Friday, March 26, 2010

Making the 1/2 Circle Bag PART THREE

This is the tricky part. Find the center of each end and of each long side of the zipper piece, mark with pins.

Now find the quarter portions of the bag piece and mark with pins.

Pin the center of one long side of the zipper piece to the center of the top of the bag, right sides together. Be sure to leave the zipper unzipped some so you have a hole to turn the bag right side out when you finish stitching. (I usually unzip the whole zipper because it makes it easier for me to stitch.) Pin the opposite side the same way. Now pin the center of the short ends of the zipper piece to the center marks on the bag piece (this was your original fold when you cut out the bag.)

Starting at the top of the bag (the long side of the zipper piece) pin the bag to the zipper from the center to the seam. Do this for all 4 sections.

Working from the center to the ends makes it easier to keep the sides even.

Now arrange the ends so that the curved edge will lie flat when you sew. Pin the curve. Repeat for the other end.

I have never done this bag that I didn't have to adjust the ends. Take your time and pin it the same at both ends.

Now, sew all the way around the bag using a 1/4" seam allowance. Overlap where you started sewing by about 1/2" when you get all the way around. HINT: take your time and stop frequently to adjust the fabric as you sew. I have found that it is easier to keep the curve even by sewing on the bag side instead of the zipper side of the seam.

All that is left is to turn the bag right side out and press the seams UNLESS you choose to do one more step that makes it even nicer. After you turn and press, topstitch the seam to the bag. This gives it a better shape and keeps the seam allowances from fraying.

The finished bag....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Making the 1/2 Circle Bag PART TWO

Change the presser foot to a zipper foot and set the machine for regular stitching.

Zipper foot.........

Machine settings......

Align the zipper with the zipper foot and stitch straight down one side of the zipper, removing pins and straightening as you go.

At some point you will need to leave the needle down, lift the presser foot, and slide the zipper pull out of your way.

Pin the second side of the zipper to the other folded fabric strip, keeping the short ends even.

Sew the second side of the zipper the same way you did the first.

The short ends should be even when you are finished.

OPTIONAL STEP: Cut the 4" ribbon scrap in half. Fold each 2" piece in half and pin over the ends of the zipper, keeping the raw edges even. Baste.

Cut the 4" x 2 1/2" fabric piece in half the long way.

Pin over the ends of the zipper, right sides together and sew in a 1/4" seam.

NICE TOUCH, but not required.... Press the seam allowances toward the short ends and topstitch the seam allowances down.

Making the 1/2 Circle Bag PART ONE

one 16" or longer zipper
1/2 yard fabric
4" scrap of coordinating ribbon (optional)

1. Trace around my cardboard pattern to make the bag pattern. Cut a strip 16" x 2 1/2 " for the zipper placket pattern and another pattern 2 1/2" x 4" for the ends. Copy the information from the cardboard pattern to your pattern. The grain for the 2 1/2" pieces will go the long way.

2. Cut one bag piece on the fold. Cut 2 long strips and one small piece.

3. Fold the long strips in half lengthwise and press WRONG sides together.

4. Pin one folded edge to the zipper tape with the short end 1/4" from the head of the zipper.
Mark where the fabric strip ends on the zipper tape, as well as a mark 1/4" from the short end of the fabric.

5. Shorten the zipper (if needed) by setting the machine for a wide zigzag stitch that is very close together. CAREFULLY sew over the zipper at the mark 1/4" from the end.

Cut off the excess right below the bottom mark.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to Use the Tracing Wheel

1. Select a color of tracing paper that will be visible on your fabric.

2. Put the colored side of the tracing paper against the WRONG sides of your fabric. Slip the tracing paper between the pattern and the fabric so you can see what you will be marking.

3. Using enough pressure to mark both fabric pieces, roll the tracing wheel over the lines to be marked. The photos illustrate how to mark a dart.

The next two photos show the correctly marked dart on both wrong sides of the bodice front.

To use tracing paper to mark a buttonhole, take care not to over mark. This is done on the right side of the fabric, so you don't want any more marks than you need. For women, buttonholes are marked on the right side, men's shirts have the buttonholes on the left.

CAREFULLY press the tracing wheel at the ends of each buttonhole, and press it along the cutting line as well.
You should have just enough of a mark to be able to sew the buttonhole.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steps in the Baby Dress Project

1. Determine what pattern pieces you need. Put your name on each piece. Cut them out along the heavy black line. Mark on the pattern what markings you will need to transfer to your fabric.

2. Prepare your fabric by making sure it is folded with the grain straight. Press your fabric if needed

3. Use the information found on the pattern pieces along with my layout guide below to lay your pattern pieces on your fabric and make sure they all fit.

4. Pin the pattern to your fabric. Remember to put the bent arrow on the fold and to measure the straight arrows with the straight selvege. The measurement at the top of a straight arrow should be the same as the measurement at the bottom of that arrow.
Measure 12" across the width of the fabric for the skirt. Use a right angle to make sure the grainline is straight.

5. Carefully cut the fabric around the pattern pieces, making sure to cut OUT around the notches.

DO NOT CUT THE FABRIC FOLD! That defeats the purpose of laying it out that way.

Remember to cut double notches together in one piece.

6. Use the tracing wheel and paper to mark the darts on the WRONG side of the front and back bodice. See the blog titled "How to Use the Tracing Wheel" for instructions.

7. Use a pin and fabric marking pencil or chalk to mark the dots on the WRONG side of each piece.First insert a pin through the center of the dot through the pattern and both layers of fabric.

Use a marking pencil or chalk to mark where the pin is inserted on the wrong side of the fabric under the pattern.

Mark the wrong side of the back fabric piece the same way.
The pin provides a surface to mark against, insuring a good mark.

Be sure to mark all the dots on each pattern piece the same way. The following photo shows all the pieces that need to be marked.