Friday, June 26, 2015

Sew-Along #26 - Sun & Surf Tote - Lesson 3

The Sun & Surf Tote by Modkid

 ** If you would like to see an image on our blog in a larger format, just click on it to enlarge

Note: Links to products within this post are either links to our website or affiliate links. 

Welcome to Day 3 of the Sun & Surf Tote sew along.  Today we are going to finish this baby up!  So let's get the good times rolling!  

The first thing we need to do is make the button loop for the tote. 

Note for Laminates: Skip below and I will show a few tips for this step on the laminate fabric.  

Take your bottom loop piece and fold and press it in half, wrong sides together, along the long side. 

Now, open it up and fold the long edges toward the center, pressing in place.  

 Refold along the center crease and then stitch along both edges of the folded loop piece.

 Attach your loop to one side of the outside main tote panel, at the lower point of the triangle you cut out.  

To make the loop with the laminate fabric: 
Making the loop and straps with laminate is a touch trickier because you rely a lot on ironing to make those pieces lay nice and flat.  I used a combination of basting spray, Wonder Clips and Wonder Tape to help me out with my loop and strap in the laminate.  

Before folding the loop piece, I lightly sprayed the wrong side of the piece with basting spray.  Then, I finger pressed it in half, unfolded it (it will be sticky, but isn't a permanent hold) and then finger pressed the two edges toward the center.  The basting spray helps hold them in place.   

Then, I folded in half and used the Wonder Clips to hold it until it was sewn up.
Position the loop on the bag using a Wonder Clip instead of a pin.  

Now, we are going to sew the lining into the bag.  

Start with your main bag right side out and your lining wrong side out.  

Place the main bag inside of the lining (they will be right sides together) and match the side seams and the triangle cut outs.  You might need to smush the main bag a little inside of the lining to get the top edges to match up.  Pin or Wonder Clip along the top edges and then sew around the entire top edge with a 1/2" seam allowance (reinforce at the loop by backstitching and stitching over it a few times). 

Once the top seam is sewn, you are going to turn the bag by pushing the outer tote through the hole you left in the bottom of the lining, then turning the lining right side out through the same hole.  This is often referred to as "birthing" the bag; you'll see why when you do it :) 

It is darn near impossible to birth a bag and take pictures during the process, so I took a before an after to give an idea.  

Once the bag is completely turned, but before you push the lining inside the tote, put your plastic canvas bottom into the bottom of the main tote through the hole.  Get it nice and situated in there because it will be a lot harder to adjust once the lining is sewn up.  

After the plastic canvas is in, you'll sew up the opening in the lining.  

Now push the lining into the bag.  Once the lining was nicely tucked into the tote, I Wonder Clipped along the top edge to make sure my edges were lined up nicely.  

Then, I transferred it to my machine and topstitched along the entire top edge of the tote.  

Okay, now for the grommets.  Your grommets should come with a template to draw out the area to cut from your bag.  Transfer the circle from the template to the side of your tote, at least 1/2" from the top edge.  Cut out the fabric from inside of the circle.  

Be very careful because the material here is thick and you can easily cut too much while trying to cut through it all.  If in doubt, err on the side of too small and then cut more if you need it.  

Getting the grommets placed and snapped together is a little tricky because of the seams and the fleece and the layers (those of you with laminates, this step is actually easier for you! Yay!) 

There are two sides to your grommets, one side has a raised lip on the inside of it, the other has teeth on the inside.  I found it easiest to start with the raised lip side and lay my grommet face down, then place my tote on top of it and work the fabric around the lip of the grommet.  

Once you have it all in place, place the teeth side of the grommet on top and press it together.  I won't lie, it was a little effort to get those layers snapped into the grommet, but it will be well worth your "purseperation" (yes, that is my own term for the effort that goes into bag making). 

You should double check that both sides are all tucked into the grommet before moving to the next one.  If they aren't, you can pop the grommet open with a flat screwdriver and try again (we don't need to talk about how I know that...)

 Now, repeat the process with the second grommet on the opposite side of the tote, making sure it is the same distance from the top edge as the first one.  

Okay, moving onto the strap (the last step!) I didn't get good pictures of the regular one I did, so we will use my laminate fabric pictures instead.  :) 

For the regular fabric strap, you will iron the short edges of the strap piece over 1/4" toward the wrong side.  For the laminate, I used Wonder Tape to fold over my edge. 

One side of the Wonder Tape is paper, the other side is sticky (it is wash-away, although you won't wash laminate fabric, but good to know for other uses).  Once the sticky side is applied along the edge, remove the paper and reveal the other sticky side.  Fold it over and it will stay in place.  

Now, match you long edges and finger press for laminates, or iron for regular fabric.  I actually used a cold iron to get a better pressed line on this step on my laminate, but if you are going to do that, be certain it is really completely cool.  

Now, open the strap back up flat.  

For regular fabric: Press each long edge into the center pressed line and then refold along the center line and press well. Once your folds are pressed, open it back up and add the small fleece piece into the center of the strap, and refold.  

For laminates: You can spray the wrong side of the fabric with the basting spray to add tackiness and then fold in each long edge to the center pressed line.  Fold again along the center line and use Wonder Clips to hold it in place.  

Sew along both long edges and the ends of the strap, 1/8" from the edge.  I added a line of stitching to the center of my strap too just because I liked how it looked.  

Once the edges are sewn, thread the end of the strap through the grommet and fold the end up.  Stitch or snap the end to the main strap.  If stitching, you can sew a rectangle with an X in the middle of it for added stability.  

FINAL are so close to being done!

Sew you button onto main tote, on the opposite side from the button loop, below the front "V".  I used some cute cording I had because I am terrible at sewing buttons on neatly.  The cording makes it look like my messiness is intentional :) 

Once your button is sewn in place, you are finished.  Go share your pictures in the  group and carry your bag with the pride of a job well done!

Thanks so much for joining me for this sew along.  I hope to see you back again soon!

* If you would like to earn entries into the prize drawing, please make sure to submit a photo of your completed lesson three to this Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CST, Tuesday, June 30th. If you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Happy Sewing,
Danielle Storm

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sew-Along #26 - Sun & Surf Tote - Lesson 2

The Sun & Surf Tote by Modkid

 ** If you would like to see an image on our blog in a larger format, just click on it to enlarge

Note: Links to products within this post are either links to our website or affiliate links. 

Welcome to Day 2 of the Modkid Sun & Surf Tote Sew Along.  Today we are going to get started constructing the tote.  We will get several steps done today, so hang in there and it will really start to look like a tote by the end of the lesson.  

Note for Laminates: I used a non-stick foot for sewing on my tote when using the laminate.  It is very simple to sew once you have the foot installed.  

Our first step in making the tote is to measure and cut a triangle out of the 4 main pieces (2 outer and 2 inner).  I measured and drew my lines on one piece, then stacked them and cut them all at once.  But you can certainly cut them one at a time if you prefer.

First you will measure in 3" from each edge of the main piece along the long edge and mark your piece.  I use the FriXion gel pens because they "erase" when you heat them, so ironing over the marks makes them disappear.  For marking on the laminates, I used chalk.  

Then, mark the center of the main panel along the same long edge.  Measure down 3" from the center mark and mark again.  

Now connect the dots.  

Once you have your triangle marked, if you want to cut them all at once, carefully stack your front and back pieces so that they are exactly even in a pile.  Then cut along the marked lines you made to remove the triangle pieces.  

Set all except for one lining piece aside for now.  We will now attach the inner pocket to one of the lining pieces.  

Note for Laminates: You do not want to use pins through your laminates because it will cause a permanent hole in them.  I use wonder clips for clipping my pieces together.  The laminate holds pretty well without anything when it is right sides together because the plastic coating doesn't slide on itself.  

Take your inner pocket pieces and place them right sides together.  I like to mark my 2" space on one edge so that I don't forget and sew it all the way around.  

Sew the two inner pocket pieces together using a 1/2" seam allowance, starting at one mark and sewing around to the other mark.  

Once your seam is sewn, clip the corners of you inner pocket (careful to not cut through your stitching). 

Now, turn the piece right sides out through the hole you left in the bottom.  I like to use a corner tool or a chopstick to gently push my corners out.  

Note for Laminates: Finger press your pocket flat. Do NOT use an iron.

Press your pocket piece so that it lays nice and flat.  Then topstitch along one long edge, 1/2" from the top.  

Place the pocket piece on the right side of one lining piece, centering it, and pin the pocket in place.    

Note for laminates: For this step, I just relied on the sticky nature of the laminate fabric to hold it in place.  So I did not pin or clip the pocket to the lining piece.  I also used chalk instead of pen to draw my lines.  It wipes off easily once the line is sewn.  

Mark a line 4" from the side edge of the pocket to divide the pocket into 2.  

Sew the pocket to the lining piece along the 2 sides and bottom edge of the pocket, stitching 1/8" from the edge of the pocket.  Then sew along the dividing line. 

If you used the FriXion pen, press over your line to remove the markings.  

Great, done with that!  Set the lining piece aside and we will work on the outer pockets.  

Sew one interfaced pocket piece to one non-interfaced piece, rights sides together.  Repeat for the remaining pocket pieces.  Note for Laminates: Your pieces will not be interfaced. Instead, sew one Outer Pocket piece to one Outer Pocket Lining piece, right sides together.  Repeat.

I iron the piece open (just finger press for laminates) and then fold it wrong sides together and press again.  Once it is pressed, topstitch the folded edge (1/2" from edge).

Pin (or Wonder Clip for laminates) the outer pocket to the outer main tote piece.  Repeat for the other outer pocket and main tote piece.  

Baste the pocket pieces to the main tote pieces along the side and bottom using a 1/8" seam allowance.  Them mark a line 6.5" from each side to mark the outer pocket dividers.  

Stitch along the lines you marked.  If using the FriXion pen, iron to remove the marks.

Now, you will take the two completed outer tote pieces and lay them right sides together. Sew the outer pieces together along the sides and bottom using a 1/2" seam allowance.

In the bottom corners of the outer main panel (opposite of the cut out triangle) mark a 3"x3" square.  

Very precisely cut the square you drew out of the main pieces.

Open up the square you just cut and match your side seam and your bottom seam, pressing the opposite corners of the square flat.  This will create the box bottom of the bag.  

Wonder Clip (or pin) the seam you just flattened and sew across it (remove the clips before you get to them though!) using a 1/2" seam allowance. 

Now you are going to repeat the process of sewing the lining panels together and creating the box bottom with your lining pieces.  

VERY IMPORTANT: When sewing your lining pieces, leave an 8" opening in the bottom seam to turn your bag through.  

Sew the side seams and bottom seam (leaving 8" open on the bottom) then measure and cut your 3" squares.

Match your side and bottom seams.  

Note for laminates: Use Wonder Clips, rather than pins, for these steps.  

Pin the seam flat and sew using a 1/2" seam allowance.

PHEW! That was a lot, but the longest day and you are DONE!  The next lesson will create the loop for the button, sew in the lining and attached the grommets, then make the strap and finish up the bag! 

See you next time. 


* If you would like to earn entries into the prize drawing, please make sure to submit a photo of your completed lesson two to this Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CST, Monday, June 29th. If you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Happy Sewing,
Danielle Storm  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sew-Along #26 - Sun & Surf Tote - Lesson 1

The Sun & Surf Tote by Modkid

 ** If you would like to see an image on our blog in a larger format, just click on it to enlarge

Note: Links to products within this post are either links to our website or affiliate links.  

Welcome to Day One of the Modkid Sun & Surf Tote sew along!  I am so excited to instruct this sew along.  I am becoming such a bag lady and I am hoping to convert some of you to join me :) 

The Sun & Surf Tote is a great beginner project; a quick and fun introduction to bag making if you are new to it.  But even if you are a seasoned maker, you'll enjoy making this fun tote. The tote is so functional and versatile, you'll probably end up making more than one.  

I made both a cotton fabric/twill version and a laminate cotton version.  I'll address any special steps that you need to take for the laminate as we go through, but no fear! The laminate is really easy to use.  So let's get started!

Today we are going to focus on prepping all of our pieces.  If you are using cotton fabric, I highly recommend starting out with washed/dried fabric.  I used the laminate right off of the bolt.  

You'll want to collect all of your cutting supplies and fabrics.  I used my cutting mat and ruler to measure out all of the fabric, interfacing and fleece stabilizer.  I like to snip and rip my cottons and then use my rotary cutter to cut my interfacing.  For the laminate, I used the rotary cutter.  

You will want to cut the following pieces for each tote you are doing (all of the measurements are contained in the pattern instructions):

NOTE: For laminate, I omitted the interfacing and fleece since you cannot iron it onto the laminate (it will melt) so just cut the fabric pieces if you are doing a laminate tote.  We have also included cutting images for the kit laminates below.

• Shoulder Strap: Cut 1 from your strap fabric and a smaller piece of fusible fleece.  
I would suggest cutting this piece first because you need to cut it in one piece and if you cut the other pieces first, you'll likely have to cut it as two pieces (don't ask how I know!) 

• Front and Back Pieces: 2 from main fabric, 2 from lining fabric, 2 from fusible fleece, 2 from lightweight fusible interfacing

• Outer Pockets: 4 from coordinating fabric (twill) and 2 from lightweight fusible interfacing.  

NOTE: For one tote I did a contrasting color for the outer pocket and used the same color for both the pocket outside and lining.  For the other, I used the same fabric for the outside of the pocket as I had for the main bag, but used a contrasting fabric for the inside of the pocket.  What ever combo you want to do is great!  Just make sure you have it all straight as you are cutting so you get the combination of pieces cut correctly.

• Inner Pocket: 2 from a coordinating fabric and 1 from lightweight fusible interfacing. 

• Button Loop: 1 from coordinating fabric

• Cut Plastic Canvas to size (but not with your fabric scissors!) 

One thing I did to help cut my laminate was to measure and then finger press the line I was going to cut.  The ruler does not move smoothly over the laminate so it helps to get the ruler lined up easily on your first try. 

Once you open it up, you can still see the finger pressed line.

If you purchased a laminate kit, your laminate came in half yard pieces to keep shipping costs down.  Please see the diagrams below for cutting out your laminate pieces. 

Your Button Loop could also be cut from the coordinate laminate.

Once all of the interfacing and fabric is cut, I like to give my fabric (not laminates) a good press to get it nice and smooth.  Then you will want to adhere the fleece to the outer main fabric (wrong side) and the lightweight interfacing to the lining pieces and to one of the inner pocket pieces and two of the outer pocket pieces. 

You can use a handheld iron, but I love my steam press for applying interfacing and especially fleece.  The steam press makes it so easy to get even and fast adhesion of the interfacing. 

Once all of your pieces have the stabilizers attached (not every piece will, just the ones listed above) you are done for the day! 

So that's it!  I will meet you back here for lesson 2 when we are going to tackle the pockets and outer bag construction.  


* If you would like to earn entries into the prize drawing, please make sure to submit a photo of your completed lesson one to this Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CST, Friday, June 26th. If you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Happy Sewing,
Danielle Storm  
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