Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekender Sew Along : Making the Exterior

Hey there!  I've been really busy stitching up this bag over the weekend and I am nearly done!  :-)  I'm looking forward to finishing it up and sharing the results next week.  But first let's chat about how I've gotten the exterior of this bag together.

First, once you have your pockets all pieced, its time to quilt them.  I cut out the pocket pieces in the drill canvas and layered them with batting (trimmed approximately 1/2" smaller than the canvas) and then the pieced pocket front.  I used the iron to crease the centers on all four sides of each pocket top and the canvas piece so that I could line up my pockets straight.  I basted with 505 spray, but you can use pins.

Then go ahead and quilt up your pockets as desired.  :-)  I did a lot of outlining of the main shapes for mine.

I made my pockets a little big on purpose so that I could trim them to the proper size later.  After quilting, I like to use the template as my trimming guide even though I have the canvas piece.  Sometimes with the quilting, you may have a little shifting so it is good to check.

Get all your pockets quilted and trimmed so we can add the piping.

For the piping on the pockets, you don't need it to be bias strips.  So cut 2" strips and fold them in half lengthwise.  Put some cording in the middle and stitch it closed - not too close to the cording.  We want to stitch progressively closer to the cording with each step.  Then, use a ruler to line up the edge of the cording with a straight line on your mat.  Then shift the ruler down 1/2 inch and trim any excess fabric. 

Baste the piping onto the top, right side of your pocket. I used a zipper foot with my needle 3 positions to the left of center.

Then add the pocket lining right sides together on top of the piping and pocket piece. Sew as close to the piping as possible.  I moved my needle over so it was 5 positions to the left of center (as far as it would go on my machine).

Fold back the lining so wrong sides are together and press.  Sew about 1/4" below the piping to secure everything in place, then sew around the edges of the sides and bottom to secure the pocket lining to the front.  Trim away excess fabric. (Note - I didn't cut pocket linings with templates - I just used squares/rectangles and them trimmed them later.) 

Repeat to add piping to the pockets.  (The pattern only calls for piping on the main pockets, but I like them on all four pockets.)

Next up, straps!  I made my straps in the same width as the pattern, but added about 6 inches to the length. I wanted them a little longer to swing it over my should with ease!

I used 2 layers of SF-101 on my straps.  Then I folded them in half lengthwise and then used a ruler to draw a line 1/2" above and below the center fold.  This line serves as a guide for how far to fold down the sides. Fold the edges in to meet the lines and press back in half.  Before sewing down both sides of the straps as well as the center, I added a 7/8" wide piece of fusible fleece inside the strap to make it a little sturdier.


For the main panels, I just straight-line quilted them with the Mochi Linen, batting and drill/canvas just like I did with the pockets. I did not use any interfacing on the main panels.

For the bag bottom piece, I did use a layer of SF-101 and then batting and drill/canvas.  I quilted this piece in a diamond pattern.  Fun fact:  The Bernina walking foot and the Mochi Linen Dot are a perfect match!  I just followed the dots with the sides of my foot to quilt this piece.

How are your bag parts coming along?  I am hoping to sneak in some sewing time this week before we head to market!  Share a link to your progress or tag me on Instagram.  And if you have questions, please ask!

Happy Sewing! :-)

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