Sunday, June 22, 2014

Stella Sewalong Days1 & 2: Print, Cut, and Stabilize

*This blog post contains affiliate links.  I receive a percentage of the sale when you purchase through my affiliate link.

Welcome all new Swoon sewalongers and welcome back seasoned veterans.
If you would like to see the other Swoon sewalong, sclick here. The Stella sewalong will
be added to this page so you can always come back.

Let's get the party started.

If you haven't purchased the pattern, you may do so HERE.

  • 2 yards exterior fabric (home decor or quilting cotton)
  • 1.5 yards lining quilting cotton
  • 1.5 yards fusible interfacing (Craftfuse 808 for stiffer bag, Shapeflex 101 for softer bag)
  • 1 yard stiff fusible stabilizer (ex pellon Peltex 71F)
  • 2 yards fusible fleece (ex pellon Thermolam TP971F)
  • Two 1.5" D rings (or strap loops)
  • Two 1.5" Swivel snaps
  • 24" all purpose zipper (22" works as well)
  • 14" all purpose zipper
  • 9" zipper for interior zipper pocket (optional)
  • Two magnetic snaps
  • 2 packages pre-made piping or 5 yards homemade
  • Thread and other sewing instruments

24" bag zippers can be purchased from

D-rings or loops and swivel snaps can be purchased from
(I am not affiliated with Zipper Shop or Strapworks.)


1.  Print out the pattern. Do NOT select "fit to printable area".
ALWAYS print "actual size".

2.  Cut out all the pieces.
In addition to the printed pieces, you will also need to cut the following:
  1. Removable strap: 6" x 36" Cut 1 exterior, 1 interfacing
  2. Strap Connectors: 6" x 3" Cut 2 exterior
  3. Zippered pocket: 14" x 14" Cut 1 exterior
  4. Interior Zippered pocket (optional): 9" x 14" Cut 1 interior
  5. Zipper Interfacing: 2" x 16" Cut 1 interfacing
  6. Large Cargo Pocket: 9.5" x 7" Cut 1 exterior, 1 lining
  7. Small Cargo Pocket: 6.5" x 7": Cut 1 exterior, 1 lining
  8. Stiff Bottom:  8" x 18" Cut 2 stabilizer
I'll give you time to absorb all that.

For the additional cut list, I write the name and dimensions on slips of paper and then pin the paper to the fabric after I cut it out.  There are a LOT of Stella parts.  It really helps to label them!

You can cut all of these pieces out of the fabric and interfacing any way you like.  
Here is how I like to do it.

I cut the interfacing, stabilizer, and fleece first then adhere it to my yardage.

I get all my pieces that need interfacing (I used Craftfuse 808) and cut them all out.
Then I cut everything that needs fleece.

Some of the pieces will need more than 1 interfacing/fleece.
To save time, I fold the fleece up in half then fold it over to the side. 
Now I will get to pieces cut on the fold (see photo below).

I pin my pattern piece and cut.
Wamma lamma ding dong!  
Bunch of time saved.

If your main fabric is directional and you want both bottom/sides of your bag to face "up"
(in other words, not have one side of the bag with fabric upside down),
Then take the Bottom Panel pattern piece and place it down on the fold of your exterior fabric, but leave 1/2" of the fabric exposed on the fold (see picture where I'm pointing).
Pin the pattern piece down and cut it out.  Then cut along the fold.  You will have two Bottom Panels.  Now sew the bottom of those panels together with 1/2" seam allowance.  Press the seam open.  Voila-both sides will face up!
Your interfacing/fleece can be cut regular style on the fold.  Don't cut those with the extra 1/2".

Now for the stabilizer (Peltex).
Cut the handle pieces out of your fabric and the Peltex.  Apply the Peltex to each handle piece
as the picture below shows.  Obviously your Peltex is cut on the fold and will cover the entire handle piece.
Also with your Peltex, adhere the handle support strip to the top of each main exterior panel AFTER you adhere the craftfuse (interfacing) but BEFORE adhere the fleece.

Phew.  Exhausted yet?  This is why you have 2 days to cut and interface!
Take your break here, if you'd like.

Now that you are refreshed, adhere all of that interfacing (craftfuse) to the fabric as stated on the pattern pieces.

As you can see, I applied the Craftfuse 808 directly on my exterior yardage, then applied the fleece on top of the 808.  Then I cut everything out.
Not all pieces require interfacing and/or fleece, so be sure to follow exactly what the pattern pieces indicate.
****Only apply fleece to ONE of the exterior main panels.  The the other exterior main panel with interfacing only!
We have work to do with the other fleece main panel***
We are not fusing the stiff bottom piece right now.  Set it aside.

If you would like to make your own piping, here are tutorial links for how to make piping from continuous bias tape.
Part 2

Apply interfacing to the lining fabric as stated on the pattern pieces.

This is everything you should have.  I would highly encourage you to label all the pieces!

Wednesday we start sewing!