Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag FO

Eeeeep, how I love my Sew Together Bag so much!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

Here’s the basic stats:

Sew Together Bag Pattern by Sew Demented, available via Craftsy.
– I English Paper Pieced the exterior using teensy pieces of Liberty Tana Lawn and Kona Navy. The squares are 1″ and the exterior is quilted with plain batting, no interfacing.
– The embroidery on the exterior is done in a perle cotton, size 16, and the design is from a 1930s embroidery transfer I bought on eBay!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

– Inside, I’ve got fabrics by Anna Maria Horner, Lizzy House, Cotton + Steel (neeeeeed mooooore Cotton + Steeeeeeel) and a few I don’t know the designers of – shout if you know!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

– I used Vilene woven interfacing G700 in only the places the pattern says to use interfacing and my bag is incredibly sturdy. I’ve talked before about how much I love this interfacing, it’s so perfect for bags and pouches. I’m never really sure what designers mean when they say ‘medium-weight interfacing’, ‘heavy sew-in interfacing’ – etc – in patterns, because most interfacing isn’t sold that way, or at least not that I’ve seen anyway. Many places simply list the product name (i.e., Vilene woven G700) or have interfacing on the bolt. Unless you already have good experience matching interfacing to projects, it feels like a bit of a crap-shoot. I’d love if more designers put a ‘such as’ in their pattern materials list, so you at least have something to go on. Meanwhile, I just noticed that Jaycotts here in the UK has more descriptive product titles than most shops, so check them out if you aren’t sure what to buy!
– I sewed everything but the steps with a zigzag stitch with my darling Bettie, my Singer Featherweight 221K. I thought she might have a hard time with all those layers and interfacing, but she’s such a champ, just stitched right through it without a complaint!

Finished Sew Together Bag!

I essentially followed the pattern to the letter, except for a few notes:
– I used longer zippers for the interior pockets, then trimmed them back once the three pockets were all together. This was simply because I had them lying around and didn’t want it to turn into a pricey project, but I’ll do it that way on purpose for the others I’ve been told I’m making for family members. :) If you have a longer zip, you can move the slider completely out the way and not have to worry about getting around it at all. Sure, you can stop halfway (with your needle down!) and slide it up, but if you have them handy or you aren’t paying more for the extra length, I’d go with a slightly longer zipper and skip the whole bother.

Finished Sew Together Bag!

– I hand-stitched my binding around the sides, just because it’s always neater for me that way. I had to do it by machine along the zipper length and that took me a couple of tries to get it looking as invisible as possible, but it worked out ok in the end.
– I did machine-attach the bag handles just as the pattern describes, but I’m not really that happy with how it came out. My Bettie did great, but it was so difficult to keep everything lined up nicely with so much to sew through. You can’t really see that stitching here, but I think it looks a little sloppy. I think I’d just do that section by hand next time – I might even rip out that 1″ of stitching one day and re-do it by hand on this one.

Finished Sew Together Bag!

But anyway, holy cow, how I loved this project! Even though I rushed it to be done for the Fat Quarterly Retreat and it could’ve been a more relaxing project, I still loved the hell out of it. It seems like it’s going to be tricky, but it’s such a fun and clever pattern and if you just do as you’re told, it will all work out in the end. I love my bag SO much!

Sew Together Bag WIP (+ Fat Quarterly Retreat Link-Up!)

I’m writing this post to share a project, but also to take part in the Fat Quarterly Retreat linky party! It’s only a couple of days away now and I’M SO DAMN EXCITED! I never thought I’d get the chance to go, so it’s an extra-special treat for me and I seriously can’t wait to meet everyone!

There’s me, up in the right corner over there, and I’m taking the hand quilting, screen printing, lampshade making, Touchdraw, Getting Into Print, and Fracture quilt classes. PHEW. We’re going to learn all the things! It’s like nerdy sewing summer camp!

As soon as I was sure I was going, I decided to make a Wiksten Tank (so, so far out of my comfort zone, but been on my list for ages) and a Sew Together Bag (also on my list for ages, and I’d need to carry all my sewing junk around anyway, right?). Well, I ran out of time before I even got to the tank, but my Sew Together Bag has been an epic journey.

Not that it’s that difficult really, just that I managed to make an already high-maintenance project even more complex. Because I couldn’t just make a zippered pouch with three zippered pouches inside. I had to make it with a hand-stitched, paper-pieced exterior –

Sew Together Exterior

– which I quilted (even more than this progress photo) and then stitched –

Stitching on Sew Together Exterior

– using a vintage embroidery pattern from the 1930s. Naturally.

Sew Together Interior

Here’s my interior, basically finished. I couldn’t find a piece of felt that matched (how do I not have a piece of felt that matched?!) so I skipped the needle landing, though I did want to include it. Maybe I can hand-stitch one in later. And I used some of the Cotton + Steel pretties that I’d pre-ordered from The Village Haberdashery – I cut right into them almost immediately upon delivery. (And now I’m slightly panicked and will absolutely need more, STAT. Especially those tigers. Oh, the tigers!)

I hope to get it the last bits of construction done today. I better, because I still have a ton of materials to gather and prep before Friday. If you’re coming to the Retreat, I can’t wait to meet you – just look out for the goofy American with dark hair and glasses, or my high-maintenance Sew Together Bag. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram or Flickr, you’ll probably recognize me by my avatar, ’cause I’ll wear my stitched nametag while I’m there!

And for the rest of you, I’ll show you my finished bag next week!

Mid-week Break

  • I can’t believe I forgot to point you towards Cate Anevski’s Blog Hop post! Such a dummy. I invited Cate after my post here, and she answered the same questions on her blog over here.
  • Part Two of our Summer Nights Stitch-along is online at Sew Mama Sew now!
  • A bunch of awesome peeps have posted about the Foldio lately and I totally have toy envy! What an awesome tool – UK shops: pretty please stock this asap, ok?! Thanks.
  • My lovely friend Cheryl (aka elephantjuice on IG and Twitter) shared this link about The Worst Star Wars Exhibition Ever. And it really is. But oh god, how I want to go to it. Seriously, so much.
  • I’m taking deep breaths and keeping calm, getting ready to make a Sew Together Bag by Sew Demented for the upcoming Fat Quarterly Retreat (not that it’s only a week away and I’m totally running out of time or anything) – I’ll show you my progress soon, but in the meantime, there’s some beautiful versions below and some excellent tips at From The Blue Chair. Wish me luck!

Mid-Week Break - July 10, 2014

1. Kantschool, 2. Wantage Lacemakers 2013, 3. STLMQG Rip Challenge, 4. Double goosed pincushion, 5. Watching you, 6. Grandmother Flower Garden, 7. Two down one to go!! #tinygeese, 8. a new micro mini sweater, 9. Sew Together Bag Inside, 10. ‘Michael the Magnificent’, 11. Play Around the World Quilt, 12. Beejeebers July block, 13. More random stitches on my art journal #embroidery project!, 14. cherry, 15. Sew Together Bag #5 – sunshine edition, 16. envolĂ©e_det