Monday, October 27, 2008

Envelope Bags

Envelope bags look like the easiest thing in the world to make except they're not. The difficulty lies in the bias binding. If you can't handle bias binding, you can't make envelope bags. Since I've some experience with bias binding, I think I'm ready to make me some envelope bags except this tutorial by ayumills calls it "camera case".

Of course I did not just make a simple envelope bag. I need to do it the hard way. Helen, my beloved Brother dealer had sold me a walking foot and I wanted to try it out. I did a simple straight line 45deg quilting lines and man! The noise the walking foot generates. It's almost as if a giant is stamping across my fabric. I have also recently become obsessed with paper cutting applique and had to have it in the bag. I used blanket stitch which came with my sewing machine using my new open toe foot. (That Helen sure is a good saleswoman) I'm finding blanket stitch a little challenging.

Front view

Inside view

I referred to ayumills tutorial but didn't fully follow the bias binding bit. For one thing, I wanted to see how the self-mitering of my bias binding would work out.

Here's is the self-mitering bit.

On the other side I had to whip stitch the mitering together.

Helen the saleswoman of the year had also sold me a quilting foot. For my next envelope bag, I wanted to try free-motion quilting. Free-motion anything is so complicated. You need to lower the feed dog (I keep calling it dog feed). On my machine, you just press a switch. Next, you need to move the fabric while stepping on the pedal. The first few times I tried my thread kept jamming up. I have since learnt not to pedal at break-neck speed and to move the fabric up/down left/right instead of in circles.

Front view. I added some cut-outs because I just can't stop myself. Also the flap is curved.

Inside view


Anonymous said...

Hi there, I am a lot like you. I always look inside items to see if there are any raw edges. I like goods that are neat on the inside as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane. I just found your nice blog and love seeing all the bags you've made. I just got hit with the bag sewing bag also and am about to start my first one. I wondered if you have ever heard of a brand of fabric purses and bags called Vera Bradley? They are very nice and if you go to her site you can see a bunch of them.

I started buying her purses many years ago. Now my daughter has started sewing bags too and after looking at all her ideas I have now started getting my own ideas. : ) It must be contagious!

Anyhow, just wanted to say hi to you. If I get this bag made successfully I will email you again.

jane p said...

Hey California Knitnchik! Hope your first bag is successful. My first bag tanked! I've never heard of verabradley but i'll check her out. Cheers. Jane

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