Saturday, May 17, 2014

Everything Bag-a rushed tutorial

First if you are looking for the BSBP8 Post scroll down or click HERE.

Okay, I went to a quilting retreat and learned to make this bag.
 It's reversible and so handy.

I learn best by virtually immediately making a second of any project I've been taught.
 Doing it all on my own seems to make the information stick.

Since I had a new charm pack I used pre-cut 5inch squares for the second bag.
Even the handles are pieced charm pack squares cut in half and stitched together.
The inside (reverse) side was made with dull colors while the other side is brights.

So how do you do it?
You need 4 main things: 
1. sewing machine OR tons of patience & time plus hand sewing supplies
2. fabric for handles
3. Two images. Here's the first:
1st useful image
I'll explain this in a bit, but first you need fabric.
4. 32 squares of fabric all the same size. What size? That is totally up to you.
My first two bags are 5in squares, but my last and favorite was made with 8in squares.
For your first one it's best to use 4 different fabrics. You'll need 8 squares of each (four of each for the inside and four of each fabric for the outside. Put the 16 squares for the inside out of the way so you don't accidentally confuse your pieces.
2nd useful image
 Above is the second image you'll need. This is what you are shooting for.
Now, how do you get your squares to look like that?
Sew two together with a 1/4in seam allowance, then iron the seam to one side. Repeat.
 Then sew those two pieces together to make a 4 square block. 
This is what you are shooting for when the first 4 squares are together.
The pins show the direction the seams are ironed.
 This next bit has a tricky part, but I could not get it to show up in a photo 
so hopefully you'll understand the following instructions.
Sew a square to one side of one of these squares. 
(Like one of the light purple ones in the 2nd useful image.)
Which one doesn't matter for this step BUT do not sew it all the way across.
Start at the corner and when you get to the seam from the previous step STOP sewing.
You will need that 1/4in seam allowance to sew the "legs" of your bag together later.
Repeat this till you have all four squares sewn on the edges as shown the 2nd useful image.
The next part is quick and easy.
One at a time take your next four squares and sew one all the way across the top of each of your four squares that stick out. Repeat till you have a fabric monster similar to the one shown in the 2nd useful image. Iron one monster's leg seams down toward the center, then iron the 2 on either side up or away from the center. Can you guess what's left? Yep, iron that last set of seams down.
NOW it's time to explain this image.
You should have something like this (minus the arrows).
I was told to pivot at the Xs and sew the sides together.
That made no sense to me so here's what worked for me. Fold one of the squares marked with a #1 above in half at the Xs. This should put the #2 square sewn to the folded one on top of the #1 square sew to the folded one. This should also have 2 legs laying on top of each other right sides together, but not lining up at the ends. Pin each point where the seams meet. If you don't know how to "nest a seam" check out this video. When you sew this long seam you will think it's wrong because you will have an entire square hanging off the end. That actually how it's suppose to look so don't panic. Just repeat the fold at the Xs, pin at the seams making sure you nest each seam, and sew till you've sewn up all the sides. It will look something like this.
This doesn't have the 4th seam sewn up yet in case you were wondering.
Once they all are sewn you repeat this entire sewing process to make the inner bag. Then you iron them both. Turn one with the fabric right side out and the other with the fabric right side in. Drop the one with the fabric right side in inside the other and fold the triangle bits that hang over inside the bag layers down to the points of the next row of squares. Pin all the way around. 

Now it's time for handles. I literally make this up as I go each time depending on what I want. So choose a width you'd like and double it plus 1/2in for the seam allowance. For the length pick your length and add a good 2in-3 inches so you have something to tuck inside the layers of the bag and sew to secure. Don't forget to double this total length so you have enough for the second handle. So you've taken your length and width measurements and cut 2 really long, thin rectangles. Turn each right sides together and sew a 1/4in seam all the way down the long side of each one. Then take a large safety pin and "sew" (weave the pin part in and out of one side of the fabric tube several times and close) it into one end of the inside out fabric tube I've just created. Then feed the safety pin through the tube to turn your handle right side out. Repeat for the second handle. Iron flat and pin them in between your bag layers. It's best if you do this in the middle of squares to reduce the bulk of sewing the handles near bag seams. Sew all the way around the opening of your bag and you are done. Add decorative stitches if desired.
Whew! I hope that helps. 
If you have any question please ask. I'm still a sewing novice so 
I'm sure there is room for improvement here.

Thanks to Brenda. 
The fun, energetic lady who keeps me motivated to sew. 
Oh and she's the one who taught me this bag.
Brenda you are AMAZING in so many ways!
Thanks Hun.
(Psst...Brenda. Hey, when are we going to make knit dresses?)

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