up your fabric nice and flat. Fold in the centre. Now from the fold, mark lines at 45 degrees and snip, snip, snip. Picture always helps, see below. Now you can always cut the diagonal strips and then cut the centre (the fold). I cut on the fold first, and then cut the strips. I would pin it aplenty to be on safe side so that the fabrics dont slip away and go all wonky. My strips were 2.5". You could try any width. Each width gives a different look. If you cut less than 2'' you will end up with very pointy narrow “V”.

And now pat yourself at the back. You have now overcome the main herculean task of this project. Grab a bite:

Oops sorry that wasn't meant to appear here. Anyways, with one cookie tucked in, lets proceed to the fun part - sewing.! Grab two strips, one of each direction and lay them together right side facing in. Its a beauty to work with stripes, all you need to do is match up the stripes, easy peasy. Pin it. Since we cut it on bias, the fabric might be a bit stretchy. So pin them up so the chevron doesn't go wonky on you. And sew: Made sense? Piece two pieces to form the perfect V.

Keep adding till you exhaust your strips. Then take out your iron box and press the seam flat. You can open up the seam and press flat. But thats too much of work for me. So I just press all the seam towards one direction.And lo behold you have made your own Chevron pattern fabric:

There, thats the finished Chevron piece, square it up nice and sharp, and it is ready to work with. Have it ready, before I hit you with next tutorial, where we actually make the bag. I shall list out the requirements for making the bag, so you have it all ready when we actually start tote-ing :)
Things you will need:
-Your Chevron print. (for the front)
-The original stripes fabric the same size as you chevron pattern. (For the back)
-Contrast Lining fabric to match up your exterior. You can use plain colors itself, but I like the idea of mixing prints and textures.
-Thick or medium weight Iron-on Canvas (easily available in any basic sewing supply store. Also called the bakram) It is shiny on one side. To fuse it to fabric, place the wrong side of fabric on the shiny side of canvas and press. It takes a long time to stick together, so press nice and hold for couple of minutes.
-Leather or belt for straps. I just recycled an old belt that I picked during some sales..!!

Thats just it..!! See you in say 10 days..!!!

1 comment:

  1. ok read it all , understood very little, will eat a cookie b4 starting and see u at the santhe !!

    Thks for sharing though will reread once i can handle my machine better !!