Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My great getaway bag - Part 3

I am sorry if I kept you waiting for this post, but it has been a very hectic week. I took part in a local arts and crafts fair on sunday and this needed a lot of preparation.
I will tell you more about it in one of my next posts.

Now back to THE bag.
I did not add corner trims.
I already made the pocket tab and pocket tab loop and now attached them to the exterior pocket flap, following step 11 on p. 117.
Step 12 and 13 clearly explain how to make the exterior pocket and stitch pocket and flap to the exterior main body piece. I did this very carefully as this is the most visible part of the bag.
I stitched my ready made handles to the exterior by hand, after ironing a double layer of interfacing to the WS behind the pattern markings. This is important as these 4 attachment points of the handles carry all the weight.
Next, I stitched the zip pulls to the zip bottom panels (step 16) and attached the zip bottom panels to the already assembled zip top panels (step 17). Here is the result:
Now, I could assemble the bag exterior. 
In my previous post I told you I would attach the handle loops in a different way. Here it is.
I did not like the way the handle loops are stitched to the exterior in Lisa's book . I think that, in the end, these will be the weak points of the bag. So, I did it this way:
I brought zip top panel and one main body piece RS together (step 18) and sandwiched a handle loop, upside down, between them at a rounded top corner. 
I started stitching 1 cm from the bottom edge with a 0.75 cm seam allowance. When I arrived at the handle loop, I gradually increased the seam allowance to 1 cm. This way , the handle loop will come out upright and not oblique . 
Have a look:
Slowly I returned to a 0.75 cm seam allowance. 
Everywhere else, I used the suggested 1 cm seam allowance.
I repeated this with the second handle loop on the opposite side.
I inserted bag feet into the bag base after adding extra local interfacing.
Finally, I stitched the bag base to the exterior bag by bringing the long edges together first. This way, I found it easier to align bag and base more evenly.
With both exterior and lining bag assembled, I was ready to join them.
More about it in my next post.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

My Great Getaway Bag - Part 2

My bag lining was ready.
Now, I moved on to the small parts: handle loops, adjustable strap, zip pulls, zip ends, pocket tab and pocket tab loop.

I bought ready-made sew-on bag handles.
The zip pulls.
Making the handle loops: I followed the steps on p. 103 but adjusted the fabric folds so that the width of my strap fitted exactly in the rectangular ring.
Using my zipper foot, I could stitch closely to the ring. 
I am going to attach these handles to the exterior in a different way than suggested. I will explain later. 
You can see that my handle loop seems to be longer than the one in Lisa's book on p. 115. Why is this so?
A 36 x 14 cm fabric was cut for the handle loops, pocket tab and pocket tab loop; 2x10 cm of these 36 cm was used for the handle loops. I folded these fabric pieces in half lenghtways (= the 14 cm side) as advised on p. 103. I think you should fold them short sides together. It becomes clear when you have to cut the remaining fabric pieces: a 10 cm piece for the exterior pocket tab (in fig.c on p. 116 you can actually see that the fabric hasn't been folded lenghtways)
For the pocket tab loop you only have a 6x14 cm piece left, which is to small when folded lenghtways.
Once folded and stitched, I assembled pocket tab, pocket tab loop and a ring. I just pinned the free end of the pocket tab, folded over the ring . I will finish this later, to make sure that the position of the 2 parts of the magnetic snap will match completely.
Then, I stitched the zip ends to the zip. I started with matching up the raw edges of the zip end, with the short end of the zip.
I ruined 3 needles...
I realised (when aligning zipper and zip top panels) the zip ends would hardly be seen. So, I moved them up, away from the short end of the zip.
The last small part was the adjustable strap. I made a closed-end strap . I added 2 extra rows of stitches lenghtways; this further reinforces the strap . 
Here is a close-up of the strap with slider already in place. The extra stitches are clearly visible.

Now I was ready to make the bag exterior.
Have a nice weekend.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

My Great Getaway Bag - Part 1

In one of my earlier posts, I promised to guide you through my "making of" Lisa Lam's Great getaway bag.
Here it is.
The bag had a rough time during our holiday and had to carry a lot of weight, but she survived without damage. Everything held, no loose stitches. 
It is a large project , with many fabric pieces.
First, I cut all the exterior, lining and interfacing pieces. I numbered them(on the wrong side of the fabric) and pinned fabric and interfacing together till they were ready to be used.

I started with the bag lining . As this is in fact a copy of the exterior bag, I wanted to be sure this went well, before tackling the outer bag. Mistakes would be less visible on the inside.
Inserting the flush zip pocket is not difficult if you follow the steps on p. 67-69 of the book.
Here is my result:
If you read step 22 on p. 119, Lisa uses only one lining piece for the lining pocket. I cut 2 pieces, put them RS together and stitched the top edge with 1cm seam allowance. Then, I turned them over so that now the WS were facing and topstitched along the top edge. Two layers make the pocket stronger.
Here I am stitching the pocket to the main body piece along a central divider line. I always start at the bottom, pivot at the top edge of the pocket and go down again along the same line, for a stronger hold.
A closer look:

I assembled the lining bag following steps 17-18 .
 A close-up - from the inside - of the hole along the top of the lining.
Then, I continued, following steps 19,25-26, but I started with bringing the long edges together, instead of the short ones.  This way, I found it easier to align the lining bag and base evenly.
With the bag lining completely assembled, I was ready to move on to the exterior.
But first, I still had to make all the small bits and pieces .
More about that in my next post.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

An expensive mannequin

Two weeks ago, during our brief stay in Switzerland, I fell in love with this mannequin in an antique shop.
It is a vintage mannequin, but newly decoupaged with magazine pictures.The price:..... more than 1800 Swiss Francs!!! (> 1650€; > 2350 $; > 1450 £)
The Lady shopkeeper said it was so expensive because of all the work it took to make her look like this.
I thought this was way over the top and far to expensive. I was a bit sad  to have to leave this girl behind.
But it made me realise we shouldn't underestimate the value of our quality handmade work and charge appropiately for the materials we use and the time we spend in constructing our work of art.

"The handmade marketplace" by Karin Chapin (I bought it here) is a useful little book with lots of advice about selling your crafts. 
She uses the 2.5 formula to determine the retail price of your work:
multiply the basic costs (materials, shipping envelop, postage...) with 2.5 and consider that your retail price.

Meanwhile , I am looking out for another mannequin friend.
Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bags,bags, bags...

During our holidays , I did some window shopping with my camera.
Have a look at the beauties I saw:

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