Showing posts with label Summer Purse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer Purse. Show all posts

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Summer Purse: Part 3

The assembly of the bag is an exciting sewing session. All of those prepared sections come together and you can see what the finished purse will look like.

From here on out you'll notice that some photos are of the hexi design and others are of the blue bag. I've tried to choose the best photos I have.

Make the Handles

 Note: I continued to use Soft and Stable batting for the handles. The thickness and texture are very comfortable on my shoulder, and the material holds it shape well over time. 

I'm most comfortable with 24" handles, and the measurements shown here are those I used. Make your handles a length that suits you.  You might measure the length of the handles on your favorite purse to determine the length you like best. You may want them longer or shorter than mine. The width measurements will likely remain the same as above, but cut the length 1" longer than you would like the finished handles to be.

1. Starch and press the handle fabric. Fold one edge over 1/4" and press a sharp crease.

2. Lay the batting on the fabric. Fold the segment with the crease over the top of the batting. It should come almost, but not quite, to the other edge. Press a crease.

3. Lift the top fold of the fabric. Now fold the bottom piece of fabric up over the edge of the batting. Press. Fold the top of the fabric back down over the raw edge and press. If you are using Soft and Stable, the fabric should cling to the batting enough that you won't need to pin it.

4. Top stitch about 1/4" in from both edges. Sew the overlapping edge down first, making sure that you are catching all layers of fabric. Stitch the other side to match.

Set the handles aside..

Assemble the Bag

Note: All seams use 1/2" seam allowance unless otherwise stated. 

1. Sew the sides of the bag to the front section. Press the seams open.

 2. Sew the back piece to the side panels. Press seams open.

Sew the bottom of the bag in place.
Be careful that you don't make the mistake I made on the hexi bag. When the bottom was completely sewn in place I turned the bag right side out and discovered that I'd sewn the bottom piece to the top of the bag. Gotta love that seam ripper. 

3. Mark a dot 1/2" inch in from both sides on each corner of the bottom of the bag.  

4. Sew a long side of the bag bottom in place first. Line the dots up so they are exactly on the center of the seams where the front of the bag joins the sides. Pin in place. Stitch from one dot to the next. Don't sew beyond the either dot. Backstitch a few stitches at each dot.

5. Sew the other long end of the bottom to the back of the bag in the same way.

6. Sew the short ends of the bag to the side sections. You will have to tug the corners straight and pin in place, then stitch from one dot to the next just like you did on the long sides.

Stitched all the way around.

7. Turn the bag right side out. 

8. Fold on the seams of the sides and bottom of the bag, and press with steam to give them those edges sharp creases and squared corners.

Before pressing                                                         After pressing
Attach the Handles

9. Start with the front of the bag. Align the outside edge of the handle with the seam of the pocket and the front side panels.

10. Pin the front handle in place.

Check to make sure that the handle is not twisted. I like to turn the side with the folded edge face up.That will place it on the underside of the handle.

11. To position the back handle, align the seams of the sides and pinch the front and back of the bag together. Place the back handle exactly in line with the front handle and pin.

12. Sew the handles in place by stitching them 1/4" in from the edge at the top of the bag opening.

That's it for today. 

My big Ott light hold the handles up for a photo. A light with many uses. lol
 I hope your bag is coming along beautifully. 
The next session will be short. I'll prepare the recessed zipper for installing, but then it will have to wait for the lining.

Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Summer Purse: Part 2, All the Pieces, and a New Pocket Design

I am loving this bag! I like everything about it from the front pocket to the details of the inside lining.   It's a good pattern. Along with compliments I'm being asked where I bought it. Giggle...
I want to share the entire construction process with you, even the recessed zipper but I didn't get every photo I needed when I made the bag. That leaves me no choice. I have to make a second purse. So I can take photos of everything along the way. Besides, there is no such thing as owning too many pretty bags.

I'll be trying to post a new blog for each sewing session I have on the second bag. I'll try to get one or two posts up each week until the purse is finished.

The New Pocket Design
"Summer Swallow" - quilt block, mug rug, purse pocket
The new purse is identical almost every way. Measurements and construction are exactly the same. The fabric is different, of course, but there's also a new design on the pocket. Now my purses will look entirely different from each other. The Summer Swallow pattern is available here, in my Craftsy pattern shop.

In Part 1, we made the front pocket section. It was trimmed to a 10" x 10" square.

10" x 10" Hexi pocket section                                   10" x 10" Summer Swallow pocket section
For the Summer Swallow pocket I had to make one change. Because the quilting lines are so close together, I did the quilting before sewing on the pocket lining.

Prepare the body of the bag, front, back, sides, and bottom.

Cut these pieces from your fabric. Cut identical pieces from your bag batting. I prefer Soft and Stable for making bags.

Pieces are larger than needed and will be trimmed back later.

Note: All seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise specified.

Assemble the bag front.

1. Use quilt basting spray to hold the fabric for the front panels to the bag batting. these pieces are narrow enough that quilting won't be needed.

2. Sew the side panels on either side of the front pocket section.

3. Press the seams open.

4. Trim the ends of the panels so they line up with the pocket sections. The front will be 10" x 13".

This is a strange photo. The bag really is cut straight all across. The sides lean up, so it all looks crooked.
Quilt the sections.

1. Quilt the bag back, side sections, and bottom as you like.

On the back of the hexi bag I quilted the same diamond design I had used on the pocket. On the blue bag, I stitched straight vertical lines about 5/8" apart.
The sides and bottoms of both bags are stitched with horizontal lines about 5/8" apart.

2. Square up and trim the back down to 10" x 13".
3. Trim the bag sides to 4" x 10".
4. Trim the bottom of the bag to 4" x 13"

Prepare the bottom of the bag for a plastic canvas insert.

Plastic canvas is the product I use for giving the bottoms of my bags strength and for maintaining their shape. I like the bottom to remain flat and squared off, even when filled and weighted down. The plastic canvas does a very nice job, but be sure to get the stiffest piece you can find. You will need a piece about 11" x 2 1/2".

1. Cut a piece of scrap fabric 4" x 12" for the insert.
(I used a leftover piece of my main fabric this time, but this will be hidden by the lining, so anything will do.)

2. Turn the short ends under 1/2", press and stitch down.

3. Center this fabric on the wrong side of the bag bottom and stitch the long sides in place. Use a 1/4" seam for this.

That's it for today. The pieces are ready to be put together.

Next time, we'll make the straps and assemble the bag.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Summer Purse: Part 1, The Front Pocket

Finished size: 12" x 9" x 3".

It's been a three day marathon, but the new purse is finally finished.

I've had requests for a pattern, and I'm going to give it a bit of a try on this blog. I've never produced a pattern for a bag because it's always seemed overwhelming. Unfortunately, I sew a bit like I make soup. I start out with a vague idea and a few basic measurements - sort of. Then I toss things together as I go and wait to see what happens.

I'm warning you now. This is a learning experience. I hope it won't be a huge disaster!

Please, please tell me if any part of this tutorial needs to be corrected or clarified!

I'll give instructions for the entire outside of the bag, but I'm not quite sure how, or even if, I'll deal with the inside details.  You see, I was so focused on finishing the bag that I forgot to take important photos for the recessed zipper and the pockets in the lining. I have measurements for a basic lining with no recessed zipper, so that may have to do. Unfortunately, my hubby's right about me. I can be a total scatter brain. But, the lining and zipper are tales to be told much later. Or not. Or, then again, I just might have to make a second purse. Oh, dear. That's so sad. (said the lady with a grin)

Today, it's all about the front pocket.

The Front Pocket

Fabric & Materials Requirements
(These measurements are generous. It's better to have extra fabric for your stash than is is to run short.)

  • 1 1/2 yard of lining. This will be used for the handles and sides of the bag as well as the inside lining. 
  • 3/4 yard contrasting fabric for the recessed zipper and for the front and back sections of the bag.
  • A 11" x 11" square of a third fabric for the pocket insert.
  • Scraps for hexagons.
  • 3/4 yard of bag batting such as Soft and Stable.
  • An 9" x 12" piece of lightweight batting such as Warm and Natural.
  • One small magnetic snap.
  • One  18" nylon zipper for top of the bag. (Nylon zippers can be cut if they are too long.)
  • One  9" zipper for the lining.
  • 1 yard medium weight fusible interfacing. (This is to add stability to the lining.)
  • Thread
  • (optional) Invisible polyester thread.

Cutting measurements for the pocket back, front, and lining are 1" larger than needed to allow for trimming after quilting. 

Note: Seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise specified. 

Make the Hexagons

Make three hexagon that finish at  2 1/2" wide . I used a hexagon ruler to make a template. The hexagon that finishes 2" in height is perfect, but only if you use the 2 1/2" high cutting lines for the finished size.

You can sew the hexagons on any way you like. Fusible web applique would be fine. That's my usual approach. This time, though I wanted my purse to be a bit special, so  I experimented with a quick technique that is supposed to look like hand applique. It was scary, but it worked perfectly, so that's the method I've shown here.

1. Make three templates from freezer paper.

2.. Starch the fabric to make it very stiff before cutting it. I used an inexpensive spray starch from the supermarket.

3. Lay the freezer paper shiny side up on the wrong side of the fabric. I put a dot of quilt basting glue between the freezer paper and the fabric to hold it all in place temporarily.

4. If you're planning to turn edges under, cut the fabric 1/4" larger than the freezer paper template on all six sides.

5. Fold the edges down against the template one side at a time, and iron onto the shiny side of the freezer paper.

6. Carefully remove the freezer paper, then give the hexagon a really good press. When you do, press straight down and give it a good burst of steam! Flip to the other side and press again. Moving the iron back and forth will distort the shape. I know because I've lived to regret it. More than once. We scatterbrains do things like that.

7. Cut out an 8 1/2" x 11" rectangle of fabric for the pocket front.

8. Center the hexagons with their top edges  1 1/2" below the top edge of the pocket front. Line the hexagons up in a row with the side points just touching. Use pins or quilt basting glue to hold them in place for sewing. I used a dab of glue stick on each corner and in the center of each hexagon.

9. Stitch the hexagons in place. This was the new part for me.  I used invisible polyester thread and a shell tuck stitch. A very narrow zigzag stitch would work just as well, but I only recently discovered this stitch on my machine. I did have to reverse it. Love this new Babylock!

The second photo shows the stitch length and width. My choice was for short and narrow.

I stitched right along the edge of the hexagon. The straight stitches are just outside the applique, and the little inward stitches barely catch the edge. I was surprised that this really went so smoothly. Zip-zip, and done.

Look how clean that edge is! You have to get very close to tell that it hasn't been hand stitched in place. Giggle!

Make the Pocket Front.

1. Cut a 10" x 11" rectangle of fabric for the pocket lining.

2. Cut a piece of batting 8 1/2" x 11".
A heavier batting such as Soft and Stable is great for most of the bag, but the pocket needs a thinner batting, like Warm and Natural. Cut a piece of your thin batting to fit the pocket. Attach it to the wrong side of the pocket with quilt basting spray.

Note: I used a quilt basting spray and a quilt marking pen. These are my standbys - June Taylor spray and a Frixion pen.  The spray holds things together lightly so you can reposition everything easily. My lovely pen erases with the touch of a hot iron. 


3. Place the pocket front and the lining right sides together. Use a 1/4" seam allowance to sew along the top of the pocket through all three layers. Press the seam up to the lining.

4. I added the first half of a magnetic snap next. With the pocket sections open, mark a point in the exact center of the lining and 1 3/4" down from the seam.  Attach the magnetic snap to the right side of the lining at this mark. Push the prongs through the right side of the lining and then through a scrap of folded fabric on the wrong side of the lining.

5. Fold the lining over the batting and to the back of the pocket front. Do not fold the batting down. The 1/2" strip of lining that remains on the top of the pocket looks like binding, but is much easier to make than binding would be. (Photos found below will be helpful in seeing this.)

6. Baste around the outside edges of the layers pocket front, batting, and binding. Stitch right against the seam where the lining meets the front of the pocket.

7. Quilt however you like.
I used a diamond design that lined up with the hexagons. A 60 degree triangle ruler helped to keep the lines straight and even.

8. Square up and trim the pocket to 10 " wide and 7 1/2" high.

Right Side

Lining Side
Prepare the pocket back.  
The center insert forms the back of the pocket.  Later the entire pocket section will be inserted between side pieces on the front of the bag. 

1. Cut out the pocket back and a matching piece of your main batting. Soft and Stable was my choice for batting. 

2 Use quilt basting spray to hold the batting to the wrong side of the fabric. Quilt as you like.

3. Square up and trim to 10" x 10".

3.  Place the pocket on the center insert with the the bottom and side edges together. On the right side of the insert, mark the point where the other half of the snap needs to be placed.

4 Attach the snap with prongs going through the right side of the pocket insert and the batting. Snap the pocket onto the insert.

5. Stay-stitch close to the edge through all layers on the two sides and the bottom. leaving the top of the pocket open.

The finished pocket section including pocket and center insert.

And that's it for now. 

Coming Soon: Finishing the outside of the bag.