Flower’s first post- Making a pattern, otherwise known as winging it!

Introducing… Flower! Yes, I have a very good friend named Flower, it’s no joke. Funny story: One time, at a bar, we were asked our names by a couple of guys. When we said “Flower and Lilly”, they thought we were giving them fake names.

Anyway, I think it is very appropriate that Flower is now becoming a regular contributor on Rake and Make! Not just because she has a cool botanical name like me, but because she is one of my very best friends and she does a lot of cool shit.

Fun fact: Flower and I met through the Rat City Rollergirls and I skated with her on the Throttle Rockets team for 5 years. We are both “retired” from roller derby now, but have stayed close friends. Our “retirement” from roller derby has opened up time for hobbies, like gardening, cooking and crafting. I don’t think either of us have lost the desire for perfection and the competitiveness that comes with playing a sport, so we have channeled that into our “retirement” hobbies. If there is such a thing as competitive gardening, that’s what we do.  We are working on making that a thing, or maybe it’s just our thing, but more on that later.

But seriously, all my good ideas come from Flower. She inspired me to start sewing again, when I saw the adorable curtains she made from some awesome Ikea fabric.

We have different approaches to things and she makes things that I don’t, so she will be a good contrast and interesting addition to this blog.

So without further ado, here is the first, of hopefully many, posts by the lovely and talented Flower.

Enjoy!

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I need a yoga bag…in a big bad way. After running to class the other day with my mat unfurled like a giant flag and nearly falling over, I decided I could just make one. I have cute Ikea fabric just waiting for a project!

I am quite sure there is a great pattern out there, but that requires time. Time to go purchase said pattern, and time to cut out said pattern.

So I decided to make my own!

Unlike Lilly, I rush into and through projects. Lilly is a learner, she reads and researches. She is patient. I tend to learn by trial and error, often to the tune of failure. My fingers are often crossed and creative is my middle name.

I measured my yoga mat after rolling as I usually would. I measured the length (25”) and tacked on 5 additional inches for seam allowances and bag closure (fingers crossed this is enough). I then wrapped the paper around tight, and added an additional inch for seam allowances (1/2” per side) plus 2 more inches so I have some leeway getting my mat in and out. The body of my bag pattern is a giant rectangle weighing in at 30” x 18”

Body 30”x18”

I had to google the next part. I knew that the flat edge of my pattern was 18” (19” with seam allowance). To figure out the diameter of the bottom of the bag, I had to use math. Like pi math. Like look it up on the internets math. Like divide 18” by 3.14 blah blah blah. Well the diameter of my bag is 5.75” again fingers crossed. I am cutting a circle that is 6.75 (allowing for a ½” seam all the way around).

Bottom Circle 6.75” diameter

I cut both these out of chosen fabric

And then confusion sets in…..

What now? Does the seam up the side get sewn on first? Yes. I measured 25 inches( the length of mat and zipped a seam. Hmmm this is where I bring in my big guns. I am quite sure that all great seamstresses use glue and that’s just what I do. To create the flap opening I cut on the diagonal and glued down the bottom half to the seam. The top half gets folded over twice, ironed and then stitched.

The next part took me a second to figure out. Place the circle in the bottom of the bag. Start pinning. I basically made a small random fold every other pin and managed to get it to all work out (you remember the glue, right?Riiiiight.) Crossing fingers.

I then folded a nice tidy seam along the top and ironed it and followed that by another fold and ironed it. Zip a seam along the first fold (allowing for an opening for the drawstring). I added some cord toggles for deluxe effect!

As for the strap, I went easy. The bags at the yoga studio are all adjustable but I went for a simple 25” strap. To make this, I cut out a 4” x 26” piece of fabric, ripped a seam up the long side, turned it inside out, then ironed it so the seam was directly down the middle.

Strap 4” x 25”

Folded on the top and bottom and then sewed all the way around the edge. I then sewed it on so the strap was loose.

This project ended up being really simple once the entire cross your fingers factors came into place. And now I have a GREAT present to give to all my fellow yoginis. Namaste Bitchez!

Flower

About Flower

Flower, otherwise known as Flo, Dirty Little Secret, wild&free or Gail came to Seattle from Buffalo by way of a dare and a one-way ticket on the greyhound bus and never looked back. Her business, Big Dipper Wax Works, is dedicated to handcrafting 100% beeswax candles, using locally sourced wax and educating the masses about honeybee health. She has been in countless bands, and played roller derby for the Rat City Rollergirls. Seattle has continuously fed her passions which now include gardening, cooking and yoga. As she follows these pursuits, she finds herself moving closer to her kitchen, garden, friends and ultimately, her heart. And really what is life, if not growing your love to share?

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