Watermelon Bags


Watermelons seem to big this year I have seen them on everything. In the latest issue of One Thimble Magazine (Issue 13) there is an adorable pattern called Kawaii Felt Purses with one of the versions is a watermelon, I decided to make it but put my own twist on it. The original pattern is made from felt but I didn’t have enough wool felt to make 3 bags so I decided to use fabric. The easy way would be to use red and green fabrics from my stash. Pattern Review are having another challenge that I am interested in and it is to create your own fabrics – take plain fabric and change it using any technique you want to make your own fabric and use it in an item/s so I decided I would make watermelon bags.


I started off with about 2m or so of plain unbleached calico. Previously when I’ve painted pieces with liquid radiance I started out with a rectangle almost A4 sheet of fabric and cut out my pattern pieces once the fabric had been painted and ironed. This time I cut out all my pieces first. I did have to adjust my pattern pieces from the original pattern. I needed to added extra seam allowances, draw out an oval instead of a semi circle for the fleshy part and also make a lining for the inside of the bag.


Dried Ovals

I used liquid radiance to paint up the fabric. For the red fleshy part I used red with splashes of pink. I painted the entire circle in the colour. I decided to experiment to see how the fabric would look if it was folded when dry. The end result was the fabric that was folded underneath turned out a lighter colour. The half that was exposed to light remained the bright colour that I painted it.


I looked at the my liquid radiance colour chart and made up a green that I thought was the colour of the outside skin. I mostly used the colour I made up but I did add splashes of blue and yellow to the pieces. Where the pieces look particularly dark I used more blue in those areas.

I had to paint the green fabrics in 2 stages as I ran out of space. There are only so many boards I can fit on my ensuite floor.


When I was doing the second lot I did make the mistake of grabbing the wrong bottle of yellow. For 2 pieces I accidentally used my yellow concentrate and not my diluted colour. No harm done the fabrics are just a little bit lighter but I did waste precious drops of colour. You can use the concentrates on their own without dilution but it is more economical to use them diluted. Lesson learnt check you have the right bottles before you start.

To construct the bags I made up all the fronts. I used the finished edge applique method. In this applique method you take your fabric and sew it right sides together before clipping your seams and making a slit in the bag to turn it right sides out. I marked on my fabric which was the back side that I was cutting as I was scared I slit the wrong side. This form of applique gives you a really neat edge and almost a 3D feel as you have another of layer of fabric behind it.


To applique the semi circles on to the bag fronts I used a satin stitch. I wanted to create the white layer you see on watermelons so I used white thread. I set my zig zag stitch to the widest I could which was 7. I set the stitch length down to 0.5 My first one was perfect.


The next 2 I had trouble starting, I couldn’t get over the initial seam that was in the corner of the semi circle. I ended up having to use stabilizer underneath, start a little bit in from the edge and change my settings so my width was 6 and my length was 1.0. Once I got stared I was able to increase my width and decrease my length.


To make the pips I did French knots in a pearl thread. The pearl thread is thicker. I marked out spots with a  black frixon pen then did my stitches adding a few extra here and there.


When I painted the handle fabrics I pleated the fabric so when it was dry it formed stripes. With liquid radiance anything exposed to air when drying is brighter than areas that are not so that is how you can create stripes or on the fleshy fronts the darker and lighter shades of pink. I formed the handle straps by folding each one in half sewing right sides together before turning out and top stitching along each edge


The construction of this bag was pretty standard there was a lining, an outer bag and the handle. I did trim away some of the top of the fleshy party of the watermelon front to reduce bulk in the seam. Normally when I made tote bags in this method I leave my turning gap at the bottom but due the curve shape I had to move my turning gap space to top of the bag on the back.


As a final touch I put on a KAM snap to close the bag.

So these will be Christmas gifts for my nieces but I think I am more excited about them then they will be. These turned out cute!


It was a fun personal challenge to see if I could take pattern designed to made in felt and change it around so I could make it from a woven. Thinking about all the steps I needed to change to make it work was a good way to stop and think about the basic fundamentals of sewing. Painting the individual pattern pieces for the first time was a lot of fun as I had to really plan in it in my head of how I wanted the end items to look. The machine and hand embroidery decoration needed thought and planning, I Goggled watermelon images as research over where to place my pips. These are one of the best things I have ever made.


Butterfly Wings

This pattern is one of those patterns that when I first saw it I thought yes I’m going to make it and I’m going to make it more than once. Butterfly Wings by Wife Made Emporium is pattern I purchased on Etsy after seeing a lot of people online make it. Construction wise it actually very easy to make. I did my applique a little different to the instructions by stitching my applique on before constructing the wings fully. If you purchase the pattern you will see what I mean. The reason I did this was I didn’t know how my applique would look on the reverse side and also I thought my thread colour would look awful on the back.

Butterfly Wings Red

I started with the red pair. For some reason I had a brain snap (or didn’t read the pattern properly) and thought the applique had a needle turned edge but done on the sewing machine. I folded my 1/4 inch to the underside after I applied the visofix and glued it down before machine zig zaging each piece. It looks a little chunky. You are actually meant to trim back that 1/4 inch after applying the visofix. Oops. I did it properly on the other wings and it looks better.

Butterfly Wings Pink

When making the red wings I stitched on the arm straps but didn’t like how the thread colour was showing through on the front side. I used red thread and because I stitched over part of the applique it looked ugly. I decided to use mono poly thread which is a clear polyester thread to attach the wings and also echo quilt around each shape. I’d never worked with mono poly thread before so I did a quick test piece then tried it on the wings. It was a little fine to work with but I love it. It helps you define the applique shapes but disappears into the back ground. You can see the straps have been attached but not glaringly noticeable. You can’t really see where I’ve sewn over the applique.

Butterfly Wings Purple

I decided to have a play with Liquid Lustres and paint some lines onto the applique. I think I need a bit more practice as you can clearly see I’m not an artist. When you actually hold the wings you can see the shimmer more as it has a sparkle. I used silver, bronze and gold colours. I have never painted on fabric before attending Anne’s workshop. These wings gave me a little way to experiment with using fabric paint.

I like these wings. The pattern has various sizes within it so you can make them for a child any age. These aren’t just limited to butterfly wings, you can change the wing shape and make dragon wings. The same basic construction concept remains you just adapt the fabric and embellishments to make them individual. All the fabric for these came from my stash, I did buy the elastic for the straps and the batting that is inside the wings but I still have leftovers of both.


The Frustrated Crafter

This afternoon I’m a very frustrated crafter. I can’t get my ScanNCut machine to cut like I want it to do.

ScanNCut Failure

I’m trying to cut out some letters so I can applique them for baby blocks. My fabric is all prepped with the Vilesofix stuck to it. When I load my cutting mat into the machine it moves around and therefore isn’t cutting properly. I’ve tried reloading it several times still no luck. My fabric appears to be sticking to the mat but as soon as it comes to cutting my fabric shifts around. You can’t tell by the photo but the letters are only half cut then the fabric has shifted. The fabric is a fairly thickish cotton and plus with the added Vilesofix it is very sturdy and therefore shouldn’t move about. I’ve adjusted my cutting pressure as per a Tip Sheet I got from Brother but still having trouble. I need to cut fabric in 5 different colours. So far I’ve wasted this piece of yellow so will now have to cut another piece and prep it again. Normally I have trouble working with Vilesofix but today it is being my friend but my cutting machine isn’t. I really wanted to get these letters done today so I can start hand appliqueing them over the coming weeks. I’m very tempted to get out my Sizzix Cutting machine and do them through that but I can’t have alternate colours with that like I can with my ScanNCut.

I’m actually thinking last resort might be get out my lightbox and trace them the old fashion way. I have 3 sets of letters to do this could take a while…