Friday, July 31, 2015

8. Stash and Dash - Bind the Inner Mesh Pockets

free sewing tutorial

Bind the Inner Mesh Pockets

We will need:

For this step you will need the three 5" x 9" inner mesh pockets and the six 2" x 9" binding strips. Three of the 2" x 9" binding strips will be attached to the mesh pockets. The other three 2" x 9" binding strips will be used to bind the top of the zipper once it is attached to the mesh pockets.We will also use these tools:
  • Sewing machine with 1/4" foot
  • Stiletto/pressing tool
  • Pins, fine-point
  • Wonder Clips

Objectives:
Learn secrets to working with mesh and for attaching bindings as you bind the three mesh pockets for the inside of the organizer. 

Let's get started:

sewing with mesh

1. With right sides out, fold each binding piece of contrasting fabric in half lengthwise. DO NOT IRON. Pin every 4" to 6” to secure. 


TIP: By pinning rather than pressing, we'll get a smoother, nicer finish to our bindings, avoiding unwanted creases and folds in the binding when it is turned to the front.



how to sew mesh

2. On the "wrong"* side of one mesh pocket, match the raw edges of one pinned binding strip with the raw edges of the mesh pocket. Sew through all layers. 


*There is really no right or wrong side to the mesh fabric, but if you are using a fabric other than mesh for your pocket, you'll want to stitch on the wrong side first, so we'll keep that terminology in place here.


TIP: When working with mesh, I find it easiest to sew with the fabric on the bottom and the mesh on top. Mesh can stretch, so be careful to keep it flat. This pattern is designed so that the pockets and bindings are cut larger than needed to accomodate any wonkiness.



3. To help the binding fold over more easily, press the mesh and binding toward the binding using a wooden pressing tool. I prefer to press bindings using a pressing tool as I do not want to iron a crease in the fold of the fabric (see Tip for step 1 above).



how to sew mesh


how to sew mesh


4. Turn the binding to the front, folding it so that the folded edge just covers the previous line of stitching. Secure with Wonder Clips to hold in place.

how to sew mesh 
5. Topstitch close to the folded edge. A stiletto works well to hold the binding in place as you stitch. 
how to sew mesh


how


Next Up:

9. Attach the Mesh Pockets to the Zippers and Bind the Upper Edges



Click here for the full schedule of postings for ByAnnie's Summer Sew Along - Stash and Dash.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

7. Stash and Dash - Prepare the Zippers

Summer Sew Along from ByAnnie.com

Prepare the Zippers

We will need:

For this step we will use one 30" double-slide handbag zipper and an extra zipper pull. If you are using three 10" (or longer zippers), you can skip this step.

We will also use these tools:

  • Sewing machine with ¼" foot
  • Marking pen or pencil
  • Quilter's ruler - a 6" x 12" ruler is perfect for this step but a larger ruler will also work
  • Rotary cutter or scissors

Objectives:

There are three zippered mesh pockets on the inside of the Stash and Dash organizer. We prefer to install handbag zippers in these pockets because of their durability and ease of installation (not to mention their extra-long pulls!). The good news: We can make all three pockets using just ONE double-slide zipper and an extra zipper pull.


Let's get started:


1. Measuring from the OUTSIDE edge of the zipper stop on one end of the zipper, make a mark across the zipper tape 10" from the stop. 

NOTE: The ruler in the picture could be moved down just a bit so that the 10" line is at the outside edge of the ruler. Cutting the zippers at 10" leaves plenty of extra, though, so if you put the 10" mark on the inside edge as shown, that is OK. Your last zipper might be a bit shorter than 10" but it will still be more than enough.



Make



Make

2. Make another mark 10" away from that mark. This will divide the 30" zipper into three 10" zippers.


Make


3. Being careful to have only ONE zipper pull in each section, stitch across the zipper tape (through the teeth, too) about 1/8" away from each marked line. 


Pivot and stitch again across the zipper tape about 1/8" to the other side of each line. 


NOTE: There will be one 10" section of zipper tape without a zipper pull. We will add a pull to that section later.



Sew


Make


4. Cut along the marked lines using a rotary cutter or scissors.


Sew
5. You will now have three 10" zippers, two will pulls and one without. There will be a line of stitching at the cut end of each of the zippers to prevent the pulls from coming off. 

Remove the stitching on the end of zipper without the pull so that you can attach a pull in the next step.




Sew
6. Refer to the Using Leftover Zipper Tape video tutorial on our website for instructions for adding a zipper pull to the last 10" zipper.


Next Up: 

8. Bind the Inner Mesh Pockets



Click here for the full schedule of postings for ByAnnie's Summer Sew Along - Stash and Dash.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

6. Stash and Dash - Make the Strap Closure

free sewing tutorial

Make the Strap Closure

We will need:

For this step we will need the strap (contrasting fabric) and 1" polypro strapping.

We will also use these tools:

  • Sewing machine with 1/4" foot
  • Stiletto
  • Pins, fine-point
  • Quick Turn Fabric Tube Turning Tool or 20" strip of selvage fabric
  • Large safety pin
  • Hemostat gripper

Objective:

We will make a long fabric tube into which we will insert the 1" strapping to give it good body, stability, and strength. We'll turn the ends to the inside on one end so that we have a finished edge when we attach the strap to the organizer.

We will cover two methods of turning the fabric tube. Method 1 uses a selvage strip and Method 2 uses a turning tool. Each of these methods is a terrific technique to have in your bag of tricks, so let's get started.

Method 1: Turning the Tube Using a Selvage Strip

For this method you will need a selvage strip that is at least 20" long and ¼" to ½" wide.

TIP: Most sewists know to remove the selvage edge from fabrics before cutting pieces for a project. We do this because the selvage edge is much more tightly woven so it shrinks at a different rate than the rest of the fabric. Leaving the selvage strip on the fabric can result in unsightly puckers when the project is completed.

Because of their strength, selvage strips are perfect to use as a turning tool. I keep a bag of selvage strips in my sewing supply bucket so that I always have a strip close at hand.

I particularly like to use this method of turning a strip when I have a long strip. For shorter strips, I usually use a turning tool (Method 2).

1. Begin by laying the selvage strip in about the middle on the right side of the strap, leaving at least ¼" extending beyond one end.

sewing with selvage
2. With right sides together, fold the fabric strap in half lengthwise, positioning the selvage strip along the folded edge. We don't want to catch it in the seam, so push it toward the middle.
sewing with selvage
3. Pin along the length of the strip to secure the layers.
sewing with selvage


sewing with selvage
4. Stitch along the short end to secure the selvage to the strip. Make sure that the selvage strip is extending a bit beyond the strap.

sewing with selvage
5. Pivot at the corner and stitch an accurate ¼" seam all the way down the long edge. TIP: A stiletto helps to hold the fabric in place as you stitch.
sewing with selvage
6. Press seam open. TIP: Rather than position the seam in the middle of the strip and try to press it open (which results in pressed creases on each side which can be hard to remove), I just position the strip on my ironing board and press one side of the seam open. Easy!
sewing strapping
7. Turn right side out by pulling on the selvage strip.

how to sew strapping


how to sew strapping
8. Cut off the end of the fabric tube to remove the selvage strip.

how to sew selvage
TIP: Watch a video tutorial of this method at my website: 
Make a MiPad Case: Make the Carrying Strap

9. Proceed as directed below to complete the strap.



Method 2: Turning the Tube Using a Turning Tool

For this method we will use a turning tool such as a Quick Turn Fabric Tube Turning Tool. This method is especially good for smaller straps and handles and is SO easy and quick to use.

1. With right sides together, fold the fabric strap in half lengthwise. Pin along the length of the strip to secure the layers.

2. Stitch along long edge with accurate ¼" seam. TIP: A stiletto helps to hold the fabric in place as you stitch.

sew strapping
3. Press seam open. TIP: Rather than position the seam in the middle of the strip and try to press it open (which results in pressed creases on each side which can be hard to remove), I just position the strip on my ironing board and press one side of the seam open. Easy!
sew strapping
4. Select the appropriately-sized plastic cylinder. For this size tube, we used the largest cylinder which is for ½" (or larger) tubes. Slide the plastic cylinder into the fabric tube until there is about 1½" to 2" of fabric extending beyond the tube on the end.

5. Fold fabric end over cylinder. With round end of corresponding wooden rod (either end of metal rod), push fabric end into the cylinder while sliding fabric tube over cylinder.

6. Continue sliding fabric along tube until turned tube end comes out of the cylinder. Note that on longer strips it may be necessary to gather the fabric tube on the cylinder to see the turned end.

7. Pull on fabric end until entire tube comes out of the cylinder. Rod will remain in the fabric tube.

8. Use rod to push out corners. If necessary turn around rod and use pointed end in corners. Remove rod when finished.

9. Proceed as directed below to complete the strap.



View the steps to turn a tube using the Quick Turn Tool  in our latest YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0-Wja2JAWo

Completing the Strap

Once the fabric tube has been turned right side out, the steps for completing the strap are the same.

10. Press, placing seam in center of back of tube.

11. Fasten a large safety pin into one end of an 18” piece of 1” polypro strapping.
make fabric strap
12. Pull strapping into tube, being careful to keep the seam allowance centered on one side and to keep the strapping and fabric from twisting.
make fabric strap
13. Smooth the fabric over the strapping and use the hemostat gripper to adjust the strapping in the tube so that there is about ½” of fabric extending beyond strapping on each. Smoothly turn the raw edges of the fabric to the inside on one end.

14. Remove the safety pin and topstitch the strap along all edges about ⅛” from the edge. Beginning stitching on the end with the raw edges, stitch along length of strap.
Make fabric strap

make fabric strap
Pivot at end and stitch across end to secure folded edges.
make fabric strap
Continue stitching along other long side of strap to raw edge at short end.
make fabric strap\
Pivot and stitch across short end; clip threads. Set strap aside.
make fabric strap
NOTE: Strap will have finished edges on one end and raw edges on the other end (these will be caught in a seam).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

5. Stash and Dash - Trim the Quilted Fabric and Seal the Edges

free sewing tutorial

Trim the Quilted Fabric and Seal the Edges

We will need:

For this step we will use the 10" x 20" piece of quilted fabric. 


We will also use these tools:
  • Rotary cutter and mat - we suggest a 45mm or 60mm rotary cutter and a 24" x 36" mat
  • Quilting ruler for trimming - we used an Creative Grids 8½" x 24" ruler
  • Sewing machine with ¼" foot
  • Stiletto
  • Thread clipper or scissors

Objective:

To trim the quilted fabric to the exact size needed for the project and to sew all around the trimmed piece to secure all the layers and "seal" the edges, preventing loose pieces of fabric from lifting up as we assemble the organizer.


Let's get started:


1. Trim the quilted piece of fabric as directed in the pattern.



We like to begin by aligning our ruler so that we have a straight quilted line right in the center of the piece. Since this piece will be trimmed to 8" wide, we will align the 4" mark of the ruler along the center stitched line. Then we will trim the excess fabric on the right side.


quilt fabric

Next we will rotate the fabric 180 degrees and align the 8" line of the ruler along the just-trimmed straight edge.



quilt fabric

Trim the excess fabric to the right of the ruler.


quilt fabric


Rotate the fabric 90 degrees and trim one short end, making sure that there is enough fabric on the other side for the full length needed.


quilt fabric


quilt fabric

Rotate the fabric 90 degrees and trim the piece as directed in the pattern.



quilt fabric




quilt fabric



2. Stitch all around the quilted piece of fabric ⅛" from the edge to "seal" the edges.
This ensures that we won't have loose pieces of fabric lifting up when we assemble the project. 

TIP: If you are using the Bernina #37 foot (my very favorite foot!), align the fabric to the inside edge of the foot.


quilt fabric

TIP: Use the tip of a stiletto to flatten and hold the fabric as you stitch.


Next Up: 

6. Make the Strap Closure



Click here for the full schedule of postings for ByAnnie's Summer Sew Along - Stash and Dash.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Road to California: Carolyn from Road to California

To finalize this series, we are going to wrap up by interviewing Carolyn, the mastermind behind the Road to California show held every year in Ontario, California. Have you been wanting to learn a little bit about why this whole thing was started? Now you can!

Bag Challenge


Fabric Introduction Questions:

1.    What is the name of your company and what is the name of the fabric?

         Road to California Quilters Conference
         Celebrating Road to California Twentieth Anniversary

2. What was your inspiration for designing the fabric?

         To celebrate the twentieth anniversary, quilting and I love California Poppies

4.    How did you get started on designing your own fabric? 
      
       It was designed by Alexander Henry Fabrics
4. What was your biggest challenge in designing the fabric?
         Choosing colors
3. What cool things have you seen made using the fabric?

         Quilts, clothing and bag or purses

4. What weights are available to purchase for the fabric?

         Cotton sheeting light blue background and pink poppies
         Cotton sheeting barely off white background and orange poppies
         Canvas weight barely off white background and orange poppies

6.    How can someone purchase the fabric?





Here is Matt and Mayor Paul Leon of Ontario, California, wearing shirts made out of the fabric. 
How fun is that? Photo taken by Gregory Case Photography. 


Personal questions to add some flair:

1.  What does your perfect day look like?

       At my age when I wake up and I am on the right side of the grass!

2.      What word(s) describes you?
 I am an “idea” person.  I plant the corn, but I don’t weed it, cultivate it or harvest it.  That is how I manage Road to California.  I think of things to do to make it better – usually about 2 am – and then I let those who work for me figure out how to accomplish it.
3.       If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
         Maybe drive the Al-Can Highway to Alaska, visit Africa , Australia or New Zealand.  I love natural, wide open spaces.
4.       What inspired you to start sewing?
         My grandmother started me on a treadle MANY years ago.
5.       What is your go-to notion/tool?
         Seam Ripper and after sewing 70 years, I just learned the correct way to use it.http://www.keepnuinstitchesquilting.com/the-great-seam-ripper-controversy-just-how-do-you-use-a-seam-ripper/4/ 
6.       What has been your most memorable experience when teaching or traveling to shows?
         Once when driving home from vending at Paducah, Cathy and I stopped for gas in Albuquerque  A lady came up to me and said, “Do you know you have twenty dollar bills plastered on the windows in the back of your van?”  The plastic bag that I had placed in a “secure space” had broken open and the bills had fallen out and stuck to the window.
8.    What advice would you share with aspiring bag makers?
Time is a very valuable commodity.  If you are going to spend your time making something, be sure to use good products.



California Fabric



Love that advice. And on that note, have you started your project yet? There is still some time left, but it's running short. Purchase the fabric now and start making your bag so you can enter the challenge. You can find the fabric here