Friday, January 30, 2009

Shoulder Bag for Chinese New Year

26 January was the first day of Chinese New Year. 2 days before that, I decided to make myself a bag to use on Chinese New Year. It had to be large enough to contain all my stuff as I am not a get-up-and-go kind of gal. I need my stuff!

I've been an admirer of Elizabeth whose site oh fransson has a tutorial for a gorgeous shoulder bag I have been eyeing for the longest time.

Why do I keep doing this to myself? I set myself a huge task and when I find that I'm short of time, I start to panic. I need to change. 2 days to make a large bag is not a lot of time. I could only sew an hour or so a day. Of course once the kids go to sleep, it's sewing time but I can't keep awake! On the eve of Chinese New Year I was nowhere near the end - so many steps! My husband was really encouraging and told me not to give up. That perked me up some and I kept going and going and going and finally did it.


That's me on my way to visit relatives carrying my brand new shoulder bag. I think my bag and skirt clash but who cares! Oh, and enough of that peace sign already.


Here's a closer look. The fabric is Pakistan cotton and the lining is duck.


This bag is so roomy it can contain my pullover, wallet, pouch for something, another pouch for something else, my vintage clutch for my red packets, green umbrella, bus/train card and handphone.


This button is an orphan which used to be on one of my skirts. I messed up the pleats a little.


The pockets were so handy. I could reach in and get my stuff in the pockets without even unhooking the button closure.

I loooove this bag.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lined Zippered Boxy Pouch Tutorial


When I wanted to make a perfectly lined zippered boxy pouch without ugly raw seams or hiding of raw seams via bias binding, I couldn't find any tutorial in googleland. So I used what I learnt at Thimble and a bit from Three Bears and I managed to achieve my dream pouch. A reader named Grace wanted to make one too and I found it too hard to explain so I decided to come up with a tutorial instead.

To achieve a crispier boxy pouch, you can use interface but for this tutorial I'm skipping the interface.

Here's what you need:
Outer fabric (camouflage) 2 pieces 10" by 6"
Lining 2 pieces 10" by 6"
8" zipper
Handle (camouflage) 1 piece 10" by 2" (lengthen if your hand is large)
Oops. I forgot to include the handle in the photo.

Note: For outer fabric, I prefer to use 2 pieces of fabric instead of 1 as I find it easier to topstitch around the zipper. If you use 1 piece of fabric just skip sewing up the bottom.

Here we go.

1. First I like to sew the ends of the zipper together. It's much neater.
Next let's create sandwich A by lining your fabric in this order matching long edges:
Outer fabric right side up
Zipper wrong side up(Head of zipper is on the left)
Lining wrong side up

Baste or pin
There will be 1" seam allowance on either side of the zipper. I like large seams when I work with zipper. If you prefer 1/2" seam allowance, just modify the length of the fabric from 10" to 9".

Mark on lining the 2 positions of the end stopper of the zipper. (the metal bits)
The picture below is to give you a better idea of the positions. It's not part of this project.


On the lining I have marked 2 red lines


2. Now check the order of sandwich A. Make sure you got it right. Trust me. I've been there. Now use a zipper foot and sew sandwich A BETWEEN the 2 marked positions on the lining.


3. This is important. Flip sandwich A right side out.
Make sandwich B in this order matching long edges:
Other Lining right side up
Sandwich A with right side of zipper facing up. (zipper head is on the left) You should match the zipper with the long edge of the other lining.
Other Outer fabric wrong side up
Baste or pin
Mark on outer fabric the 2 positions of the end stopper of the zipper. (the metal bits)


4. Use a zipper foot and sew sandwich B BETWEEN the 2 marked positions on the outer fabric.
Flip until right side out and press.
Topstitch on outer fabric BETWEEN the metal bits only.


5. At this point, let's do the handle. Fold the fabric for the handle like a bias tape - half and half again. Sew along long edges.


6. Flip until the outer fabric are right side together and the lining are right side together. Match edges and pin. Sew the BOTTOM of the outer fabric and the BOTTOM of the lining. (see where I have pinned?) I used a 3/8" allowance. (you can use any seam allowance for sewing the bottoms) Remember to leave a gap on the lining for turning right side out later.


7. Flip around until the bottoms of the lining (you have just sewn) is in the centre while on the other side the zipper is in the centre of the outer fabric. Be as accurate as possible or your pouch will be lopsided. Press, press, press.


8. Find the side of the outer fabric where the end of the zipper is. Mark a line across the side seam with the line as close to the last stitch on the lining as possible. Lifting the lining out of the way, sew on the marked line. You will sew over the zipper ends but you SHOULD NOT sew onto the lining. (the picture is pretty clear)


9. Insert the handle with raw seams pointing out aligned with the side seams of the outer fabric where the head of the zipper is. Match edges and sew as in step 8 and once again lift the lining out of the way and sew only on the outer fabric side seam.(and over the zipper as well) Reinforce the handles.


10. Unzip the zipper now or you'll be trapped. Sew the side seams of the lining once again sewing as close to the last stitch of the outer fabric as possible. DO NOT sew on the outer fabric or the zipper. You will notice there is gap in the lining where the zipper is. Don't worry about it. It won't matter once the bag is turned right side out.

The next picture shows the desired result. The outer fabric and lining have separate side seams.


11. Trim seam allowances. It's time to do the boxy bits. Yay! Manipulate the 4 corners of the outer fabric and the lining to form triangles. Use a ruler for accuracy. Pressing, press, press. You can use any measurement for the triangles but they must be accurate and consistent.


12. Mark the positions and sew




13. Trim.


14. Turn right side out through gap in the lining.


15. Use chopstick to straighten the pouch through the gap in the lining.


16. Handsew the gap in the lining, add a zipper pull and you're all set.


17. No raw seams.


New! (added on 15 July 2009)
I've created a group pool on FLICKR where you can post pics of your creations from using this tutorial. Click projectsbyjane group. I hope everyone will join. Thanks.

* * *

Below are my bag patterns which are available for sale at Etsy (instant download) and Craftsy (instant download). Clicking on the images will take you to my Etsy shop.






https://www.etsy.com/listing/167120688/easy-bow-tie-clutch-or-wristlet-instant?ref=shop_home_active



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Long n short handles - Quest #5

Making this bag aged me 10 years. It started with gorgeous grab bags at allpeoplequilt.com staring at me. (yes, i'm a member) I call it long n short handles bag, APQ calls it grab bags. The pattern which comes in a pdf file is HUGE. I had to downsize it a lot. After printing page after page, you have to glue the pieces together. All that took me 1 whole day to do. Just kidding. It only took me an hour.

Next, I suddenly really really wanted to do crazy patchwork again. Yes, my Lexapro isn't working anymore. It took me many days to complete the patchwork and I'm not even good at colour harmony. I suck at it. I could be the only person who could see colours and be colour blind.

Finally the patchwork was done. I spent the next few days sewing fagoting stitches between the seams. My sewing machine can do wonders! Just when I thought I could assemble the darn bag, I suddenly really really wanted to include a zippered pocket in the lining. Now? So off I went to visit u-handbag which had a zippered pocket tutorial. I love this tutorial. It's so clear and it works. My pocket turned out beautifully except I didn't use any interface which would have made it perfect.

The instructions for the grab bag which also comes in the pdf file is really good for newbies. For the topstitch I used perl cotton in a rustic gold. Okay I don't know what the colour is. I'm technically colour blind remember?

Finally it's done


Front or back


The other side


My first zippered pocket in a lining


I showed the bag to my husband and he said it looked like I was experimenting with the colours (and didn't work).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Long n short handles - Quest #4

In my continuing search for bags with one long and one short handle, I came across Purl of the orient which had to die for cute bags. There are no tutorials, just some pictures of the bags.

I figure the bags aren't very hard to make so I made one for myself. I did it like a regular tote. The position of the handles is important to facilitate the closure.





Inside out - i'm going thru a batik craze now
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