So, I'm not sure where this week went. If you read my last post, you know that I was iron-less - I had lots of plans for nap times BUT um, well, uh, yeah, my house is still not clean and organized, I have no new crochet or embroidery projects to share, I didn't organize or order any photos, I didn't try new recipes (though I did pin some new ones) - yep, so many big plans and nothing!
But the new iron arrived yesterday so I was back to it and made 5 bags! What was that number again? 5! And why did I cram 5 bags into 2 days of sewing? Well, my kids have three birthday parties to go to this weekend and a few coming up so I got on a roll. These are fairly quick to whip up - I think the most time is spent selecting and cutting the fabric.
There are so many zip pouch tutorials out there so I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel but here are some pics/words/tips about my process.
Note 1. For the front zip pouches, I actually start by measuring my zipper. I find them easiest to make when I use a zipper that is longer than the width of the bag so that all metal parts fall outside the fabrics and can be chopped off.
Note 2. I use cotton flannel or batting as a middle layer. I actually have never used interfacing in any project so I can't comment on how that would work for these.
Note 3: I used two different methods for finishing the bags. I'll talk about both both.
My measurements for this bag were approximately the following. Depending on how close I sew to the zipper and various shifting throughout the project, I usually end up having to trim at the end.
1. Outer Fabric 9x3 (this is the total measurement after patchwork, etc.)
2. Flannel 9x3
3. Lining 9x3
4. Outer Fabric 9x9
5. Flannel 9x9
6. Lining 9x9
1. Outer Fabric 9x12
2. Flannel 9x12
3. Lining 9x12
10 inch zipper
30 inches of cotton webbing
1. Start by making your Outer Front Bottom piece of fabric by sewing together scraps to make a finished size of 9x9. You can foundation piece the scraps to your 9x9 piece of flannel if you wish. Or you can make a few quilting lines to attach it to the flannel after piecing together the front. Do the same for the Outer Front Top (9x3) and the Outer Back (9x12). You don't have to attach the outer fabrics to the flannel but at least iron them together so they are somewhat attached. From now on, when I refer to outer fabric, I'm referring to the outer fabric attached to the flannel.
2. Lay your Outer Front Top on your table right side up. Put your zipper on top of that right side down and make sure the fabric is centered so that the little metal parts on the zipper are on the outside of your fabric. Place your Lining Top right side down on top of the zipper. I like to have the zipper a bit below the top of the fabrics so that I can make sure I am getting through all the layers. I use the zipper teeth to guide my stitching so I'll know that the zipper is being included even though I can't see it. Use your zipper foot if you have one.
*Not all my photos are from the same bag.
3. Pull back the fabrics so that wrong sides are facing. Take your Outer Front Bottom and lay it down right side up. Take your zipper (with tops attached) and lay it right side down. Take your Bottom Lining and lay it right side down on top of the zipper. Make sure all your sides are lined up and stitch to the zipper.
4. Pull back the fabrics and top stitch on both sides of the zipper.
At this point, you can choose one of the following ways to finish the bag.
5. Put together your back by placing your Outer Back and Lining together wrong sides facing. If you haven't already, quilt a few lines to attach them together.
6. With your zipper open, stitch a little bit over the end of the zipper to secure.
7. Take your cotton webbing and attach it to the top of the Outer Front Top.
8. Take your Outer Front (with attached lining) and your Outer Back (with attached lining) and put them right sides together. Cut off excess fabric including both zipper ends (you should be able to cut off the metal parts from both ends and then you won't have to worry about sewing over metal.) Sew around all four sides (your zipper should be open!) You can reinforce your stitches over the zipper ends and handles if you like. Clip your corners and finish off the raw edges since they'll be showing (zigzag, serger, binding - I've even tried french seams on all but the top where the handles are attached.) Using the zipper opening, rearrange the bag so that the right sides are on the outside.
That is one way to do it. However, yesterday, I did a web search about finishing the raw edges and I found this tutorial on Projects by Jane. It took me a few tries but it works great and the raw edges are all fully encased. To do the bag with the straps like I have it, just go to her step 7 where she has you attach all the layers and sneak the straps in there (attached between the outer front and outer back when they are right sides facing.) You'll then have to move the straps around while doing her other steps to make sure you don't sew over them. Also, I find that if I cut my lining about one-half of an inch longer than the outer fabrics that it is easier for me to sew the gap at the end (which I prefer to do by machine) - not sure whether that really makes a difference but it worked for me.
And since I love looking at pics of fabrics on all of your blogs, I thought I'd post one of my recent acquisitions. I have specific plans for a couple of these and some I just ordered small cuts of to stockpile for an I Spy Quilt.
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