Liberty Scrap Challenge 2012 – February Edition!

by Nova on February 18, 2012

liberty scrap challenge

My February pack of Liberty scrappy love arrived from Jo on a rainy summers day which  inspired my project for this months challenge.

Little droplets of Liberty to embellish a bag.


I used Jeni’s sweet little drawstring bag tutorial as the base pattern to which I machine appliqued droplets of Liberty, adding a few hand stitches and some vintage ribbon & sequins for a subtle sparkle.

It’s such a fab tute (& I also can highly recommend going a step further & getting yourself a copy of Jeni’s pattern which includes eight sizes plus directions to make your own custom size)  & it’s a great little treasure bag for all sorts of goodies! I’m going to use mine to store my Liberty scraps in :)

Here’s the droplets tutorial…. [or download the tutorial as a PDF]

Embellish a Drawstring Bag with Droplets of Liberty

What you will need ::

Jeni’s drawstring bag tutorial (makes a drawstring bag with approx finished size of 10″ x 10″ with a 3″ depth/gusset) & fabric to make the bag as per measurements in tute.
Liberty Scraps
Paper backed iron on fusible webbing such  as Vliesofix or Bondaweb
Droplets template (or draw your own)
Embroidery floss or Perle 8 cotton thread
Some beads &/or sequins  to add a subtle touch of twinkle if you like!

+ your basic sewing supplies (sewing machine, iron, needle, scissors, pencil, tailors chalk, ruler)

How to ::

1. Print out the droplets template (pdf download here) or draw your own. With a pencil, trace the droplet designs onto the paper side of your fusible webbing. Roughly cut around pencil line leaving approx 1/4 inch space around the design. For my drawstring bag I drew 10 of each size.

2. Place the glue side (the non paper side) of the cut out fusible webbing on to the wrong side of your Liberty scrap. Follow the manufacturers instructions & carefully iron the droplet design in place.

When it’s cooled, cut around the pencil line.

Peel the paper away from the back of the fabric & you’ll be left with a gluey back ready to fix to the main fabric of your drawstring bag. Place to one side.

3. Using Jeni’s tutorial, cut your fabric for the drawstring bag. I cut mine as one whole piece as I didn’t want the accent piece distracting from the droplets but keep it in if you like by all means. I also cut my lining pieces at this point but didn’t attach them until after I had finished embellishing the main bag fabric so they weren’t in the way.

4. Using your ruler & tailors chalk, mark out some guidelines for positioning your fabric droplets. You don’t really want any droplets where the drawstring is or on the base. I marked my guidelines approx 4″ from either short end, and approx 3″ from the centre either way.

Next I marked some guidelines to place the droplets on so they were evenly spaced across the bag. I marked a line down the centre and then 2 lines either side of the centre line approx 2″ apart. This keeps the droplets within the seam allowances and when you come to sew the gusset in Jeni’s tutorial you won’t lose a droplet in the gusset!

5. Position your droplets (right side up) onto the guidelines you marked.

shuffle them around & when you are happy with their placement carefully iron in place.

6. Time to  machine applique!  If you can, set your machine to sew at a slower speed, shorten your stitch length a bit ( I set mine to 1.8) and attach your machine applique foot (it’s usually the short dumpy one with a wider opening).

You might prefer to use & be more comfortable with a free motion foot.  I am not very practiced with free motion and prefer the control of the applique foot but that’s just a personal preference so please use which ever foot & method you are more comfortable with :)

At your start point, lower your needle keeping a hold of  thread from the needle. Raise the needle, still holding the thread & gently pull the bobbin thread up through to the top of your fabric. Pull it all the way through and then bring both threads around to the back of the foot. This saves you getting any tangly bits on the back of your work.

Begin sewing, rotating your work as you go. Back stitch at the beginning and end point of each droplet.

There’s no need to cut  the  thread between each droplet, simply raise the presser foot and move across to the next droplet & keep sewing until you have sewn all the droplets.

Remove your work from the machine & trim off all those in-between bits of thread from the front & back.

7. Add some hand stitches. Using a hera marker, or tailors chalk mark some guidelines to hand stitch along. You can use a ruler if you like straight lines or just freestyle it  if you like a more relaxed look.

For my hand stitches (a simple running stitch) I used 3 strands of embroidery floss but Perle 8 would be really lovely too.  You can use a hoop if you like but as it is a fairly small piece  you might be moving it a bit. I found that a nice  plump cushion across my lap to rest my work on worked a treat!

As I was sewing down the rows,  I added in a few (about 6 or so on each side) randomly positioned opaque sequins. I’m not a blingy person by any stretch  but these just added a subtle little twinkle to the bag that reminds me of raindrops glinting in the sunshine after a summer shower.  You can add more or less or none or some little  tiny glass beads might be sweet too.

I attached the sequins with a french knot. Some I placed on the droplets & some in-between on the backing fabric.

Once you have added all your stitches and embellishments  it should look a bit like this…

At this point you can return to Jeni’s  tutorial, add your lining fabric and complete your drawstring bag.

liberty scrap challenge

I used Kona coal for the exterior of the bag and cut up a shirt I found at the opp shop for the lining – I’m not sure if it is, but it has the feel & look of a Liberty print, anyone familiar with it? – I love it anyway & it’s so pretty, there is something about a pink & grey combo….

The ribbon I used for the drawstring  is from a roll of vintage ribbon I scored at the opp shop too, it has a crinkly sort of texture to it & it’s not as dark or as salmony pink as it looks in the photos, it’s more of a vintage rose pink.

You might like to embellish something else with the Liberty droplets too ! perhaps a tote, or a zippy pouch or a kitchen towel or sewing machine cover or make an embroidery hoop or………

If you make a Liberty droplet embellished bag (or something else) we’d love to see!  You can share your photos in our Flickr Group or drop me a line with a link to your blog post or with images attached to ::

If you use Jeni’s drawstring bag tutorial I’m sure she’d love a peek too, you can find her flickr group here.

Need some Liberty scraps? Jo can help out you there! Hop over to the Organic stitich co for all your Liberty goodness needs :)

Playing along with our Liberty Scrap Challenge? Grab our banner!

Liberty Scrap Challenge 2012

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanya February 18, 2012 at 5:58 am

Wow Nova, that bag is gorgeous!! Thanks for the tutorial too. I still have lots of scraps left to try this, maybe a cover for my machine :-). X


Fran February 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

That is so pretty!! I still have a few Liberty scraps of my own, it makes me feel I should do something useful with them… :-)


Flying Blind February 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

Oh it is so pretty Nova – the sequins are perfect.


Marg February 18, 2012 at 6:32 am

A perfect way to use those Liberty scraps. Such a pretty bag.


Leila February 18, 2012 at 8:31 am

How lovely Nova, the sequins are such a nice touch on this!


Katy February 18, 2012 at 8:58 am

Oh that looks absolutely fab, love it!


Jeni February 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thank you for your kind words Nova! Seriously LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Those raindrops are so darn cute! :)


Bluquilt February 18, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oh my word, that little bag is lovely! Love the hand-stitching on the dark grey…and, of course, the sequins.


Krista - Poppyprint February 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm

What a sweet tutorial! Thanks Nova!


Dolores February 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Gorgeous! It’s so funny because I have a design in my head of scraps of fabric cut into raindrops just like this for a pouch I am making for a swap! I love your idea of the handstitches and sequins.


Rachel February 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

What an adorable take on the drawstring bag! Well done!


tusen February 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

It’s beautiful. It seems to me that the droplet shape is just perfect for the Liberty fabrics.


Nicole G February 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

Hi there. I’m new to your site. Found you through In Color Order. Thanks for the fabulous tutorial. Those dropslets are amazing. Can’t wait to try it.


Tezzie February 19, 2012 at 12:55 am

Cool pouch I love the hand stitched details.


elsa February 19, 2012 at 1:53 am

This bag is so lovely and original ~ thanks so much for sharing the process in making it. Jeni from In Color Order sent me over!


pattyskypants February 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

Very cute and very creative!! The hand-sewing is such a wonderful enhancement. Bravo! xxoo


Maryanne February 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Hi Nova,

I have to say I have been watching carefully since February 1st, waiting for this month’s Liberty Scrap Challenge. The bag is gorgeous and it has been worth the wait!!! I must be conquering my “I can’t sew with Liberty” fear because I have been biting at the bit to get stuck into your February project since I completed January!

I love Jeni’s drawstring bag construction – very nifty and I have played with it a few times myself. I cant wait to have another go.


Jo @ a life in lists February 20, 2012 at 12:54 am

Lovely bag! Such a great idea for using up teeny scraps. I love Jeni’s tutorial and pattern too – completely idiot proof.


Gwen @ Gwenny Penny February 20, 2012 at 8:04 am

This is stunning!


Hitch & Thread February 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

This is gorgeous! I love the raindrops and the subtle bling.


angelina February 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm

i love your bag so so much, i want one!!!
and congrats on your first knitting accomplisments, it looks beautiful ! here’s to breezy cool weather !! its40 degrees here and i’m knitting wool shawls !!


Mary February 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

Wow, Jeni sent me and I’m so glad I popped over, it’s beautiful. I made my first 2 drawstring bags with her pattern last week and I love it, but yours has taken it to another level!


Heather February 22, 2012 at 10:23 am

Incredibly sweet! Thank for sharing your idea with this tutorial. I can’t wait to make something similar.


Sarah February 27, 2012 at 6:01 am

Oh this is absolutely adorable – have added it to my Pinterest board for future use – love it – thank you! <3


Melissa February 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hi Nova, been crazy busy with my new market in KL but can’t wait to do this beautiful bag. Perfect design for such beautiful fabrics. One coming up soon!


Melissa March 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Ok Nova, time has ticked over but I am about to do my Feb liberty challenge, hopefully before you post the next one! Although I have decided to try a new pattern out for my sewing machine…will send details soon.
Melissa x


Jus de myrtille March 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

this bag is so adorable! thanks a lot for your pattern!now I know what am I gonna do with all my little scraps!


Mommy en France May 22, 2012 at 5:49 am

I just discovered your blog – and this fantastic project – via the Sew Mama Sew giveaway and related link hopping. I am so excited about this challenge and to make this bag. Woohoo!


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