Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just a Bag Tutorial

   This bag is being designed and made for me to be able to give to the homeless. I want to fill it with water, and wipes and feminine products. I think it turned out nice, but it is not as long as I meant for it to be.The water bottle won't fit and that is important for the bag.  I will need to work on that but for the time being I will use these measurements for today.
2 matching fat quarters
fusible batting (at least a yard )
20" zipper or longer
2  3 in. x 78 in. strip of matching or coordinating fabric

Prepare your fabric, by ironing one layer of fusible batting to the back of one piece of fabric. Then fuse another layer to the back of that batting.
I chose Pellon brand fusible batting for this project, I have used Fusi-Boo before and it has a nice hand, but is not stiff enough for this bag.

Cut fabric to the size you need for your bag, mine is 13in x 19in. Next time I will make it closer to 19x19 .

I am giving you the refined measurements for the strap, since mine turned out too narrow.Cut the batting for the strap, you have the fabric cut already I hope. Cut your batting at least 1/4 inch narrower than the fabric is. When you press the batting to it, line it up so the extra 1/4 inch is on one side, not centered.

Fold the strap in 3/4 in and sew it down. Make sure you leave the side with the extra 1/4 in of fabric on the other side from your first fold over.
Once you have that sewn down, take the 1/4 in extra edge and cover the raw edge.  Fold to meet the sewn edge covering the raw edge and sew it down. You may want to pin this in place so you can sew it.

Yeah that is done and you can put it aside for now. We will need it later.
The Bag body
Using the fabric you ironed on to the batting, either use pins, or spray adhesive and but the backing fabric on face side out. Now quilt as desired.

I decided to do a kind of loopy stipple fun meander. I used the stitch regulator, but you can do any free motion or straight line quilting you want.Even if you don't have a stitch regulator. Just remember slow and steady makes an even stitch.

Okay, thats done, now grab your strap and lets sew it on first. That is much easier than sewing it on later after you have the zipper in.
 Fold the quilted fabric in half and mark the middle with a pin. Sew the raw ends of the strap together to make a large loop. On the bag body measure in 31/2 in. from the side raw edge, place the seam side down on the marked middle. Pin in both directions to within 3 inches of the raw top edge. Making sure the handle loops are equal, do the same thing with the other side of the loop. Measure in 31/2 inches from raw side edge and pin strap to the body of the bag to within 3 inches of the end raw edge.
Sew across the strap about 2 1/2 or 3 inches from the top edge. I go over this three or four times before I move on to the length of it. Sew it down one side and when you get  to the same distance from the edge of the far side do the sewing across the strap again. Repeat for the other side.
Next it is time to add the zipper, I do not sew down a zipper like the directions tell you to, but I do use a zipper foot most of the time.
I almost forgot, pin the handles to the middle of the bag so they don't get in the way while completing the bag.
  Place the zipper closed face down on the edge with the ends extending from both ends of your bag.

Sew down starting from just beyond the edge of the bag, and sew to just beyond the far edge.
I chose to use a ribbon to sew the seam allowance down, but you can just sew it down if you prefer. I made one line of stitching down the length first then added the ribbon and sewed down both sides of the ribbon. I think too often we forget that even the less fortunate enjoy pretty things. That is why I do this step even though it takes longer and cost more.
Now it is time to sew down the other side of the zipper. Leaving it closed place it on the outside of the bag face down.
This will begin to make your bag start to look like a bag. Unlike a garment you do not have have set seam ending, so you will need to pin to make sure your zipper is even and will zip properly. Because your zipper extends off both ends of the bag you do not have to open it at all to sew it down.

Once it is sewn down, open the zipper completely, turn the bag inside out and sew down the raw edge and add the ribbon to this side, if you have chosen to do this step.

Next step, zip the zipper leaving the zipper pull in the length of the bag. Center the zipper to the middle of the bag on the same line where you started pinning down your strap/handle. If you are more comfortable pin this in place before you sew. Sew together with about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

It may seem daunting to sew over the zipper teeth, but so far I have had only one small incident and that was with a metal zipper. Although I have sewn over metal ones with no problems.
Trim the excess zipper tabs.

Measure each corner a 2 inch square to be trimmed off. I use my regular long rotary cutter ruler and scissors to cut this, but you can mark it and  then cut with a rotary cutter.

Cut this 2 inch square out of all four corners. Okay this is another one of the steps I am struggling with how to write what you do next. You will do what we do here on all four corners. Flatten this corner on the diagonal, making sure to center the seam in the middle and chose what direction you will face the seam. I usually turn the seam so that the end of the zipper goes toward the bottom of the bag.
Sew about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
These are the corners of the bag , and will make it the squared off edges I wanted for this bag. This is also where my bag turned out smaller than I wanted it to. I measured the water bottle I was going to put in it and added two inches. Sadly it was not enough and the bottle is a neck longer than my bag. (eyes rolling )

Slip your hand inside the bag and unzip the zipper completely.
Look inside and unpin the straps you have pinned down to keep out of the way while sewing.

If you feel comfortable you can use the handles to pull the bag inside out. If not then poke the corners inside out and turn that way.

Now we have our cute cube shaped bag and you can fill it with good things for the homeless women in your area and just hand it out the window on the street corner, or go to the Salvation Army, or homeless shelter and give it to ladies there. If you chose a shelter, you might consider making a bag for children and add colors and paper, or small toys that are safe for any age.

I have enjoyed this and I hope that it is easy to read and informative for you. I tried to use lots of pictures in case my writing is not clear. Please respect that this is my design and do not sell these instructions.
I have thought about how to get feed back on this tutorial and not get my feelings hurt, but for my own growth I would love for you to give me your feed back even if it is negative on my tutorial. I know I use the same word  or phrase over and over and I have tried to change that, but sometimes you just have to say it that way. LOL I do not have anyone to read through this for me to make sure the spelling and grammar are correct so please forgive any mistakes of that sort.
Until next time have a very quilty bag week.


BJ in TX said...

Thank you for posting this! What a great idea - making these and giving them to someone in need.

Linda said...

You did a great job on the tutorial! This is a great idea. I love the idea of making them for children. (I have made about 50 simpler bags for children to use during worship services (we filled them with crayons, paper, quiet toys, fruit snack, etc.)and I also used the same method you did for the bottom corners. It is SO much simpler this way!)
Thank you!