Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

Your knitting friends are sure to love this little treasure true of knitting goodies. You can easily customize the double-pointed needle roll, circular-needle hanger, and ditty bag to reflect your friends' fauorite colors. This group is easy to complete and requires just a little fabric, so in an afternoon or two you can whip up a chic gift on a budget.

Finished needle hanger: 1" x 24", excluding hanger 

Finished needle roll: 7 1/2" x 8 1/2" when opened, excluding flap 

Finished ditty bag: 7 1/2" x 4 3/4" x 1 1/2"

Materials for the Trio

Yardage is based on 42"-wide fabric. Materials are sufficient to make all three projects.
½ yard of green polka-dot fabric for needle roll and bottom of ditty bag
ł yard of floral print for needle hanger, needle roll, and top of ditty bag
1 fat eighth of turquoise silk for ditty-bag lining
5/8 to 1 yard of 20"-wide lightweight fusible interfacing (optional)*
1 yard of 1"-wide cotton webbing for needle hanger
1 yard of 5/8"-wide green polka-dot grosgrain ribbon for needle hanger
1 yard of ½"-wide green polka-dot sheer ribbon for needle-roll tie and ditty-bag zipper pull
2 metal rings (D, O, or rectangular) with 1"-wide  opening for needle hanger
7" zipper for ditty bag
Ruler and chalk pencil

*Use interfacing if the fabrics are limp or very lightweight, such as the floral print and silk lining fabrics shown here. Purchase the larger amount if you will be adding interfacing to the green polka-dot fabric as well.


From the floral print, cut:
1 strip, 3" x 27", for needle hanger
2 rectangles, 7" x 8", for needle roll
2 rectangles, 4" x 8", for ditty bag
From the green polka-dot fabric, cut:
2 rectangles, 8" x 9", for needle roll
1 rectangle, 5" x 8", for needle roll
2 rectangles, 3 1/2" x 7 1/2", for needle roll
1 rectangle, 5" x 8", for ditty bag
From the turquoise silk fabric, cut:
1 rectangle, 8" x 11 1/2"
From the fusible interfacing, cut:
2 rectangles, 6 1/2" x 7 1/2", for floral print in needle roll
2 rectangles, 3 1/2" x 7 1/2", for floral print in ditty bag
1 rectangle, 8" x 11 1/2", for silk lining in ditty bag

Making the Circular-Needle Hanger

Interfacing is not needed for this project, since the cotton webbing will stabilize the hanger.

1.    Press under 1/4" along one long edge of the 3" x 27" floral-print strip.

2.    Trim the cotton webbing so that it is 1" shorter than the floral strip (26").

3.    Lay the floral strip, right side down, on your worktable. Lay the cotton webbing on top of the floral strip, placing the webbing 1/2" from the top edge of the fabric. Wrap the fabric around to the center of the webbing, covering the raw edge of the fabric with the pressed-under edge. Pin in place. Machine stitch along the length of the covered webbing to secure the fabric. (1)

4.    Slip one end of the covered webbing through a metal ring. Fold under the unsewn end, and then fold again to hide the raw edges. Machine stitch across all layers to secure. (2)

5.    Slip one end of the 36" length of 5/8"-wide ribbon through the ring in the same manner. Stitch in place through all layers over the previous stitching. The rest of the ribbon is hanging free at this point.

6.    To make the loops or openings for needle storage, place a spacer, such as a thick piece of cardboard, wooden ruler, or stack of small Post-it notes, between the ribbon and the webbing. (Karen used the second metal ring as a spacer.) Using a zipper foot, stitch the ribbon to the webbing, sewing close to the spacer. Remove the spacer, slip it between the loose end of the ribbon and the webbing, and repeat. Continue in this manner until you have made at least 15 openings to hold needles. (3)

7 When you've finished sewing ribbon loops, insert the unfinished end of the webbing and ribbon through the second metal ring and stitch in place as for the top end of the hanger. If you have a lot of leftover webbing, you can trim it before stitching the bottom ring.

8. If desired, use the leftover ribbon to tie a bow at the top of the hanger.


 Making the Needle Roll

1.    If you're using a lightweight fabric or one that frays easily, apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, following the manufacturer's instructions. Karen used it on the 7" x 8" floral-print rectangles.

2.    Press under 1/4" along the two 8" edges of one of the 7" x 8" floral rectangles. Position this in the center of one of the 8" x 9" polka-dot rectangles and pin in place. Edgestitch the floral rectangle in place, sewing along the folded-under edges only. The other raw edges will be encased in the seam allowance. This is the outside of the needle roll. (1)

3.    To make the interior pocket, press under 1/4" along one 8" edge of the remaining 7" x 8" floral-print rectangle and stitch along the folded edge to make a hem. Likewise, press under 1/4" on one 8" edge of the 5" x 8" green polka-dot rectangle and stitch.

4.    With right sides up, position the pockets on top of the remaining 8" x 9" green polka-dot rectangle. With the rectangle on the bottom, layer the floral pocket next, and then the green pocket on top. Align all pieces along the bottom and side edges and pin in place. Machine baste along the raw edges to hold in place. (2)

5.    Using a ruler and chalk pencil, mark vertical stitching lines to divide the pockets into individual sections for holding needles. In the needle roll shown, they're marked 1" apart, but make the first mark 1/2" from the edge to allow for seam allowances and edgestitch-ing. Sew on all marked lines, backstitching at the top edge of the floral pocket to secure. (3)

6 Cut a 24" length of the 1/2"-wide sheer ribbon and fold in half. Lay the ribbon on top of the needle-roll interior pocket piece, midway along the right side, aligning the folded edge of the ribbon with the raw edge of the pockets. Pin or baste in place. (4)

7.    Lay the outer needle-roll unit on top, so that the fabrics are right sides together. Pin and stitch around the sides and bottom edges using a 1/4" -wide seam allowance. Leave the top edge open. Clip the stitched corners and turn right side out. Press flat. (5)

8.    To make the flap, lay the two 3 1/2" x 7 1/2" polka-dot rectangles, right sides together, on your cutting mat. Fold them in half, edges aligned, as shown. Use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim off one corner, starting at one corner and angling in about 1". This doesn't need to be exact; you're just angling the flap corner so that it won't stick out when the needle roll is rolled up. (5)

9.    Sew the two flap pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance, sewing along the angled edges and the shorter edge and leaving the long edge open. Clip the corners, turn the flap right side out, and press flat. Edgestitch along the sewn edges. (6)

10.    Fold under 1/4" on each open edge of the needle roll and press. Insert the raw edges of the flap between these open edges and pin the flap in place. Stitch across the folded-under edges to secure the flap and continue edgestitching around the entire needle roll. Press the flap toward the inside of the needle roll.

11.    Insert needles, close the flap, roll up, and tie the ribbon ends to secure.

Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

Making the Ditty Bag

1.    If you're using a lightweight fabric or one that frays easily, apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, following the manufacturer's instructions. Karen used it on the 4" x 8" floral-print rectangles and the turquoise silk-lining piece. Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.

2.    Press under 1/2" along one 8" edge of the two 4" x 8" floral-print rectangles. Insert the zipper by stitching the folded edges to the zipper tape using a zipper foot and leaving the zipper coils exposed. Begin and end stitching even with the zipper pull and stop. Leave the tails of the zipper tape unsewn. (1)

Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

3.    Sew the 5" x 8" green polka-dot rectangle to the floral rectangles from step 1 along the 8" edges.
Press the seam allowances open and open the zipper before proceeding to the next step. (2)

4.    Pin the side seams of the bag with right sides together, matching the seam allowances of the floral and polka-dot fabrics and pinning the ends of the zipper tape out of the way. Stitch. Press the seam allowances open as best you can. (3)

Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

5.    With the bag still inside out, fold the bag so that one of the side seams is centered along the bag and the corner comes to a point, as shown. Stitch across the corner, sewing about 3/4" from the corner. Repeat for the other corner. This will give the bag a flat bottom so that it can stand up when complete. (4)

6.    To make the lining, fold the 8" x 11 1/2" silk rectangle in half, right sides together, with the 8" ends aligned. Sew the side seams. Fold the lining as in step 5 and stitch across the corners in the same manner.

Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

7.    Insert the lining into the bag, wrong sides together.
Pin at the side seams to keep things aligned, and then turn under 1/4" along the top edge of the lining and hand stitch the lining to the inside of the bag (along the zipper tape). Be sure to sew far enough from the zipper coil so that the zipper will open and close without catching on the lining.

8.    To make a zipper pull, cut a 5" length of the 1/2"-wide sheer ribbon and thread it through the zipper tab. Tie in a knot and trim the ends at a 45° angle.


Ditty Bag Pattern & Tutorial

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