Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Zipped bag tutorial

This little bag is a variation on one I have been making for a while now. The first variation was this:
It came from a Japanese book (yes, all in Japanese except for the measurements on the diagrams!) of items made from denim.  I have now developed the bag into this:

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 It is a zipped bag with longer handles - and here is a tutorial for it.

From denim, I cut four rectangles each 5" x 10" in two different denims.  I also cut three denim strips 2" wide and three strips of contrast fabric 2" wide (and at least 5" long); four 3" x 10" strips for the zip edging, four 4" square pieces for the zip ends and two 4" strips (each the length of a jeans leg) for the straps.
From lining I cut two rectangles each 10" by 11".
I used a 10" zip and cut it down; I suspect you could get away with an 8" zip.

First I made the handles by folding each strip in half lengthwise and pressing, then pressing the long sides to the middle (wrong sides together) and folding it along the original fold.  I top stitched each edge of each strap.

Next I made the contrast band by stitching together the denim and contrast strips, alternating them.  I needed 3 of each strip.  I pressed the fabric pieces and then cut across them (at right angles to the seams) to make two 2" strips.

I next put two pieces of 3"x10" denim right sides together with the zip sandwiched between them.  I sewed them along the long edge, and repeated with the other side, then topstitched both sides.  Opening the zip partially, I sandwiched the piece between two 4" squares at each end to make the enclosed ends for the zip.  Much experimenting has shown me that this makes the neatest zip fastening for bags. It ended up like this:
All my pieces were now ready and this was getting exciting!  I took one contrast band and one main 5"x10" denim piece and sewed them along the long side.  I then sewed the other 5"x10" rectangle to the other side of the contrast band to make one complete side.  I repeated this with the other denim and contrast pieces to make the other side.

I took each side piece and pinned the handles in place to the top edge.I then took one of these side pieces and one of the lining pieces and put them right sides together with the zip between them, lining up the long sides of the zip with the top edges of the bag side and lining.  I then sewed along this side, starting and finishing 1/4" from the edge. Back stitch over the handle for added strength. After repeating this with the other side, I opened the pieces and checked I had not missed any seams - it is easy to do! 

Next I pinned the denim pieces together around all three sides.  Leaving 1/4" unsewn along the join between lining and main fabric means that you can sew right to the top of the seam.

 I repeated this for the lining, but left a gap of about 4" along the bottom edge for turning.

Once the main bag pieces were sewn, I pinned and sewed the shor zip edge, only trimming to size after I had sewn.
From the corners of the main bag and lining I cut out a 1.5" square.

Pinching the sides together, I sewed across the seam to box the base.

I then turned the bag the right way in, but before putting the lining inside the seam I top stitched the open section.
The bag was nearly finished - just the zip to sort out!
I pushed the zip and its edging inside the bag and pinned it in place, then top stitched round the top of the bag.  I found it best to do this from the inside - and even so, with denim it is tricky.  Take it slowly and make sure you are using a proper denim machine needle!
Finished - one handy little bag - and possibly the best zip technique yet!

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