I recently got inspired to start sewing. I have tried a number of times before and produced some half-hearted attempts at clothing. Usually I get as far as selecting a pattern and fabric and cutting the pieces before reading the instructions and coming across a word I don’t understand and giving up. This is a fairly regular tradition and I have lost count of the number of bit and pieces I have scrapped over the years. Having been bit by the bug again recently I made a conscious decision to proceed in a more organised manner this time. I decided that the first thing to master was sewing in a straight line. Project number 1 is a hessian sack for the storage of potatoes and onions. This follows a very simple design and I even made the pattern myself. I thought this would be a good place to start – no curvy bits – no fitting – cheap fabric that doesn’t slip.
My local fabric shop has two types of hessian and I plumped for the more expensive variety (you have to know when to treat yourself!!!!). I made a pattern from baking paper consisting of two pieces. One piece was a square 40 cm by 40 cm with a 1.5 cm seam allowance all the way around and I cut one of those. The other piece measured 80 cm by 70 cm with a 1.5 cm seam allowance on all sides. I cut two of these.
First of all I made a tube by sewing together the two larger pieces along their shorter sides – two long straight seams which I then pressed open. Then I pinned the square to the tube such that it blocked one end of the tube. In doing this I positioned the seams that I had already sewn in the centre of an edge. I then sewed the base in place with one continuous straight seam. So far so good. I now had an open square bag with raw edges at the top. The plan was to put a drawstring at the top to close the bag but having sewn the seams all the way to the top and being unsure of the correct construction of such a closure I decided to wing it. I folded over the 1.5 cm seam allowance at the top and pressed it flat. I then turned over a further 4 cm all the way around and pressed that into place. Here my choice of fabric became a massive advantage. The open weave of the hessian meant that with the help of a knitting needle to open the hole, I could get the drawstring through the fabric without cutting any holes or making any further modifications.
Here is the finished article.