First up, I want to thank you all for your patience! My pictures for this tutorial somehow disappeared the day before I was scheduled to post it (did I delete them from the camera without downloading them???) and I had to re-do it last week. Sorry to anyone who was inconvenienced by this!
Over the course of this week I will show you how to make each of these fun, little bags:
The first bag (today's tutorial) will be the basic zippered pouch (pink floral). Then we will add a bottom to the bag on Wednesday, a little bit of applique on Thursday and patchwork on Friday. It's all simple and it's all fun!
Please feel free to ask questions here in this post or over in the Flickr group. What are your thoughts on a chat time at the end of the week? Probably Thursday.
First we will start off with our supplies:
2 pieces of fabric measuring 8-1/2" X 7" for bag exterior
2 pieces of fabric measuring 8-1/2" X 7" for bag interior
1 piece of fabric measuring 1-1/4" X 14" (for handle)
2 pieces of warm and natural batting OR fusible fleece (see note below) measuring 8-1/2" X 7"
one 7" zippper.
You will also need the basics such: sewing machine, thread, fabric marking pen, seam ripper, pins, zipper foot etc.
NOTE--on my first pouch I used the fusible fleece, but the drawback is that it makes one very large seam for your sewing machine to conquer. My machine groaned a bit, but made it through. The fleece makes for a sturdier pouch though. I will leave it up to you to choose. Both work fine.
Here is what we are working towards:
I am using Warm and Natural batting for this pouch.
Warm and Natural: Pin the pouch's exterior fabric to the batting (see photo).
Fusible Fleece: Lay the fusible fleece (glue side up) with the fabric laying on top (right-side up). You will do this with two pieces of fabric and fleece.
Warm and Natural: Sew a seam very close to edge using a basting stitch on your machine (see your machine's manual to do this. It's simply a longer stitch length than what you normally use).
Fusible Fleece: Iron the fleece to the fabric using the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure that the glued side is against the fabric, rather than against your ironing board cover.
Here is picture of the seam sewn close to the edge:
Now we are going to dive right in to the zipper. Let's do this!
Pin your zipper with the zipper-pull facing down to the top edge of one of the pieces you just sewed:
Now, you will put your zipper foot on your sewing machine (See your machine's manual. It is common for a zipper foot to come with a sewing machine's basic set when you buy it.):
Now is when I get to make a big admission! I don't use a zipper foot to attach zippers. In general, anyway. Please note that I am not encouraging you to do this, but I want you to know that if you want to try this, it's OK. I don't like the "feel" of using the zipper foot and I find more stability using my regular foot.
So, if you are using a zipper foot, see the picture above to see what it will look like to sew your seam. If you want to try your regular foot (in other words, if you want to try it the wrong way, like me!) you will sew along a the same distance from the zipper's teeth, but will stop when you reach the zipper-pull. Lift your presser foot with the needle in the down position, move the zipper-pull behind where you have already sewn, and then keep going to the end.
Either way it's pretty simple. Just stay a little bit to the side of the zipper's teeth. Remove your pins before you run over them and don't run over the zipper-pull.
Please note that my photos will show me using the regular presser foot for attaching the zipper, but you can refer to the image above to see how it will look to use the zipper foot.
Now that you have sewn your seam, add one of the interior fabric pieces over the top of the seam you just sewed. Pin into place:
This is what you will end up with:
Once again, sew along that same seam to attach the new piece of fabric (please note that if you using a zipper foot, the foot will look slightly different, but you will do that same thing):
Now, pull that piece of fabric behind the the zipper seam and iron into place. Make sure that your zipper-pull faces the same direction as the pouch exterior:
Lay the 2nd exterior piece over the pouch as it is laid out in the above photo. Pin into place. (Ignore my scissors. They are just being used to hold the fabric down while I take the photo):
Here we are pinned into place:
Don't sew yet! Flip that pinned piece over. If you want to make sure you are doing the right thing, just compare my pouch flip-over by checking the color and placement of my pins. You can see that all I did was turn it over:
And add the other interior piece along the top edge. Pin into place:
You will have a lot of pins when you are done:
Once again, sew along that top edge (with either the regular foot or zipper foot):
Now take a deep breath. You have sewn a zipper in---hopefully successfully! If you weren't successful, just rip it out and try again. I had to do that my first time sewing a zipper pouch together. Oh, and my second time!
Open your pouch and iron flat on both sides. Be sure that your zipper-pull is facing the exterior part of the pouch. (please ingore the top-stitches in this photo. That is the next step, but I guess I forgot to photograph this step without the stitches):
Now, you will top-stitch along each side of the zipper. This can easily be done with your regular presser foot:
Now, you don't have to ignore the top-stitches because they are supposed to be there. And they look great!:
Interior pouch view:
This step is SUPER IMPORTANT! Open your zipper about 2/3 of the way. If you don't do this, you will have a really hard time dealing with your pouch zipper after you turn it right-side out. And, yes, I learned this the hard way!:
Now, let's deal with our wrist-straps. Fold in half length-wise and iron:
Fold each half in half towards the middle and iron:
You will end up with a thin piece of fabric, ready to be sewn:
If you haven't already, put your regular presser-foot on your sewing machine, and sew the strap into place, like so:
Now you will attach the strap to the bag, like so.
My sister and I discussed the merits of the zipper-pull being on either side of the pouch: close to the zipper-pull or towards the end of the zipper. We couldn't decide which one would be better. You can decide for yourself which one works better. Also, when you have your strap pinned on, check to make sure you like the way the strap fits over your wrist. It's OK to either shorten it, or make a longer strap for a better fit. Do what works for you!:
IMPORTANT: Make sure that you pin the strap only through the exterior pouch piece. Leave the interior piece free:
Now, open up your pouch like this. Exterior piece facing exterior piece, and interior piece facing interior piece. Remember that your zipper NEEDS to be 2/3 of the way open:
Pin all around your pouch, leaving a 3" opening on the bottom of the interior piece. I always face my thick side seams down towards the interior part of the pouch:
Sew all around your pouch using a 1/2" seam, sewing twice over the thick seams and the wrist-strap:
You are SO close to being done! Here is what you should be looking at now:
Trim your corners fairly close to the seam without cutting through the seam:
Now you will reach in through the opening on the interior piece and start pulling your pouch right side out. Do this carefully so you don't rip anything:
Pin the opening closed and either whipstitch it closed by hand, or sew it closed on your sewing machine (close to the bottom edge):
Iron it up and cut the strings. You should a cute pouch this at this point:
Now you can fill it with goodies and take it out in public. Get ready for compliments!
Tomorrow I will show you how to add a flat bottom to your bag. It's really simple, especially now that you have gotten this far!
Be sure to leave questions here or in the Flickr group. I will answer them as soon I can!