Saturday, 31 March 2012

My Blossom Shoulder Bag - Part 4

My bag was almost finished now.I just had to make and attach the dividers.
The first divider is easy to make. Just follow step 16a-g.
When stitching the dividerpanels, make sure not to stitch through the Peltex or Vilene S520, to get sharp edges:

I turned the panels right side out and edge stitched the top, starting and stopping exactly at the point where I would edge stitch the sides.
It is difficult to pin both divider panels together, as they are stiff and thick; so I used my getta grip clips and edge stitched both sides and bottom.

My first divider was ready.
Now the second divider:
I bought a 30 cm zipper (30.5 cm is not available) like suggested, but this seemed to small:

Here you see the first finished divider placed on the zipper and the next panel.
The zipper has to be longer than the finished divider.
So I increased the length of the zipper by adding small folded fabric pieces at each end like this:

I then followed steps 16h through 16o:

A finished second divider:

All that was left to do now was attaching the dividers to the inside of the bag, following step 17.
I did the first one by hand, broke a needle, a few threads and ruined my fingers.
It is much easier to bar tack with your sewing machine; turning the wheel back- and forward by hand.
Have a look:

Here are some final pictures.
I am not completely happy with the mauve colour of the dividers. If I ever find the perfect beige, I can easily make new dividers. Just by removing the bar tacks, the dividers can be replaced.

I can now show my bag to the world.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

My Blossom Shoulder Bag - Part 3

Next, I made the exterior bag; following step 11.
The only thing thing I found a bit difficult was stitching the side panels to the main and bottom panels.
Because the exterior is reinforced with Peltex or Vilene S 520, it makes the pieces rather stiff and difficult to keep in place, especially when stitching the curves.
I pinned the panels together like shown in the drawing on p.122. This keeps them together well.
Then I made the flap. For the inside of the flap, I used lining fabric to give contrast.
I followed step 12, this is easy.

Some pictures:

After turning the flap inside out, I thought I ruined it; look at the crackled surface (this is because of the stiff interfacing) 
Some ironing did wonders.
I got a perfect result after edge stitching

I added purse feet to the bottom of the bag, to protect the fabric:
Then I made the lining for the bag in exactly the same way as the exterior. This was easy.
To attach the lining to the exterior I used another method.
Following step 14, I would have to turn the bag right side out through the opening. Remembering what happened to the flap, I thought it would be very difficult to iron the exterior of the bag afterwards; so I attached the lining to the exterior this way:
I turned my exterior bag right side out and folded the top edges inwards.
Then I placed the lining bag ,(WSO, wrong side out) with the top edges folded to the wrong side , in the exterior bag. I matched the top edges and clipped them together using my gettta grip clips..
and stitched all around the top.

Finally I attached the flap to the back of the bag.
Step 15 a asks you to measure 3.8 cm (1.5 ") in from each side edge. This would be the point were you would start stitching to attach the flap.
I only measured 1.5 cm in, because I did not want my bag to get ears, after frequent use.

As it is very difficult to pin the flap to the bag (2 layers of stiff interfacing) I used some glue to keep them together. This made it very easy to do the stitching. I did 2 rows of stitching, to keep the look simple.
My bag is almost ready!
All that is left to do is make and attach the dividers.
More about it in my next post.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

My Blossom Shoulder Bag - Part 2

In my previous post I already made and attached the brackets to the exterior main panels.Now I continued with the other small parts.
First the handles.

I made them in a slightly different way, because I added some contrast by using the lining fabric on one side of the handle. Instead of cutting 2 handles 11.4 cm wide , I cut 4 handles half this width + seam allowance. I interfaced all of them and fused  S520 to the exterior fabric handles (minus the seam allowance).
Then, I put an exterior fabric handle and a lining fabric handle right sides together, stitched along the long border and turned the 2 pieces over , so that now the wrong sides were facing each other.
I folded the free long edges in and edge stitched along both sides. Ready!
Next, the tie ends; I followed step 6, but edge stitched only 1 side,  it is easier to bend them.
Then, I attached the handles and tie ends to the main panels , following step 9.
Moving on to the tags.
Instead of making open ended straps, like in step 6, I made closed end straps; so I didn't need to fold the tags under (10b)
Some pictures:

I edge stitched them only along the long edge, centered the tags over the stitching that attached handle and ties together and then edge stitched down both short edges, to attach them to the main panels.

Now , I was ready to build the exterior bag , the lining and the flap.
I will tell you more about that in my next post.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

My Blossom Shoulder Bag - Part 1

I needed a new handbag for daily use. Instead of buying one , I thought of making one myself (to show off my sewing work)
Leafing through Amy Butler's "Style Stitches", I decided to go for the Blossom Bag.
This bag seemed to have a lot of room and could be closed to keep pick pockets away.
My fabric choice: for the exterior I chose a warm brown faux suede; the printed cotton like shown in the book is much nicer and fresher, but difficult to keep clean when used daily.
For the lining I used a gorgeous matching Philip Jacobs fabric. (Just wait till you see the pictures)
For the divider panels I couldn't find the exact beige colour matching the lining so I chose a mauve fabric, coordinating with the flowers of the lining.
First , I cut out all the pieces: I numbered the pattern pieces, the fabric and the interfacing, to keep the right parts together:
For the interfacing I used Vilene H250 (fusible) and Vilene S520 , a fusible heavy stabilizer.
Although it is not suggested in the book (step 2-3) I also applied interfacing to the lining pieces.
Next, I installed the male part of the magnetic snap on the lining side of the flap and the female half on the right side of the exterior main panel.
I added an extra small piece of reinforcement to support the snap.

Then I moved on to step 5: the handle brackets. This is easy, just follow the steps in the book. I used lining fabric for these brackets, to add a contrasting detail to the exterior of the bag.
Here are some pictures:

Then I made the handles, the tie ends and the tags.
More about that in my next post.

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