Sunday, November 16, 2014

Margo Handbag - Step 7

Step Seven is to finish the front and back assemblies.

I came up with a method to fuse the Stiff Stuff (a Lazy Girl product - here) to the front and back pieces.  The instructions on the spray adhesive claim that a permanent bond can be formed by a certain method.  I decided to use this method on the entire front and back pieces, but I didn't want any overspray inside my house.

So, I found things around the house to make a "paint booth" - recycle bin, long towel, and a found box lid:

With the fabric centered over the Stiff stuff, I placed it as far into the "paint booth" as I could without bending the edges.  I pulled half the fabric over itself and sprayed the exposed wrong side of the fabric and half the Stiff stuff with the adhesive.  I immediately unrolled the fabric into place, which made it stick to the Stiff Stuff.  Then I immediately folded the fabric over itself in the other direction towards the now-stuck side and sprayed the other side of the fabric and Stiff Stuff.  I quickly unrolled the fabric back into position on its correct side, and pulled the assembly out of the "paint booth."  I laid it on a flat surface, and pressed the pieces together with my hands.  After doing the same to the other piece of fabric and Stiff Stuff.  I left these alone overnight.

Two weeks later - I know, right? - finding that the pieces weren't all cut the exact same size, I trimmed off some edges:

That's when I remembered to top-stitch the upper edges of the pockets!

I laid the front pocket on the front piece and the back pocket on the back piece, lining up the edges:

I marked the fabric where it turns from the bottom (right side of this picture) to the front (or back), which is 2 1/4 inches.  I laid the ruler just shy of that knowing that my marking pencil would not write exactly at the ruler's edge:

I could barely see the pencil marking, so I also used a smooth tracing wheel because - like a Hera marker - it would leave a dent in the fabric:

I pinned the pockets to the front and back pieces along these lines and stitched across, along the lines.  Then I  drew a vertical center line on each assembly in the same manner, and pinned and stitched them:

On the lighter fabric, I used a different color pencil, which is almost invisible here.  The dent in the fabric really helped:

Where the top-stitched edges of pocket pieces meet the edges of the front and back, I stitched close to the edges to hold them in place for future steps (click to see the reverse side, showing that I drew ovals on the picture around these stitches):

I lined up a quilting ruler for cutting out a two-inch square from the bottom corners of both pieces:

I used a rotary blade and scissors to cut out the squares:

Now the front and back assemblies are done

Step Seven is to make the handles.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Margo Handbag - Step 6

Step six is to make the front and back pockets.  I did not finish them, but I got a good start.

I laid out the pieces I would need, nearest to farthest, front and back pocket linings, front and back pockets, Stiff Stuff for front and back, and front and back pieces:

On the front pocket lining, I aligned the front pocket template to the upper left corner.

Click on the picture to see where I placed the ten-inch mark of the ruler so I would know where to stop marking.  I moved the template away from the ruler so I could draw the line with an ultra-fine Sharpie marker.

Back to our regular program:
This picture shows that I used a marker to draw the bottom line and the inside line (right side in this picture).  After this, I reversed the template, left to right, and marked the upper right corner in the same way:

I  placed the back pocket template on the back pocket lining and immediately saw a problem. To check this out, I placed one ruler across the fabric to show where the fabric turns to form the bottom of the purse (2-1/2 inches). I placed another ruler to show how far from the bottom the pocket would go. The pocket angle was so steep that the pocket would only be three inches tall in the middle. Oops!

I re-cut the angle to raise the point, and thus the top of the shallow part of the pocket, by one inch. This shows the markings on the back pocket lining after that adjustment:

I placed the pocket lining pieces over the pocket pieces, right sides together, matching all edges as best I could.  I pinned the layered pairs of fabrics together at the corners and near both sides of the markings, about a half-inch away.

The next step was stitching, so I had to get the correct sewing machine needle.  I selected the Universal 70/10.

Here is how I store my sewing machine needles.  The pink hair tape (yes, that's what we call it!) shows that the top packet in each bin is the packet "in use" for that size.  Click for a better look:

I used a presser foot with a small hole to prevent the needle from trying to pull the fabric through the hole into the bobbin case.  Also, if I hear the needle punching through the fabric, I know it's time to put in a new needle:

Back to our regular program:
I steam pressed both pocket assemblies, especially the stitched seams. I aligned the quarter-inch mark of the ruler along the seam.  Notice where I put  the ten-inch mark of the ruler:

I cut off the excess fabric for both pockets, leaving a quarter-inch seam allowance:

While turning the pockets right side out, I steam pressed the seam allowances towards the lining.  Here is the front pocket, with the seam allowances being pressed  towards the lining::

Here is the back:

After completely turning the back pocket right sides out, I steam pressed the fold, but it still needed a little something:

Here is the back pocket showing  how I firm up a pressed fold.  I place the heavy, cold, aluminum yardstick over the pressed fold until the heat transfers out of the fabric into the yardstick. This is the reverse of setting wrinkles into garments left to cool inside a once-hot dryer:

Here is the front pocket showing a similar method of setting folds by placing cold metal over the hot fold:

Back to our regular program:
Here are the pockets showing how the pockets will seem to wrap around the purse.  The front pocket is on the left, and the back pocket is on the right:

I laid the front and back pieces on the Stiff Stuff (a Lazy Girl product - here), intending to fuse them together somehow, since the pattern calls for fusible batting.  I found a can of spray adhesive, but the directions call for protecting the surrounding area from the over-spray.  I don't have old newspapers - they don't come with the digital version of the news, imagine that!  I found it obvious that spraying on the back porch would not work well since the wind was blowing (Hard!) and I didn't want the adhesive to get on the table and the windows.  I decided to think about it and leave the pieces on the table overnight:

The next step is to finish the front and back assemblies.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Margo Handbag - Step 5

Step five is to prepare and cut out the contrast fabric.

The Margo Handbag pattern is designed to use four coordinating fabrics.  I found two fabrics that I like together, and I "don't wants no more."

Besides, when I bought my last two purses, I was told they were made with light-toned interior fabric so the contents could be readily seen, like this:

Here is the main fabric:

Here is the contrast fabric:

First, I steam pressed the contrast fabric and laid it out on the table:

After cutting one end of the fabric straight, I placed pattern pieces on the fabric to check the layout.  Here are the pieces for the front and back, front and back pockets, and insert sleeve:

The length of the big pieces is 15 inches, The small pieces are 4-3/4" by 11-1/2 inches.

I started by cutting across the fabric at the 12-inch mark for the front and back pieces.  Then I cut across the fabric at the 24-inch mark for the front and back pocket lining pieces.


Here is how I ensure that the ruler will be laid straight before I use it.  I go to the end of the fabric that's not near the numbers showing inches on the cutting mat.  I measure from the zero line and place something on the table to point to the correct measurement.  This picture shows that I put a bottle cap at the 24-inch mark:

The 24-inch mark is closer to the left side of the cutting table.  I want to cut from that side, so the edge of the ruler used with the rotary cutter is on the right side.  I stand at the end of the table by the numbers, I place the far end of the cutting edge of the ruler on the same line as the bottle cap.  Then I lay the ruler down with the near end of the cutting edge at the number 24:

Back to our regular program:

I cut off the selvage, made two cross cuts 15 inches apart, and made one more cross cut 11-1/2 inches away.  The last piece I cut into two strips 4-3/4" wide:

I cut the lining and inside pocket pieces in a similar fashion.  The lining pieces are 17 inches by 14 inches, and the inside pocket pieces are 17 inches by 10 inches.

The long cuts are 14 inches from the right side, then 10 inches from the first cut.  The cross cuts are 17 inches apart:

All the fabric pieces are paired with their pattern pieces, and are off the table.

The next step is to make the front and back pockets, and maybe more.

Margo Handbag - Step 4

Step four is to cut out the underpinnings.

This post is not showing you how I use the pattern pieces to plan where to cut, as I did in the previous step - here.

First, I cut two strips of woven interfacing for the straps:

Then I cut two pieces of woven interfacing for the lining:

After returning the interfacing fabrics to their rightful home, I cut two strips of batting for the handles:

I cut two pieces of Stiff Stuff (a Lazy Girl product - here), to strengthen the body of the purse:

Now the table has been cleared and I'm ready for the next step, which is to prepare and cut out the contrasting fabric.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Margo Handbag - Step 3

I last stated that step three is to prepare the fabric.  Well, that got changed a bit.

I finished making pattern pieces by making a template for the back pocket.  I used the front pocket template's angle as the angle for the back pocket, which will dip down in the middle.  Here is the back pocket template before trimming to half the width of the pocket piece:

Here is the final back pocket template.  The corner mark will actually go in the upper corner, in the same way the front pocket template is used:

Step three is to prepare and cut out the main fabric.

First, I pressed the fabric on the wrong side, up one side  then down the other:

Then I laid it out on the table so you can see how much there is and what it looks like:

I played with the pattern pieces to see how I wanted to cut it out.  I started by placing the strap pieces lengthwise, since I thought that would make the straps stronger:

That would chop up the fabric a bit, so I decided to lay the straps out crosswise:

I removed the pattern pieces and folded the fabric to one side of the table:

I pulled the fabric across the table until the cut end crossed over the zero line.  I also made sure the selvages were parallel to the grid:

I used my heavy, aluminum Shopsmith ruler and my rotary cutter to cut across the zero line:

I used the pattern pieces to remind me where to cut.  I saw that it would be 12 inches:

I removed the pattern pieces and cut 12 inches, all the way across the fabric:

I used the next pattern piece to see how far to cut:

... and again:

I put away the remaining fabric, and moved the smaller pieces out of the way.  I found the center of the pattern piece so I could place the fabric designs in a pleasing manner.  I decided to place the blue flower at the center top of the front:

For this piece, I cut at the 4-inch mark and the 19-inch mark:

Here are the pocket panels after cutting:

I put the pattern pieces on top of the fabric, and set them aside.  I used the handle pattern pieces to see how long to cut the handles:

The main fabric pieces have been set aside:

I only used "this much" fabric!

I am using only two fabrics for this purse, and I have so much of the second fabric that I will save that for last.

The next step is to cut out the supporting documents pieces, er, Margo's underpinnings!