Sunday, November 7, 2010

Handbag Making, Part 2 - Sewing Instructions

Here we go! I've finished the purse, took step-by-step photos, and am ready to let you in on all of my not-so-secret-secrets. It is pretty basic. I really like the black and white and bought a pre-made black flower pin yesterday to stick on it (although it is not pictured).

For fabric dimensions, see below for Part 1 - cutting directions.
We have 5 basic pieces: Outside of Bag (Fabric A - Black swirls), Outside Bag Top (Fabric B - white w/ black swirls), Straps (same Fabric B), Inside Bag (Fabric C - white with small black pattern), and the Interfacing.

I use a regular sewing machine and a serger, although everything can be done on just a regular machine. I am lucky enough to have a serger and I love how it cleans up edges, but we are lining the bag with Fabric C so it is fine is this is done entirely on a sewing machine as we will never see the seams anyways.

Three things to know:
1. Seam allowance 1/4".
2. Always pin fronts of fabrics facing each other!
3. Thread color: Serger - standard white.
Sewing Machine - I choose a coordinating color. For this bag I went black, but the darker the color, the more obvious the stitch and the need to make sure lines are straight.

1. Pin the front bag pieces together and sew.
2. Iron open.
3. Iron Interfacing to the back of bag fronts with shiny fusible side facing back of fabric.
4. Top-stitch 1/4" above and below the steam, between contrasting fabrics.

5. Go back and IRON Straps Interfacing to the back of two straps.
6. Pin Straps fabric together (interfacing w/ strap fabric to strap fabric x 2).
Pin Bag Fronts together on 3 sides (side, bottom, & side).

7. Sew.
8. Flip bag and straps right-side-out. (For straps, I use a drum stick from our guitar hero set. Be patient - this is the worst part.)
8. Iron flat.
9. Topstitch straps 1/4" in from each side.

10. Pin straps to bag. One strap to front/One strap to back. Equidistant from outside edge (aprox 1"). Make sure straps aren't twisted.
11. Stitch handles to bag.

1. Pin Inside Bag and Sew outside edges but not the bottom (you can sew half of the bottom and leave a hole to flip bag through but I think it is easier to sew the bottom all at once).
2. Keep bag inside out and slip over Outside Bag w/ straps. Pin bags together, making sure straps are down and between bags. Sew all the ways around 3/8" in from edge (so as to not show strap stitching).
3. Flip Inside Bag right-side-out.
4. Fold unfinished bottom in 1/4" and press.
5. Sew along very edge of bag (as close as possible without going off).
6. Tuck Inside Bag INSIDE (almost done!) and Pin.
7. Top-stitch 1/4" in from top edge & DONE!

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