Tim Holtz ‘Abandoned’ Fabric Bag

January 30, 2021 at 11:14 am 8 comments

Hello! How are you all? I know it’s a while since I’ve posted anything sewing related, but I ordered some Eclectic Elements Abandoned fabric by Tim Holtz ( Free Spirit ) a little while ago and I’d been itching to use it.

I chose two fabrics, Cracked Shadow Black and Rusted Patina, but have only used the Rusted Patina. My initial idea was to use it with some Blue Velvet but when it arrived, the colours weren’t a good enough match. I then decided to actually go more of an arty way, centred around the whole ‘Abandoned’ theme. So I grabbed some abandoned jeans ( from a charity shop) and set to work trimming them into 2” strips. I did the same to the Rusted Patina but only after having added Vlieseline H250 to the back. I needed the cotton to be more substantial like the denim so they didn’t behave too differently when sewn together. Before I go into how I did it, here’s the finished bag, in a little photo where it looks like it’s been abandoned in the undergrowth 😂

I set about sewing the strips alternately, creating a new piece of fabric. I wanted to give it a modern patchwork/quilter vibe (and yes, no digs about taking perfectly good material and cutting it up and sewing it back together again!!).

This would have made a perfectly good basis for a bag, but I had a design in my head with a large chevron, so had to work out now how to get my fabric to create it. A lot of head scratching later ( including my son who is studying Maths A Level and who gave up!) I had a piece resembling the finished design.

I was rather pleased with my matching points. Because I wanted a simple design, I knew unmatched points would really draw attention to themselves so took care at this point. I’ll show you the back too. I used two main structural products in the bag, Vlieseline H250 and Style-Vil. The combination of the two meant my bag is sturdy and will remain in the shape I actually created!

Once I’d got the front sorted, I wanted to use up the leftover pieces to create the back and an internal pocket.

Now all I needed to do was put a piece of denim to join these two pieces. The back pieces panel is much smaller than the front, but that didn’t matter. Having an obvious difference looks like a design difference rather than badly matched seams! I added more H250 to the denim panel and then joined the 3 sections together so I now had one long piece.

For the lining, I wanted some more abandoned fabric. I’d been given some old unwanted curtains that were the right colour for a gentle contrast and so I trimmed out a piece the same size as my denim piece. I sewed another piece of lining to the front of the spare denim pocket, turned it and then sewed into the lining. I also added magnetic snaps at this point.

Now to the quilting. Using Style-vil gives a quilted look and also provides squishy structure. I just love Vlieseline products!! I wanted to keep the quilting pared back and only on the denim so it didn’t distort the lovely Rusted Patina fabric. That fabric is so different in each part, you never know quite what you’ll end up with. I did have Tim Holtz’s original paper pad in the Abandoned design so was delighted when he brought out fabric in it too. I chose an orangey red thread that matched the fabric for the quilted line.

For me less is always more! I’d added some stitching for strength where the panels had been joined together but added a quilted line beneath it for design. To do this quilting with bulky fabrics and Style-Vil, a walking foot is most definitely your best friend. It pulls the fabric through above and below at the same time so you end up with an evenly fed fabric.

I needed handles. I’d just done a big craft room sort out and remember some handles I’d had for a long time. They belonged to another bag that had worn out and had been abandoned for a few years. It was their time to shine. I like the contrast of the curves with the angular lines. I just needed to add some strips of the Patina fabric that had been turned in and folded, and sewn together. You do need a little strength here, although the top of the bag seam is where it needs reinforcing.

You can see I’ve sewn over the ends within the seam allowance to keep the ends together before you sew into the bag. Now I just needed to sew the bag outer and the lining separately, leaving a turning gap in the lining. With the outer turned right way out and the lining wrong way out, slip the lining over the outer so that both right sides ( of the lining and outer bag) are touching.

Now insert the handles, taking care to centre them properly. Now Stitch the handle ends a few times within the seam allowance to give a little more strength and then sew around the top of the bag. Pull through and sew up the lining hole. Ta-daah, you have a finished bag…nearly!

The lining was misbehaving itself slightly so I knew I needed to make a false bag bottom. I found an old substantial A4 plastic file folder and trimmed it into 4 same sized pieces that fitted the bottom inside of the bag. I made a ‘pocket’ just larger than the pieces and slipped them into it and sewed up the end. This now goes at the bottom of the bag and keeps the lining from shifting. It also means it’s easy to wash if I get inevitable ‘bits’ collecting at the bottom.

Isn’t that fabric just gorgeous!!!

Well hope you like my ‘abandoned’ bag. Thankfully it won’t be abandoned any longer, it will be put into use as my current bag is just too small and got stained by a teenager getting into the passenger with muddy shoes! Maybe I should use a spray stain protector on this before it gets any use!

See you soon,

Keren x

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clare Allen  |  January 30, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Wow Keren! This is an absolutely amazing bag!
    I mean the fabric is pretty awesome to start with, but you have taken it up a notch or three with your denim stripes.
    I love it! 💕 Clare x

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2. kerenbaker  |  January 30, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Thankyou so much. I can’t wait to use it!!


  • 3. jgrayb  |  January 30, 2021 at 11:58 am

    This is absolutely beautiful Love the contrast

    Liked by 1 person

    • 4. kerenbaker  |  January 30, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Thankyou!! It’s such lovely fabric!


  • 5. Jean Timms  |  January 30, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Brilliant Keren love it

    Liked by 1 person

    • 6. kerenbaker  |  January 30, 2021 at 5:55 pm

      Aww thankyou. Have you been sewing much recently? x


  • 7. linda  |  January 30, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! I love the contrasting denim, the overall design and look at those perfect matching points!!

    Liked by 1 person


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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
I'm a wife, Mum to 6, crafter, Christian and fortunate to be doing a job that I love!

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