I’m a sucker for cute little fabric things…especially things in which to hold other things (read: bags). In fact, I have dozens of them hanging around my house. (I blame my two years of developing prototypes for my farmer’s market booth.) Nevertheless, one can always use more bags for various uses around the house. I developed the Knitty Ditty bag to hold my knitting projects and keep my yarn untangled. You’ve probably seen something similar in your local knitting store, but alas, I am always the one to see something I like and figure out a way to make it myself in cuter fabrics and for less cash. I also seem to make everything reversible since I absolutely loathe raw edges – even serged ones.
The great thing about these bags is that they not only look cute and keep your projects organized, they also prevent your yarn from getting tangled while you work. You simply take out your project, and then pull the drawcord tight so that just a single thread of yarn is coming out of the bag and onto your needles. It’s like a more permanent version of the ziploc with the corner cut out that they sometimes give you at the knitting store.
These bags were so easy to make, they probably don’t even warrant a tutorial. However, I snapped a few shots during their construction that might help you make your own.
All the fabric you need is three fat quarters. Two of them will form the main section of the bag (only one will show at a time depending on which side you have flipped out), and the third will form the casing for the drawcord. In addition, you’ll need some thread, pins, a sewing machine, scissors (or a rotary cutter and cutting mat), something to use as a drawcord, a drawcord stopper (buy these at Joann’s or Hancock Fabrics), a large safety pin (I used a diaper pin) and a drawcord and something to turn out the corners of the bag (I used a chopstick, but a knitting needle or other skinny implement will work).
The size of your Knitty Ditty Bags is totally up to you. You can actually get two small bags out of the three fat quarters if you cut the two main fat quarters in half. The key is to make sure that each of your fabric pieces (inside and outside) are exactly the same size. If you do cut two out of one fat quarter, you will have to sew up both sides of the bag (the bottom will be formed by the fold). If you make a bigger bag like I did in these photos, you will only have to sew up one side plus the bottom. The other side will be formed by a fold.
You should also iron your two pieces to make them easier to sew and to make sure they are exactly the same size. If they aren’t the same size, your bag will be wonky in the end since the two tops of the inside and outside will be stitched together to make the bag reversible.
Stitch the bag pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance (this is not important as long as you are consistent). In other words, you will form two identical (except for different prints) little bags with an unfinished top edge. Turn one of the bags right-side-out, and leave the other one wrong-side-out. Press open the seam(s) running down the side(s).
Next, you’ll cut out the piece from the third fabric that will form the drawcord casing at the top of the bag. Simply fold up about 1 1/4″ across the width of the fat quarter (the side you use depends on the size bag you decided to make – it needs to be twice the width of the top of the bag plus one inch), and cut as shown. It makes it easier to cut straight (without using a rotary cutter) if you press the piece in half lengthwise before cutting.
Once it’s cut, open it up and fold each short end under about 1/4 inch TWICE, press, and sew. This will ensure no raw edge is showing on the outside of your Knitty Ditty Bag. Then you can pin the casing to the top of the right-side-out bag. Make sure the raw edges are together at the top. The open ends of the casing should line up with one of your side seams.
Slip the right-side-out bag (the one with the casing pinned to it) inside the wrong-side-out bag, ensuring that the right sides of the bags are facing each other. Pin everything together as shown below, matching up side seams.
Sew around the raw, top edge of the bag. Start in the middle of one of the sides of the bag, and leave about a 2″ section open for turning. Then, turn everything right-side-out and press with whatever side of the bag you want on the outside. Use the chopstick or other instrument to square up any corners that might be sticking inward. Top-stitch around the top of the bag very closely to where the casing meets with the bags. This will close the opening you left for turning.
Using a safety pin or diaper pin, thread your cord through the top casing. Place a cord stopper on it, and voila! You’ve got an awesome little Knitty Ditty Bag to hold your in-progress projects! If you make two bags out of the three fat quarters, they will each hold a small project like a hat and a hank of yarn. The larger size that I made above (approximately 10″x13″ before sewing everything together) holds a skein of Cascade Eco and a sleeve to a sweater.