Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shopping Bag Tutorial - Part Four (final)

We are now onto the next stage of the shopping bag; making and attaching the bit so that we can carry our goodies home. I don't have any fancy gadgets to help me turn tubes of material and use this following method for all sort of projects.

Spray strap fabric with some starch and firmly iron the wrong side together lengthwise with raw edges neatly meeting. When you open the fabric back, you are able to see the centre crease along the length of the material.

With fabric opened up, fold the raw edge of the material to the centre and press. Do this to both sides.

Now fold the folded edges to the centre and press. Do the same with second strap and now the sewing will start.

Using my Blind Hemmer foot and needle position to the left, I proceed to sew down both sides of each strap. The straps are now ready to sew to the bag, but first we must hem around the top edge of the bag.

It is entirely up to you how wide you hem the top of your bag. My first fold was one inch and I tucked a 1/4 of that under then using my blind hemmer foot with needle to the left, I sewed all the way around the top edge then pressed.

I have measured and marked 2" in from all the side seams on the main body of the bag at the top. I have also measured 8" down on the outside of the bag for the strap placement, which will give it more strength, rather than sewn just to the top of the bag for those times when carrying very heavy items such as tin food.

Pin the strap so that the long edge meets up to the 2'' measurement and the narrow width meets the 8" mark. Tuck under about a 1/2" of the raw edge on the end of the strap as you see in the image.

Starting from the bottom of the strap and sew to the top edge. Once you reach the top, sew an "X" so that the strap is securely held into place. Continue then to sew down to the bottom and finish with a box, once more making a strong secure finish. Sew all ends to the bag and then you are finished...... or are you!?

Make it easier for the checkout person; add a loop: I nearly thought of making this another post but already so many photos; may as well add four more. :D

My daughter has also been waiting patiently for this bit, because she does not have a bias maker. All you need is an ironing board, iron and needle....can't get any easier than that! :D

For the loop I did not cut the 1" wide fabric on the bias, because it isn't necessary. The fabric is 41/2" long.

Folding the long raw edge to the centre of the fabric, hold it in place on the ironing board and weave the needle through the ironing board cover, as you see above making sure you do not poke the needle through the folded material. There is only just enough room for the fabric to move through when I pull the end of the material, so that area would not be much wider than 1/2"

With a hot iron, press the end as you see in the above image. Pull some more of the folded fabric through and press. Continue doing this until you have the length of your material folded and ironed to the centre. As you will see, you can make any width bias using this method.

As you did with the straps for your bag, fold along long edge so that they meet, press then sew. I sewed on both sides.

Attach to your bag, as you see in the above image.

A neater way would be to sew the ends of the loop inside the top hem when you are at that hemming stage, then sew back up along loop to the top to make it stay in place, but it really doesn't matter. A small zig zag stitch soon has the ends tidy.

Hint: For a very strong bag, making the straps long enough to go under the bag. Some of the goodies in the bag then would be actually supported by the straps, which would make the bag last longer. As you can see, it is really up to your imagination with what you can do with a very basic pattern.

Quick Links to making this bag:

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