Monday, January 5, 2015

Finishing up the tote bag

Hello, everyone.

I have almost finished the tote bag for DD2. (It only lacks a few snaps...she doesn't think it needs many, but the snaps will also be stabilizing stitches to hold the batting in place inside.)

The inside pockets in place (before stitching.) 

Clipping the seam allowance on the curved seams. These seams were not cooperative at all, and I had to hand baste them.

Adding a reinforcement strip to the sides at the top

Assembled bag, posing with dummy

I decorated the outside pocket with some red embroidered daisies--detached chain stitch is our friend--because the black square just looked awkward and monotonous without something. I think I want to add a snap to the top of this pocket, too, so her grocery list won't fall out. (and so the batting will behave!)

Review of the project overall: the method used at Sew4Home was to make a bag without gussets, and box the lower corners to get some shape. They recommended to sew the batting and the two fabric layers together, right sides of the fabric together and batting on the outside of the stack, turn the sewn block right-side-out, and then sew the sides of the block together. The finished edges would be inside the bag. I'm not really nuts about this method.

I made the inside as a unit, the outside as a unit, the strap as a unit (with some interfacing in the strap), put the strap inside between the layers, the batting on the outside wrapped around it all and the lining inside it all (right sides of the fabric layers together) and sewed around the top edge except for the turning opening. Then I turned it, pressed at a low temperature to try and convince the edges to behave, and considered where to put snaps.

I don't think I am going to be a fan of using the batting as an interfacing without adding a step to quilt it all together. Maybe the felted-looking batting the ladies at Sew4Home used is better for these things, I don't know. I will in future just use regular interfacing on the outer layer to strengthen and stabilize it. That was what I did with the Aggie Bag (at least that's how I remember it anyway) and I think it makes a less bulky bag to tote around.