Sunday, 6 August 2017

Lottie Week Day 7 - Stylish storage and Future Plans

Today’s blog is all about the bags I made to go with the Lottie clothes and accessories as well as a quick round up.

I have made various bags in the past to be used as everything from make-up bags to pencil cases. I tend to store planned projects in individual bags so it's something I am drawn to. I had found amazing 'Girl Friends' and 'Wonder Fabric' ranges by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman and I used her 'Urban Zoologie' fabric for my little girls quilt. I decided to make 3 bags of different sizes with the intention of the large one being for Little Miss Es Lottie dolls (she has more than one, with different names, but for the sake of this blog I've called them all "Lottie"). The middle sized one is for the clothes and the smallest for being for accessories.

The fabric for the dolls is perfect for Lottie as it is a series of girls doing all sorts of jobs. This fitted with the range of dolls and sets available. I think it is obviously important to tell our girls that they can do anything and be anything they want, but I also think it is important to have that message all around them and in the things that they play with. As I have previously mentioned Little Miss E loves a bit of sparkle and dressing up so I used the princess print out of the same range for the second bag. This is a fun print showing girls with different hair and skin colours in lovely dresses. There is nothing sexualised about the dresses and the girls are the shape of girls, not women, so I felt this also tied in with the Lottie doll company. The final bag is made with the unicorn print, I love the bold primary colours (and who doesn’t love unicorns!). On a side note I am a little bit in love with the Girl Friends range mermaid print and I have just discovered that you can make soft toys of the girls dolls – this is going to have to be added onto my to do list.

Ann Kelle Fabric bags for Lottie
All three bags were made in the same way. Firstly, two pieces the same size were cut out for the lining fabric, then one piece was cut out of the pattern fabric using the lining as the template. A second piece was then cut out of the pattern fabric which was the same width as the lining fabric, but only 75% of the height. A fifth piece of fabric was cut out of a coordinating solid colour that again is the same width, but this time only 30% of the height. The solid colour fabric was embroidered with letters to show the intended "purpose"; remembering of course that we are talking about a 4 year old playing with her toys!

I thought for a while about the font I should use for the embroidery and was almost ready to Google “Child style handwriting” when it occurred to me that it would be much more personal to get my daughter to do the writing. She wrote 'Dolls', 'Clothes' and 'Play' for me on a piece of A4 paper and I used the transfer pen I had used in Day 2 (for the fairy wings) to trace it before ironing it onto the fabric; I used a basic back stitch to embroider the words onto the fabric. The solid colour fabric was stitched along the long edge to the top of the smaller piece of pattern fabric, pressed and trimmed to be the same size as the other piece of patterned fabric.

Girl Friends Big bag
Girl Friends Medium Bag
Unicorn Wonder Fabric

I sandwiched the zip between the top fabric and the lining fabric on both sides and stitched it in using a zipper foot. I then stitched the sides and bottom of the bag on the patterned fabric with right sides together. I flattened the bottom corners to make a triangle and stitched a line across 5cm down from the point on each side. I trimmed the triangle off which created a nice gusset, then I repeated the step with the lining, leaving only a small turning gap in the bottom. I turned the bag out through the gap and stitched it up using a ladder stitch.

Layout one
|Layout two
I have a couple of photos here of all of the things I made laid out just to give sense of scale of the different pieces. I didn’t want to include it at the start as I wanted outfits revealed each the day... It has been such a fun project to carry out and I feel I have learned a lot. I knew the small size would be the obvious challenge and it was. I now have a better understanding of what techniques can be transferred from making children’s clothes to dolls clothes. I love felt and tiny buttons even more. I have become more experimental in my approach to design and gained some confidence. I would like to try my hand at more pattern drafting in the future. I don’t think this ends my adventures with Lottie –
I have a feeling she will have a gift under the Christmas tree this year that matches
Little Miss E’s present...

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