Showing posts with label Bags. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bags. Show all posts

Monday, December 26, 2016

Quick Zippered Pouch - a Tutorial

Last year was the year of fleece robes for everyone. This year, Christmas sewing time was short. It's hard to find quick projects that are suitable for the four guys in my family, and since I needed a quick project, it became the year of the zippered pouch for everyone. I even have an extra for one myself.

My family loved the pouches,  but the "stuffing" I put inside of them turned out to be the most fun of the day. You can see what it was at the end of this tutorial.

Seven pouches in four easy days.

I thought the sewing might go quicker with instructions, so I researched a few tutorials searching for a good one. The first one I found was so hard to follow that I looked up another. And another. And another. I finally gave up and figured out my own method.  The pouch is fully lined, and after I'd made the first one, I found I could whip up one in the morning and another after lunch. I still had time left over for grocery shopping, cooking meals, frosting cookies, and catching up on my favorite Netflix show.

This is how I made them.

Fully Lined Zippered Pouch - 5" x 5 1/2" x 10 1/2"

Fabrics and Materials
  •  2 fat quarters of coordinated fabrics for the outside of the pouch
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric
  • 1/2 yard of fusible fleece (45" wide)
  • One 18" or 20" zipper (If the zipper is too long it can easily be cut to size.)
  • Thread
Cutting Instructions

 1. From one fat quarter, cut a rectangle 11" x 16". Cut a matching rectangle of fusible fleece and iron it onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut a 2 1/2" square from each corner of the rectangle of fused fabric and fleece. This will be used to make the bottom half of the pouch.

2. From the second fat quarter, cut two rectangles 6" x 16". Cut matching rectangles of fusible fleece and iron them onto the wrong sides of each piece.  Cut 2 1/2" squares from two corners on the long side of each of the rectangles of fused fabric and fleece. These pieces will become the top half of the pouch.

3. Cut two rectangles, 2" x 5' each, from one of the main fabrics. These will be the handles on the ends of the pouch.

Sewing and Assembly

 Make the Handles

1. Fold one long edge of the fabric down 1/4" and press. (a)
2. Fold the bottom edge up about 1/2" and press. (b)
3. Fold the top over so that the total width of the strip is about 3/4". Press. (c)
4. Stitch close to the folded edge. (d)

Sew the Zipper in

1. Place the zipper with the right side facing the right side of one section of the pouch top along the long edge. Sew in place with a zipper foot.

2. Fold the sewn side back out of the way, and place the zipper face down on the right side of the second section of the pouch top. Make sure the two sections are evenly aligned. Sew in place with the zipper foot.

The two top sections with the zipper as seen from the right side and from the wrong side.
3. Place a section of the lining for the bag top on the wrong side of the zipper.The right side of the lining should be facing the right side of the main fabric. Align the pieces. Sew on the wrong side of the main fabric right on the same row of stitching that was made when attaching the zipper. Do not sew all the way to the ends of the lining fabric. Begin and end the stitching 1" from either end of the lining fabric.

4. Fold all of the sewn sections back out of the way and stitch the second section of lining to the other side of the zipper in the same way as the first.
5. Press the main fabric and the lining away from the zipper. The lining will be loose on each end.

6.Top stitch along both sides of the zipper. Sew from the right side of the bag. Start and stop the stitching 1" from either end of the zipper in order to keep those edges of the lining free.

Assemble the Pouch 
Use 1/4" seam allowances.

1. With right sides together, sew the top and bottom sections of the pouch together.

 2. Sew the top and bottom sections of the lining together. Leave an opening of at least 5" on one seam of the lining. This will provide a space to turn the bag right side out when it's finished.

 You will have two tubular shapes attached at the zipper.

3. Press the seams open.

Note: Make sure the zipper is partially open before proceeding to the next step! This will assure that you don't accidentally cut off the zipper pull if you have to trim the zipper back. You will also need the zipper partially open to turn the pouch right side out when the seams are all sewn.

4. Fold the handles in half lengthwise. Lay them facing inward right over the zipper on the right side of the main fabric. Sew one handle on each end of the zipper. The handles will be sandwiched between the top and bottom sections of the pouch.

5. With right sides together, sew the short sides of the pouch top to the short sides of the bottom section. If the zipper is longer than 18", trim off the excess length.

6. Pin the short sides of the top and bottom of the lining together. Fold the main fabric back out of the way at the zipper in order to reach the lining easily. Stitch the seams.

7.  Press the seams of the main fabric and of lining facing the bottom section of the pouch and away from the zipper.

8. Make the boxed corners. With right sides together, bring the seams on either side of the  2 1/2" squares that were cut out of the corners together.  Sew straight across. Stitch all four corners of the lining and all four corners of the main fabric of the pouch.

9. Pull the pouch through the opening in the lining seam to turn right side out.

10. Use a slip stitch to sew the lining closed. 

 11. Sew the lining to the ends of the zipper with a short slip stitch.

 12. Push out the corners and press the corner seams.

And if you need to fill it quickly for wrapping ....
 Whatever works! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer Purse, Part 6, Finally Finished

Attach the lining and call it done.

Which bag are you making?

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

There are two more pieces of lining to cut.

1. Cut two strips of lining, 3" x 16' each.

 2 Locate the center of the 16" sides and mark with a pin or a notch. Also mark the centers of the encased zipper units.

 3. Sew the 3" x 16" strips to the encased zipper. Make sure the right sides of the strips are facing the right side of the zipper (the side with the zipper pull on top).

4. Cut a 1 1/2" square from each bottom corner of the pocket sections of lining. These cuts will be used to make the boxed corners on the bottom sides of the bag.

5. Sandwich the encased zipper between the 3" x 16" strips and the larger, pocketed sections of the lining. The large sections of lining will face the wrong side of the zipper. Sew right on the stitching line that attaches the 3" x 16" strip to the zipper casing.
The zipper is sandwiched between a narrow strip of lining and a pocket section on both sides. 

 Note: Place the zipper pocket on whichever side will allow it and the encased zipper to open in the same direction. My zippers open from left to right.

6. Tuck the zipper ends out of the way and sew the two side seams of the linings right sides together.

View from the top of the bag.

 Note: Open the zipper to finish sewing the bag.

 7. Tuck the body of the purse and the handles inside the lining. Right sides should be together.

8. Place the side seams of the lining in the exact center of the 3" wide sides on the outside of the bag. Pin the lining to the bag all the way around. 

9. Sew the bag and the lining together at the top.

 10. Turn the lining to the inside of the bag. Do not fold the batting down.  Fold the lining over the batting and to the inside of the bag.  The 1/2" strip of lining that remains on the top looks like binding and matches the trim on the main front pocket.

11. Pin the lining in place. Stitch in the ditch right along the seam. Press.

Note: Double check to make sure the bag zipper is open. 

12. Turn the bag inside out. Pull the lining away from inside the bag to finish sewing the bottom.

13. Stitch either side of the bottom edges of the lining together for 1 1/2" - 2" from the side edge inward. This will leave an 8" or 9" opening at the bottom of the lining.  Backstitch so the the short seams don't rip out when you pull the bag through the opening later. 

14. Pinch the square opening at the corners together. Align the side seam with the bottom seam. Pin together.

15. Stitch across. This will create the box corner at the bottom of the lining.

16. Remember that 11" x 2 1/2" piece of plastic canvas you cut and put away back in Part 2 of this tutorial? You need it now. Slide the plastic canvas under the insert at the bottom of the bag and center it. I hope you don't have to cut another piece like I did. I put the one I made earlier away in a place that was evidently too safe.

17. Pull the bag through the opening you left in the lining. Stitch the opening closed, and push the lining to the inside. 

18. Give the whole bag a good pressing and it is done!!

Optional last step.

If you want your bag to remain clean over time and with lots of use, I recommend taking it outside and spraying it with Scotch Guard. Spray it lightly, allow to dry, and spray one more time.

One final note. 
 I would truly appreciate hearing from you about the usefulness and quality of this tutorial. As I said in the beginning, I've made many bags, but this is my first attempt at writing a pattern for one. I welcome any suggestions you might have. If I ever get it figured out, I may design more bag patterns. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Summer Purse: Part 5, Lining with Pockets

I had planned to finish the summer purse tutorial with this post, but it was simply getting to be too long. There will have to be a sixth and final post. This post covers making the lining with the pockets that are found inside the purse. The last post will cover assembly and finishing the bag.

Pockets galore!

I want lots of pockets inside my bags, and I used my favorite combination in this purse. One side of the lining has four open pockets lined up in a row. They keep my odds and ends of little things neat and easy to grab. The other side of the lining contains a generous zippered pocket which is partially unzipped in the photo. This pocket is for my wallet, receipts, and any other items that I want to keep secure. I keep a notebook in the center of the bag, and I can toss my keys in there as well. There is still plenty of space to add a book, a snack bag, or whatever small something I may want to carry on a given day. Since the pockets have done away with clutter, I don't have to go digging and searching for the things I want.

Getting ready to cut.

I definitely recommend that a lightweight fusible interfacing be ironed onto the wrong side of each piece of fabric in the lining. The interfacing should be just a hair small than the lining fabric to protect your iron. The fusible substance can be nasty if it's melted to the iron, itself.

The little bit of extra thickness and firmness added by the interfacing assures that linings hold together over the long run. Pockets don't rip out so easily, and the linings will look and feel more substantial. This step is optional, of course, but interfacing is cheap, the extra work is minimal, and it makes a world of difference.

Note: All seams allowances are 1/2" unless instructed otherwise. 

The open pocket section

Cut one of each of these pieces from the lining fabric.

A. Make the open pocket unit

When finished, the pockets in the unit will be the sizes shown in the diagram below. Pleats between the pockets give them depth.

Note: I gave this piece of fabric a good spray of heavy starch before beginning. It helps with pressing the pocket pleats for sewing. 

1. Fuse a 4 1/2" x 15" piece of interfacing to one end of the wrong side of the 15 1/2" x 9" lining fabric.

2. Fold the lining with right sides together.

3. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around the three open sides. Leave a space of about 2" open on the long side.

4. Trim the corners and pull through the open part of the seam to turn right side out. Press.
Stitch the opening closed by hand. The long edge with the seam will be the bottom of the pocket.

The piece now measures 4" x 15".

5. Measure and mark the pleats using the diagram below. The spaces for pleating between pockets are each 1 1/4". The edges of the pockets are folded to the center of the pleated areas as shown by the red arrows. Dotted lines show the inside center of each pleat.

I marked the pocket edges with pins and pressed a line from top to bottom along each edge.

I pulled the pocket edges together and pinned them to the center of the 1 1/4" space between pockets to form the pleats.

After a good pressing with steam, the pocket pleats hold their shape nicely.

B. Sew the pocket unit to the lining section.

1. Lay the 11" x 16" piece of lining with a long edge at the top. Center the pocket unit 2" down from the top of this piece. Pull the pocket edges snugly against each other and pin in place.
Place the pins back a bit from the edges of the creases. 

2. Sew the inside centers of the pleats to the lining.

Fit a narrow foot to your sewing machine. I used my quarter inch foot.

You will be sewing in the center of the spaces between pockets. The seam will be at the bottom of the ditch between pleats. Start at the bottom of the pocket and stitch up to the top. Pivot at the top, sew one stitch over to the side, pivot again and sew back to the bottom. Do this for all three of the pleats.

3. Topstitch close to the edge all around the sides and bottom edges of the pocket.
Begin 1/4" in from the side edge and 3/4" down from the top of the pocket unit.  Stitch a "u" at the beginning and end of the stitching.  The diagram shows it much better than the photographs do. The "u" shaped stitching on pockets protects them from ripping out easily.

The finished lining section will be 16" wide and 11" tall.

The Zippered Pocket Section

Cut these pieces from the lining fabric. 

A. Make the zippered pocket.

Put the two 4" x 11" pieces aside for now, and get out your 9" zipper. If your zipper is too long, you can trim it off after the pocket is finished. I already had the perfect color in an 18" zipper, so I used it.
1. The zipper will be sewn onto the 10" edge of the lining fabric. Start with the zipper pull side facing down against the right side of the 10" x 9" lining. 

(I like my zipper to open from the left, so I make sure that the zipper pull is on the left side of the top of the fabric.)

 Line the zipper up at the edge of the fabric and sew with a zipper foot.

2. Flip the zipper over so the zipper pull faces up. Pull the larger section of the lining out of the way to the left. With right sides together, sew the 3" x 10" strip of fabric to the other side of the zipper.

3. Lay the piece you've just sewn on top of the pocket fabric. The wrong side of the section with the zipper will face the right side of the pocket. Sew along right on the stitch line from step 3 to sandwich the zipper between the pocket and the lining.

 5.  Take the opposite side of the pocket fabric and fold it up and over the zipper.

Align the edge of the fabric up against the edge of the zipper and sew it in place.

The zipper is sandwiched between the the pocket and the lining on both sides. 

Wrong side of pocket unit.

Right side of pocket unit.
6. Press the pocket down toward the larger piece of lining.This zipper unit should measure 10" wide and 11" long. If needed, trim the bottom of the lining fabric to get the right measurement.

7. Before finishing this piece of lining, unzip the zipper part way.

8. Sew a 4" x 11" piece of lining fabric to either side of the pocket unit. If your zipper was longer than 9", trim the ends off.

The zipper opened to show the pocket.

The finished lining section should be 16" wide and 11" tall as shown below. Trim if necessary.

 The last post for the summer purse will be out in a few days. I promise not to keep you waiting too long this time.

The Finish.
Coming Soon!

Happy Stitching!!