Blithe Bucket Bag in Crafting Magic by Art Gallery Fabrics

Feb 2023

A Blithe Bucket Bag in Art Gallery Fabrics new Crafting Magic range by Maureen Cracknell

I’ve had the great honour of having a project featured in the latest Art Gallery Fabrics Lookbook for their fabric range ‘Crafting Magic’ by Maureen Cracknell.

This is a lovely boho themed array of whimsical designs in some of my favourite shades of mauve and orange. It pairs amazingly well with the contrasting purple and teal. Altogether, the range works so well as a whole, with some lovely variants in the fabrics like stripes and motif prints.

What do you think of the love struck bunnies gazing at the moon? I just had to find a way to feature this happy couple, and the front window of the Blithe Bucket Bag was the perfect choice.

Also cause for celebration was the arrival of a Mini Oliso iron the Arabesque Studios – courtesy of a very kind friend in the US. These little irons are not currently available in Australia, so this was a real treat indeed! I’ve loved trying it out, and the small sole plate makes it perfect forgetting into tricky places.

Crafting Magic

I absolutely love it when I get to re-imagine a project in different fabrics!

The fabrics in this range are all so special it was really hard to narrow down my favourites - but ultimately because I was using the plum coloured waxed canvas, that decided the main colour palette.

I selected top casing & contrast trim to be ‘What Awaits Five’, the central window fussy cut is ‘Moon Stories’ & the contrasting border on the window is ‘Sun Tracks Five’.

You can see a glimpse of the lining showing the bee motifs for the ‘Bumble Five’ fabric. Such a fun fabric and a cute suprise to be greeted with when you open the bag!

It's also fun modding my own design slightly - adding extra trim here or leaving it off there, switching out the cord etc.

This time I only added handle trim on one side of each handle, I used a braided leather cord for the drawstring and variegated thread for some of the topstitching. The leather cord looks super cool, but in hindsight it's not really strong enough to handle to strain of pulling the bag shut. A thicker one would do the job better.

I chose brass rivets and snaps for this one for a super classy finish.

Waxed Canvas

This is my second Blithe Bucket made with waxed canvas and gives such a wonderful grungy look. I could stare at that texture all day long!

I wrote a lengthy blog post on sewing with waxed canvas here and waxing your own here if you’d like all the tips.

The canvas in this bag is a heavier weight than the last one, so it was definitely more of a challenge. I increased my needle size a bit more, and didn’t add any interfacing to the main body of the bag. I didn’t like how it creased a lot more, which totally changed the colour of the canvas from a delightful plum shade to virtually white. So this meant I tried hard to not over crease it.

Even so, it’s practically impossible not to crush a bag that’s being squished under the sewing machine and turned inside out. It gets absolutely smooshed together!

I got a bit zealous trying to return the bag back to a nice dark colour and ended up overheating it. Next time, I’ll definitely remember to turn the steam off on the iron first. To fix this I bought a wax bar to re-wax a few sections I may have overheated by accident and this did the trick. Remember to try this if you overheat your canvas fabric and damage the wax coating.

It's fixable!

Features of this bag:

-         Easy cathedral window method      

-         Drawstring construction (no zips!)

-         Back pocket with centre flap for safety and style

-         Roomy to hold your WIPs

-         Add matching hardware for an more professional look

Pattern Features:

This is a great beginner bag if you’d like to venture into the world of 3D projects from flat projects like quilts.

There are minimal pieces, very simple construction and no zips! And if you’ve always wanted to try the Cathedral Window style, this is the perfect chance. This method is simplified with absolutely no hand sewing, making it fast and easy.

The pattern has detailed instructions which include very detailed graphics, a cutting table to keep track of the pieces, and lots of inspiration pics to help you plan your own bag.

If you’re a visual learner (and let’s face it, few of us aren’t!) there’s also a full set of videos to take through the process, so you won’t be on your own!

Fill it up

The best part about finishing a beautiful bag is getting to use it! Bags are made to be used, and the sturdy construction on this one make sit robust, easy to clean and a pleasure to use.

I’ve filled my bag with my current crochet project I’m working on – and it’s simply perfect to stuff full of yarn. I’m ¾ done with this blanket and I can’t wait to find the next project to fill this up with!

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