Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finished: Hyvää Päivää Project Bag

I sewed this on the quick yesterday after realizing that my Elvira knitting project had outgrown my original boxy project bag. I had envision all my hard work getting messed up, or worse, unraveling, if I had just thrown it into my handbag as is. So a new project bag was an absolute must! I could've thrown it into a Ziplock bag, but I'm really trying to reduce my carbon footprint. I was going to just use the tote that I got from Three Bags Full, but that was too big and didn't have the structure I was looking for. But I liked the tote's boxy bottom and used that as my inspiration.

The project bag I had originally sewn for Elvira...I forgot to blog about it.

I dubbed this the "Hyvää Päivää Project Bag" because hyvää päivää means 'good day' in Finnish. Even though the fabric is from Ikea - which is Swedish, I thought the name was quite fitting. I mean, to sew this up in a little over an hour while the munchkin was taking a nap?? That's a good day for me!

Like I said, I got the fabric from Ikea. The overall print is suppose to be a peacock, but when I saw the fabric I had visions of abstract projects. Mainly a tote bag. When trying to decide on a fabric for this project, I knew this one would be absolutely perfect! And of course I had to add some hot pink in there, or else it wouldn't be me, now would it?? So I lined this bad boy in hot pink Kona cotton that matched the zipper perfectly. I have a handful of these really thick and big zippers. When I bought them I really had no idea what I was going to use them for. They were hot pink and that's what sold me. But because they are so bulky and stiff, I had a harder time sewing it to the fabric. But mind you, I was also sewing through 3 layers of thick canvas too!

I was going to cover the ends of the zipper like I had with the wristlets, but knew that I would be breaking needles left and right trying to sew through those thick plastic teeth. Impossible! So I had to improvise and covered the area after the zipper stops. I don't think it looks bad at all, if anyone actually pays attention to that kind of stuff. But it was a little sketchy trying to topstitch next to the stoppers. I had pictured accidentally sewing on top of the metal and the needle breaking with the needle tip flying into my eye. Yeah, not a pretty picture. I'm quite pleased with how the ends came out, considering the bulkiness of the zipper. And I really like how the pink adds a little pop of color to the overall look of the bag.

I added a large pocket on the inside, with the idea that I could stash a folded up pattern, needle packages, scrap paper, or a needle gauge in there. But I think I made it a bit too big and it resulted in it being a little "flappy". I think the next time I make this bag I'll stick to a smaller pocket. Or maybe keep the size and just divide it into 2 smaller pockets. Another thing to remember for next time is to change my stitch length. I would have preferred a longer stitch, rather than the standard. Just for better aesthetics and overall proportion.

This bag fits the entire project with room to spare. You can't tell, but I've got 3 pucks of yarn tucked away with 4 packages of needles, my knit kit, an extra packet of stitch markers, and scrap paper. At first I had planned on sewing a 6" base, but when it came time to sew it I realized that 6 would be too big and would throw the whole bag off. So I settled on a 4" base, and I'm so glad I did!

I'm really proud of how this turned out, since this is the first time making it. I took a chance that it would turn out right and didn't bother with sewing up a prototype. I definitely plan on sewing more of these bags, since I plan on having a few knitting projects on the go. If Elvira taught me anything, it's to have another project around so that I don't get too caught up on one and screw up left and right cause I've been staring at the same thing for days straight.
Variety is good for you! And if I go overboard on making these, well, they'd make for a great gift! So stay tuned!!


  1. That is very cool. I definately need to make something like this for my knitting. I have just been using one of those enviro bags you get from the shops.

  2. It looks really good! And I love the name Hyvää Päivää :)

  3. Kat - Thanks a lot! I was using plastic Ziplock bags for the longest time, but by the time the project was finished the bag would be full of holes and not really re-usable!

    Mauri - Thanks Hon! ;) It's been a while since I used a Finnish phrase or even words! So it feels good to finally be able to do so! :D


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