Sew Along, Origami Bag!

It's time to make some zipper bags!  Get your fabric and interfacing cut and fused and open that zipper!

 

For one bag, you should have 7 pieces of fabric:  2 panel A pieces, 2 panel B pieces, 2 lining pieces and a tab.

image from www.flickr.com

Take one PANEL A and one PANEL B and match the the raw edges (the length should be the same for the sides that you are matching) right sides together and stitch a 1/2" seam, backstitch at each end.  

image from www.flickr.com

Press seams open and now topstitch (1/4") on both sides of the seam.  

 

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

Repeat for the second set of PANELS A & B to complete your EXTERIOR PANELS.

 

Grab your zipper and let's get down to business!

Take each exterior panel and either draw a line with a fabric marking utensil OR do like me and just sew a straight line to mark 1/4" from the top raw edge.

Place zipper face down onto the right side of the first exterior panel with the zipper head 1/2" from the side raw edge of panel A. Pin zipper in place.  

image from www.flickr.com

Stitch 1/8" from the zipper coils, starting and stopping 1/2" in from each side edge of the exterior panel, backstitching at both ends.  

image from www.flickr.com

When approaching the end of the zipper (near the zipper head), you may find it easier to sew over the zipper if you stop with your needle down and unzip a little past your presser foot.

image from www.flickr.com

Place the first lining panel right sides together with the first exterior panel, sandwiching the zipper in between.  Pin along the top edges of the matched panels.

With the interfaced side of the exterior panel facing up, sew over the stitching that attached the zipper, starting and stopping 1/2" from each side edge, be sure to backstitch at each end.

Flip lining over the zipper, matching the wrong sides of the lining and the exterior panels, pin them together, press panels away from the zipper, pressing under the 1/2" unstitched fabric at each end.

image from www.flickr.com

On the right side of the exterior panel, starting and stopping 1/2" from each side edge, topstitch 1/4" from the seam that attached the zipper.  Backstitch at each end.

image from www.flickr.com

Repeat zipper installation steps to attach the SECOND EXTERIOR and LINING PANELS to the other side of zipper, do not twist your zipper.

With your exterior panels facing up, lay the panels on a flat on a flat surface, spreading each set of exterior and lining panels away from the zipper.  Measure 1/2" in from the side edges along the bottom of the zipper and make a mark on the zipper coils.

image from www.flickr.com

Bar tack over the coils to make a new zipper stop (I did mine a second time after taking this photo, it looked rather weak).  *Practice your bar tack on a scrap if you've never used it on your machine before).

image from www.flickr.com

Trim the excess zipper, leaving a 1" tail beyond your bar tack.  Now open the zipper.  

Yea!  You just installed a zipper!!  Now let's make the bag!

Make your tab!  I will go over this fast and have no pictures…

Fold tab in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, press a crease along the folded edge.  Open tab and fold each long edge in to meet the center crease, and press.  Fold the tab in half again at the center crease to enclose the raw edges and press.  Pin the folded edges.  Edgestitch down each of the folded edges, backstitch at each end.  Fold tab in half, matching the short ends, pin.

On the right side of one of the exterior panels, measure and mark 1" down along the side edge where the top of the zipper is located.  Place the pinned ends of the tab even with the side edge of the exterior panel below the mark and pin in place.  Machine baste a 1/4" seam to secure the tab.

I did less than a 1/4" seam due to embroidery stitches…

image from www.flickr.com

UNZIP YOUR ZIPPER HALFWAY NOW.

Separate the exterior from the lining panels.  To keep the lining out of your way while you stitch the exterior panels, place the lining panels right sides together, matching the raw edges and pin in place.  Then fold the unstitched edges at the top of the lining panels in toward the center of the panel.  Pin.  I found pinning this out of the way to be the fussiest, but it is necessary, just be sure that the lining fabric is out of your way.

 

image from www.flickr.com

Place the exterior panels right sides together, matching bot the raw and the unstitched edges, pin in place.  Starting and stopping at the top folded edge on each end of the zipper, stich a 1/2" seam down both sides and across the bottom edges.  Backstitch at each end.

 

I do feel like I started *just* a little higher than I should have (like 1/4")…

image from www.flickr.com

Trim all four corners in the seam allowance, do not clip into your stitching.  Press seams open.

image from www.flickr.com

Unpin the lining panels at each end of the zipper.  Match the edges, right sides together and pin in place.  Starting and stopping just under the zipper coils, stitch a 1/2" seam down both sides and across the bottom edges.  Leave a 4" opening centered on the bottom edge for turning the bag right side out, be sure to backstitch at each end. 

Trim all four corners in the seam allowance, do not clip into your stitching.  Press seams open. 

Okay, let's make some gussets!

With the right sides of the exterior panels together, match the side and bottom seams to form a triangle in the corner, pin seams in place.

inside view…

image from www.flickr.com

 

outside view…

image from www.flickr.com

Measure and mark from the point of the corner along the side seam using the measurements from the book (page 51).  Draw a straight line across the corner at the mark. 

image from www.flickr.com

Stitch along the marked line and backstitch at each end.

image from www.flickr.com
Trim the corner to create a 1/2" seam allowance.

image from www.flickr.com

Repeat gusset steps for the other side of exterior AND for the lining to give yourself four gussets.

 

To complete zipper bag, turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.  Fold the edge of the opening under 1/2" toward teh wrong side and press.  Pin the edges together and edge stitch the opening closed. 

image from www.flickr.com

Push the lining down inside the exterior.  Use a turning tool to gently push out corners.  Smooth the lining and exterior at the top open end of the zipper and pin them together.  Topstitch across the side seam, matching the topstitching already in place (this will help hold the lining in place).  Only do it on the one side.  I did not take a picture!  My apologies.

Anyhow, you just made yourself a dang zipper bag!  Open a bottle of wine and celebrate!  Better yet, you should be able to fit a bottle in a few of these bags! 

image from www.flickr.com

 

 

8 thoughts on “Sew Along, Origami Bag!

  1. you smart girl, that is very very cute!! great to see all your special creations. I can see your ‘mark’ on each of them! so sweet.
    happy day!
    micah

  2. Perfect timing! I was going to start on my bags tonight– it’s so nice to know I’ve got a friendly visual guide if I get lost. Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial! I just finished my first bag! I’m having trouble with the zipper ends though. At first, There was a bit of a hole on each end I stuck with the 1/2 strictly…Then I went back and tried to sew everywhere, it made a big mess. Now, one end is clean and then other is bumpy. Do you have any suggestions or perhaps more pictures of exactly where to sew when right sides are together for both lining and exterior? I’m at a loss! Thanks!

  4. I am a bit confused. After installing zipper and before topstitching you say Flip lining over the zipper, matching the wrong sides of the lining and the exterior panels, pin them together, press panels away from the zipper, pressing under the 1/2″ unstitched fabric at each end. There is a pic showing this as well with the turned under 1/2 inch of top and lining actually pinned together.
    However, during the remainder of construction these turned under edges are no longer turned under or pinned together. So I do not understand the logic of this step. ??? What am I missing? Why do this?

  5. I’m kind of excited about these, even though today is the 31st and I haven’t even started. Next week is my last week to work full time for a while (yay!) so maybe I can get back to making fun bags!

  6. Aw man. I totally see where I went astray on this project. Thanks very much for this tutorial Jem! It all makes sense now.

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