Thursday, January 16, 2014

Betty Sewalong Day 4: Assembling Exterior and Interior

Day 4 of Swoon Betty sewalong is here!  
Today we are inserting the main zipper and constructing the exterior and interior.

Let's get started!

Prepping the Side/Bottom Piece
1. Take your side/bottom exterior piece and add piping to the two short sides.
Same drill as before.  Cut 1/2" of cording out of each end.  Pin raw edges together.

2. Take your zipper tab pieces.  Fold in half matching the 2" edges and press.
Unfold and fold each raw edge to the crease.  Press.  Fold in half again and press.  Just like we did with the handle pieces.
Fold in half length wise and place in center of side/bottom edge, matching raw edges.

3.  Baste piping and zipper tab, following the piping stitching as close as possible.
Remember to change to your zipper foot, if you find that helpful.
Make sure to not run out of bobbin thread.  Sigh.  Happens all the time.
Repeat for other side of side/bottom piece.  
You can also add piping to the interior side/bottom piece. Personally, I like interior piping.  I think it looks professional and a bit of surprise when you open the bag.
Set that aside.

Installing Main Zipper

1. Take your two exterior top panels.  Pin them right sides together.
On the side that is straight (not the side that is curved) Mark 1" from the edge.

2.  Do the same to the other end of the top panels.

3.  Sew down the long straight edge at 1/2" seam allowance.  You will be sewing along the edge of the fleece, but not through the fleece.

4. Sew until you reach your 1" mark.  Backstitch.  Set your machine to the longest length 
(usually a 4) and baste until you reach your other 1" mark.

5. When you reach the other 1" mark, change your stitch length back to normal (2.5).
Backstitch and stitch to the end.  Backstitch as normal.

6.  Open up your top panels and give give the seam allowances a good pressing.
Seam allowance should be pressed open.

7. Take your zipper.  I like to stitch the top together.
Pull the zipper pull down a bit and run a few stitches above the zipper stop (the metal part).
This helps keep the zipper together.  Sometimes those ends like to run loose when you sew.
Move the zipper pull back to the top.

8. Pin the right side of the zipper to the wrong side of the top panels.  The zipper teeth will match up with the seam.  The zipper pull should match with one of the 1" marks.  Make sure it is on the basting side of the stitches but right at the 1" mark. Pin well (pin on wrong side).  Like with the exterior zipper, you can also use a washable glue stick to help hold the zipper in place.  Run the glue stick down each side of the zipper and put in place.  Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry, pin and sew.

This is what the right side will look like.

9. Flip to wrong side, sew down each side and ends of the zipper 1/4" away from the zipper teeth.
This stitching will be visible on the right side so go slow and be careful.

10.  When you get to an end, sew across and up the other side. 
You may need to stop once or twice to move the zipper pull.

11.  Now to remove the basting stitches.  Find those 1" marks again.  Take your seam ripper and remove the basting stitches from 1" mark to the other 1" mark.  Be careful to NOT rip the 1" stitching on either side!
If your zipper hangs off one end, cut if off 1/2" past the end stitching.
Set that aside and grab your interior top panels.

PS-Check out that line up! *whistle*

Interior Top Panels

1.  We are going to repeat most the steps above.  Once again, match the long straight sides of your two interior top panels.  Mark 1" from each side.
Stitch at 1/2" seam allowance to the first 1" marker.  Backstitch.  Change to the longest stitch length and sew until you reach the second 1" mark.  Change your stitch length back to normal.  Backstitch, sew to end and backstitch again.
Press seam allowance open. 

2. Remove basting stitches. Set aside.

Making Exterior and Interior Loops

1.  Take exterior top panels and exterior side/bottom piece.  Match raw ends on one side. 

2.  Following the piping stitches, sew one side of top panel and side/bottom piece.

3. Press seam allowance down towards side/bottom piece. Flip over to right side.

4.  I like to pin the seam allowance down so it does not shift while sewing, but you don't have to. I think I'm an over pinner.
Sew 1/4" below the piping, on the side/bottom piece, catching the seam allowance.

5.  Match the other raw edges of your top panel and side/bottom piece and repeat the steps above to create a loop.
6.  Repeat for the lining top panel and side/bottom pieces.

You will have this.

Assembling the Bag

If you are wanting an interior zipper pocket in addition to the open pocket, take the lining main panel piece that does not have the pocket.  Follow the same instructions as for the exterior zipper pocket, except make the zipper horizontal instead of vertical and making the zipper rectangle length 9" to match your 9" zipper. If would you like more detailed instructions for this step, contact me or ask on the Fan Page.

1.  Fold your loop in half, matching the side seams.  Mark the top and bottoms on both sides.  This is to find the middle.

2. Here is my bottom.  I put a pin to mark mine.

3.  And the top, you can see the pins on either side. Do the same for your lining loop.

4.  Take your exterior and lining main panels.  Fold in half to find the middle. Mark if needed. 
I put pins on the top and bottom.

5.  Take one exterior main panel and the exterior top panel/side loop. With right sides together, match the top of the main panel with the middle of the top panel.  Pin. Here is where those markers come in handy!
Match the bottom of the main panel with the bottom middle of the bottom loop.

6.  Pining the bag together can be tricky, so hang with me.
Start at the top of your bag. My finger is pointing to the center we just pinned. Going to the right, pin the pieces together until you get to the curve.  Go back to the center and pin to the left until you get to the curve.  

7.  Turn the bag upside down and do the same on the bottom of the bag.  Starting at the center you pinned in step 5, pin to the right until you get to the curve. Then pin to the left of the center until you reach the curve.

8.  Now to pin the curves. I typically start were I left off at the bottom right and work my way to the top.  Pin the curves well. I got lucky and this side came together very nicely for me.

9. However, on the other side, I had some slack.  If this happens, unpin a few pins around the area and ease the slack in.

10.  Pull and man handle the bag until you get it smooth.

Oh yes!

11. Following the piping stitches, sew the main panel and side/bottom loop.

12.  Flip it right side out and examine your work.

13.  Bummer! I had one area that didn't catch in the stitching.  

14.  If that happens to you, turn it wrong side out again, remove a few stitches and re-stitch it.
Repeat with other side of main panel.  Before sewing the other side, you might want to unzip your zipper a bit so you can turn your bag right side out.

15.  Repeat these instructions for the lining pieces, sewing with 1/2" seam allowance.

16.  Trim your seam allowances and notch the bottom curves of exterior and interior bags.

There you have it!  Beautiful exterior and interior bags!
Tomorrow will be a quick day as we only have to sew the interior into the exterior!

Please contact me if you have any questions!