Monday, May 1, 2017

Sew Sweetness Contest 2017, my entries

I am sure you've seen I am raving about the Baker Street Bag, by Sew Sweetness and how I was trying to make a fair amount of them to enter in her awesome contest. But more than that I wanted to learn to make the pattern, and make it well. I've done that thanks to having some free time to schedule in a few days of solid sewing. I wanted to share some of what I've been up with this contest in mind. Here are the last four I was entering, I did the previous entry on the Animals bag, and my friend;'s daughter's bag, the green medallion one, but I added another Animals bag, (didn't enter it as I entered the first one-this is the third) because I wanted to have the best bag I could make. It was the last one my son and I made together yesterday, on the final day of the contest being open.

So, first we worked on the straps and connectors. I lightly glued the edges down with a glue stick, that helps keep them stabilized when I am top stitching them, my son took these two photos for me so I could show you what it's like when we do this:

After my hardware arrived, new D rings, lobster clips and slider buckles, we went to town and got the four straps and connectors sewnusing my blind hem foot:

Next up were the linings & exteriors of the bags:

Next are the zipper panels, tedious, but they make the bag and were the feature that made me want to make them. I hand baste them, because whenever I pin them they get warped and wavy. Here's the way I do them:

Next was the adding of the recessed zipper panels to the lining panels. This is the only time I use pins in the bags, the chips just can't work, but ball pointed pins surely do:

It's hard on this next part, but clipping the seams to release them really does make all the difference, as does sewing from the gusset side up. Like you can sort of see on this one, I apologize for the dark photos, but I think you can see what I mean by clipping them to ease the fabric around the curve.

When you do the lining you have to leave one side with an 8" gap for turning it right side out. You take this part, and put it over the exterior which you have right side showing. So right sides are touching. You baste it down, and then turn it using this opening. You really need to back stitch a few times on both sides of this opening to ensure you don't tear the stitching out when turning the bag:

Then you close this opening carefully, one step I didn't photograph, I clip it then sew it closed. Then you manipulate the bag to be the way it will look, maybe give it a pressing if you desire, and from there you can clip it and then do the oh so important top stitching:

I hope you enjoyed seeing the construction photos, I really enjoyed making all 10 of these I did in the past month. Up until now I had three bags under my belt, not counting all the denim upcycled ones I did in 2013. This are a whole new level of bag making. And I couldn't be more pleased. I hope I win something, but I am just happy to have learned new techniques and gotten better at making these. So I already feel like a winner. I hope you like the way the bags came out!

The last Animal bag is how I'll leave you this time. So very pleased with how well it came out. My Singer 201-2 is a power house, a little oil, a little cleaning and it runs like the day it was made. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Twin Baker Street Bags

I learned a lot when I was making the third Baker Street Bag, a free pattern on Craftsy by Sew Sweetness. I had watched a video of a talented bag maker, Jessica Cruzan, owner of Sew De Kine, from her Facebook sewing group where she was demonstrating how to get around curves in a bag. I had been sewing from the lining side on top, gusset side down. I had such trouble too. My gussets were just not straight on the first two. You can sort of see the seam on the back of this bag and it is much straighter than others I'd done up to that point.

Third one I did, it was almost perfect! Because I did it with the gusset side on top, slightly clipped the edges to accommodate the curve and I was thrilled with the results. I really like this pattern and will be making a few more before I call it quits and return to quilt land. I should have taken a photo of it on the machine, and I didn't this time. Next time though, for sure!

The next thing I leaned was that you really should interface the heavier fabrics. I had heard and even said after hearing, you don't have to interface upholstery fabric or denim, but I am not going to practice that any longer. I will do them like this, cutting the interfacing out of the seam allowances.

That is Craft Fuse 809 on the front, and sides, with fusible fleece on top of it. The bottom is Peltex 71F and you really cannot sew through that stuff, this is something I learned in the Kennedy bag, but didn't do on the Baker Bags until the 4th one you can see above. It stands up and holds its shape so much better too. I'll be doing it this way from now on. This is the bottom of the Kennedy bag: Craft Fuse 809 to the edge and then the Peltex 71F on the bottom.

The crafting clips I have really do help with bag making, in all kinds of ways, from the zipper panels, to the final top stitching prep. I highly recommend them from Amazon. They are worth the ten dollars for 100. I really found them indispensable when working with the denim straps and making the strap connectors for my adjustable strap.

I only use pins now for the lining panel to be sewn to the zipper panel. Two ball pointed pins and I am set and can sew the seam I need to and then be good to go.

But yes, I did make two identical bags, sewing them in a batch made it much easier. I have a third in these fabrics cut because I want to use the proper interfacing now on it and use it for myself. I am sending the good one off to a dear friend and she will love it!

If you have any doubt about the difference interfacing can make see this photo, the one on the right is my friend's purse, the one I posted the inside of with the interfacing. It holds its shape nicely and stands up on its own much better than my current purse, the third Baker Street Bag I made, on the left. It motivated me to cut a third in these fabrics, so I can have as nice of a purse as I made for my friend.

Hope you enjoyed this blog entry on the Baker Street Bag. I will probably do one more post on this pattern when I get the next three or so made. Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Baker Street Bags: Mastering the pattern

I wanted to show how I am progressing in my bag making, here's my first Baker Street bag, a free pattern on Craftsy by Sew Sweetness. I made the Kennedy bag, but this one is one I'll probably use more now. It's a recessed zipper and I am finally getting confident in doing those thanks to Sara Lawson's great pattern directions. Without further comment I'll just photo bomb you with the bags in order, and on the third one, progression photos.

Hand basted zipper panel:

Birthing hole for the bag: 

And the finished bag!

Best advice I can offer on this one, not just go slowly around the curves, but to clip them, it really does help and my animals one is the best so far because I did clip them. Really happy with it. Thank you for checking out my Baker Street Bag blog post. I really had fun with these and will be making two more with the denim gussets. I did them up in a batch, along with the linings for a second one like this for my dear friend Lisa C. I know she'll love it and I couldn't help but to start on it and one for her sweet daughter. I am blessed by her friendship over the years. Thanks for coming by Sight Unsewn and I hope you try this pattern! It's a quick and fun bag to sew!