Friday, June 26, 2015

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

The Sun & Surf Tote by Modkid

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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

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