Criss cross bag: sewing pattern and tutorial

This cross-over bag style has been around for a while now; it’s quirky yet simple and really versatile. I decided to draft my own and it’s turned out to be so useful, so I thought why not share it*?

I’ve used these bags for all sorts, from the finishing touch for a wedding outfit through to holding the basics for everyday use. This is also a great scrap buster as it’s made up of 8 small(ish) pieces. So let’s get sewing…

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All the Small Things

As someone with two small people in my life I realised I had made an embarrassingly low number of small garments. Until now! I’ve started making things for all the little ones in my life, and it feels great. I’m going to try to cut out the normal waffle and give a quick overview of the items I’ve made…

Ikatee Marcel t-shirt

With a size range from age 3 to 12 years and six design variations, this is a pattern you’ll use again and again. I made an age 3 and it fits my (rather large) 18 month old, so I’d advise to err on the side of caution and size up rather than down. The neckband also seems to come up quite small, it’s a proper squeeze to get Max’s head out of it so for future versions I’ll go larger there!

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If the boot fits…

I love a car boot sale; like fish and chips and panto (although maybe not together), they’re a British institution that are bloomin awesome. I recently found a huge length of gorgeous floral fabric at a car boot sale for just £3! I dithered for a while about what to make (toyed with making a Vogue V8788 or a Colette Penny dress) but then I came across the New Look K6391, which came free with Sew magazine’s Christmas edition, Sew Christmas.

I keep reading about the big fours’ sewing instructions being difficult to follow but I found this really straight forward, and I put that down to the instructions more than my brain!

For the fully lined bodice I used some leftover fabric from a bed sheet so this really was a super-thrifty make. I’m sewing on borrowed time while the baby is napping so there was no time for faffing, and this dress worked out perfect for straight-forward assembly, which was great; there was no unpicking needed or confusing steps along the way.

New Look K6391 bodice

Since giving birth in October my body is obviously not back to its ‘normal’ size, so I was really careful with measuring myself and checking the sizing given on the pattern instructions. I was trying on the dress as best I could while sewing, but as I’m sure you’ve found if you’ve attempted this yourself, contorting yourself to work out the fit of a back-fastening garment before it’s finished is really hard! So I went ahead and chanced it and put the zip in and finished all my seams – BEFORE CHECKING IF IT DEFINITELY FIT PROPERLY. The end result? It did not fit.

The whole bodice sat completely away from my body, and although the shape was really nice, it was just floating on top of my torso – not the desired look. Even though I was careful with checking my measurements against the instructions, it came up so large and was going to take a lot of adjusting to get right. I just need to recut the pattern and start from scratch, so I asked my sister if she’d like to try it, and it looks great!

Free pattern + car boot sale fabric = bargain!

Sharing for the win. A bit needs taking in at the back and it needs hemming, but other than that this fits and looks so much better on Ellen than it did on me, so I’m glad I was able to make a dress for a loved one, and save myself a load of unpicking and altering!