Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Michelle: 1, Zippers: 0

Friends, I am pleased to present my latest finish, my first Sew Together Bag:


Honestly, it was no big deal. I wouldn’t recommend a new sewer try it—sew some easy-peasy totes first. But if you know your way around your machine and have a walking foot, you can do this. For some context, I’d say that it’s more complicated that the pouches and totes that I’ve blogged about thus far; it’s not even close to the complexity of the Amy Butler Cosmo Bag I made.

Still not convinced? Here are my responses to your best excuses not to try this pattern. : )

The pattern looks difficult!

No, the pattern isn’t difficult—but I sew my best with lots of visuals, and this pattern has few pictures or illustrations. Go to Quilt Barn’s Sew Together Bag sew-along for more step-by-step pics. It’s a sanity saver.

There are four zippers!

Based on advice from other sewists, I used thin strips (⅛” wide) of Pellon’s 805 Wonder-Under on the lining panels of the bag (B1, B2, B3, and B4) to adhere each panel to its corresponding zipper(s). (There are other comparable products that would work just as well; I happened to have Wonder-Under on hand.) Then I pinned the pocket lining on top of the lining panel and zipper. I thought everything stayed together well as I sewed.

There is so much fabric!

Yes, you have to sew through some bulky chunks to construct a Sew Together Bag. I used my walking foot throughout the process. (I did not use my zipper foot at all; I couldn’t get everything through my machine without my walking foot.) I also used size 14 or 16 needles. (I started with a 14 and moved to the 16 when I had to attach the side panels.) And I trimmed the interfacing on the lining panels (B1, B2, B3, and B4) smaller (8¾” x 9¼” instead of 8¾” x 9¾”), based on this advice, so that there would be one fewer layer in the side seams. I’m not sure whether it really helped, but I would do a second bag the same way.

My final take

The funny thing about the Sew Together Bag is people never make one. I think I know why. It goes together more easily than you think it will. And once you have a first under your belt, a second isn’t intimidating at all. Plus, there’s the novelty factor. It doesn’t look like other bags or pouches out there, and it makes a great gift. After all, what says “I love you” more than four zippers?!


A postscript on the fabrics: The exterior fabric is DS Quilts; the binding is Quilter’s Linen in garnet; the interior fabrics are Denyse Schmidt, Marcus Brothers, and Aunt Grace, some of which have been in my stash for longer than I care to admit.

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF at Things I Make, and Bag Brag Tuesday ...

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18 comments:

  1. I want to make one of these! Thanks for ironing out a bit of the difficulties. Hopefully I can make one without too much problem!

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  2. These look great! And you tackled those zippers like a boss! Way to go!

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  3. I did think for a moment about making these for Christmas presents but then chickened out. Your Q & A are a handy guide.

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  4. This was hilarious. (The post, not the bag.) I love the bit about what says I love you more than four zippers. WORD. :)

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  5. I have yet to attempt a zipper - on anything. I enjoyed reading about your process and all your little tips; blog entries that describe zipper use really help push me towards just buying a zipper and attaching it to SOMETHING. Hopefully not my finger or another body part, but we'll see! :P

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  6. Yeah you did!

    I found binding it by machine the hardest bit and I didn't use a walking foot at all!

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  7. Your sew together turned out just lovely! I really enjoyed reading your reflections on making it. And appreciate your encouraging everyone to try it!

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  8. Beautiful finish. I fully admit that I am intimidated by this pouch, maybe after a few more tries with zippers I will have the guts to try this pattern. Thanks for the review.

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  9. I have definitely been scared to make one. Plus the price of the pattern seems a little high for me. But yours is beautiful! I'm glad to hear the walking foot worked ok because my zipper foot and I aren't the best of friends :)

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  10. I've been seeing a lot of these bags lately and I kind-of want to try making one cause everyone says it's not scary. I'm not afraid of zippers but jinkies this looks so darn fancy!

    Beautiful fabric choices on yours, it looks perfectly polished in every way!

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  11. I have made 19 of these bags and it probably took me to the 8th or 9th one to figure out that life would be easier if I'd go up in needle size. The bags are addicting! Great finish.

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  12. I've bought the patter and that's as far as I've got ... maybe a 2015 project ... love your version :)

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  13. Love your take on it, and it looks fun to make the reason I don't want to is the pattern is way out of what I would want to spend on a pattern and now you tell me there aren't many photos, wow, I am such a visual learner, so maybe someday someone will make me one.

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  14. Thanks for all the info on making the Sew Together bag. I have been wavering on whether or not to get the pattern. You have given me the confidence to try. 2015.

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  15. Your Sew Together Bag turned out great! I made different version by another designer and you're right... I don't think you can make just one. I already have plans to make more for myself and more for gifts.

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  16. Nice work!
    I like this pattern but I must say...there are too much zippers for me...not fond of zippers!

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  17. it looks great! I don't have that pattern, but have been given two bags. Not sure what to put in the second one, but I love it!

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  18. It's lovely. I have the bionicgearbag pattern which is very similar to this. I'm looking forward to making it in the new year. I'm over from Christine's Bag Brag.

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