Around here we focus on creating well made, long lasting projects, with high quality materials. One thing we haven’t spent much time talking about is how to take care of the great things you make after the project is complete. These 100% cotton unbleached muslin bags from State Line Bag Co are great for storing items that may separate and get lost (like a set of leg warmers), or for a fur item you don’t want smashed or matted into having cowlicks. The variety of sizes available means you can store anything from a small necklace you don’t want scratched or lost to a lofty sweater that doesn’t want to stay folded in drawer.
State Line Bag Co sent us an assortment of bags to use and decorate as we chose. I thought that the best way to mark the bags for easily identifying which lovely possession lived inside was to embroider the outside with a correlating motif.
Bags appropriately sized for what you wish to store
Pattern to trace or idea to draw free-hand
Embroidery Hoops (small enough to fit inside the bag)
Step 1) Transfer/Create Your Design onto the Bag
I used a drawing program on my computer to create my designs but a paper and pencil would work just as well.
Trim the paper so it will fit inside the bag.
Place the paper inside the bag. I don’t have a light box/tracing box so I hung the bag in my window for light to show through – making it easier to trace the pattern onto the bag. I simply used a regular pencil to draw the pattern on the bag.
At this point, you need to make some determinations about the kinds of stitches you want to use to create different visual effects. I’ll walk you though the choices I made.
Step 2) Creating the Outline
I began the embroidery but tackling the big picture first – outlining my rabbit. I used chain stitch because it is a fast to sew stitch with a lot of visual pop for little effort.
I worked the outline of my ribbon header using a cleaner looking back stitch with two strands of embroidery floss.
Step 3) Detail Stitching
Now that the outlines are in place, I used a few different stitches to create a variety of visual effects to finish the look. I began by doing a spaced out satin stitch to represent the fold of the rabbit ear. I then created the edge of the ear with a little bit of back stitch.
I did the same thing to create the nose (chain stitch with satin stitch over it). I created a few cheek marks with spread out satin stitch.
I traced the text with a single strand of embroidery floss and back stitch technique.
I used a few different sitches for the bag to hold my leg warmers but the overall process was very similar.
I traced the pattern onto the bag.
Following the outline, I worked through each letter with satin stitch.
I filled in the details of the sheep face with 2 different colors of embroidery floss.
The curly wool was created with stem stitch that was spaced out a bit. Chain stitch was used for the ears and chin. The nose lines were made with a single strand of floss and back stitch technique. The eyes and nose were created with satin stitch (without chain stitch underneath because the details were too small).
After a bit of ironing, this is how it turned out:
Now I have a couple nice dye-free cotton bags to safely store some of my favorite things. I suggest you make a few for your lovely things too!