Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Ultimate Travel Bag - Six Sewing Tips

As promised, sewing friends, here's a follow-up post on The Ultimate Travel Bag
Don't get me wrong, the instructions included with the pattern are top notch
they are very thorough and very easy to follow
I just have a few additional tips if you are interested:

TIP #1
byAnnie includes a sheet of cut apart labels for use when cutting all the components of this bag
for your sanity, it's pretty much a necessity to use those labels!
I scanned the sheet of labels and printed it on sticker paper
that made life so easy
all I had to do was cut each label as I cut the fabric,
then peel and stick to my fabric
remember to use your paper-cutting scissors for this step, not your fabric shears
-you're welcome-
TIP #2
if you, like me, can't find 1 1/2" strapping,
just use the wider strapping
use a clear 24" quilting ruler (or any other ruler you have handy),
mark the line where the strapping would measure 1 1/2 "
then take it to the serger and trim and finish that edge all in one

*an alternate method if you don't own a serger*
mark your strapping the same as above
cut it using your rotary cutter or sewing shears
run an overcasting stitch or a zig zag stitch along the edge

TIP #3
if you choose to straight-line quilt, rather than free-motion quilt
your lining, main fabric, and foam
use a walking foot with seam guide
I placed my seam guide at 1"

TIP #4
use binder clips instead of pins
where it is practical
it is much easier to hold those mesh and binding
layers together with a clip instead of pins
TIP #5
after attaching the binding to one side of the inner pockets,
flip the binding to the back side leaving about 1/8" hanging down longer than the front
the beauty of the mesh is that you can see through it while you are stitching the back down
stitch from the top side, using your edge stitch foot (Bernina foot #10)
let the guide of that foot ride snug up against the front fold
use a straight stitch

and you will get a beautifully stitched back side of that binding

TIP #6
Instead of buttons, use extra large snaps for the 'feet' on the bottom of the bag
they are metal
they won't break like some buttons
and they are very secure

I used the button sew on stitch on my sewing machine
I moved the needle to the far left position
and changed the stitch width to 5.9mm

the clear quilting foot (Bernina foot #29)
was the perfect choice for this step
I could see through it to line up my snap hole
and by moving the needle to the far left position,
that foot was the perfect width to hold down the edge of the snap
and stitch it on at the same time

it made quick work of all those snap holes
and trust me, those snaps are not going anywhere!

That's it, sewists
Go ahead
Get busy on your Ultimate Travel Bag
Then go somewhere fun
You deserve it!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane . . .

Fabric is Welcome Home Collection One by Jennifer Bosworth for Maywood Studio
Yes, sewing friends,
it's time to head back East to do some sight seeing,
visit family, and attend some professional training
This beauty will be accompanying me
It's the Ultimate Travel Bag pattern by byAnnie
Can I just say, Wow!
I am over-the-top pleased with this one
It's roomy, has lots of pockets, is sturdy, and meets airline carry on size restrictions
Looking down inside the bag, you can see the inner pockets are made of mesh
Love that because I can see at a glance what is in those pockets
No fumbling around in dark pockets
On one side there is a large zippered pocket
And the other side hosts two pleated pockets and a middle slip pocket
See the bottom of the inside?
That sleeve houses an acrylic base
No wimpy bag droop here!
The outside of the bag also has a host of practical storage compartments and features
There's a slip pocket on the back
and above that . . .

There's a hook and loop backed strap to slip over the frame of your roller luggage so you don't lose your new handmade beauty whilst rolling through the airport or the hotel or the train station . . .

When you're not using that handy strap, you can push it onto itself and that hook and loop tape keeps it neat and out of the way

In addition to carrying handles,
there is an adjustable shoulder strap
with a nicely padded sleeve that slips over the hardware to protect your shoulder

The shoulder strap is also removable
It is attached to each side of the bag with swivel hooks
The front pocket is a two-fer -
a slip pocket and a zipper pocket
all in one
my Basset was stalking me as I photographed
the inside of the bag on my back deck
can you find him in this photo?

Have you delved into the world of bag making?
If so, please share
It is such a gratifying endeavor
I love useful items!

If you plan to make the Ultimate Travel bag,
check back here for some upcoming posts
where I will share a few tips and tricks
that will hopefully make your experience
even more gratifying

And of course, if you have any questions or comments
please post them here or send me an email
I welcome feedback and I love to chat

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Celebrate and Save!

September 2016
Let's celebrate sewing this month!
My gift to you is free shipping on sewing supplies in my shop
Just use the code SEWINGMONTH2016

Fine print:
Free shipping ends at Noon on September 30, 2016
Offer good on all sewing supplies such as hardware, zippers, patterns, etc.
Good only on in-stock items
Does not include handmade items
U.S. Shipping only

Happy Sewing!!!

Monogram Accent Pillow

Happy September, sewing friends!
Today I'm sharing this quick little accent pillow that adds a personal touch to your home d├ęcor

I used a built-in font on my Baby Lock Alliance to add an embroidered initial
If you don't have an embroidery machine,
an applique letter or hand embroidered letter would be lovely
The steps to completing this little 12" x 12" home dec beauty are:

1.  Center & stitch out your monogram on a 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" cut of fabric

2.  Make or purchase piping at least 56" long

3.  Attach piping to all edges of the monogrammed fabric

4.  Sew one side of an invisible zipper to the bottom edge right along the piping
     (this is a smoother process if you use a zipper that is longer than your finished size)

5.  Cut the backing fabric 12 1/2" x 12 1/2"

6.  Sew the other half of the invisible zipper to the bottom of the backing fabric

7.  *IMPORTANT*  open zipper at least half way

8.  Close the zipper and layer bottom fabric right side to monogrammed fabric right side,
     matching all edges

9.  Cut ends of zipper (remember, it was longer than your finished pillow size) to match fabric

10. Stitch 1/2" seam around remaining three sides of pillow form (remember, the bottom edge has
      your zipper stitched in it, so no need to sew a seam)

11. Press seams to set stitches and turn pillow form through open zipper

12. Insert 12" pillow form and enjoy your new custom pillow
                                              - OR -
      I'd be glad to hand make your custom pillow, just click on the Etsy link

Back of pillow
Invisible zipper inserted at bottom of pillow

Okay, time to get started on the fall decorating!
Thank you so much for taking time to visit with me today
I love to read your comments, so don't be shy
If you sew one of these pillows (or anything else for that matter), please share photos