Being a gamer, the ugly square diceholder is a source of frustration when you look at it. Fortunately for you, that is about to change. This tutorial will show you how to make an admirable elegant dice bag. But this bag does more than carry dice. It also serves as a beautiful container for stuff!
- Compass (the one that isn’t showing north :)
- Paper (for the template)
- String (and maybe a string-clamp)
- Two types of fabric (inner and outer)
- Needle, thread & scissor
- Calculator (unless you are really good at calculating in your head :)
- Ruler (preferably one that allows you 90 degree drawing)
- Fabric pen
I have had the idea to create this for a very long time now. You see, I play dungeons & dragons (roleplay game) and I have done so for quite a number of years now. However, I got tired of carrying the dice around in small plastic containers – mostly because they broke all the time. So one day, I felt inspirred to sew a dicebag. It was very simple, mind you, and very ugly. Well, one of my gaming friends asked me if I couldn’t make one for him as well? But seeing as mine was very ugly and made out of an old t-shirt, I didn’t feel like I could give something that crappy to him. So, I never did. It is now four years later, and I still haven’t given him a dicebag.
Well, that is about to change. So, I sat down and designed a nice idea for a dicebag, so that I finally would be able to give him what I promised him so many years ago. I think I’ll sew the bag when I’m done writing this :)
Uhmm.. Back to the bag, I suppose. This bag is only called a dicebag because that is what I use it as. However, it can have many other uses (mostly due to the fact that it is a container) and it may be used as something decorative. And the best part of it is that it isn’t too hard (unless you want to create the perfect bottom, then you might in for a tough time – just wing it, I say :)
Okay, so now I’ve told you a little about me and my past, now tell me something about you?! No? Want to sew? Okay, then gather the stuff that you’ll need and I’ll guide you on the way to dicebagginess.
As for what fabrics you should chose, I would not recommend anything too strechy or smooth – mostly because these fabrics are just really annoying to work with. But good luck if you do :) As for the string – go with whatever you want.
Firstly, we need a bottom for the elegant bag. Bring out your compass to make sure that you do not face the sunlight. Then bring out your other compass, and draw a circle (on a piece of paper) with a radius of approximately 5cm. Then you cut it out and store it for later.
Circumference. Math. That wierd sign called pi and some algebra. This doesn’t look like sewing, I admit. BUT it IS a very important step in the process, because… Well… We need to know the circumference or the dicebag wont look very nice… So – on to the math! (I promise it’ll be easy)
If you have made the radius the same size as I have, then I have already calculated the circumference for you. However, if you want a larger/smaller bag, then you need to change the radius and calculate another circumference. To do so, simply look at the last line, before the red outlining. Change the “5″ to whatever your radius is, and finish the math. You can multiply, right?
So, my circumference is 31,4cm, which tells me something about the next piece of fabric that I need to cut out. Onwards!
The side of the bag is only a square. A 31,4cm long side. So now you see what all the math was about? No? Just do as I say, and you won’t get hurt. Unless you hurt youself, in which case I can’t be held responsable. Nevermind.
Before this dicebag, I made another one (very large). What I gained from that experience, was the height of the dicebag. If you are going to make a bag with a different radius than 5 cm, I suggest that you use a different height, or you’ll end up with an inporportionate bag. Anyhow, I knew the large bags porportions, so I just scaled it down.
Cutting to the chase, you cut a square out from a piece of paper, measuring 31,4cm x 14cm. Mind you that most A4 paper isn’t as large as that, so you’ll have to tape some pieces together, to be able to make your square.
Now, for the actual cutting and sewing! Take your circle piece and place it on the fabric. Draw 1,5cm seam allowance around the pattern (or whatever seam allowance you what to use – we “always” use 1,5cm).
STOP! READ THIS! You are not able to see it on the picture, but in fact both fabrics are pinned together with the circle pattern. This way, when you draw and cut, you’ll only have to do it once. If you have only pinned the circle onto one of your fabrics, cut a small piece of the other fabric and pin the two fabrics together. It’ll save you some work?!
DON’T DO THIS, yet! While it looks like a good idea to just cut right away, it would be a fatal mistake to do so. Because you are cutting into two layers of fabric, that is only pinned together loosely, this will not end well (also because you are going to cut a circle). So what you need to do before you start cutting is to cut the pieces loose from the main fabrics. Cut it so you have two small pieces of fabric, pinned together, with a cirle on top of it. God, it is difficult to explain.
Just be careful when you are cutting, otherwise you are going to repeat this step again because one of the fabrics moved while you were cutting. I think that that was enough warning.
Phew, away from the awkward circle-warning and onto something easy to explain. You take you square pattern and pin it onto two pieces of fabric, just like before. Again, you draw a 1,5cm seam allowance around the pattern. To make sure that you fabrics doesn’t move out of sync, use a lot of pins :) I used 10, just to be sure.
Now, cut away you little cutling.
Are you prepared for some more calculating? I hope so – this step (and the following two) will determine where your string-holes will be.
First, take your outer fabric. Draw (on the WRONG side) a line 1,5cm in. This is your seam allowance – this is going to disappear when you sew the bag together. Then draw another line 4cm further down – this is the distance from the top where the string will close the bag. Make this too large, and you bag will be tiny – make it too small and you bag will look like a douche…bag…
Now, divide the line into 7 equally large pieces. How you do that, is up to you. I used some very wierd fabric folding techniques, which I couldn’t possibly explain. However, it is my belief that you are capable of divide a line into equally large pieces by yourself.
That wasn’t too hard, was it? Well, this step is going to be a lot easier. Simply make a mark (mine is the long ones) in the middle of each of these 7 equally long pieces.
These mark will decide where our string-holes will be made.
Okay, now this is one of the trickier places, unless you have a really good sewing machine. You need to make small “buttonholes” where you have made the 8 marks. If you have an automatic sewing machine, this step won’t be too much of a bother, however you should test your machines abilities before starting to sew into the bags fabric. Just take a sample of the same fabric that you are going to sew into, and see if you can sew the buttonhole to fit the size that you want it to be. When you feel ready, move onto the bags fabric.
For those of you who haven’t got an automatic sewing machine, you need to either do the sewing by hand or find another solution. One such solution might be to punch eyelets in place of the sewn buttonhole. A thing that you have to be aware of is that whatever holes you chose to create, you have to make sure that your string has room to pass though the hole.
Make sure that there is an equal number of holes! And remember that you only need to apply holes to the outer fabric.
Okay, back to the simpler steps again. Take your square pieces and fold them individually onto themselves. Remember, right side to right side. And then sew the fabric together so that you have two cylinders of fabric.
Take your circles and wrinkle them 0,7 cm into the fabric (that is within the seam allowance of 1,5cm). You have to wrinkle them so much that they will fit into the cylinders that we just sew.
To see how you wrinkle fabric, see this Basic: Wrinkle Fabric
Now for the tricky part. You need to adjust your wrinkled circle to the size of the cylinder. When you have adjusted it, you pin it and you pin it good.
Try to make sure that the circle doesn’t fold too much 1,5cm from the edge. It is okay that it is wrinkling (it has to), but try to see if you can distribute the wrinkles evenly all around the edge.
When the wrinkles are distributed evenly and the pins have been fastened, you sew. Bear in mind that you need to sew your seam allowance length into the fabric, NOT where you have sewn your wrinkle thread.
Remember, sew right side to right side, and please, take your time with this step. It will just look much better.
It can be a bit tricky to find out where to sow, so I included this picture for you – hope it helps ;)
Where to sew
Bottom on? Nicely done my friend! That wasn’t so hard, was it? Great, so now that you have your two bags, turn one of them inside out. Then take the other one and stuff it down the inside-out-turned-one.
Align the seams of both bags and pin them. Then you need to sew the edges of the bags together, BUT you have to leave room enough for them to be turned inside out. So I marked the start and the end with pins (the two in the front) to make sure that I didn’t have to rip some seams, beacuse I forgot to make the hole.
Turn the bag inside out. It might look a bit weird, but that’s okay. It’s supposed to look a bit weird. Look at mine :P
Okay, with the bag turned inside out and the linning stuffed down into the bag, your creation should look something like this. Now you have only two steps left – this one and the last. In this step you simply need to sew a stitch on the edge, to make the edge sharper and to close the hole we left from when we turned the bag inside out.
Try to sew as close to the edge as you deem appropriate. Normally you just sew around 0,5cm in from the edge, but you could do less or more if you feel like it.
If you have a fancy sewing machine, you could chose to make this stitch with a more elegant or decorated style. I used some kind of plus (+) stitch, which worked out okay.
This is the last step. Take your string and stuff it into the hole. Okay, it is a bit more complicated than that.
Find the hole closest to the seam. Put your string into that one and pull it out of the next hole (moving away from the seam). Then down the next again and up the one following. Do this until you reach the seam. When you reach the seam, the string should be sticking out, and not in. Now you need to make sure that the string doesn’t dissappear into the holes again and there are different methods to do this. The simplest one is to knot the string ends together. Another might be to use a string-clamp and knot the ends of the string individually
Well… You’re done… Congratulations, you have made a very elegant dicebag… And it doesn’t look like something that has been made out of an old t-shirt :) I’m impressed… You really are quite capable, aren’t you…