Recently I was commissioned to sew a dice bag. There were a few requests for the finished product. The dice were currently being carried in a Ziploc bag because the previous bag had failed. Pink was the desired color and woodland creatures needed to be incorporated into embroidery. Finally strength was very important due to the weight and type of metal dice in the collection. My client plays tabletop games and carries the dice to gaming locations. Other than those requests, I had free reign which I love. It really opens up my creativity.
My first task was measuring a large ziploc bag so I could make sure the finished size was large enough. I also asked my client if the bag needed to be flat or have a round flat bottom which they stated was preferable. So I knew having the round bottom would add girth to the bag.
I went into my stash and found these cloth napkins. When I am shopping I always look in clearance sections and these were marked down when seasons were changing. The Ric Rac on the seam edges was something I wanted to incorporate also.
The first thing I did was digitize a woodland scene with cute creatures. I used my Winter Tree Design to build the embroidery. I love to use designs merged together to make something brand new and this tree design is perfect for that.
I digitized the animals in my software and layered them throughout the Winter Tree design. I also changed the outer square straight stich to a motif. Embroidery software is a lot of fun to play in. Once I had everything to my liking, I stitched it on a cloth napkin.
This dice bag uses casings on the outside instead of the top of the edge. So when I cut the front and back bag pieces, I also used remnants from those cuts for the casings. I thought keeping the Ric Rac would be a nice detail. The edges with the trim are already finished so I would only need to turn a hem on one long edge.
Not wanting to waste anything, I used the Ric Rac trim to frame the embroidery. I love to look at framed artwork that has been matted. You can make a simple picture look more expensive by using multiple layers of matting. I think sewing can accomplish the same thing.
The weight and volume of my client's dice was a concern for the life of the bag. I used a fusible fleece on the lining fabric and quilted a dense grid pattern. This gives great structure. You can see the fabric before and after here. I used the width of my sewing foot to quilt.
I did have to cut circles of outer fabric and lining fabric. Quilting the lining and adding interfacing to the outer fabric added more structure.
I used my Circle template to help me figure out the size circle I would need to cut out. If you would like to see how to figure out circles for your sewing projects, I have a blog post and video. Visit the link here.
Gingham fabric although beautiful does have a tendency to ravel. Throughout the project once I was finished with straight seams, I went back and did a zigzag seam everywhere. Here I am using it on the trim around the embroidery design. The zig zag helps add more strength to those straight seams.
The casings on the outer fabric are an easy way to add drawstrings to a bag. Some casings are created by folding down the top of the fabric like an elastic waist band. These are formed by folding under the ends of the casing along with the top and bottom and topstitching directly to the fabric. The only concern is keeping the ends well away from the side seams allowances. You can see here my side seams are narrow but I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance and made sure those casings were not sewn shut.
Once the side seams were sewn I added the circle bottom. Clips held everything in place during the stitching. Sewing the side seams and the bottom were the same for the lining fabric with the exception of leaving an opening in the side for turning later.
Here is the lining side seams showing that opening. It only has to be large enough to pull all of the fabric through later to turn everything right side out.
Sewing the bottom circle to the lining is accomplished the same as the outer fabric. So you are basically sewing two of the same bags. One for the outside and one for the inside. Then you are ready to put it together.
This is the tricky part. You want your lining to be WRONG Side Out. Your Outer bag to be RIGHT Side Out. Then you slip your outer bag INTO the Lining.
Make sure the right sides are facing. Match the side seams. Clip and sew around the top.
Remember the open side seam on the lining? That is where you will turn the entire bag right side out. Sew that opening shut with either your machine or by hand.
Then the lining can be pushed down into the bag and you can press well and secure it with a topstitch around the top edge.
Your dice bag should stand up by itself pretty well with that quilted inner lining. You are ready to add your cord.
I usually measure 4 times the bag width and add about 12 inches. This should give you more than enough to cut the cord in half and have two. I like a cord on both sides with cord locks to pull everything tight. You thread the first cord from one side all the way around and come back to the starting point.
Then go to the other side with your second cord and do the same thing. You can see the previous cord underneath the pin here. Go all the way around and come back to your starting point.
Masking tape will help thread the cord through the locks. If you don't have cord locks you can tie knots.
Once installed you can trim off any extra cord length and seal the ends with a lighter so they don't fray.
This bag will be perfect for dice, but I can think of other ways to use it. How about for cosmetics, or kid's toys on a road trip? How would you use it?
So how did I do? This is a one of a kind custom dice bag. There is only one in the world like it. Much better than a Ziploc bag don't you think? I accomplished all of the tasks. A good size, pink fabric, woodland creatures and strong enough for the metal dice.
Such a cute finished project that started as discounted cloth napkins. When you are browsing your local stores, keep an eye out for gems like these. You never know when inspiration will strike to upcycle.
This blog post is meant to inspire you and I know you might be interested in having some measurements to sew your own bag. That is why I created a video you can watch below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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