Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New bag - large tote - black and cream

Hey there, long time, no blog; but it's great to be back after a major knee op.  A big bonus to staying put at home is that you have lots of time to contemplate the universe and you guessed it, think up new and exciting bags to make.

I'm really proud of this bag because I decided to wing it:  no pattern, no nothing, just an idea of what I wanted and a trust in my own bag-making skills to pull it all together. It was a bit of a gamble but I'm glad it paid off. Sometimes it's great to let a project evolve into itself.

I made this bag purely with my own lifestyle in mind. It had to be big enough to tote stuff to work via Melbourne public transport but light enough to be comfortable. This was my formula:
  • Must have bag feet and have a waterproof bottom (consider trams/trains in Winter)
  • Fabric should incorporate black and one other colour (it's Melbourne after all)
  • Handles should be sturdy and correct size to be carried on shoulder or by hand
  • Must have two secure pockets on outside for a) phone and b) keys
  • Must have lots of inside pockets for everything else
  • Must have a heavy-duty zip across the top for security
  • Must have wow factor
For the fabric I used a heavy-weight upholstery fabric which is great for big bags and a cream lining fabric.  I strengthened the outer fabric with fusible interfacing and overlaid the black base fabric with regular plastic to keep the base waterproof.

My method:



Add a pocket the full length of your lining piece x 6 or 7in (18cm) depth. Oh and yes I did sew it straight, it's just the angle of the camera making it look curved!

Turn lining. This is where you would construct and attach the zipper gusset.
As this is an advanced technique, I will cover it separately

Press side & bottom seams. Line up and stitch your corners


Oversew the seams

Cut 2 strips from contrast 16in x 5in fabric. Press in half lengthways, then fold in to desired width, press again and stitch close to edges and 2 or 3 stitch lines inside for stability. Thread the round bag rings through the top of the strips and pin straps to outside of bag, covering edges of pockets,stitch again.                                                  

Add a horizontal stitch line to top of straps, an inch or so down from the unfinished upper edge

With RST sew front & back together, see instructions for box corners from lining instructions. Cut a base board to size and attach bag feet through all layers.

With RST drop the outer bag into the lining and pin together, matching side
seams and stitch all around.
Turn bag through lining gap
Once turned, run a holding stitch around the top to keep the top edge crisp, then press.

Upper bag handles. Using previous method, measure and stitch bag handles. Thread through rings, stitch and secure.

The finished product. Quite a lot of work, but definitely worth it.
If you need anything explained further, leave me a note and I'll oblige.

the Flash signing off for a long rest............