Day 2! Today we will work through completing the exterior. This is a long day, you may need to split it up between two or three days depending on how much time you get to sew and how speedy you are.
Grab a Handle piece. Fold the piece in half-hot dog style.
Open it up and fold each raw edge toward the center fold.
Fold the piece again on the original middle fold line. Repeat for the other handle/connector piece for the handbag size and the other handle and both connector pieces for the traveler size.
Handbag final width is 3/4″. Traveler final width is 1″.
For the handbag size: Grab one of your handle pieces and cut a 16″ long piece and 2- 12″ pieces. Repeat for other 40″ handle. In the end,you will have 2-16″ pieces and 4- 12″ pieces (pictured below).
For the traveler size: Grab a 40″ stripe and cut in half to 2- 20″ lengths. Grab both 32″ stripes and cut both in half making 4-16″ handle connectors.
Stitch just below the loop to secure the loop on. (I use my zipper foot for this.)
Repeat for the 3 other handle connectors and 3 loops. Line them all up so the loops are even. check that the bottoms of the connectors are even. Trim any connector that is too long. You want to ensure your connectors are all the exact same length.
Grab a main panel and fold in half. You actually want to fold the panel wrong sides together (NOT like I did here). The foam makes the fabric bunch up so you won’t get an accurate mid line crease if you fold right sides together. Folding wrong sides together, you can ensure a more accurate mid line. Hand crease or use a soluble marking pen to mark the center of the panel.
For the handbag, measure 1.75″ to the right and left of the center line. For the Traveler measure 2.5″ on the right and left of the center line. I like to measure at the bottom of the bag and in the middle. Draw two vertical lines. For the handbag, measure up 11″ from the bottom on each side of the of the center line along each vertical lines and mark. For the traveler, measure up 15″ from the bottom on each of your vertical lines and mark. I realize it’s difficult to see, look hard and you’ll see my two purple lines.
Take a connector with a loop on it and pin the connector so the connectors are on the outsides of the lines you just drew but following along the line. Pin in place with big pins. Double check the top of of your loops are even with each other.
Turn your work again to stitch back to the second side. These three stitch lines will provide extra support when carrying a heavy bag. When you get to the other side, then stitch all the down the other long side of the connector. Repeat for connector on the other side of panel. Repeat measuring, drawing, and sewing connectors to the other exterior panel.
Pin both top exterior panels right sides together. along the straight long edge without the foam.
Measure 1/2″ from each of the sides.
With a 1″ seam allowance sew along the top panels right along the foam, but not through it. Stitch the first 1/2″, until your mark with a regular stitch. Back stitch. Change to a basting stitch (5 length or the longest your machine will go) and stitch until you reach the next 1/2″ mark.
If you are using tape, the place stripes of scotch tape along the length of the zipper. As the picture below.
If you have used glue, wait a few minutes for it to dry before proceeding to the next step. Perfect time for a coffee/tea and snack break. I don’t eat while I sew-learned the lesson the hard way. Off you go for that chocolate fix. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards!
I’m over cautious when opening my basting stitches. Look closely and find where you basting stitches start on one end, and pop a few of those basting stitches open. Very careful to not open the 1/2″ regular stitching on the end!
Take your seam ripper and gently slide it along the basting stitches until you’ve reached the other end that you have already opened. The reason I open a few on each end is so I don’t accidentally rip open my regular stitch in the heat of the moment. PS-the sharp pointy end of your seam ripper should be UP , not in your fabric. The ball part should be on the underside. This is to avoid ripping little holes in your fabric. The pointy end is only to pop open the first stitch.
Grab your two exterior main panels and place them right sides together.
Then pin the rest of the bag. This will ensure your connectors will line up perfectly. If the edges of your bag are off a little, that’s ok. We have a 1/2″ seam allowance to play with when sewing it all together.
Optional purse feet! Along the seam allowance you just sewed on the wrong side of the panels, measure down 2″ (3.5″ for Traveler). Make a dot on both sides of the bottom seam. Repeat for the other side as well.
Move your ruler to be perpendicular to the seam now and aline with your first set of dots. Measure 1.5″ (2.5″ for Traveler) out from the seam on both sides of the seam. Now I have 4 purple dots in a row but we will only be using the two outer dots. Repeat on other end of panels.
OMGEE! This day is still not over! If you need to go to sleep, this is a good stopping point for you.
If you’ve been rockin’ the coffee since 10pm, then let’s keep going!
Take all of your side pocket pieces. Get one exterior and 1 interior. Place right sides together and pin along top. Repeat for the other exterior and interior pieces.
Trim seam allowance.
Open ‘er up!
Match bottom center marks and pin together at that place.The pocket is slightly bigger than the bottom panel (width and height). Align the top of the pocket raw edge with the raw edge of the bottom/top panel. The pocket will be taller than the bottom panel . Pin both top sides as the picture below.
Baste the pocket to the side panel at 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat for the other pocket piece and the other side of the side of the top/bottom panel. It will look like a very large feminine hygiene product now.
Piping. Yes do it. Don’t be scared. I don’t want to see a single person say they are scared of piping.
Pin that starting place where your bottom center mark is. The 1″ non-corded part of the tape hangs off to the left of the bottom center. Purple mark is where my piping starts and that is aligned with the bottom center mark.
Pull the end of your piping out of the way. Starting at the original purple mark (where the cording at the beginning starts). DO NOT sew the non-corded bias tape part yet!
Move your needle position to the far left, start sewing the piping to the pad starting at that purple mark.
Take it slow around those corners. Get it nice and tight. Following the existing stitching line on the piping tape. I use my fingers to hold it in place and the needle becomes dangerously close to my hand. Don’t do this if you aren’t comfortable. I can’t be liable for needles through finger tips!
OMGEEE! This day is still not over. If you need to sleep, again, go do so for your own sanity.
Too bad Dunkin Donuts doesn’t deliver, eh?
Now pin each side of the top panel to the main panel. Only pin one side (bottom center up and around one main panel to the bottom center of the other side). The other main panel gets no action right now.
Stitch that side in place, following your piping stitching at 1/2″ seam allowance. Start at the bottom center of the top panel up and around the main panel down and stop sewing once you reach other other center of the bottom panel.
Turn right side out and double check. If there is anything you are unsatisfied with, pop open those stitches and re-do. Once all is 100% acceptable, trim the seam allowance and snip the corners.You are FINALLY done with day two! See ya tomorrow!