I've decided to make a quick sew along for the Cosmo bag from Style Stitches.
If you are participating in the challenge for January, there's still time! Start cutting and fusing now, it takes the longest, sewing the bag is not as time consuming. I promise.
Okay, now that you've fused your interfacing to your fabric, let's start sewing! Mark your pleats on the wrong side of your exterior fabric, proceed by sewing pleats, here's the first pleat:
After sewing all 3 pleats, it should look like this on the back:
After sewing all 3 pleats per panel, press each pleat on the interfaced side and center the fabric evenly over the stitching line. Machine baste a 1/4" seam across the top of the pinned pleats.
It should look like this on the back:
Here's the front with basting stitch on top.
Next, with right sides together, sew on your band where you just made pleats. Pin well to ensure a great fit and go slowly!
Cut small notches into the seam allowance, press well and topstitch.
Now, we will attach the handles. Get one left and one right handle. We will first attach the left handle. With right sides together, place handle to the main panel as illustrated in the book and photo below. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. Pin and go slowly, backstitch at beginning and end as well.
Press seam allowance towards the handle and topstitch 1/8" away from seam.
Next, do the right handle in the same manner.
Take the handles and place them right sides together at the top and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance. Press seam open.
Repeat above handles steps with the other exterior panel to have four handle pieces sewn into place. You should have 4 handles left to sew (later).
Stay stitch 3/8" from the inside edge of handles and band. If unfamiliar, stay stitching is a stitch that will be unseen, it keeps curves from stretching as you sew, use your regular stitch length for this task (I used a contrast thread for visibility in pics).
Clip every 1/2" – 3/4", do not clip into stitching, clips should be made where you just stay-stitched. The clips will help your curves smooth nicely when you sew.
Now, fold the clipped edges in toward the wrong side on the inside edge and top of the band, press well. (no picture)
Repeat for second exterior panel.
Let's make the side pockets!
Get one side pocket and side pocket lining panel and place right sides together, match the top edges (they are not the same length). Stitch a 1/2" seam across the top, press seam allowance toward lining.
Flip lining over the side pocket panel, fold it back at the top edge of the seam allowance toward the wrong side. Match the bottom edges of the lining and side pocket panels, which will leave a 1/2" of the lining showing across the top of the pocket.
Press and pin edges together. Now, machine baste a 1/4" seam down both sides and across the bottom edges.
Place the lining side of the side pocket onto the right side of the first exterior side panel, matching the side and bottom edges. Pin & machine baste a 1/4" seam down the sides and across the bottom edges.
Please note that my fabric for exterior pocket is the same as my main exterior, more than likely, you did not cut yours this way.
Repeat above side pocket/panel steps for your second side.
We will attach the exterior side and main panels now.
Place the first main and side panels right sides together, be sure to match the long side edges and pin in place. Stitch together with a 1/2" seam allowance down the pinned edges begin at the top and stop 1/2" from the bottom edge (I made a mark for my stopping point). Please backstitch at each end.
Make clips into the seam allowance around the curved edge every 3/4", this allows your seam to lay flat later. Be sure that you do not clip into your stitching. Now, attach your second main panel to the other side of your side panel. Don't forget to stop 1/2" from the bottom edge, you need that clearance for attaching your bottom panel.
Repeat these steps to attach your second side panel to both exterior panels.
Press all seam allowances open, I feel that there will be regret if you skip this step.
To attach the bottom panel, take one long edge of the exterior bottom panel and the bottom edge of one main panel right sides together, matching raw edges, pin in place. Sew a 1/2" seam along the pinned edge, starting and stopping 1/2" from each end of the bottom panel, backstitch at each end.
Again, I make 1/2" marks as a guide…
Next, do the above steps for a short edge, then the other long edge, finish by doing the last short edge, make sure that your seams are open from your exterior panel as illustrated in the book.
Once you are satisfied with your attachment of the bottom panel, trim the bottom corners in the seam allowance without clipping into your stitching.
Turn the exterior of the bag right side out, push out corners and press. It's starting to look like a bag now!
I'm ending this post here because it's a long one! Follow me for part 2 of the Cosmo Bag Sew Along!