Monday, March 18, 2019

Sew-Along Prize Linky


A big thank-you to all of you who read or sewed along in the Cargo Duffle Bag event of the past few weeks. It’s been a lot of fun to share in the triumphs of those of you who were new to bag making or had been plotting to sew this pattern and just needed a little nudge. I can’t wait to see what everyone has made!

The Prizes

Three lucky Cargo Duffle makers will win a $30 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop or one of two mystery packages from Anna Graham of Noodlehead, each with a pattern and the necessary supplies to make the project. (For my full post on the prizes, click here.)

Winners will be picked at random from the linky (see below) that will run through March 31, 2019. This prize draw is open internationally. If someone outside of the United States wins one of the Noodlehead prizes, he or she will be emailed a gift card from the online retailer of his or her choice in lieu of the package from Noodlehead. (It’s just too darn expensive to ship stuff internationally.)


A Look Ahead

Gosh, I’d love to sew along again with you all. Maybe we can reconvene this fall for more bag making? I realized I own—ahem!—three Noodlehead patterns that I have yet to make: the Super Tote, the Go Anywhere Bag, and the Caravan Tote. Then there’s the Forage Bag, which, like the Cargo Duffle, is offered free on the Robert Kaufman site. Any preferences on what we tackle next? Let me know in the comments.

And of course, if you couldn’t sew the Cargo Duffle along this time, the posts regarding each step will always be available here on From Bolt to Beauty.

* * * 

Bring out your lovely Cargo Duffles, friends!




Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, March 15, 2019

Pillow Parade / Beauties Pageant 24


I make a lot of presents—gift giving is one of my favorite parts of sewing and quilting—and many of the future recipients of said presents keep close tabs on me via social media. This means I have a surplus of finishes that I can’t yet reveal, for fear that those friends will catch wind of what I have made for them. One of these projects is a swoon-worthy Alison Glass pillow with matchstick quilting. So. Very. Pretty.

It seems mean to tease like that without providing a picture (or five), but there are some pretty cool pillows in the From Bolt to Beauty archives we can talk about.

I sewed this orange peel pillow back when I took the Curves Class at Stitched in Color. It still graces my bed (on days when I make my bed!) ...


These simple-yet-sturdy envelope pillows are testament to what you can do with a little home dec fabric and fusible fleece ...


And the hexagons below, along with those at the top of the post, are pillow perfection.


Pillows are great small projects. I wish I could make more for myself, but pillows in the hands of two little boys often become projectiles or objects with which to hit one’s brother/dog/mother.

I have thoughts on pillow construction, however, which I look forward to sharing with you in the near future. : )

* * *

If you have a finish this week—in pillow form or not—we’d love to see it. Add it to this week’s Beauties Pageant!


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.




Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag

Welcome to the final day of instruction for the Cargo Duffle Sew-Along! Today you’ll learn how to add a lining to your bag. It’s my own alteration to the pattern, so if you have any additional thoughts about how to approach this step, please share them in the comments.

Also: Remember to come back and submit a picture of your finished bag sometime between March 18 and March 31 to be eligible for a prize. (Eep! I can’t wait to see everyone’s finishes!)

Sewing the Lining Pieces

Back on day 1, you cut these pieces from your lining fabric:
  • Front/back: (cut 2) 10.75" x 18.25"
  • Bottom gusset: 6.5" x 29.5"
  • Zipper gusset: (cut 2) 3.25" x 27" 
You will sew them together as you assembled the gusset and bag back on sew-along day 4 and day 5.

First, take your two zipper gusset strips, and fold each of them under a half inch along one long edge. Press. Align those strips with the edges of the bottom gusset, right sides together, and pin. As you can see from the picture below, there’s a gap in the middle. (Please note: the gap in these pictures will look bigger than your gap. I altered the dimensions so you will get a better fit than I did while I was testing the lining instructions.)


Sew each of those strips at the short end, backstitching when you start and stop, as indicated in the picture below. Align on the other side and repeat with pinning and sewing.


Now you have a floppy but complete lining gusset!

Continue with the steps you followed to make the bag itself: Take the gusset and the front and back panels. Mark the dots that Anna instructs you to make in step 5 of the pattern. Sew the gusset to the the top and bottom edges of one panel. Make a slit at the corners (see picture below) as you did while assembling the main bag, per my advice on day 5. Sew the sides. Then repeat with the second panel.


I like to press the seams open the best I can at this point.

Sewing the Lining into the Bag

Next, insert the lining (wrong side out) into your bag. Align the folded-under edges of the lining with the edge of the canvas that abuts the zipper. Use whatever works for you! I resorted to Wonder Clips *and* pins.


Get as close as you can to the zipper tab ...


Now, sewing right on top of the line of edge stitching that runs along both sides of your zipper, sew the lining to the bag. Go slowly.

You will see from the pictures that follow that I used a regular foot; the design of my walking foot couldn’t get me close enough to the zipper. Do whatever works for you. Also: I used a bobbin thread color that matches my lining.



Whenever I encounter a messy point in my sewing here, I simply stop, rip out the problematic stitches, and start back up by back stitching and continuing on my way. It’s not elegant, but it works.

You will have to stop before you get to the end of the zipper. The next picture is not great, but it shows how there’s a small gap on the right side between the lining and bag at the end of the zipper. (There is also one, not shown, on the left.) I sewed as far as my machine would allow and then just backstitched at the end.


Adding Some Tacking Stitches

To get the lining to sit better in the bag, I tacked it down with my machine at the four top corners of the bag. In other words, I found a line of quilting near each corner on the top of the exterior and sewed through both the lining and bag at those points. Three stitches forward, three stitches back, three stitches forward. Because I followed an existing line of quilting, these tacking stitches are not really visible from the exterior, but they look like this from the lining side ...


Yours may be in a slightly different location. It doesn’t matter: they’re functional; no one will see them. You could try to do these stitches by hand. I couldn’t get a needle through my canvas.

What these four sets of stitches do is prevent the lining from just flopping around the interior of your bag. It’s almost as if, between the two lines of stitches along the zipper and the tacking stitches, the lining hangs inside the bag.

If you’ve made it this far, good for you! You are the proud maker of a lined Cargo Duffle Bag!

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to share them with me and everyone else sewing is to use the comments below, but you can also email me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com or DM me through Instagram.

Document your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cargodufflesewalong!

Related Links:
Main Cargo Duffle Sew-Along Page
Sew-Along Day 1: Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets
Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels
Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles
Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps
>Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag<
Prize Linky

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps

Things are about to get exciting. Today you’ll assemble the various pieces of your duffle and install the snaps. By the end of these steps, you’ll have a legit bag.

A Few Words of Wisdom

First, if you haven’t moved up to a size 16 needle yet, you should do so now. There’s some serious bulk coming your way.

Basting the handles is super straight forward. Line up the raw edges of the handles with the raw edges of the exterior panels. Wonder Clips are your friend here.


Since you’ll be using a half-inch seam allowance to construct the bag, there’s wiggle room. See how my quilting cotton doesn’t reach the edge of the canvas in the picture below? No one will know—that shortage will be hidden by the seam allowance.


Cutting a Slit in the Corners

My biggest tip on assembling the bag pertains to Anna’s step 5(d), where you’re doing some dot-to-dot sewing. Once you sew the top seam, per her instructions, your bag will look like this, an awkward mass of fabric ...


When it was time for me to sew my sides, my Wonder Clipped seam looked like the picture below. It was puckering pretty badly. I was setting myself up for heartbreak and unsewing.


My solution? I clipped a slit in each corner of both exterior panels when I got to this point with them ...


The slit doesn’t go through to the seam itself, and that little flexibility allows me to twist the edge enough to get the pieces to lie better—flatter—than without it. Check this out ...


There’s still a big of bumpiness on the left side, but it didn’t prove to be a problem.

Installing the Snaps

Installing the snaps intimidated me so much with my first Cargo Duffle Bag that I used my bag for almost two years without any snaps on it at all. I loved my duffle so much—I didn’t want to mess it up by being sloppy with the snaps. When I finally got the courage to install them, however, it was no big deal. The best guidance I can give you is to practice by installing a snap on some scrap fabric. Doing might give you the assurance it gave me to install snaps successfully.

The snaps and installation tool you bought should have a blow-by-blow of how the pieces work together. (Anna also has a great tutorial on the process.) My recommendation is to mark where things should go before you start poking holes in your beautiful pockets. Specifically, first mark where you want the caps—that is, the visible part of the snaps—to go on your flaps. (Mine are about 1 inch up and 1¾ inches in from the side of the flap.) Using the tip of a pair of sharp scissors, create tiny holes to push the post of the cap through. Then poke a fabric marker through those holes to mark where the second half of the snap should go.

My first set of marks for the caps.

These marks ensure that my studs line up with the caps. Phew!

If you’re wondering whether it would have been easier to install the snaps earlier in the duffle-making process, it might be. For your first Cargo Duffle, however, I’d follow Anna’s advice. When the bag is assembled, you get a better idea of how the flaps and pockets will hang on the finished bag. Working with the exterior panels before assembling with the gusset might yield a tighter fit between the flaps and pockets and might limit how much stuff you can store in your pockets. (Does that make sense?!)

That being said, for my Cargo Duffles #3 and #4, I installed the snaps earlier—but I also had a better grasp of the pattern than I did with my first duffle.

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to share them with me and everyone else sewing is to use the comments below, but you can also email me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com or DM me through Instagram.

Document your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cargodufflesewalong!

Related Links:
Main Cargo Duffle Sew-Along Page
Sew-Along Day 1: Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets
Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels
Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles
>Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps<
Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag
Prize Linky

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, March 11, 2019

Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles

There’s a lot on our to-do list today. If you get frustrated at any point, take a break from the tasks at hand. Remember, if you don’t complete all these steps today, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up. (The linky for prizes opens on March 18 and doesn’t close until March 31.)

Personally, I need some motivation on a day like today. Can I suggest giving yourself a little reward—perhaps some chocolate—after each step? : )

Installing the Zipper

Zipper installation may be new to you. I’ve installed bunches of zippers, and they still intimidate me.

If you have a zipper foot for your machine, you could use it here. It will allow you to get your line of stitching closer to the teeth of the zipper. I actually don’t have one for my main machine (a Janome 1600P-QC) and am able to install the zipper in this project without it.

For me, it’s hard to keep all the layers together when sewing a zipper. Wonder Clips help a lot. I also use Steam-A-Seam 2. It’s double-sided fusible webbing that’s just a quarter inch in width.


If you want to give Steam-A-Seam a try, here’s how to use it:
  1. Pinch off a piece long enough to run the length of the canvas you cut for the zipper gusset.
  2. With your fingers, press the webbing, paper side up, along one long edge of the canvas. The heat from your hands will keep it in place for the moment.
  3. Pull back the paper to reveal the second sticky side and place your zipper over it, aligning the edge of the zipper with the edge of the canvas. (In the picture above, the zipper isn’t in place yet.)
  4. Press the zipper with your iron to fuse it to the canvas.
  5. Add the other layers, per Anna’s instructions, and secure with Wonder Clips. (See picture below.)
  6. Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance, and press per Anna’s instructions.
  7. Repeat on the other side of the zipper with the second piece of canvas you cut for the zipper gusset.

Sewing the Tabs

If you’re adding zipper tabs to your bag, you should stop after Step 3(b) and follow these instructions:
  1. Take a scrap of coordinating fabric that’s 4 inches by 7 inches, and press it in half lengthwise.
  2. Open it up. Fold each long raw edge in toward that center line and press.
  3. Now fold the piece in half lengthwise along the original fold and press again, with starch.
  4. Edge-stitch along both long edges.
  5. Cut the piece in half so that you have two pieces, each 1 inch by 3½ inches.
  6. Fold each piece in half width-wise (they’re both 1 inch by 1¾ inches now), basting one to each edge of the zipper. (See pictures below.) 
Here I’m folding the raw edges in toward the original center fold.

To keep the open zipper end together, I basted it with a few stitches.

Wonder Clips work better for me in this step than pins.

Here is a zipper tab, all basted in place.

Making the Handles

I really like the way Anna constructs the handles in this pattern. I used quilting cotton for my handles, and I followed her instructions to the letter.

A few notes on the handle-making front: If you find working with a 44-inch piece of fabric unwieldy, cut yours into two 22-inch pieces instead. I do recommend starch to get good, crisp folds that will help you sew neat lines of top stitching along the length.

Also: I suggest sewing those lines of top stitching along the length from the outside in. In other words, sew one on the open side on the right and then sew one on the left. Keep alternating right and left. That way, if your spacing doesn’t work out perfectly, it will still be symmetrical. (Read through to the bottom of the post for more detail on that.)

I pressed my raw edges in toward the seam between the main handle fabric and
the accent fabric.

I do use the extra strip of canvas that Anna mentions, for added structure.

Pins work best for me in this step. I will start by sewing the open edge, which
is on the top here. Then I’ll sew the edge on the bottom and work my way
inward, alternating sides.

It worked out that my lines were perfectly spaced, so the fact that I alternated
the sides as I sewed didn’t matter.

If you are using a home dec fabric for your handles and the bulk seems too much for the handles to lie nicely, I recommend using just one fabric, modeling the construction after the zipper tabs:
  1. Cut a 7-inch by 44-inch piece of your home dec fabric.
  2. Fold it in half lengthwise and press.
  3. Open it up, fold the long raw edges in toward the center line, and press.
  4. Fold the piece back again along the original fold and press with starch.
  5. Sew along the length of the handle, starting at the open long edge and alternating between sides.
Here are my handles for Cargo Duffle #2, made with Amy Butler home dec fabric. Notice that my line spacing wasn’t perfect, but because I sewed those lines from the outside in, they are still symmetrical.


If you have any questions or comments, the best way to share them with me and everyone else sewing is to use the comments below, but you can also email me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com or DM me through Instagram.

Document your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cargodufflesewalong!

Related Links:
Main Cargo Duffle Sew-Along Page
Sew-Along Day 1: Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets
Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels
>Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles<
Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps
Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag
Prize Linky 


Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, March 8, 2019

Duffle Bags in Process / Beauties Pageant 23

A fun part of of sew-alongs—whether I’m actually sewing the project or not—is how participants approach the fabric pulls so differently. I get a kick out of seeing the same pattern realized in a variety of palettes and prints. We’re just a few days into the Cargo Duffle Sew-Along, and I’ve already spotted these beauties ...

Amy (@amynicholefraser) and I share a love of Rifle Paper Co’s floral prints. Look at this one she paired with gray Essex linen. So. Very. Pretty. (Note to self: You need to start sewing with more stripes.)

Photo courtesy of @amynicholefraser

@sewcially.awkward assembled the next fabric pull. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with Basic Grey as your focal fabric, and this floral from the design house’s Mon Ami collection does not disappoint. Then there’s that red fabric ... I think that’s the accent fabric for the straps. Sassy!

Photo courtesy of @sewcially.awkward

Justine (@sewjustinesew) has had the Cargo Duffle Bag on her to-do list for ages, and here she is, keeping up with the sew-along and kicking some WIP in the process. Those feathers have me dreaming about spring ...

Photo courtesy of @sewjustinesew

If you’re intrigued by the Cargo Duffle Bag pattern, it’s not too late to join the sew-along. A smaller finish like this makes a nice in-between-quilts palate cleanser. For the full sew-along schedule, click the link in the navigation bar or here. Participants who finish their projects by the end of the month can enter to win one of these prizes.

***

For those of you with a finish to share, it’s time for this week’s Beauties Pageant!


The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.




Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels

Today we will be quilting and assembling the exterior panels. As with the Cargo Duffle pattern in general, Anna’s directions are fabulously detailed with text and pictures. I’ve made so many of these bags, however, that I tweak a few steps. You’re welcome to read my thoughts and throw them in the trash on your way to your sewing machine—you’ll do just fine following Anna’s instructions!

My Perfectionist Approach to the Quilting Lines

I’ve quilted all of my Cargo Duffles with horizontal lines spaced three-quarters of an inch to an inch apart. To make sure the spacing of these lines is consistent throughout the exterior panels, I do this:
  1. Mark a horizontal line with my water-soluble pen at 4 inches from the bottom of both the front and the back (instead of Anna’s 3½ inches). 
  2. With my quilt sandwich (canvas, batting, quilting cotton) secured with pins, I start quilting at that 4-inch point and quilt outward, to the top edge.
  3. I turn my bottom accent piece to the wrong side by a half inch and press. Then I starch it and press again.
  4. Now when I place my exterior bottom accent on the quilted piece, it covers up that first line of quilting. When I start quilting the accent piece to the exterior panel, the quilting lines will be perfectly spaced.
The bottom exterior accent will cover up that first quilting line.

I did not follow these instruction for my first Cargo Duffle, and the spacing
is inconsistent where the main fabric and bottom accent meet.

My Persnickety Way of Attaching the Flaps

I also alter the instructions for attaching the flaps, all in the name of anal-retentive bag making:
  1. I trim a quarter inch off the top raw edge of each flap.
  2. Then I turn that raw edge under a quarter inch and press with starch.
  3. Now when I attach the flaps per the instructions, the raw edge is concealed by the rectangular bit of stitching on the top of the flap.
Except for a stray thread or two, the raw edge is pretty well concealed.
 
If you have any questions or comments, the best way to share them with me and everyone else sewing is to use the comments below, but you can also email me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com or DM me through Instagram.

Document your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cargodufflesewalong!

Related Links:
Main Cargo Duffle Sew-Along Page
Sew-Along Day 1: Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets
>Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels<
Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles
Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps
Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag
Prize Linky 


Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets

Hello, Cargo Duffle makers! Now that you have your bag pieces cut, we can tackle the pockets that put the “cargo” in our duffle bags.

Fusing the Interfacing

If bag making is new to you, you may not have had an occasion to use interfacing. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of fusing it to your beautiful project pieces. I use the same product Anna uses—Pellon Shape-Flex, SF101—because I have a bolt of it at the ready. The Shape-Flex instructions provide more detail than we need for the application here. All you really need to do is (1) cut the interfacing the same dimensions as the piece you’re adhering it to and (2) use a pressing cloth to press each bit of the interfacing for 10 seconds. Now, the directions also say to use the wool/steam setting on your iron. I never put water in my iron and just press on the cotton/no steam setting, and everything works out fine. For a pressing cloth, I use a paper towel, dipping it into a bowl of water, wringing it out, spreading it over the interfacing before pressing with the iron. Dip, wring, spread, repeat until the entire piece of interfacing is fused.

Getting the Right Seam Allowance

I am presuming you Cargo Duffle makers are quilters who can sew a quarter-inch seam allowance in your sleep. This is a gentle reminder that Anna instructs us to use a half-inch seam allowance throughout this pattern unless noted otherwise. 

Clipping Corners

In step 1(a), Anna tells us to clip corners. By clipping away a chunk of the seam allowance at the corners, you will prevent unwanted bulk that could cause distortion there. As you can see from my picture, below, you can get pretty close to that corner—just the width of a few threads away. As long as you don’t cut into the seam itself, the pocket will be fine.


Folding the Pleats

When I get to the step about making the pleats, I do as the pattern instructs, marking the center point of the front of the pocket panel. Instead of marking the four fold lines on the front, I flip my pocket to the back, mark the fold lines there, and score them with my Clover Hera Marker. Then I flip back to the front, fold along the lines, and press with starch, which sets me up for neater edge stitching.

This picture, lit up at night by the glow of my machine, shows the center marking and two of the four fold lines.


By the way, edge stitching is exactly what it sounds like. You sew really close to the fold, maybe a sixteenth of an inch from the edge. I tried to capture my edge stitching in the photograph below. I used a cream thread that blends in with the pocket fabric, though, so it’s hard to see. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)


Making the Flaps

The only curve sewing this pattern requires is the pocket flaps. If you’ve sewn curves in a quilt, you use the same principles here: shorten your stitch length a bit. Go slowly. With your needle in the down position, pivot as necessary.

You’ll need to clip the seam allowance here, too. Since Anna uses a half-inch seam allowance throughout this pattern, I trimmed rather aggressively around the entire flap, not just at the curved corners. Look at this picture for a before and after …



Again, I’m clipping the width of a few threads away ...



Once I turn my flaps right side out, I press with starch, just to get everything nice and flat before I edge-stitch.

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to share them with me and everyone else sewing is to use the comments below, but you can also email me at frombolttobeauty (at) gmail (dot) com or DM me through Instagram.

Document your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cargodufflesewalong!

Related Links:
Main Cargo Duffle Sew-Along Page
Sew-Along Day 1: Cutting the Pattern Pieces
>Sew-Along Day 2: Making the Cargo Pockets<
Sew-Along Day 3: Quilting and Assembling the Exterior Panels
Sew-Along Day 4: Making the Gusset, Tabs, and Handles
Sew-Along Day 5: Assembling the Bag and Installing the Snaps
Sew-Along Day 6: Lining the Bag
Prize Linky 


Follow on Bloglovin