Thursday, January 1, 2015

Needlework Of A Different Sort

If you are a knitter or have friends or family who knit, you probably know what "project bags" are. If not... well I'll explain. More often than not, knitters find themselves casting on more than one "project" at a time. Socks on one set of needles, perhaps a cardigan on a second and even a another cowl on yet a third set... (um, yes, I admit in fact that describes ME at this very moment).

So unless they want inquisitive feline paws or other potential hazards to befall their hard work they keep each project in it's own separate location - with instructions, wool, needles and all other necessary tools and embellishments together.

Hence the proliferation of the "Project Bag". There are many such beautiful cases on Etsy; with awesome fabrics and in a variety of shapes and sizes specific to the project (larger ones for sweater quantities of supplies, smaller ones for socks, for instance).

But me being me, I wanted to try to make my own. And since discovering the modern episodes of Dr Who on Netflix (oh David Tennant!  Ahem - pardon the tangent there),  I decided a Dr Who project bag would be awesome.

I found the fabric with the perfect pattern on a site that's new to me called Spoonflower. It's brilliant - you can choose from thousands of designs created by members and also make your own!  So I ordered two "fat quarters" for half price in canvas for the outer bag and designed my own silky interior fabric you'll see later on.

I also found Dr Who printed ribbon and charms from Etsy to decorate my finished bag. At home, I discovered two pieces of material I had on hand that I could use too. So early yesterday, I finally got started.

I used this pattern from the Pink Penguin blog as I had seen many a knitter make this style. I changed it up a bit and also added three pockets to the interior. One of the fabrics I found in my own stash was a plether-like black material - I must have purchased it for a Halloween project years ago. I had just enough left to sew the base and upper edge of my bag. I feared my old circa-1980 sewing machine wouldn't be able to handle the thick fabric, but I am thrilled to say it worked flawlessly!

I made the outer canvas shell first, after heat-fusing an interface to sturdy it up a tad.

After making the lining from a silky fabric (also strengthened with interfacing and with pockets sewn on), I created the handles from the ribbon.

Here is the fabric I designed. It's a very famous line from Mr Tennant's tenure as The Doctor:

"People assume that Time is a strict progression of cause to effect. But actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff."

I used Fireworks to skew the fonts and picked out the colours from the other spacy fabric so they would match. I am so pleased the way it turned out!

I finished the bag this morning after hand-sewing the final interior seam so there are no raw edges.

I really am amazed - I LOVE it! Here is the inner drawstring section that can be pulled up or tucked inside. It keeps everything in tact with no zippers to catch yarn.

A view of the inner pockets made of the same material as the outside.

And a close up of the charms... if you're a fan of the series, you'll recognize some of the references.

And what's even more fantastic, I only used half of the material! Yep, I can make another - which I will probably try in a different shape and size.

Allons-y! *

*The Tenth Doctor's catch phrase "Let's go!"


  1. What a lovely bag. Such thought and attention you have put in.

  2. Happy New Year Maureen, love this project, looks amazing, hope you have another creative year!

  3. You did a fab job on that and I love the TARDIS fabric. I'm not really a Whovian; I loved season 1 w/ Chris Eccleston but I was gutted when he left that I only half heartedly watched Season 2 w/ Dave Tennant. That said, I will never be able to see a gas mask again without hearing a little boy saying, 'are you my mummy?'

  4. It turned out perfect! Your attention to every little detail never ceases to amaze me.

  5. Oh you have got to be kidding me! Is there anything you can't do???

    Happy New Year :-D.

  6. Nice project bag, Maureen! Love it!

  7. Maureen, A great project. I'm not sure I understand the fabric with the words. You say you designed it how did you get it printed? Sylvia

  8. This bag is amazing! I love the way you meticulously assembled each, making each piece along the way. I wish I was a Dr. Who fan but I absolutely love the design.

  9. Yeah one can never have to many Project Bags!! I keep making them ready for sale...BOOM I keep them myself lol

  10. How very clever of you, great project. Hope all is going well for you in January! Xo


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