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 Eight 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.