Make it! Bug Bags

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Woah Bug Bags!
Yeah, a sun is not a bug.

I suppose a frog is also not a bug.

But a ladyBUG is a bug, and a BEE is a bug, so we’re just gonna go with bug bags.

Plus that’s what the book we used for inspiration calls them…so…anywho.
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Let’s get our materials together!

  • Different colours of felt
  • Scissors
  • Washable Marker … yep, it rinses right off the felt, just run it under the tap and squeeze a few times, it also gets all over your fingers, don’t wipe your face when doing this project, until you’ve washed your hands. Trust me.
  • Shapes or Pictures… you want to make into fun bags. I started with two from the book (ladybug and frog) and then used a big circle and some freehand for the sun and bee.
  • Thread … I chose black and white, but if you like things to match, then match the colour thread to the piece that you are attaching
  • Sewing Device… I have a machine, but this can be done completely by hand using a straight stitch (in zigzag pattern), back stitch (around the body to close it up and attach the legs, arms, antennae, and handle, and the French knot (for the eyes)

First choose the shapes, bug or whatever you are going to create into a bag.  With a few simple shapes you can create an endless array of possible bugs.  Don’t like bugs, how about a sun? fish? butterfly?  Use your imagination and you will be amazed at what you come up with.

For this demonstration I will do a bee! This is in honour of my friend N and her “love” for bees. Okay maybe she doesn’t love bees… but maybe she’ll like this one for it’s colourful, stinglessness.

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Yep! That's my amazing "Bee" sketch

Draw out your pieces onto white paper.  One main body, one of each different leg, one atenna, one of each different wing, stinger, etc.  Generally I don’t draw basic shapes, that I will only need one of, onto white paper.  Eyes for example, I’ll just cut to small circles that closing match, right out of the fabric.
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Cut out the white paper shapes and trace onto your fabric colour of choice.  I let AJ pick out her colours for the bee, this got her excited about the project and gave us some quality hang out time.  If your child is old enough to use scissors, let them cut out some of the basic shapes that don’t necessarily need to be perfect.
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You will need to trace and cut the following from your fabric; one whole main body and two 3/4 main bodies (basically fold one end down about 1/4, creating a straight line and trace) eyes, legs/arms, other optional pieces (wings, antenna, tongue, and body decorations.)

Draw and cut out  a 2″ x 6″ rectangle for your bag handle. (you can make it longer and/or wider) 
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Take your two 3/4 body pieces and your main body piece and set aside all the other stuff for a bit.  Overlap the two 3/4 back body pieces so that they are the same size as the main body piece.  Fold over the overlapped part so that they are still 1/2 or so overlapped. 

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Pin them and run a stitch along the edge to secure it.  Pin the two pieces in place, double check they match the top piece, and sew the at the overlapped section, leaving the middle open. 
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Place your arms/legs and stinger so they point inward and pin.  Run a quick baste stich to hold them in place. Place your handle and pin, pointing inward.  Run a baste stitch to secure. Set finished back body piece aside.
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On main body piece, place, pin and attach eyes, decorations, wings and atenna.
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Finally pin your main body and bottom body, right sides facing each other.   Run a short length straight stitch (or backstitch) all the way around the entire body, closing it up.  Reminder to double check that all the pieces were tucked in, not out, so you don’t catch any legs or other pieces.
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Pull the inside of the bag out, through that open pocket and smooth out the edging so that it takes the right shape. Smooth out any quirky parts, by jabbing a pencil eraser end in there and pushing the edges out (like if you have a tail on your little creation).

Hand it over to the love of your life, those little cherubs, and bask in the smiling laughter that will ensue as they stuff all kinds of blocks, milk caps and crayons into that little bag over and over.
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Repeat process about a bazillion more times as the children have discovered your new found ability to make bags in a variety of designs and begin requesting all types of animals, bugs, objects, etc.

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