General Sewing Supplies
For this project you will need:
EITHER 44--2 ½” x 2 ½” scrappy squares OR 1-20” x 14” fabric rectangle (can be pre-quilted)
20” x 14” Fleece rectangle
2” x 28” fleece strip (will be trimmed )
EITHER 1 decorative button and 3” of round bead elastic OR Velcro
Decorative thread for machine quilting (optional)
8” of satin ribbon (tie)
If you are using a whole piece of cloth instead of the squares, skip to Step Three
If you are using a pre-quilted panel, skip to Step Four.
Sew your scrappy squares together exactly as shown.
If you are using scrappy squares, sew randomly. If you are making a ‘pattern’ (such as light/dark or a specific color scheme) then make sure you follow your pattern for every row.
The squares can be sewn together by machine. Use a 1.25 stitch length. To prevent the squares from scrunching into your presser foot, sew a scrap of fabric first, and then, without cutting the thread, continue sewing with the squares. Use this same scrap of fabric as your starting piece every time.
You can also sew this by hand. Use tiny stitches. Remember to press very, very carefully. If you ‘rub’ the iron back and forth you can distort or even pull apart your tiny squares. Lift and then press down, lift and then press down the iron for best results.
Once the top is done, spray with spray starch on the wrong side, and very, very carefully, lifting and pressing, press the seams in one direction.
Before cutting out your bag, you need to quilt the top. Layer as follows: fleece and top right side up. (Fabric or squares.)
Machine or hand quilt. You can go right off and/or to the edges.
Pin the bag pattern to the quilted piece. Cut around, through all layers.
Measure up about 6-7” from the bottom on both sides. You will pin the fleece strip on the outside of the bag side with one pin, and begin sewing up and around the top, to the same measurement on the other side. Fleece stretches, so you can ‘curve’ the corners nicely. Once this is done, fold the strip to the front of the bag, and sew down with a zig-zag or decorative stitch. The fleece will not ravel, so it does not need to be hemmed. It is slippery to sew, so go slow. Seams can be trimmed when finished, if desired. This forms a binding/edging around the bag.
Outsides together, sew the two side edges together into a front seam, from the bottom up to about ½” past where you added the edging in step five. NOTE: If finished inner seams are desired, you must hand sew the outer (fabric) layer first, and then tuck in and hand sew the inner (fleece) layer. These seams will not show on your finished bag, so unfinished seams are fine.
“Open” the bottom of the bag, and, inside out, sew across bottom seam. The front seam should be centered. When done, while bag is wrong side out, flatten the lower corner, and measure up 1”. Stitch across. You do this by making the side seam “centered”. Then, sew across bottom edge (as shown), trim off tiny corner triangle, and repeat for other side. This gives your bag ‘depth’. Trim seams, and apply Fray Check to seams if desired.
Trim all inner seams. You can now use a Fray Check product. If finished seams are desired, you will need to hand-sew in Step Six.
Turn bag right side out. If you are using the decorative button and elastic loop, sew the elastic loop onto the top now. Next, fold the top down until you have the desired height, and mark where you want the button. Add button.
Use this same method for the Velcro.
To add the satin ribbon tie, first insert your Hitty into the bag. Determine about where you could tie the ribbon around her waist or under her arms, to keep her firmly in the bag. Sew the ribbon to the back of the bag, in the center of this spot, leaving the ends dangling free to tie around Hitty when she is in the Travel Bag.
Congratulations on finishing your Hitty Travel Bag! You can add an optional cord to help carry your Travel Bag, by buying two yards of heavy cord from a department or craft store. Sew on both sides at the top.