Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Giant Sumo Beanbag

Yesterday I finished the Birthday present for my Dovi. I decided to make him a giant pillow beanbag. The idea I got from one of the web pages that sell them. It is basically a pillow shaped beanbag. But you can form various sitting arrangements with it. They called it the 10 in 1. You not only can lie on it but shake it up and arrange a different position and sit and lounge on it. It is really great. For the fabric I chose a brown cow print. Something I guessed Dovi would like.


If you are afraid it might take to much space, just shake it and stand it up in a corner.


The measurements are: 5.4' x 5.5' which is 150 x 165 cm. (Plus add seam allowance)

To make it is really simple:

I bought about 4m of fabric. It has to be as wide or wider than the shortest side. Then you just measure 150 x (2 x 165) 330.
Now you only have one piece and need to sew right sides together two sides. Then turn it inside out and attach the zipper to it. Finish off the last side with the zipper in.

one of the sitting positions that support the back and neck really well

I have several tips for you:
* Try to sew all sides with double stitching. (You can use a twin needle for it)
* I also made an inside bag with about the same dimensions or larger. Then you easily can change the cover and put it in the laundry. And in case a seam rips you the polyester beans don't spill on the floor.
* Try to get a very strong quite long zipper. Mine was 1m in length.

In one of the shops we have here in the area I have seen that they use some kind of stretchy cotton fabric. (Moms probably know this one from the "natural" baby carriers that is made out of only one piece of long stretchy fabric...)
Next time I get to Tel Aviv I have a look if I find something similar.

Also I saw a banana like design on the Internet. Maybe I'll try that soon too.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Stripey Long Tote


On Monday I went to Tel Aviv to go to my doctor. I always use that opportunity to drive by the fabric street on Nachal Binjamin. There they have everything from fabrics, buttons, interfacing, sewing machine supply, sewing supply, .... I got some nice fabrics and decided yesterday to make a long tote bag out of one of them:


The raw measurements are:
body of bag: 37x31 cm; 14x12 in
pockets inside: 19x31 cm; 7x12 in
pocket outside: 17x17 cm; 7x7 in
straps: 7x71 cm; 2 3/4 x 28 in
bottom corners of bag sewn in: 2 1/4 in
zipper fabric: 28x7 cm - take care that it is slightly less long than the bag is wide...
zipper: 28 cm long - if you have a slightly longer one just trim it

I cut all the pieces stripes horizontal except for the outside pocket and the straps. These two I cut out the other way.
I used off white linen fabric for lining.
I used heavy fuse able interfacing on the body of fabric and lining.

Interface all 4 body pieces (with hot iron and a lot of pressing).

The basic rule for making a bag is: Start doing the pockets first: Sewing pockets fabric and lining (right sides inside) on three sides together - leave the other one for turning inside out. Turn and sew the last side. Then attach the pockets to its place: eigther the outside body or the inside one. Take care about the direction of the stripes on the outside one. The inside one I divided into two.

Hem the zipper fabric from both length sides. Sew in the zipper, secure and shorten it if necessary.

Sew the fabric body on the three sides (right sides inside) together. Fold the bottom "ears" and mark at 2 1/4 in with a line. Sew it.
Repeat for the lining.

Attach the zipper fabric with its zipper sewn in to the lining fabric.

Make the straps: Right sides inside, sew two long sides and one short side together. Turn inside out. Sew 1/4 in all the long way on both sides.

Put the bag together for final sewing:
Outside fabric - on the outside - right side inside - left side outside
Inside lining - on the inside - right side outside - left side inside
Put the straps inside the bag accordingly so that only a tiny bit looks out. Take care not to mess up with which part will be worn at the end inside (if you used different fabrics)
Pin in place and sew all around except for one place between the handles for turning. Turn and sew that last bit.