I love wool appliqué, and Minki Kim’s cute Boxy Sewing Case in her book, Zakka Wool Appliqué got my “what-if” thoughts conjuring. What if I appliquéd by machine and used Kraft-Tex as my foundation instead of linen or wool? With Minki’s pattern and instructions in the book, the project was easy to construct. And it was so much fun to play with machine appliqué!
Kraft-Tex is a rugged paper that looks, feels and wears like leather, but cuts, sews and washes like fabric. If you are new to Kraft-Tex, our article Everything You Want to Know About Working with Kraft-Tex has lots of helpful tips for working with this unique material.
One of my favorite steps in any project is selecting the fabric! I pull this and that from my stash and audition different combinations. My anchor piece – the one constant – was the piece of hand-dyed Kraft-Tex in Emerald. But I didn’t want to make a Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day project – it had to be something I would be happy using year-round.
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I needed something with presence for the body of the bag so it could hold its own with the boldness of the Emerald Kraft-Tex, and a colorful Kaffe Fassett print looked great with the green. It brought a lot of other fun colors into the mix, so I had more options I could pull from for the appliqués and lining. With circles as my motifs, the freeform stripe from Kaffe would bring motion to the design. I like light linings in my bags so I don’t have to fumble for things inside a dark bag, and the spatter-like dots on this Clothworks print matched the colors in the appliqué fabric.
For the front and back of the bag, I cut two 7 1/2-inch squares of kraft-tex. Setting the appliqué fabric aside for the moment, I cut out the cotton fabric, interfacing and batting for the bag according to the instructions in the book, with just one adjustment: the big print is directional, so I cut the bottom piece in two sections, adjusting for seam allowance. With those two pieces stitched together down the center, the case would appear right-side-up no matter how it landed.
Then follow Minki’s instructions to construct the body of your Boxy Sewing Case. Use clips to hold pieces together for sewing because pins will leave permanent holes in Kraft-Tex.
With the pieces sewn together with 1/4-inch seams, press towards the Kraft-Tex. You will need to coax it a bit, but a good press keeps the finished case nice and square with crisp edges and sharp corners. The piece in the center (seen below) is the bottom of the bag. You can see where I added my seam to accommodate the directional fabric. You will attach the zipper next, according to Minki’s instructions.
After attaching the zipper (ignore my second row of stitching on the left side – I got distracted), finish the sides, then trim excess length from the zipper. (To get the color I wanted, I had to buy a long zipper, but I made sure it had plastic teeth so I could shorten it.)
Next, stitch the lining – it’s all one piece, so it goes fast.
Insert the bag into the lining (you’ll turn it later). Then pin the pressed edges to the zipper tape and hand stitch in place.
Turn your Boxy Sewing Case to the right side, then give the the Kraft-Tex edges a nice, crisp press. Finished size is 7 X 7 X 4 inches – so nice for a take-along craft project or packing all those loose little things that roll around in your suitcase. I love how it turned out!!
Check out more appliqué projects and inspiration.
Browse through more Kraft-Tex projects on Create Whimsy.