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CONVERTIBLE SLING BAG

Go out in style with this fashionable sling bag! This triangle-shaped sling bag sports a dual pocket front and the versatile zippered shoulder strap converts to either a one-shoulder or two-shoulder carrying strap. The bag comes with two zippered storage compartments and the aforementioned mobile phone pouch pocket.

Dimensions: approximately 15″ high / 14″ wide / 6″ deep with a 40″ [1 m] separating shoulder strap; an 8” [20 cm] zip front pocket and an 11″ [28 cm] deep front pouch. [38 cm x 35.5 cm x 15 cm]

Construction Method: Turned finish – this method may be recognized by noting the lack of machine-stitching that is visible at points of assembly on the exterior side of the bag except for topstitching. This is possible by placing the material, or parts, face to face, machining and turning right-side out. It is the most commonly used assembly process. The back section has a turned-edge finish. Skiving the seam allowance pares down the thickness of leather, along the outer edge to reduce bulk and/or allow for turning. A pocket lining is used to cover the interior of the front pouch for added support and a neat appearance.

Material Used: tanned cowhide leather with corded piping; 100% cotton pocket lining.

Design Tip: Other kinds of leathers may be used for this bag design as long as you select a fairly light-weight (think 2 to 3 ounce average, 1/16 inch thick) choice such as goatskin or pigskin. There are also many synthetic choices as well as durable woven fabrics in the marketplace that may be “easier” to handle other than genuine leather. In all cases, you may have to check that your sewing machine will be able to sew through several layers of the fabric before you proceed with making up this bag.

You will need:

  • 1 pair of metal square buckles, 1” dia. [25 mm]
  • 1 pair of metal grommets, ” dia. [10 mm]
  • 1 nylon coil separating zipper, 28” long [71 cm]
  • 1 nylon coil closed zipper, 14” long [35 cm]
  • 1 nylon coil closed zipper, 8” long [20 cm]
  • 1 cowhide or garment leather skin, 4-10 oz. (approx. 8 sq.ft)
  • yd. [0.3 m] of pocket lining, 24” wide [60 cm]
  • 2½ yds. [2.4 m] of pre-cut fusible interfacing, 1” wide [25 mm]
  • 1½ yds. [1.4 m] of cable cord, ¼” dia. [5 mm]
  • 1 spool of polyester heavy-duty thread
  • Double-sided mounting tape, 10 mm. wide
  • Leather punch
  • Leather brayer
  • Leather skiving knife
  • X-acto knife
  • Kraft paper

PATTERN

Draw a rectangle and label it, A-B-C-D.

A-B = 21″ [53.5 cm].

A-C = 14″ [35.5 cm].

Square down from C and square across from B to locate D.

D-E = 6″ [15 cm].

Square across to locate F.

B-D-E-F is the base of the bag.

Find the mid-point of line A-C; label point G.

Square down from G to locate H.

A-G-H-F represents the front section of the bag.

1 from G = 4″ [10 cm].

Join F to 1 with a straight line.

2 from G = 3″ [7.5 cm].

Square 3 from 2 = 4-1/2″ [11.5 cm].

Square 4 from 3 = 3/8″ [1 cm].

Join F and 4 with a straight line.

5 from 2 = 2″ [5 cm].

6 from 5 = 4″ [10 cm] or half the desired zipper length (optional)

7 from 6 = 3/8″ [1 cm].

This is the front pocket with inset zipper.

Square down from 7 to locate 8 on base.

9 from 8 = 1″ [2.5 cm].

This is the buckle placement.

1-G-H-F is the bag front.

G-C-E-H represents  the back section of the bag.

10 from G = line G-1.

Join E to point 10 with a straight line.

Draw a 45º angle line from E; on this tangent line measure 1″ [2.5 cm] from E.

Arc a curve to pass through this point and lie on lines E-10 and E-H.

Measure the length of 10-E + half of B-D.

Measure this distance from 10 to curve at E to H (and beyond) to locate point 11.

Join G to 11 with a straight line. Square from this line (12) to blend smoothly into curve at E.

Square from G a curve to meet point 10.

13 from G = 2″ [5 cm].

square 14 from 13 = 1″ [2.5 cm] for the grommet placement.

G-10-E-12 is the bag back.

Draw a rectangle and label, H-I-J-K.

H-I = 1-F.

Square down from J and square across from I to locate K.

H-J = half of B-F.

M is the midpoint of line H-J.

Join M to K with a straight line.

For the front portion of the gusset, round off the point at K with a curved arc (as shown).

Square at M on line M-K to line H-M to locate N.

N-M-K-I is the gusset of the bag.

Draw a square and label O-P-Q-R.

O-P and O-Q = 6″ [15 cm].

This is the collar ring (neck) for the bag.

Trace off the following sections on pattern paper:

BASE = F-E-D-B.

COLLAR = O-Q-R-P.

SIDE GUSSET = N-M-K-I.

BACK = G-10-E(rounded)-12.

Fold pattern paper in half and align centerline (G-H) on foldline:

FRONT = 1-G-H-F.

FRONT POCKET = 3-2-H-F-4

Add seam allowance to all pattern pieces except for top of gusset pieces and cut out pattern.

CUTTING

Tip: Use a rotary cutter or X-acto knife, along with a metal ruler to cut leather.

         Remember to “flip” pattern pieces to mirror image.

FRONT – cut 1X leather

FRONT POCKET – cut 1X leather

BACK – cut 2X leather (mirrored)

FRONT GUSSET – cut 2X leather (mirrored)

BACK GUSSET – cut 2X leather (mirrored)

NECK COLLAR – cut 1X leather

SHOULDER STRAP – cut 2X leather ( 40” long x 3” wide) [100 cm x 7.5 cm]

BUCKLE STRAP – cut 2X leather (10” long x 3” wide) [25.5 cm x 7.5 cm]

POCKET LINING – cut 1X pocketing

PIPING TRIM – cut 2X leather (approx. 24” [61 cm] long x 1½” [4 cm] wide

ASSEMBLY

For all pieces: Bevel the seam allowance with the leather skiving knife on each leather piece to reduce any bulk when turning.

a) Small Parts Preparation

Making Leather Piping with a Cord Filler – To make up, cut 2 strips of leather to desired length and twice the width of your filler, plus seam allowance. (I used a 1/4″ cable cord inside the piping as a filler).

Take advantage of double-sided seam tape. One piece on the edge, and one piece on the center. Remove the release paper and stick the cording on center without any twists. Here again, this is the real trick to making up piping trim successfully (try to do this some other way and see what happens). Then, fold the leather straight over and press the edges together.

Now lets sew it together. A cording foot is one of my favourite tools for this job when I make it in leather but you may use a roller foot as well. The leather and filler are controlled by the seam tape as they feed between the foot and the guide for a straight tight seam. Set piping aside.

Making Buckle Strap – To make up, cut 2 strips of leather to desired length and twice the width of the inner diameter of your buckle, plus seam allowance. (I used a 1” diameter metal buckle with a prong).

Once again, make use of the double-sided seam tape. One piece of tape on each long edge, and fold each side towards center. Remove the release paper and stick the wrong sides of the leather strip on center without any twists. Press the folded edges with a nylon hand brayer to set the fold.

Topstitch around the perimeter of the strap. A roller foot is my favourite tool for this job when I make it in leather. Use a leather punch to make a hole in the leather for the buckle’s prong. Attach buckle into place and secure it by stitching across the ends of the strap. Repeat for second buckle and set aside.

Make Shoulder Strap – To make up, cut 2 strips of leather to desired length and twice the finished width of inner diameter of the buckle, plus seam allowance. Bevel the seam allowances with the skiving knife on each leather strips to reduce any bulk when turning.

Cut 2 lengths of narrow Knit-fuse® interfacing (I used pre-cut tape sold by the roll) equal to the length of the leather straps. Iron on fusible interfacing to back of leather strips on one side of center.

I know this is contrary to what you have heard of leather care yet you CAN heat press leather. Now, this may seem like the exact opposite of good care treatment, but “fusible knit interfacing” that tailors and seamstresses use, will add body to thin layers without stiffening the leather. It has an extremely thin layer of dried adhesive on one side of it which you activate with heat without much pressure.
Now here’s the part that the leatherworks will get up in arms about — fuse some of the Knit-fuse
® to the leather, meaning you stick it under a press (like a 30″ long iron, with the option of using steam), sandwiched in-between layers of brown paper (I used brown kraft paper aka parcel wrap). So the sandwiched layers are: bottom of the press, then brown paper, then leather (FACE SIDE DOWN), then fusible interfacing, then the top layer of the brown paper, then the top of the press. The sandwich is heat-pressed for say 10 seconds (you might want to trial-test your timing on a scrap piece). You can also do this operation using a hand-iron but you will need to pin the leather to an ironing board to prevent it from shifting, and use a low-setting on your steam iron. Ok, that said, I wonder if anybody out there wants to scream at me that applying heat to leather is not advisable? Do remember that the grain side of the leather is not ever touching a hot surface — just the back side gets the heat. Although this leather isn’t thick, do not rest your iron for more than 10 seconds at a time, keep it moving in a up-and-down direction. (That is why the 30” press is a better option; the leather will not move). Most importantly, allow the fixed leather to cool down completely before going to the sewing machine.
This operation is done frequently in mass-production, and it does not damage the leather, and the fusible interfacing adheres marvellously to the wrong side/suede side of the leather, lending just the amount of body that one would want to stabilize the shoulder straps to apply the long zipper.

Make use of the double-sided seam tape to attach the long separating zipper, with one piece of tape on each long edge of the zipper tape. Allow approximately 10 inches from the end of each leather strip and align zipper to edge of leather. Remove the release paper and stick the zipper, FACE SIDE UP, to the FACE SIDE of the leather strips which has the applied interfacing. Sew in place, using a zipper foot attachment. Turn in the sewn edge and press the seam with a nylon brayer to set the fold. Use more double-side seam tape to hold the rolled seam down.

Next, turn in the seam allowance on the opposite edge of the leather strap and press it down using the hand roller and double-sided tape.

Fold the leather in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, and align the turned-edge along the zipper teeth. Use double-sided seam tape to keep the layers together. Press with hand roller to neaten the turning.

Topstitch around the perimeter of the shoulder strap, using the roller foot attachment for this job when making it in leather. Use a leather punch to make several evenly-spaced holes in the leather, on the free end of the shoulder strap, for the buckle. Repeat this method for other side of the separating zipper and set aside.

b) Front Pocket Construction

Cut 2 strips of fusible interfacing tape equal to the width of the front pocket piece. Using the same procedure described above for heat pressing leather, iron 1 strip of fusible interfacing to the top edge of the front pocket; and the second, over the zipper opening on the back of the leather.

Mark the placement of the zipper opening onto the back side, using tailor’s chalk. Carefully cut out the outline of the opening, with the aid of a metal ruler and sharp X-acto knife.

Align the zipper, FACE SIDE UP, from the back of the leather so that the zipper is centered in the cut-out window. Use double-sided seam tape to secure the position.

Topstitch around the outline of the opening to attach the zipper, using the roller foot attachment.

Layer the front pocket and the pocket lining, with FACE SIDES together, matching the top edge of the pocket. Stitch lining in place. From FACE SIDE of lining, understitch lining to leather.

On the wrong side of the leather, lightly score a line parallel to this seam, 1-inch away [2.5 cm]. Fold leather on the scored line and turn under facing. With FACE SIDE UP, edgestitch along top of folded edge of pocket. Machine-baste sides of front pocket with lining. Set aside.

c) Gusset Construction

Take 1 front and 1 back of the gusset pieces and lay them with FACE SIDES together. Stitch center seam and press seam open with hand roller. Grade one of the seam allowances and fold the wider seam allowance over the graded one. With FACE SIDE UP, edgestitch along the center seam to catch the seam allowances underneath the layers. Set aside.

Take the remaining pair of gusset pieces and attach closed zipper in the center seam. Do this by, taping the zipper, FACE SIDE DOWN to the center seam on the FACE SIDE of the leather and from the bottom of the seam. Sew in place, using a zipper foot attachment. Turn in the sewn edge and press the seam with a nylon brayer to set the fold. Use more double-side seam tape to hold the rolled seam down. With FACE SIDES UP, topstitch on both sides of the zipper to secure, using the roller foot attachment to prevent drag on the leather. Set aside.

d) Back Construction

Take the pair of back pieces and lay them with FACE SIDES together. Stitch center seam and press seam open with hand roller. With FACE SIDE UP, edgestitch along both sides of the center seam to catch the seam allowances underneath.

On the back of the leather, mark the placement points for the grommets. Iron on a small square of fusible interfacing at these 2 points, as directed above, to stabilize the area.

Using a leather punch, make a hole at each location (if the hole is too small for the stem of the grommet, carefully clip into the outline of the hole to release it slightly). From the FACE SIDE, push a grommet into each hole and secure, following manufacturer’s directions.

e) Body Construction

Lay the Front Pocket, FACE UP onto the Front section of the bag. Match the bottom corners of the Front Pocket to the bottom corners of the Front (at point F) and align the raw edges at the sides to create a slight ease at the top of the pocket (the top edge of the pouch will bow slightly). Machine-stitch the Front Pocket to the Front piece.

With FACE SIDES together, layer the Base piece on top of the Front section and match the long seam.

Machine-stitch the seam and press seam open with hand roller. Grade the seam allowance of the Base piece and fold the wider seam allowance over the graded one. With FACE SIDE UP, edgestitch along the seam on the Base piece to catch the seam allowances underneath the layers.

With FACE SIDE UP, align and match piping trim to outer edges (sides) of the Front-Base section.

Machine-baste in place.

With FACE SIDES together, align and match a gusset to each side of the Front-Base section. The gusset with the zipper is located on the right-hand side of the bag. Sew each seam following the stitch line of the piping trim. Clip into the seam allowance if necessary to release any puckering of the seam

At top of each gusset, fold the gusset, with FACE SIDES together, and sew across top with a slant 1/4-inch seam allowance (this seam will be hidden inside the bag).

Three sides of the bag are complete. Once again, making use of the double-sided seam tape, tape the open edge of the partially completed bag. Remove the release paper and stick the wrong sides of the leather edge (seam allowance) toward the inside of the body, without stretching the leather (you may clip the seam allowance if needed). Press the folded edges with the hand brayer to set the fold.

Repeat this step on the back section. You will definitely need to clip the curved seam allowance at the top of this section and at the corners. (I often find it easier to use shorter lengths of tape on curved seams for more control when turning the leather).

Now, carefully match and butt the folded edges together (FACE UP), align the seam along the outer edge of the back section (I find paper clips or clothespins are ideal for holding the layers together).

Before edgestitching the layers together, slip the shoulder strap between the 2 grommet holes, and center-align the shoulder strap over the centerback seam with the zipper FACE SIDE UP. Machine-stitch the curved seam to the Front section, tucking in the gusset tops on each side.

Along the bottom edge of the back section, locate the placement positions for the buckles. Slip the bucket strap between the 2 layer at each location (the buckle prong should face up). Edgestitch the outer edge of the bag along the sides and bottom.

f) Finishing

Make up the Neck Collar – Start by, taping 2 opposite edges on the wrong side of the Neck Collar piece. Remove the releasing paper and turn under the edges (seam allowance). Press the folded edges with the hand brayer to set the fold.

With FACE SIDES together, fold the Collar piece in half lengthwise and sew up the raw edges. Press the seam open with the hand roller. Turn Collar piece right-side-out.

Now, fold the Collar piece width-wise, with FACE SIDES OUT, and align the folded edges together. Tape open side close, if desired. Edgestitch along the turned edge to create a collar ring.

Slide the Neck Collar onto the Shoulder Strap and pull it down to the end of the Shoulder Strap (as shown in the front view of the bag) to cinch up the top of the bag. Alternatively, you may leave the Collar off and allow the top of the bag to lie flat (as shown in back view of the bag).

Make a Grip Handle – Construct a leather “cord” by folding a scrap piece of leather over a cord filler and stitch it as a leather cord. Thread each end of the leather through the grommet holes. Knot each end of the leather cord to prevent the grip from sliding out (do this by going into the cavity of the bag via the side zipper opening).

Attach the loose ends of the Shoulder Strap to each of the buckles. (if you plan to adjust the Shoulder Straps often, you might want to reinforce the holes in the strapping with metal eyelets).

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PAILLETTE EVENING BAG

A little sparkle for a night out.

Dimensions: approximately 15 cm high X 30 cm wide X 5 cm deep

Construction Method: Turned finish – this method may be recognized by noting the lack of machine-stitching that is visible at points of assembly on the exterior side of the bag. This is possible by placing the material, or parts, face to face, machining and turning right-side out. It is the most commonly used assembly process.

Material Used: 100% polyester-backed paillette fabric, 112 cm wide; 100% polyester sateen lining; 100% polyester Pellon® fleece interlining, medium-weight; 100% polyester Knit-fuse® interfacing.

You will need:

  • 30 cm of paillette fashion fabric, 112 cm wide
  • 30 cm of sateen lining, 112 cm wide
  • 30 cm of needle-punched fleece interlining, 56 cm wide
  • 30 cm of knit-fuse interfacing, 75 cm wide
  • 1 metal purse frame with double loops, 30 cm x 6 cm
  • 1 metal purse chain, 50 cm
  • 2 metal jumprings, 5-6 mm dia.
  • 1 spool of coordinating thread
  • 1 tube of clear-set bonding adhesive
  • kraft paper

PATTERN

The size of the frame determines the size of this evening bag.

The width is equal to the width of the purse frame. The height is equal to half the width and the depth is 1/6 of the width. The dimensions of the purse frame used is 30 cm X 6 cm.

Take the purse frame and draw around the outer perimeter following its shape onto kraft paper, including the points where the hinges stop.

Square down vertically from the hinge points, and measure 15 cm from top of frame to base line for the finished height.

To create the depth, add a 25 mm gusset on each side. Extend the baseline outward on either side of center and join to the top edge with a straight line.

The distance from the top corner of the purse frame to its hinge equals 6 cm. Transfer this amount to your pattern draft plus add seam allowance and fit ease (this equals 1 cm for the seam allowance and a few millimetres more from end of the purse hinge location). Indicate the hinge locations with a notch. Label O. This is where the purse hinges will sit on the fabric.

Cut out pattern and label INTERIOR with cutting instructions for lining/interfacing and add a vertical grainline for the marker.

Trace draft onto a folded sheet of paper with the baseline aligned on the fold. Cut out pattern and label EXTERIOR with cutting instructions for paillette fabric/interlining and add a vertical grainline for the marker. Label the notches, X.

CUTTING

Cutting Tip: Do not use your best fabric scissors to cut the paillette fabric; the plastic will dull them quickly.

Exterior Bag: cut 1X the paillette fabric and the Pellon interlining.

Interior Bag: cut 2X the sateen lining and knit fusible.

Slip Pocket: cut a square from remaining lining fabric – 22 cm long X 22 cm wide

Sewing Tip: Use a roller foot attachment on your sewing machine for more control and less friction when sewing the paillette fabric. The metal roller will not imprint the fabric.

CONSTRUCTION

a) Preparation

Iron the fusible knit-fuse interfacing onto the wrong side of the lining fabric, following manufacturer’s directions.

Baste the sew-in Pellon® interlining to the back of the paillette fabric, by hand, around the perimeter.

b) Exterior

To construct the exterior of the bag, fold the paillette fabric FACE SIDES together and match the X notches. Sew from the X, down to the fold of the fabric, using a 1 cm seam allowance.

Create a flat bottom for the purse by mitering (see: mitering). Take one of the corners of the exterior bag and match the sideseam with the foldline of the bag. Flatten to form a triangle. Measure 25 mm from the tip of the triangle  and mark the line with chalk and pin. Stitch along the marked line perpendicular to the seam and trim the excess fabric 1cm from the seam to create a mitered corner. Repeat for the opposite bottom corner of the exterior. Turn exterior bag right side out.

c) Slip Pocket

Make a slip pocket by folding a square of lining fabric in half with FACE SIDES together. Stitch up sides from fold, using a 6mm seam allowance. Turn fabric right-side-out and press flat.

d) Interior

Center slip pocket on one section of the lining and match the raw open edge of the pocket to the base of the lining fabric. Edge stitch along the 2 sides of the slip pocket to attach the pocket to the lining. Stitch across the bottom of the pocket. (as an option, this slip pocket can be divided into 2 smaller compartments by stitching through the center of the slip pocket, if desired).

Place the 2 lining pieces, with FACE SIDES together, and align the bottom edges and the O notches. Sew from the O, down to the bottom corner of the lining, using a 1 cm seam allowance. Then, sew the bottom seam of the lining, using a 1 cm seam allowance, except you have to leave an opening in the bottom of the lining to allow for turning.

Create a miter by matching the side seam with the bottom seam on each bottom corner of the lining and proceed in the same manner as described above.

e) Assembly

Slip the exterior section in between the lining. The FACE SIDES of the interior bag and the exterior bag should now be touching each other. Match up the X and O notches. Sew the two flaps of the purse. On one of the flaps pin the lining to the exterior bag at the top and sides. Begin sewing where the stitching starts on the lining, sew all around the sides and top edge stopping at the stitching on the lining. Repeat with other purse flap. Clip ‘V’ notches at the X and O in the seam allowance to aid in securing a smooth edge and trim the excess Pellon from the seam allowance.

Gently pull the exterior of the bag through the opening left in the lining. Drop the lining into the cavity of the exterior section and smooth everything down with a wooden creaser, as a hot iron will melt the plastic paillettes.

f) Purse  Frame Attachment

To complete and before applying the glue, dry-fit the bag into the frame to check the fit. Check the bulk of the seam and trim seam allowance if necessary. The thickness of the layers at this point should fill the cavity of the frame nicely.

Then, remove from the frame and sew up opening in the lining closed. Stitch the gap in the lining closed by pushing the raw edges into the gap and edge-stitching close to the edge for a neat finish.

Apply clear-set bonding glue to the channel of one of the sides of the frame. Start at the hinge and work your way to the other hinge. Go easy on the glue and only do one side of the frame at a time! Use a craftstick (or something similar) to spread the glue around inside the frame. Don’t let it form “globs” or it will ooze out on your fabric. Allow the glue to become tacky for 5 minutes.

Insert the purse into the frame. Start by inserting the sides of your purse into the frame (hinge end first) then work your way up to the top corners. Use a pointed tool to poke and stuff the fabric evenly into the frame – a crease presser/turner is perfect for this job. After you have inserted the sides of the purse into the frame, start inserting the top edge of the purse into the frame working reasonably quickly before the glue dries. Turn the purse over to check that the lining side is also inserted evenly into the frame. Leave to dry for 15 minutes before tackling the other side of the frame and purse in the same way. Let everything dry for about 30 minutes or according to manufacturer’s directions.

g) Finishing

Add the purse chain to the double loops on the purse frame by threading the jumprings onto the chain links and the frame loops, then closing with pinch-nosed pliers.

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DESIGNING A CLASSIC

Metal framed handbags are the quintessential classic bag design for professional accessory designers and small leather goods manufacturers. Yet many new designers and craftspeople shy away from designing their own framed styles because the concept looks complex to produce, in addition to finding a source for the bag frames. Let me assure you that the design process for these traditional bags is quite easy to do and simple to sew. Making this purse style isn’t nearly as tricky as you might think.

Here is an easy tutorial for a framed evening bag.

SOURCING

The whole design of your handbag is based upon the metal frame. Before beginning to draft your pattern, you must select a bag frame. There are many collections of purse frames on the market for design-it-yourself projects. This hinged hardware come in a wide range of styles, rectangular or curved in shape, in various metal colours and finishes. You will find classic vintage frames with kiss-lock closures and intricate scroll details, to the versatile sleek modern metal frames with ball-lock closures which may or may not have a convertible carrying chain.

The size of the frame determines the size of the bag. Small frame widths (65 – 100 mm) are the right size for coin purses, while medium frame widths (1oo – 150 mm) make up wallets and pocketbooks nicely, and large frames widths (200 – 300 mm) are ideal for clutch bags and purses. The frames are attached by using clear-set bonding glue for adhering porous and non-porous materials; or, framing scrim, a dense twisted paper cord or pliable rubber filler that fills the frame channel; or, using a crimping tool that gently crimp the metal of the purse frame to the cloth.

Depending where you live, availability and selection may be a limitation but demand is making it a popular seller for retailers and availability is growing. Fashion accessory designers have the benefit of access to trade-only suppliers and often years in advance, before these raw materials become common in the marketplace. So, you will have to work with whatever is available through your favourite retailers. In larger urban areas you may find specialty retailers like MacDonald-Faber Ltd. that carry many of the items you will need, while in smaller towns you may have to depend upon catalogue mail-order, such as A Great Notion. Many suppliers can be found on-line through Etsy® , Ebay®, and the like such as Mikke, offering variety and quality, allowing you to eliminate the “middle man” by buying direct from the source.

PATTERNDRAFTING

The main reason why handbag patterns are not available for purse frames is because there are so many different purse frame shapes. This means you have to draft your own patterns. The design concept needs to have height, width, and depth to create a style. The size of the frame determines the width of the bag; height and depth can be whatever dimensions you wish.

Take your frame and draw around the outer perimeter, including the points where the hinges stop.

From the hinge points, square down vertically to the desired height of the bag.

To create the depth, you must add a gusset on each side. Extend the baseline outward on either side of center to half of the finished depth measurement and join to the top edge with a straight line. The pattern is now wider than the right angles of the frame. The wider the angle the more deeper your purse will be.

Next, measure the distance from the top corner of the purse frame to its hinge. Transfer this amount to your pattern draft plus add seam allowance and fit ease (this can be about 1 cm for the seam allowance and a few millimetres more from end of the purse hinge location). Indicate these locations with a notch.

This is where the purse hinges will sit on the fabric.

Label your pattern with cutting instructions and add a grainline for the marker.

Depending upon your fashion fabric choice, you may need to add interfacing. Interfacing creates structure if it is used on the body of the bag – but is entirely optional here, and using it depends on the weight of the fabric and the finished look that you require.

INTERFACING & INTERLINING

Interfacing adds “body” to the bag’s shape and using it depends on the weight of the fabric and the finished look that you desire. Bag facings and the underside of flaps are major structural pieces in bag construction and often carry hardware; they should always be interfaced. Framed clutch purses go great with evening gowns or dressy outfits. Since clutch purses are usually made from fancy fashion fabrics such as silk or satin, you’ll need to add interfacing to make the fabric more stable. By fusing interfacing to every piece of the outside of the bag you add a lot more structure to the fabric. Some fabrics won’t need it, but most medium-weight or lightweight fabrics will benefit from it. Also be aware that any fashion fabric with a nap, pile, or relief surface will be subjected to sew-in type interfacings only, as not to destroy the beauty of its surfaces with heat and pressure.

I like to interface the lining as well to strengthen it against wear and tear in use, but it shouldn’t be the main support in the bag. A knit-fuse type interfacing is ideal to stabilize it without adding stiffness.

It’s important to remember that by adding an extra layer of interfacing to a bag piece, you are also increasing the bulk of the fabric. In this case, this is a good thing as the layers will fill the channel of the purse frame. Be careful when you are using heavy fabrics, for instance canvas or denim, that your sewing machine will be able to sew through all the layers at points where several seams converge.

Sometimes it takes making up a “test” bag or two (see: making mock-ups) in different weight fabrics to understand the balance that has to be struck between the look you require and the capabilities of your sewing machine.

Whenever designing an evening bag with beading, sequins, sheer or lacy fashion fabric, the best thing to do is to interline it with a more solid fabric, and in turn interface the solid fabric (a stable, woven fabric is best as a base for sheer fabrics). You may or may not have to use Pellon®. First you sew or iron on the interfacing to the back of the solid fabric, then lay the sheer fabric over the top of the right side of the solid fabric. Stay-stitch the sheer fabric in place all the way around, and then make up the bag treating the layered pieces as if as one.

USING WADDING OR FLEECE INTERLINING ( PELLON® )

Iron-on or sew-in wadding (Pellon®) can give extra structure to fabric bags and is available in different weights and thicknesses. This plush needle-punched fleece interlining is great for bag-making because it sticks to the fabric and makes the pieces very easy to sew together, and it holds the shape of the bag beautifully, while being lightweight. Similarly like when applying interfacing, by adding this extra layer to your fabric you are creating more bulk. You may have to check that your sewing machine will sew through several layers of the fabric and wadding before you proceed with making up the bag.

CONSTRUCTION

Cut out your fabric pieces. From your pattern, cut: 2 pieces each of the fashion fabric, lining fabric, and fusible or sew-in interfacing. Iron the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of your exterior fabric, if using.

To construct the exterior of the bag, create a “sandwich” with the fashion fabric (FACE SIDES together) in the middle and the sew-in interlining on the outsides. Pin/baste all layers together. Starting from one of your hinge markings sew the sides and bottom of the exterior finishing at the other hinge markings.

Create a flat bottom for your purse by mitering (optional) or round off the tips of the triangle to create nice curved corners. To miter, take one of the corners of your exterior bag and match the side seam with the bottom seam line. Flatten to form a triangle. Measure the desired depth amount down from the tip of the triangle mark the line with chalk and pin. Stitch along the marked line perpendicular to the seam and trim any excess fabric 1cm from the seam to create a mitered corner. Repeat for the opposite bottom corner of the exterior. Turn exterior bag right side out.

Sew up the lining. With FACE SIDES together, mark the flap opening/hinge bit on the lining to match the notch made on the exterior bag. Sew the lining bag in the same way as above except you have to leave an opening in the bottom of the lining to allow for turning.

With FACE SIDES OUT, slip the exterior section in-between the lining. The face sides of the lining bag and the exterior bag should now be touching each other. Sew the two flaps of the purse. On one of the flaps pin the lining to the exterior bag at the top and sides. Begin sewing where the stitching starts on the lining, sew all around the sides and top edge stopping at the stitching on the lining. Repeat with other purse flap. Clip ‘V’ notches in the notch locations and any curved areas of the seam allowance to aid in securing a smooth edge.

Gently pull the exterior of the bag through the opening left in the lining. Drop the lining into the cavity of the exterior bag and smooth everything down, press if necessary.

To complete and before applying the glue or framing scrim, dry-fit the bag into the frame to check the fit. Check the bulk of the seam and trim seam allowance if necessary. The thickness of the layers at this point should fill the cavity of the frame nicely. If the seaming is thin or not sufficiently bulky, use framing scrim to fill it out.

Then, remove from the frame and sew up opening in the lining closed. Stitch the gap in the lining closed by pushing the raw edges into the gap and edge-stitch close to the edge for a neat finish.

FRAME ATTACHMENT

A clear-set bonding glue designed for adhering to porous (fabric) and non-porous (metal) materials is used to attach the frame to the cloth bag. Read manufacturer’s instructions for glue application of adhesive. Apply the bonding glue to the channel of one of the sides of the frame. Start at the hinge and work your way to the other hinge. Go easy on the glue and only do one side of the frame at a time! Use a craftstick (or something similar) to spread the glue around inside the frame. Don’t let it form “globs” or it will ooze out on your fabric. Allow the glue to become tacky for 5 minutes.

Insert your purse flap into the frame. Start by inserting the sides of your purse into the frame (hinge end first) then work your way up to the top corners. Use a pointed tool to poke and stuff the fabric evenly into the frame – a crease presser/turner is perfect for this job. After you have inserted the sides of the purse into the frame, start inserting the top edge of the purse into the frame working reasonably quickly before the glue dries. Turn the purse over to check that the lining side is also inserted evenly into the frame. Leave to dry for 15min before tackling the other side of the frame and purse in the same way. Let everything dry for about 30 minutes or according to manufacturer’s directions.

Framing scrim, a dense twisted paper cord or pliable rubber filler for frame purse-making, can be used for thin fashion fabrics in conjunction with the bonding glue. It is ideal for standard-to-wide channeled purse frames or purses with thin fabric layers. Using the framing scrim strengthens the bond between the fabric and the frame and fills the channel of the frame. Insert the scrim between the exterior bag portion and the lining side of the purse using a pointed tool, such as a wooden creaser, and push it up into the channel to secure the top of the bag onto the frame before closing up the opening in the bottom of the lining. The thickness of the scrim will plug up the channel and stabilize the edge of the cloth.


Some purse shapes require the use of purse frame crimpers, but the 75mm to 200mm range of frames available on the market do not require this tool. The crimpers gently squeeze the metal around the top edge of the bag encasing the fabric into the frame. There are often instructions included in the kits outlining how to use the crimpers so follow manufacturer’s directions for using this tool.


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Filed under Bag'n-telle, Design Insight, Design Techniques

OLD SCHOOL BACKPACK

“OLD SCHOOL BACKPACK”

Around campus or across the country, make the journey more beautiful with this vintage-inspired backpack.

Dimensions: approximately 14” high X 12” wide X 7” deep (35.5 cm x 30.5 cm x 18 cm) with grab handle with dual adjustable 17” (43 cm) shoulder straps for versatility and exterior flap and zip pockets at the front and sides.

Construction Method: Turned finish – this method may be recognized by noting the lack of machine-stitching that is visible at points of assembly on the exterior side of the bag. This is possible by placing the material, or parts, face to face, machining and turning right-side out. It is the most commonly used assembly process. Topstitching adds a decorative element while reinforcing all seams for durability.

Material Used: 100% cotton denim canvas, 54″ wide; trim: pigskin leather; lined-interior features a back wall zip pocket and front wall slip pockets, made of 100% cotton ticking.

You will need:

  • 1 yd. (.90 m) canvas or upholstery weight fashion fabric, 54” wide (137 cm)
  • 3/4 yd. (.70 m) heavy-weight lining fabric, 54” wide (137 cm)
  • 1/2 pigskin leather hide for trim
  • 3/4 yd. (.70 m) fusible interfacing, 60” wide (153 cm)
  • 1/4 yd. (.25 m) transfer web, 36” wide (91 cm)
  • 2 ¼ yds. (2 m) cotton/polyester webbing, 2” wide (50 mm)
  • 8 metal grommets, ¾” dia. (20 mm)
  • 2 metal zippers, 7” long (18 cm)
  • 1 nylon zipper, 8” long (20 cm)
  • 1 metal dome snap set, ” dia. (15 mm)
  • 2 metal buckles, 2” inner dia. (50 mm)
  • 2 metal square rings, 2” inner dia. (50 mm)
  • 1 metal O- ring, 2” dia. (50 mm)
  • 2 connector rings for zippers, ¼” dia. (6 mm)
  • 1 hook & loop fastener, 1” wide (25 mm)
  • heavy-duty all-purpose thread
  • double-sided mounting tape
  • rotary cutter
  • hole punch
  • awl
  • kraft paper

Design Tip: Match the hardware and zipper metals in colour and metal finish for a sleek unified look. Colour coordinate your choice of trim with the bag strapping to achieve further harmony in your design.

Pattern

The draft and formation of this backpack is based upon a simple flat grid, which fits into a square or rectangle, of which the size depends on the drafting scale.

** Add seam allowances to all pattern pieces, except pocket flap and bag flap.

Draft Body Pattern

Drafting scale = the depth of the bag; in this case, 7 inches (18 cm)

click to magnify

On kraft paper, plot a straight line vertically from A to B; AB = 2 X scale minus 2″ (5 cm).

Square (90 degree angle) a horizontal straight line from A to C; AC = 20″ (51 cm).

Square across from B and down from C to locate DABCD is a rectangle.

1 from A = half the distance between AB; square across to locate 2.

3 from 1 = 2 X scale minus 2″ (5 cm).

Square up and down from 3 to locate 4 and 5.

6 from 2 = the scale

Square up and down from 6 to locate 7 and 8.

9 from 7 = 1/2″ (12 mm). Join point 9 to point 6 with a straight line.

10 from C = 1/2″ (12 mm). Join point 10 to point 2 with a straight line.

This is the pattern for the side lining. Label cut 2X lining.

11 from A = 1/2″ (12 mm). Join point 11 to point 1 with a straight line.

12 from 4 = 1/2″ (12 mm). Join point 12 to point 3 with a straight line.

Point 13 is located midway 11 and 12; square down to locate 14.

This is the pattern for the back section. Label cut 1X self.

The same draft may be used for the Front and Back Lining. Trace off and label, cut 2X lining.

click to magnify

Trace off the draft onto kraft paper.

15 from 6 = 2″ (5 cm). Join point 15 to point 2 with a straight line.

Cut on line 15-2 to create the Upper Side and Lower Side pattern pieces.

Label the Upper Side cut 2X self.

Label the Lower Side Cut 2X self and cut 2X lining (pocket bag).

Point 16 is located at the intersection of lines 1-2 and 13-14.

Point 17 = the distance between 1 and 16 minus 2″ (5 cm).

Point 18 = the distance between 16 and 3 minus 2″ (5 cm).

This is the placement line for the front bellow pocket.

Points 19 and 20 are located 3/8″ (1 cm) above points 17 and 18.

This is the placement line for the front pocket flap.

This completes the draft for the front pattern. Label cut 1X self.

Draft Bottom (Base) Pattern

On kraft paper, plot a straight line vertically from A to BAB = scale

click to magnify

Square (90 degree angle) a horizontal straight line from A to C; AC = 2 x scale minus 2″ (5 cm).

Square across from B and down from C to locate D.  ABCD is a rectangle.

1 from A = 1/2″ (12 mm).

2 from 1 = 2″ (5 cm).

3 from C = 1/2″ (12 mm).

4 from 3 = 2″ (5 cm).

Points 1-2 and 3-4 are the placement points for the connector ring tabs.

Point 5 is midway between B and D and marks the centerfront (CF) of the bag.

Draft Front Bellow Pocket Pattern

Trace off points 14, 16, 17, and 18 from Front pattern draft onto kraft paper.

click to magnify

Square down from points 17 and 18; and across from point 14 to locate A and B.

C-D is equidistant from 17-18; C-17 and D-18 = 1/2″ (5 cm).

E from 14 = 1″ (2.5 cm).

Square across from E to locate F at intersection of 17-A.

Square across from E to locate G at intersection of 18-B.

H from G = 1″ (2.5 cm).

I from F = 1″ (2.5 cm).

Join D-H and H-B with a straight line.

Join C-I and I-A with a straight line.

Draw a tangent line from G at a 45 degree angle.

J from G = 1″ (2.5 cm). Join J to B and H with a straight line.

K from F = 1″ (2.5 cm). Join K to I and A with a straight line.

This is the pattern for the bellow pocket. Label cut 1X self.

Mark placement location of hook & loop fastener (at center) about 1/2″ (12 mm) from point 16.

Draft Front Pocket Flap Pattern

Trace off points 16, 17 and 18 from Front pattern draft onto kraft paper.

Square down from 16 to locate L; L from 16 = 3/4 of scale.

Square down from 17 and 18; and across from L to locate M and N at the intersections of the lines.

Gradually round off the corners at M and N.

This is the pattern for the Front Pocket. Label cut 1X self and cut 1X lining.

Indicate the placement of the hook & loop fastener at center approximately 3/8″ (1 cm) above L.

Draft Top Flap Pattern

Trace off points 11, 12, and 13 from Back Pattern draft onto kraft paper.

click to magnify

Square down from 13 to locate P; P from 13 = scale amount + 2″ (5 cm).

Square down from 11 and 12; and across from P to locate Q and R at the intersections of the lines.

Gradually round off the corners at Q and R.

This is the pattern for the Top Flap . Label cut 1X self and cut 1X lining.

Indicate the placement of the clasp at center approximately 4″ (10 cm) above P.

Draft Drawcord Placket Pattern

Draw an oblong shape on kraft paper.

The length = 2 x (distance between 11 and 12 + distance between 9 and 10), from the body draft.

The width = 4″ (10 cm).

Label pattern, cut 1X self.

Cutting

Back and Front – cut 2X self; cut 2X lining

Upper Side – cut 2X self

Lower Side – cut 2X self; cut 2X lining

Bottom – cut 1X self; cut 1X lining

Bag Flap – cut 1X self; cut 1X lining

Front Pocket Flap – cut 1X self; cut 1X lining

Front Bellow Pocket – cut 1X self

Bag Placket – cut 1X self

Side Lining – cut 2X lining

Drawcord – cut strip 53” X 2” (135 cm X 5 cm) self fabric

Interior pocket – cut 2 squares lining, 11” X 11” (28 cm X 28 cm)

Assembly

Small Parts Preparation

Make shoulder strap from webbing. Cut 2 lengths of webbing 36 inches long (90 cm). Attach a buckle on one end of each length and turn-under the cut end. Stitch across the width of the strap to finish neatly. Set the pair aside.

Make drawcord. Cut a strip of fabric 53” X 2” (135 cm X 5 cm). With wrong sides together, fold strip in half lengthwise and press flat. Open strip and fold in long raw edges to the center of the fold. Press flat. Refold strip and stitch close along open edge. Set drawcord aside.

Make grab handle. Cut a length of leather using a rotary cutter (or x-acto knife) 12 inches X 2.5 inches (30.5 cm X 6.5 cm). Using an awl, score down the length on the wrong side of the leather. Place double-side mounting tape along the length of the leather strip on the wrong side. Peel off the paper coating from tape and fold the leather in half lengthwise. Machine-stitch (use a long stitch length) along the cut edge of the strip’s length. Set aside.

Make leather clasp. Cut 2 lengths of leather using a rotary cutter 8 inches X 1.5 inches (20 cm X 3.7 cm). On one of the pieces, make a centred hole using a hole-punch, 3 inches (7.5 cm)from one end of the leather strip. Attach the stud portion of the snap set (receiving end) and rivet into the hole, following manufacturer’s directions.

Place double-side mounting tape along the length of the leather strip on the wrong side. Peel off the paper coating from tape and place onto the other leather piece, with wrong sides together. Carefully round the short ends of the leather trim. Machine-stitch (use a long stitch length) along the perimeter edge of the trim.

On the end of the trim piece without the hardware, make a centred hole approximately 1 inch (25 mm) from the end and attach the remainder of the snap set, with the dome stem coming through the hole so that the socket is facing upward on the same side of the trim as the stud portion of the set. Set clasp aside.

Make ring tab. Cut 1 length of leather using a rotary cutter 6 inches X 3 inches (15 cm X 7.5 cm). Score along the length on the wrong side of the strip, 3/8-inch (10 mm) on either side. Place double-side mounting tape along the length of the leather strip on the wrong side. Peel off the paper coating from tape and fold the leather in half lengthwise. Machine-stitch (use a long stitch length) along the folded edge of the trim.

Wrap the leather trim around the O-ring and machine stitch across the trim’s width, as close as possible to the ring. Trim any excess from the backside of the leather. Set aside.

Click to magnify

Pocket & Bag Flaps

Iron on fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the front pocket flap and its lining piece. With face sides together, match and align the layers. Pin/baste along the straight edge of the flap and sew a scant 1/4-inch seam (6 mm). Press seam open.

Iron on transfer web to the wrong side of the exterior portion of the pocket flap, following manufacturer’s directions.

Center a 2-inch length of the hook side of hook & loop fastener vertically, on the face side of the lining portion, about 1/2-inch (12 mm) from the rounded edge of the pocket flap. Stitch in place.

Peel the paper coating from the transfer web and with wrong sides together, fold the pocket flap in half (on the seamline) and match/align the rounded edges. Fuse the two layer together from the lining side while working around the loop fastener. Stitch along the curved raw edge to secure.

Measure the curved edge of the flap and cut a 3/4-inch (20 mm) wide strip of leather equal to the measurement taken. On the wrong side of the leather, score down the center of its length and apply double-sided mounting tape. Peel off the paper covering from the tape and carefully wrap the raw edges of the flap. Machine-stitch in place using a long stitch length. Set pocket flap aside.

Repeat the same procedure for the bag flap except, instead of the loop fastener step on the interior lining, attach the leather clasp to the exterior portion of the flap once the bag flap is completed.

Set bag flap aside.

Front Pocket

Make up front bellow pocket. Turn under a 1/4 inch (6 mm) double hem along top of pocket piece. Press and topstitch down. Center a 2-inch (5 cm) length of the loop side of hook & loop fastener horizontally, on the face side of the pocket. Stitch in place along the completed edge of the pocket opening.

At each bottom notched corner, fold the pocket with face sides together and align seam. Pin/baste dart and sew each corner dart. Press seam to one side and topstitch along seam, face up to reinforce the darts. Turn under seam allowance and press flat. Set front pocket aside.

Click to magnify

Insert Zipper In Sides

Cut 2 strips of fabric, about 8 inches X 1 ¼ inches (20 cm X 3 cm) to make pocket welts. Fold each strip in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, and press flat. With face sides up, align raw edges along side pocket opening and pin/baste in place. Stitch a welt to each the upper and lower side pieces. Grade seam allowances and press flat.

Next attach zipper in place using a zipper foot, but before doing so, modify the zipper head. In most cases, you will have available only a regular metal closed zipper to purchase. Using needle-nosed pliers, carefully remove the pull tab from the zipper head and insert a metal connector ring in its place. Cut a 12-inch (30 cm) length of leather 3/8-inch (10 mm) wide and loop it through the connector ring using a cow hitch knot. Repeat for the zipper on the opposite side.

To attach the zipper, center it along the welt of each side piece so that the zipper zips closed from the back of the bag downward to the front of the bag. Stitch in place.

Align and match the lower side lining piece to the outer edges of the lower side of the bag. Baste in place. Along the upper side welt, pin the zipper tape to the top of the lining and stitch together.

With face side up, topstitch along welt seams.

Repeat this procedure for the opposite side panels. Set both aside.

Insert Zip Pocket in Lining

Make interior zippered pocket. On the interior of the backpack, the lining on the back wall features a zip pocket. Start by ironing a strip of fusible interfacing to an edge of one of the interior pocket squares. Cut the interfacing 11” X 2” (28 cm X 5 cm) and fuse it to the wrong side of the lining fabric.

With face sides together, center the pocket lining onto the back lining portion, placing the pocket lining so that it aligns with the bottom edge of the back lining. Pin/baste in place. On the interfaced edge of the pocket lining, mark out an opening for the zipper about 1/4-inch wide (6 mm) and as long as the length of the zipper teeth. Stitch around this outline with neat squared corners, then slash through the middle of this outline and cut diagonally into each of the corners. Push lining through the cut opening and press opening flat to neaten. Align and center zipper face up behind the opening and pin/baste zipper in place. Topstitch around pocket opening to attach zipper in place.

From wrong side of the back lining portion, fold the pocket lining upward to meet with the top edge of the zipper tape. Pin/baste pocket lining to zipper and sew along the zipper tape to secure in place. Sew up each side of the pocket lining to create a “pocket bag” ensuring to stitch through the diagonal cuts at each end of the zippered opening. (see more about inset zipper method)

Attach Slip Pocket in Lining

Make interior slip pocket. On the interior of the backpack, the lining on the front wall features a slip pocket. Start by folding the remaining pocket square in half, with face sides together. Sew up each side of the pocket using a scant 1/4-inch (6 mm) seam allowance. Press seams open and turn pocket right-side-out; press flat.

With face sides of the fabrics up and the raw edges of the slip pocket facing upward, center-align the pocket onto the front lining portion, placing the folded edge of the pocket so that it matches with the bottom edge of the front lining. Pin/baste raw edge of the pocket in place. Stitch along the raw edge, using a scant 1/4-inch (6 mm) seam allowance. Trim seam allowance, if needed. Fold pocket up and press flat. Topstitch along the outer edges of the slip pocket leaving the folded side open. If desired, you can divide the slip pocket by stitching through its surface to create compartments for smaller items like cellphone, sunglasses, or wallet.

Lining Assembly

Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the bottom lining piece, following the manufacturer’s directions.

With face sides together, pin/baste the base of the front and back lining sections to each long side of the bottom lining. Ensure that the zip and slip pockets are facing upward. Stitch each seam and grade seam allowances towards the front and back lining sections. With face side up, edgestitch the seam on the front and back interior portions.

Next, add sides to interior; match and align one side section to each side of the lining to create a bag. Pin/baste and sew up side seams. Press seams open. Set interior lining aside.

Bag Assembly

Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the bottom bag piece, following the manufacturer’s directions.

Cut 2 lengths of webbing, 4 inches (10 cm) long. Thread each length of strapping through a square connector ring and fold webbing in half. Stitch across the width of the strap to secure ring neatly. Attach each ringed tab to one long edge of bottom section, face up, and approximately 2 ½ inches (6.5 cm) from each short end. Baste in place. Set bottom section aside.

Center the front pocket so that its opening aligns with the zip openings at the side of the bag (in this case about 6″ (15 cm) from the bottom of the front bag section). Pin/baste turned edges of the front pocket to the front of the backpack and edgestitch in place.

Next, attach ringed leather tab. Center the leather trim on the backpack front section, about 1/4-inch (6 mm) above the front pocket opening. Machine-stitch leather tab in place with the ring facing upward.

Add pocket flap by placing it lined side up, approximately 1/4-inch ( 6 mm) above the front pocket opening and ensuring that the cut end of the ring tab in sandwiched under the pocket flap to encase it. Double stitch along the straight edge of the pocket flap to secure in place. Fold down pocket flap.

With face sides together, pin/baste the base of the back exterior section to the long side of the bottom of the backpack, with the connector ring tabs. Stitch the seam ensuring to catch the tabs in the stitching of the seam. Grade the seam allowance toward the bottom section and on the face side, edgestitch along the seam on the bottom section.

With face sides together, pin/baste the base of the front exterior section to the long side of the bottom of the backpack. Machine-stitch the seam. Grade the seam allowance towards the bottom section and on the face side, edgestitch along the seam on the bottom section.

Add sides to exterior; match and align one side section to each side of the backpack, with the side zipper pockets positioned to close in the direction of the front of the backpack. Pin/baste and sew up side seams. Grade seam allowances. Edgestitch along side seam, on front, bottom, and back sections to reinforce the seam.

Click to magnify

Attach Placket to Bag Opening

Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the placket piece, following the manufacturer’s directions.

Match and align the short ends of the placket, with face sides together. Stitch together to form a loop of fabric. Press seam open. Fold placket in half, with face sides out, and match up raw edges. Baste together and press fold. Edgestitch along the folded edge of the placket.

With face sides together, align and match placket to body of bag along the raw edges. Pin/baste placket to bag opening.

On back section of bag, thread webbing straps through the ringed connectors, then drawing though each buckle end of the strapping. Attach the cut end of the strap to the placket, approximately 4 inches on either side of center on the back section. Pin/baste in place.

Between the two webbing straps, place each end of the grab handle next to the webbing and pin/baste in place.

Sew around opening of the bag, catching the grab handle and webbing straps in the stitching. Turn the placket facing upward and edgestitch along the seam on the body portion of the backpack.

Mark a placement location 1 ½” (4 cm) on either side of each vertical seam (8 in total) in the middle of the placket width and insert grommets (2 on each side), following manufacturer’s directions.

Position bag flap along turned placket bottom edge, centred between the back sideseams, and double-stitch in place, through the seam allowance.

Finishing

Insert the lining by dropping it into the cavity of the bag. Align it so the interior zip pocket is on the back wall of the backpack and the side seams match up. Slipstitch top edge of lining to base of the placket to enclose the raw edge.

Lace the drawcord through the grommets and tie a knot at the ends of the drawcord.

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Filed under Bag'n-telle, Design Ideas

ZIPPERED CLUTCH BAG

‘Lined Zippered Clutch Bag’

A simple clutch bag is probably everyone’s favourite handbag. And for good reason … it is so classic in style and never looks dated. Mostly though, we love how this minimalist look can be made quick and easily, using the simple lined zippered bag technique, in different sizes and for different occasions, from coin purse to cosmetic bag or hand clutch to full-sized portfolio.

Dimensions: approximately 12” wide x 11” high x 1” deep

                                                    [30cm W x 28cm H x 2.5cm D]

Construction Method: Turned finish – this method may be recognized by noting the lack of machine-stitching that is visible at points of assembly on the exterior side of the bag. This is possible by placing the material, or parts, face to face, machining and turning right-side out. It is the most commonly used assembly process.

Material Used: 100% cotton tapestry; and 100% cotton pocketing fabric

You will need:

  • 1 upholstery square*, 25” X 25” (64cm X 64cm)
  • 1/3 yd. (30 cm) of pocket lining fabric, 54” wide (138 cm)
  • 1/3 yd. (30 cm) of fusible interfacing, 44” wide (112cm)
  • 1 closed luggage zipper (length equal to desired width of bag)
  • coordinating thread
  • kraft paper

PATTERN

The draft and formation of this clutch bag is based upon a simple flat grid, which fits into a square or rectangle, of which the size depends on the desired length of the zipper opening. There are no seam allowances added to the side seams of the pattern pieces. The length of the pattern (bag height) is whatever you desire as a finished length plus seam allowance. The zipper length used in the prototype sample is 12” [30 cm] long.

The formation of the bag’s interior lining is the same as the exterior with a divider insert. The divider piece should be cut out as wide as the exterior of the bag and twice the height of the bag less 1-inch (25 mm), allowing it to be folded on itself to form a divided compartment for the interior.

Seam allowance (1/2” – 12 mm) is included in all drafts.

CUTTING

Bag Exterior – cut 2X upholstery fabric

Bag Interior – cut 2X lining fabric

Lining divider – cut 1X lining fabric

ASSEMBLY

1. Iron fusible interfacing to back of upholstery fabric, following manufacturer’s directions. (Design Note: if your fashion fabric has a textured or raised surface, baste a non-fusible interface to the fabric as heat and pressure of application will destroy the beauty of the fabric’s surface.)

2. Fold the lining divider fabric in half, with wrong sides of fabric facing together. Pin/baste divider to one of the lining pieces, with the folded edge about 1-inch [25 mm] from the top edge of the lining piece. Trim any excess fabric away from the lining’s outer edges, if necessary. Set aside.

zipper12

3.  Attach zipper. Layer the lining on top of the exterior with FACE SIDES together, and sandwich the zipper (FACE SIDE DOWN facing the exterior) between the 2 layers.

Line up the three layers and pin/baste together. Using a zipper foot, sew across the top along the edge of your zipper sandwich and the zipper teeth.

Repeat this step for the other side (edge) of the zipper. You can edgestitch the lining sections along the zipper tape now, if you wish (optional).

4. Layer both pieces of lining to one side and both pieces of the exterior fabric to the other side of the zipper, with FACE SIDES together (note: remember to open the zipper at least halfway so that the bag can be turned right-side-out once the seams are stitched). The zipper teeth should be pinned toward the lining side. Lay the zipper ends on top of each other with teeth facing the lining side and pin.

5. Sew all the way around the perimeter edge. Ensure you sew on the outside of the metal parts on each end of the zipper, this will be easy to do if you cut your fabric the total length of the zipper tape. Leave an opening at the bottom of the lining side. Round the bottom corners OR miter the corners, as desired. Press seams open.

Click on illustrations to magnify.

6. Turn bag right-side-out. Stitch opening on lining closed by machine or slipstitch by hand.

7. Drop the lining portion inside the cavity of the bag to complete.

* Upholstery squares are often found for sale in remnant bins at your fabric retailer. They are usually cut from the last few yards remaining on the end of a bolt of upholstery fabric for quick sale as pillow and cushion covers.

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MULTI-POCKET URBAN TOTE

“multi-pocket urban tote”

Smart-looking yet functional in commuter bag designs. An urban carry-all with a variety of pocket compartments for wallet, cellphone and PC notebook makes it the perfect everyday tote. Carry in your hand, on your shoulder or across your chest.

Dimensions: 17″ high / 15″ wide / 2″ deep with a 42″ [1.1 m] adjustable shoulder strap and exterior pockets. [43cm X 38cm X 5 cm]

Construction Method: Turned finish – this method may be recognized by noting the lack of machine-stitching that is visible at points of assembly on the exterior side of the bag. This is possible by placing the material, or parts, face to face, machining and turning right-side out. It is the most commonly used assembly process.

Material Used: 100% Olefin sueded automotive upholstery, 54″ [137 cm] wide; trimmed with PVC leatherette vinyl, 60″ [152 cm] wide.

You will need:

  • 2 D-rings, 1” [25 mm] inner dia.
  • 2 swivel clasps, 2” [50 mm] inner dia.
  • 1 square slider buckle, 2” [50 mm] inner dia.
  • 1 square bracket ring, 2” [50 mm] inner dia.
  • 1 pocket zipper, 10” [26 mm] long
  • 1 closed zipper, 14” [35 mm] long
  • 1 closed zipper, 22” [56 cm] long
  • 2 dome snaps, ½” [12 mm] dia.
  • 12 rivets, ½” [12 mm] dia.
  • 2½ yds. [2.3 m] webbing, 2” [50 mm] wide
  • 1 spool upholstery thread
  • 1.10 yds. [1 m] upholstery fabric, 54” [137 cm] wide
  • ¼ yd. [0.25 m] vinyl leatherette, 60” [152 cm] wide
  • 2 ½ yds. [2.3 m] of single-fold bias tape, ½-inch wide [12 mm]
  • a small remnant of fusible interfacing
  • 1 roll of kraft paper

Design Note: Coordinate metal colour and finishes for the zippers and hardware; do the same for dome snaps and rivets.

PATTERN

This is a simple block design. Plot and cut block layout directly onto the fabric according to the measurements given (seam allowance is NOT included); OR draft onto kraft paper for a permanent hard-copy pattern.

BODY  PATTERN

** Add seam allowances to all pattern pieces.

CUTTING



  • cut body of the bag on straight of grain (or cross-grain for railroaded fabric; for a directional pattern on straight-grain you will need to purchase additional yardage.)
  • cut one of each pattern piece on straight grain
  • cut 2 strap handles from webbing; each is 20” [51 cm] long.
  • cut 1 short shoulder strap from webbing 15” [38 cm] long.
  • cut 1 long shoulder strap from webbing 33” [84 cm] long.
  • cut 2 rectangles from leatherette; each is 8” [20 cm] long and 3” [7.5 cm] wide.
  • cut 4 tabs from leatherette; each tab is 2” [5 cm] long and 2” [5 cm] wide.
  • cut 2 loops from leatherette; each loop is 4” [10 cm] long and 1” [2.5 cm] wide.
  • cut 1 oblong from leatherette; it is 11” [28 cm] long and 1½” [4 cm] wide.

Design Note: Use an x-acto knife and metal ruler to cut the leatherette neatly.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Make up shoulder strap pieces and D-ring loops. Place the bracket ring onto the short webbing strap piece and attach at one end. On the long strap piece, add a slider buckle and attach to one end. Add a swivel clasp at the open end of shoulder strap, then insert strapping through the slider and attach open end to the bracket ring on the shorter strap. Attach the remaining swivel clasp to the short strap section. Set aside.
  2. Make exterior pockets. For the wallet, cell phone, and utility pockets, fold and miter lower corners of pocket pieces. Turn under the top edge of the pocket and press flat. Topstitch the top edge of pocket. For pockets with dome snaps, fuse a small piece of interfacing to back of fabric to accept the hardware in its placement position. Turn under the seam allowance along the sides and bottom of the pockets and press flat around perimeter of pockets. Set aside.
  3. For the envelope pocket, outline the zipper opening with stay-stitching and insert zipper. To hide the cut edges of the zipper opening, use the oblong strip cut from the leatherette as a frame around the zipper. Dry-fit the leatherette to the zipper opening and cut out a slot for the zipper and topstitch in place. Next, turn under the seam allowance on all sides of the pocket and press flat. Set aside.
  4. For pocket flap, fuse interfacing to back of fabric. With FACE SIDES together, fold flap in half lengthwise and sew up short ends. Grade and trim points; turn right-side-out and press flat. Set aside.
  5. For notebook pocket, press under top edge of pocket. Align and center zipper to top edge and topstitch in place. Turn under seam allowance along sides and bottom of pocket and press flat. Turn under seam allowance along perimeter of pocket and press flat. Set aside.
  6. For zipper flap, fuse interfacing to back of fabric. With FACE SIDES together, fold flap in half lengthwise and sew up short ends. Grade and trim points; turn right-side-out and press flat. Set aside.
  7. Do a Hong Kong finish to neaten all vertical seams of the main body section.
  8. Following the illustration, place each pocket to its location on the body section while it is still flat and edgestitch around the pockets. For pockets and flaps with dome snap closures, you will need to attach part of the “set” to the bag body or pocket prior to sewing the pocket in place. Reinforce the fabric at the connection point by fusing a small piece of interfacing to the location to stabilize the fabric for receiving the dome snap. Follow manufacturer’s direction for installation.
  9. Add a leatherette pull-tab to the end of the long zipper. With FACE SIDES together, fold the body section in half and insert long zipper to top edge of bag. The zipper will extend beyond the top edge of the bag. (Remember to open zipper before stitching up bag as you will need to turn it right side out.)
  10. With FACE sides together, sew the vertical seams and press open. Then, align and match the side of the bag to its bottom. Sew from corner to corner to miter the seam. Bind the raw edge of this seam with bias tape and complete a Hong Kong seam finish. Turn body of the bag right-side out. Set aside.
  11. Cut the two strap pieces from the webbing. These will be the bag handles. Measure each handle strap to 20″ [51 cm] long. Center a rectangle of leatherette in the middle of the strap to form a handle and wrap it around the webbing. Fold the webbing widthwise and stitch down. Set aside.
  12. With FACE SIDE UP, turn under seam allowance along the top edge of the bag and press flat. Turn under 1” [25mm] to face the bag opening and topstitch in place around the opening.
  13. Sew the D-ring loops to each side seam just below the top facing stitching. Add rivets following manufacturer’s directions.
  14. Sew 2 leatherette tabs FACE DOWN to the edge of the bag opening (5” [12.5 cm] from the side seams) on the front and back on the bag opening. Sew through the middle of each tab. Place handle straps ends on top of a tab and secure in place. Fold the tab in half to encase the strap end and topstitch around the edge of the tab. Add rivets following manufacturer’s directions.
  15. Clip on swivel clasps to D-rings.

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