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How I designed my Cricut Maker Bag without a pattern




I went to visit my mom a couple of days ago. We LOVE to craft together so I brought along my new Cricut Maker for us to experiment with. The only problem was, I didn't have anything to carry it in! As I was taking it to and from my car, I just kept thinking to myself, "don't scratch it!".


Growing up, there wasn't a lot of money laying around to spend on patterns so my mom and I would just come up with our own. We'd pull out the good old graph or scrap paper to design our own quilts: something we came to really enjoy. It allowed us to be really creative. When I came in the door, my mom immediately pointed out that I was lacking a bag for my Cricut. With a hint of nostalgia, my mom handed me a piece of paper.

 

Get Inspired

The first thing I do when planning out a new project is get inspired. I perused Cricut Maker bags that I could buy and started making a mental list of things that I liked and things that I didn't. I didn't like zippers but I did liked ones that opened up completely flat. I asked myself things like "what do I want the strap to be like?", and "should it have any extra pockets?".


After thinking through some of these questions, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted my finished project to look like. I drew a couple of different sketches, ultimately ending up with this beautifully drawn diagram.


I know, I know, it should win an award...


The first step of the process was complete.


 

Get Mathematical

The design came first, then I figured out the measurements. Using a plain old ruler, I measured my Maker to know what I needed the finished size of the bag to be (dimensions in blue on the diagram). I wanted the finished size to be just a little larger than the maker itself but still snug enough that it wouldn't slide around. I marked where all of the velcro would go in yellow. The pink dashed lines represent where the bag would fold.


With the dimensions of the finished project, the next step was to figure out how big I needed to cut my fabric. I used a quarter inch seam allowance so I added half an inch to every single measurement I had (that's a quarter inch per side) . Since I wanted the bag to be 22 inches wide, I cut a piece of fabric that was 22.5 inches wide. For the sides that stick out, I decided it would just be easier to sew on two 7.5x7.5 inch squares rather than try to cut out that shape.

 

Get Through the Logistics

In order to minimize mistakes and ripping time, take a moment to think through the logistics. All of the following are questions I asked myself:

  • How will my edges be finished?

  • How will I attach the Velcro?

  • Will I use a batting?

  • What kind of strap will I put on?

I decided that I would sandwich together the fleece batting, inner fabric, outer fabric, and Velcro tabs all at once, flip the project right-side-out, and do a top stitch around the whole bag. Then, I would add my straps. I wanted the straps to wrap around the bottom for extra support since the Cricut is so heavy.


The next thing I had to do was figure out the order of everything that needed done. If I sewed my velcro on before I made my sandwich, for example, I wouldn't see the stitching on the other side of the fabric. If I had waited until after, however, the stitching would have gone through all of the layers making for a sloppier appearance.

 

Get the Materials

The first place I always look for fabric is in what I already own. If there's something in my scrap bin or fabric I intended for a project that went unmade that I can use, great! In this case, my mom had bought this fabric to cover cushions on her back porch. She never made it around to making them though, opting for brand new cushions instead.


Think about the dimensions of your project and how much you will need of everything. It's a little inconvenient when you're in the middle of a project and you realize that you're 6 inches short of Velcro (not that this happened to me...).

 

Get Making

With all of the planning done, it's finally time to get on the machine and start sewing away. When you have a good game plan it makes the actual sewing of the project feel like a breeze.


That being said, however, there is ALWAYS a learning curve when you design something yourself. Almost every single quilt I've ever made has been without a pattern. You will make mistakes and it's important to learn to give yourself a little grace when you do. Every mistake you make on a project will help you to not make the same mistake in the future.


I'll let you in on a little secret: I sewed the Velcro tabs on backwards. I had intended for the Velcro to face the outside so that they could bend in creating nice, neat corners. When sewing it together, however, I had "right-sides-together" which I use SO often in quilting stuck in my head. That's what I did and it came out backwards.


At first, I was upset and nearly ripped it out. I took a breath and decided I would see how it looked before I undid my work (which I have done plenty of times before and will do again). Much to my surprise, it totally worked. I even found the pinched out edges of the bag to be really cute and kept it the way it was.


"If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum." -Holly Near


Happy sewing!

 

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