Thursday, May 26, 2016

VW Week | Day Five: Handmade Beetle Patch for a Bag

One great thing about Volkswagen is there is such great merchandise out there.  There are few cars that have bags, wallets, posters, you-name-it geared towards people that love a car they may not even own!

I owned VW shirts and keychains before I ever owned a VW! My first VW was a 2003 Beetle.  It was so much fun.  I loved driving that car.  As a child and teenager I was always drawn to VW merchandise and often bought clothes or toys resembling Beetles.
This is the only picture I could find of my red Bug!  This picture was taken my senior year in college, and the other cars were my roommates'.
Now that I own a VW again, I can buy Beetle merchandise without feeling like an imposter (for the record...if you like it, I think you should buy it even if you don't own a VW :) ).

I found a bag I really liked from JBugs.  They have some neat merchandise.  The problem was the bag had a VW Bus on it, not a convertible Beetle.  Here's the bag:

I decided I would just have to make my own patch!  I found a Beetle drawing (below) that I liked.

I printed out the picture, then I traced it with a Sharpie.  This helped me simplify the drawing a bit more to decide what lines to sew.  If you are sewing on a piece of fabric that's lightweight like cotton, you can trace the car with the fabric underneath.  The Sharpie should go through the paper and transfer onto the fabric. 

If you use felt like I did, the Sharpie probably won't transfer onto the felt.  I made a couple of cuts through the paper using the edge of my scissors and then traced the cuts with the Sharpie.  It had a stencil-like effect.  For the most part, I had to draw the car by hand.  That's why it's not as proportional (or as good looking) as the original drawing.

The next step is to stitch the patch.  You can sew it directly onto the bag you want.  I was having commitment issues with deciding which bag I wanted my patch on.  So I decided to make the patch and then just pin it on so I could move it from bag to bag.
Put an embroidery foot on your sewing machine, making sure to get the right one for your machine.  You'll also need to lower the feeders (the little iron feet that move the fabric along) on your machine.  This will allow you to move your fabric when and how you choose, and the foot will allow you to stitch more freely.

I used white thread to stitch and just worked my way around the design, stitching on top of the Sharpie lines.  Then I trimmed around the design and cut out the headlights.

I used safety pins to attach the patch to the bag.  I pinned it from inside the bag so you wouldn't notice the pins.  This is the bag I use when I'm driving the Beetle.  It fits my purse, diapers and wipes and other baby items, and miscellaneous items.  When you drive a convertible, you can't secure everything you can normally in a car, so I use this bag to hold items that I need to take with me when I'm shopping.

I think I'll try this again with linen and a fun thread color and make it larger.  If only I could commit to a bag for it!  I think it would also be cute on a jean jacket.

Don't have a sewing machine?  After you trace the design, you could use needle and thread to stitch by hand.  Since this doesn't have to be perfect, you could do fun stitch patterns!

Head to Instagram and Twitter for today's challenge!

Twitter: @marlaplainsmall
Instagram: @marlaplainandsmall

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