Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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

The Sun & Surf Tote by Modkid

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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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