The Fat Quarter Club - January Box - By Emma Rodgers

The Fat Quarter Club - January Box - By Emma Rodgers

Fat Quarter Club Subscription: Cross Body Bag

January 2023

This month’s My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club project from Little Miss Sew n Sew had me dipping my toe into bag making – something I’ve avoided because it scared me a bit. Something that I thought was quite daunting actually ended up being an enjoyable make thanks to the clear instructions, full kit of craft supplies, and support of Little Miss Sew n Sew’s handy YouTube tutorials.

Sew much in one box

One little box, so many supplies – that's how I’d describe January's subscription box. You certainly feel that you’re getting your money’s worth from the Fat Quarter Club and it very often gets you using different notions and items you may’ve avoided in the past due to a lack of knowledge or fear of using them. For me, bag strapping, strap adjusters, bag rings and magnetic clasp fastenings were things I hadn’t used before Here’s the full list of what was included:

  • 3x fat quarters from the ‘Strawberry Tea’ collection by Dashwood Studio
  • Fusible fleece
  • Medium interfacing
  • Length of bag strapping
  • 2x bag rings and 1x strap adjuster
  • 1x magnetic clasp
  • Cross body bag pattern sheet and instructions exclusively designed for Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew by Sew Cosy Patterns
  • A sweet treat

As with other projects, the thing I find the hardest when it comes to these monthly makes is deciding which fabric to place where on the make as you’ll always receive three fat quarters and it’s up to you which one you use as a lining, the outer piece etc. For this make, it recommended using a contrasting colour on the flap to the main bag and lining, but I loved the house fabric so much (and there was enough!) that I decided to use the same fabric for both the body of the bag and the flap. To do this, just follow a similar placement of your pieces as shown below:

Sew prepared

In addition to your usual tools of the trade (scissors, thread, sewing machine) here are some essential tools for this make:

  • Iron – essential for the interfacing you’ll need to apply to the bag pieces
  • Heavy sewing machine needle – a good bag needs interfacing to make it sturdy. Because of this, your pieces will be a little bulky when you come to sew them together
  • Ruler – you need to cut out a piece of interfacing to help strengthen where the magnetic clasp sits on the main bag piece
  • Fabric pen/ chalk – the pattern includes circle markings to indicate the placement of the magnetic clasp piece. You'll need to transfer these onto the fabric so your two parts of the clasp meet when the bag is closed
  • Optional: Pattern screw hole punch – if you have one to hand, you’ll find this super helpful. You can use this tool to create a hole in your pattern pieces where the circle markings are that indicate the position of the magnetic fastenings etc

Sew smooth

Us sewists do like a few short-cuts as well as tips and tricks to make the process quicker, more enjoyable and, ultimately, to ensure we end up with the best results. Here are a few things I learnt along the way which I hope come in handy when you’re getting to grips with this make:

  • Consider investing in a pattern screw hole punch (also called a pattern drill) - some tools you’ll buy for your sewing box, and you’ll find that they sit there unused, but my pattern screw is something I come back to time and time again when working with patterns. It’s essentially a hole punch, but I found it handy for this make to mark out where certain things like the magnetic clasps and interfacing behind the clasp needed to sit.

  • Pin and ease – sometimes I’ll pin my pieces before I sew and sometimes I won’t. I tried both methods for this make (despite instructions advising you to use plenty of pins at the corners to distribute the fabric). I’d advise you to use pins to help with the easing of the fabric round the corners. It’s gets very fiddly otherwise!

  • If in doubt, shout – there was a small error on the instructions for this month’s make but the members of the My Guilty Pleasure Facebook group were super speedy in flagging it to the team at Little Miss Sew n Sew who quickly shared updated instructions, a handy YouTube video and took time to answer queries from people in the group. The group is also a fab community who share their makes each month and you get to see some very novel ways that people have used the fabric options, used different craft supplies for the strapping, and even modified the pattern. One person also shared how they’d decided to use their Cross Body Bag to carry their hot water bottle – genius!
  • Space saver – one thing I meant to do before sewing the pieces together was to add a pocked to the inside back piece. You could easily modify this make by adding inner or outer pockets. Who doesn’t love a pocket?!


Sew in summary...

Another successful venture into a type of make I’ve never tried my hand at until now. This project is one I’ll return to now it’s filed in my project folder with the others from the past 8+ months. I can see these bags being a big hit with friends and family as they’re a good size bag for holding all manner of things (including hot water bottles!) 😊

Back to blog