Step Eight is to make the handles.
The idea of the assembly of the handles is to wrap the fabric around some batting and interfacing.
The instructions for the handles star with folding a long edge by one-half inch. I thought of three ways to do this, and I couldn't decide which method to use.:
- Measure with my hem gauge and pin the heck out of it.
- Measure with a Dritz Hemming plate, and use the iron to turn and press the fold.
- Lay my heavy ruler on the fabric, one inch away from the edge, and fold the raw edge to the ruler.
I think too much.
I asked some of my sewing friends and acquaintances for their methods, and I got more confused. At least two people had methods which would require a complete do-over of the handles.
One person reminded me that "the idea is to have a place to butt the batting against, and then encase it."
Oh, Light Bulb Moment, Thank You!
So, I folded the fabric strips in half, lengthwise. This did not require any measuring, but I did use lots pins:
I steam pressed the fold and let it cool under the ruler:
I opened out the fold and placed the fusible batting strip to one side of the fold:
I tried my best to get the batting as far into the fold as possible. I steam pressed to fuse the batting in place:
I was surprised to find that the batting did not actually make it tightly into the fold:
I centered the interfacing over the batting, and placed the assembly along the ruler on the ironing board to make sure it was straight.
I pressed this with steam, which partly removed the center fold. I folded the long, narrow edge around the batting and pinned well.
When I pin a long edge, I usually pin at an angle. In this example, when I press, I will be moving the iron from right to left, That's the same direction the pins are pointing, so I will be less likely to scratch the sole plate of the iron:
Back to our regular program:
I then wrapped the other side of the strip over the batting, as tightly as I could, and pinned it in place:
After a good press, I wrapped and pinned the last little width of fabric around the batting, as shown in the lower half of this picture:
After the last pressing, the last fold was tucked into the middle of the assembly:
Here are the straps, ready to be stitched:
I stitched along both strap edges, and then I stitched down the middle.
I placed the handles on the front by aligning them to the sides of the front pocket, then I pinned them in place. I used a quilting ruler to align the strap to the back of the purse before I pinned them into place:
Here is where I checked to see that the front and back handles lined up:
I basted the handles in place along the length of the handles for two to three inches. The handles are less likely to twist when stitched this way. the basting stitches can be removed later:
Back to our regular program:
After basting the handles on, I stitched across the ends of the handles as instructed. Here is the view of these stitches from the reverse side, and the basting, too:
Step Nine is to work on the lining assembly.