As promised, I am doing a quick sew along for the February bag for the SS Monthly Bag Challenge.
Well, I finished my bag a week ago and just now feel like posting the sew along, actually, I would like to cut out my dress, but, it's cold today anyhow!
This bag is categorized as easy, and it is! I didn't even need to use the book (I've made plenty of bags in my little sewing life). I hope that this will help anyone new to sewing and/or making bags, there are only 2 illustrations for this project in the book…
Let's get started. Have all of your pieces cut and fused with interfacing as necessary.
We will make POCKETS first. You should have 4 pocket panels, place 2 of your panels RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, matching all edges, pin and stitch along the top edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.
Turn the pocket panel right side out and press the top edge. Topstitch 1/4" from the top edge. Now, match the sides and bottom edges, pin and machine baste a 1/4" seam down both sides and across the bottom of the pocket panels.
Place the pocket onto the RIGHT side of one of the exterior main panels, match the sides and bottom edges. Pin and machine baste a 1/4" seam to hold the pocket in place. **I skipped the basting of the pocket together and just basted the pocket to the main panel with careful pinning.
We will work with the exterior pieces for now, so we will get back to the 2nd pocket soon. Gather your exterior main panels and side panels. Place one main panel and one side panel RIGHT sides together, matching the long side edges and pin, the wide edge of the side panel should be the bottom. Stitch a 1/2" seam where you pinned, but stop 1/2" from the bottom edge (I marked 1/2" so I knew where to stop).
Here's the side panel pinned to the main panel.
Now, attach the second exterior side panel to your remaining exterior main panel, then attach side panel to main panel to complete the exterior (remember to stop 1/2" from the bottom edge each time). You should have all four exterior pieces attached together at this point. Press all seam allowances open.
Get your EXTERIOR BOTTOM PANEL. Place one long edge of the exterior bottom panel and the bottom edge fo one main panel RIGHT sides together, matching the raw edges and pin. Stitch with a 1/2" seam along the pinned edge, starting AND stopping 1/2" from each end (I marked with a pencil), be sure to backstitch at each end.
Next, do a short edge in the same manner. Repeat to do all four sides of the bottom panel.
At this point, I would turn the bag right sides out to make sure that it looks good on the bottom and that there are no holes from attaching the bottom, if so, just sew where it needs it. Now, turn back to wrong sides out, trim the corners (of the bottom) in the seam allowance, do not clip the stitching. Turn bag right side out.
Now, starting with the interior pieces, make the pocket, attach pocket to interior main panel, attach main panels and side panels together and bottom panel to the bag.
If you cut your pieces as recommended in the book, your interior main and pocket panels are the same fabric and looks like this:
To make the handles, you will need to get your handle pieces and the 2 fusible fleece pieces that you cut for it. Fold the handle in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press a crease along the folded edge. Open the handle and fold each long edge in to meet the center crease and press. Open the panel and press the fusible fleece to the edge of the handle, it should fit inside the first crease…
Now, refold the handle for stitching (Fold edges to center and fold over once more). Topstitch a 1/4" seam along EACH folded edge. Yes, your short ends are not finished, we will take care of that!
The handles of this bag are flat and wide, to make your handles a little more comfortable, you can reinforce them now. If you do this step, you should be using a strong needle (size 14 or 16) as the home dec weight and fusible fleece gets quite thick. To proceed with this step, find the center of your handle–fold it in half, matching the short raw ends. Press at the folded edge to mark the center, open the handle and mark 1.5" on each side of the center crease.
In the photo, I used pins for a better visual, use a fabric marking tool to make your marks.
Fold the handle between the two marks, matching the long folded edges and pin in place, pinning will be difficult, again, because of thickness.
Begin stitching, following the original topstitching line between the two marks, backstitch at each end. If your machine can't handle it, just skip it or find a machine that can!
Repeat above steps for the handles to complete them both.
To attach handles to the bag, get your exterior main panel. Measure along the top edge 1.5" in from each of the side seams (repeat this for the other side of your exterior main panel).
My mark is in white.
Place one short end of the first handle on the RIGHT side of the first exterior main panel with the outside edge of the main panel.
(in the photo below, I used a flower pin to note where the 1.5" marking is)
Place the opposite short end of the same handle to the inside of the other mark, be sure that you do not twist your handle. Pin and machine baste both ends a 1/4" seam, now remove pins.
Repeat handle marking and placement (and basting) for the other side of your exterior main panel.
Take your two bag pieces, make sure that the exterior is RIGHT side out and the interior is WRONG side out. Slide the interior piece over the exterior, your pockets should not be touching each other (or on the same sides), unless, that's what you want. You probably do not want that…
Make sure that your handles are tucked inside the bag, between the two layers not sticking out! Match the top edges and all seams & pin along the top edges. Make two marks (on your bag) inside one of your handles, you will start stitching at one mark and stop at the next.
(I mark 1/4"-1/2" away from my handles)
Stitch a 1/2" seam around the top of your bag, beginning and ending at the marks that you just made, be sure to backstitch at each end.
Now, turn your bag right side out by pulling the exterior and interior pieces through the opening at the top. Push the interior piece down inside the exterior. Fold each side of the opening under 1/2" toward the wrong side (inside), press well and pin. While you are at it, press the entire top edge because you will be topstitching it all.
Topstitch 1/4" from the top edge completely around the bag to close the opening.
Here's a close-up of my topstitching, a piece of the exterior and a piece of the interior.
Hot diggity! You've got a new bag! It's large and in charge!
There are just 6 days left to complete your REVERSIBLE EVERYDAY SHOPPER, take pictures and upload to the Flickr group to be eligible to win a gift certificate from this month's sponsors: Above All Fabric and Fat Quarter Shop! There will be two people randomly selected!
If you have no idea what's going on here, read this post about the Style Stitches Monthly Bag Challenge 2011 hosted by me!
Next month is March and we are doing zipper bags! I will post a sew along soon after the month begins!