Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Tote Bag with Plain Pockets

From Sewn Tote Bags
I made a tote bag for DH, and added two plain pockets to one side. To copy this pocket method, here's what you need:
  • for each pocket, cut a 6" x 6" square of fabric
  • My tote bag pattern - replace those pocket instructions with these instructions below
Each pocket piece is serged on opposite edges. One serged edge is turned under 1" and hemmed. The other serged edge is turned under and pressed.

The pocket pieces are sized to be stitched into the straps. The straps are first stitched onto the tote bag along the outer edges, leaving the inner edges free. Each pocket is placed on the bag so that the raw edges will be enclosed by the straps.

The first pocket is placed about 4" from the top hem edge of the tote bag. It is basted along the sides and stitched firmly across the bottom of the pocket. Do not stitch through the straps at this point.

The next pocket is placed at least 1" below the previous pocket, and basted and stitched in the same way. Additional pockets are attached in the same way. The bottom of the last pocket should be at least 1" above the top edge of the side cutout.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tote Bag Tutorial

Click on this picture to see all the pictures that go with this tutorial:
Sewn Tote Bags
Cut the following pieces:
  • One piece of light-to-mid weight bag fabric 20" x 32" and one piece of woven fusible interfacing 20" x 30". If you use a heavy-weight bag fabric, you may omit the interfacing. The 20" edges of the fabric are the top hem edges, and the 32" edges of the fabric are the side edges.
  • One strap of 1" wide woven cotton webbing 94".
  • Pocket: One piece of bag fabric 11" x 7" and two pieces of elastic cut to 5".
To make the pocket, serge the 7" edges. Turn one serged edge 2" to the wrong side, and press in place. Turn the other serged edge 1" to the wrong side, and press in place. Fold wrong sides together with the 1" hem on top, with the fold 1" from the other folded end, and press in place. Trim a tiny wedge off each pocket side, starting 1/2" from the outer edge of the fold, tapering to nothing at the upper edge of the pocket assembly. To form the elastic casings, stitch down the serged edges and stitch again 1" from the fold of the deeper hem. Insert one piece of 5" elastic into each casing, aligning the elastic to the fold edge of the casings, and zigzag the elastic ends into place. Baste the pocket sides together.

Steam the wrong side of the interfacing to the wrong side of the bag fabric, leaving 1" bag fabric showing at each end.

Serge finish all edges of the bag fabric, trimming off only excess interfacing.

Fold the bag in half so that the ends of the interfacing align at the sides. The fold forms the bottom center line. To form the bottom corners of the bag, cut out the corners of the bag at the fold 3" into the bag from the sides and 2.5" into the bag from the fold.

Lay out the bag piece, right side up. Place a pin at the center of each top hem edge. Place one pin 2.5" to either side of the center pins, then remove the center pins. The remaining pins are 5" apart.

Place a pin at the center of each cut-out at both sides. To show the bottom center line of the bag, lay a ruler across the bag, from side to side, lined up to one side of the side center pins.

Place a pin at the center of the strap. Without twisting the strap, overlap the cut ends by 1". Pin the cut ends of the strap together, placing the pin 1/2" from both cut ends.

Align the middle of the strap to the outside of the top hem edge pins on one side, aligning the center pin to the bottom center line of the bag. Stretch the strap, and pin in place at each top hem edge. Fasten the strap to the bag with one pin 3" from each top hem edge. Secure with more pins between these two pins.

Without twisting the strap, align the strap to the outside of the end pins on the other side. Align the pin at the strap-end overlap to the bottom center line of the bag. Stretch the strap, and pin in place at each top hem edge. Fasten the strap to the bag with one pin 3" from each top hem edge. Secure with more pins between these two pins.

Remove the pin where the strap ends overlap. For the section of strap that goes under the other end of the strap, edge stitch starting 3" from the top hem edge of the bag, turning twice at the cut end of the strap, and ending 3" from the top hem edge of the bag.

Tuck the upper strap piece's raw edge under so that the raw edge is enclosed, and pin in place. Edge stitch the upper strap section along the outside edge, starting 3" from the strap's fold, turning twice at the fold, and ending about 3" from the top hem edge of the bag.

Edge stitch along the outer edge of the strap on the opposite side, starting 3" from one top hem edge and ending 3" from the other top hem edge.

On the part of the bag where both inner strap edges are free, place the top edge of the pocket 4" from the top hem edge, centering the pocket between the straps, and pin in place. Baste the side edges of the pocket in place, stitching the bottom edge of the pocket securely to the bag.

Stitch all remaining strap edges to the bag, ending 3" from the top hem edges. The inner edges of the strap will encase the raw edges of the pocket.

Stitch the sides by folding the bag right sides together, aligning top edges of interfacing at the top and bottom of each side. Pin in place and stitch a 1/2" seam. Press the side seams flat, then press them open.

Make the bottom corners by aligning the bottom edges of the sides to the bottom center line, and pin in place. Stitch with a 1/2" seam. Serge the raw edges of this seam and thread the serger tails through the seam.

Turn the top hem to the inside 1" and pin in place. Topstitch this hem in place, avoiding the straps.

To secure the straps to the top of the bag in each of four locations, stitch along the inner edge of the strap, overlapping the previous stitching, up to and across the top hem edge, and ending by overlapping the previous stitching on the outer edge of the strap.

Please, if you have any questions or suggestions, let me know!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Today's Sewing - KS2806 shorts

I used the skirt of an old dress to create a pair of shorts using the KwikSew pattern 2806. I have not taken a picture of the end product, but hope to do so after a couple more loads of laundry. I took pictures of the construction process.

I made up the pocket pattern, and I hope to publish its drafting instructions soon.

Please click on the picture:
ks 2806

I also cut the fabric for two tote bags for my DH. It's a start!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Special Projects - Tote bags!

I haven't posted in a few days because of a surprise project. The green tote bag was made in March, and all subsequent pictures show the latest tote bag being made. Please click on the picture:

Sewn Tote Bags

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here's the skirt I made on March 8 using Simplicity 4189:



... and here are the towels I made last week from a linen tablecloth I found at a yard sale for $2:



There are six towels, but when I took the picture, one was already in the laundry and another was hanging on the stove handle.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Sewing Mojo Came Back - again!

I had traced a pattern for a top, but it seems like it was forever ago. I finally decided to cut it out tonight. It's New Look 6828:

From nl 6828
Here's a picture of the top being cut out:



I had enough left over to make a skirt. I realized that the knit fabric is kind of thin - maybe it's a mesh fabric - and that it would have to have an underskirt to prevent see-through. Since it's a red-and-white print paisley, I found a white knit to go under the skirt. I cut a rectangle of the white for the underskirt and used Simplicity 9265 to cut the overskirt. I will probably stitch the two parts together at the waist, as I do not anticipate any future skirts needing an extra layer. I will have to think about that.