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Like PHEEEE-YOU!! This tutorial took ages because I buggered up the sample bag
a couple of about
6 times grrrr!! I had made the original pleated bag on a whim,
without any planning, and of course I had thrown the damn pattern away too
Anyhooo here she is in all her lovely pleated and darted, prettiness. She has a very rounded (balloonish) shape which has been created by inserting both darts and pleats. I have chosen a crunchy/papery iridescent silk (actaully, Al chose it for me as a present for Valentines Day) for this bag because where the silk folds and creases with the darts and pleats in the bag, the silk takes on lovely sculptural qualities.
I wouldn't advise this bag as a first bag project but if you've made a few bags before you should be fine; especially if you are bit patient and not in a screaming hurry (beautiful things take their own sweet time - I mean, we all took 9 months right?). The bag is not really difficult it just takes a wee while.
In this project you will pick up/apply these skills:
- a bit of pattern making - it's a pain, but important.
- inserting darts - great for adding 3D shape to bags.
- inserting pleats - great for adding 3D shape to bags
- inserting a magnetic snap - easy and professional closures
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
Here's How I Put It Together
Shopping list (as if you were buying from a shop, if not using stash fabrics)
- 1/2 yard of heavy weight sew-in
- 1/2 yard of Firm Iron-on Interfacing
- 1/2 yard of taffeta-like silk for exterior and matching thread
- 1/2 yard lining fabric and matching thread
- 1x Chocolate Rectangular Wood Handles
- 1x Bronze 14mm Magnetic snap
NB: All seam allowances are 1cm unless otherwise stated
1. Make up your pattern part 1. - Start with an A3 (42cm x 30cm) sized piece of paper, and fold it in half by bringing the short sides together. This is because when we want to make a symmetrical pattern it's best to draw half of the pattern, fold the paper in half then cut it out... Taking our crease line as our starting point, draw the two blue coloured lines as in the photo:
1. measure 22cm up from the bottom of the paper and draw a right angle line from crease line to end of paper. 2. along the line you have just made mark point at 17cm. 3. At the 17cm mark measure 95 degrees and mark the vertical line as seen in photo.
2. Make up your pattern part 2. - draw the black coloured lines as shown in photo.
1. Draw a free hand curve at the bottom right side of the paper. 2. draw a triangle (for the dart) at the fullest part of the curve (my triangle is 55 degrees, and the sides are 3.5cm long) ensure that when you fold this dart triangle in half there is paper hanging off), check by physically bringing the straight sides of the triangle together. 3. measure 5 degrees from the top line and draw the line. 4. fold your pattern in half along the crease line and cut it out!
With any luck your pattern should look something like this!
From this pattern cut 2 pieces of silk; 2 pieces of lining; 2 pieces of iron-on interfacing; and 2 pieces of heavy sew-in.
3. Make up your pattern part 3. - Make up your pattern for the handle tabs as shown in the photo.
Opps! I forgot to show in the pic that there is a gap if 1cm above and below those cut-out triangles!
From this pattern cut: 2 pieces of silk; 2 pieces of lining; 2 pieces of iron-on interfacing; and 2 pieces of heavy sew-in.
4. Make up the bag handle tabs - Iron the iron-on interfacing onto the wrong side of both of the silk pieces. Make a sandwich with the one of the the silk pieces (right side up) on the the bottom, a lining piece (right side down) in the middle, and a heavy sew-in piece on the top. Pin the sandwich and stitch together leaving a 10cm gap in one of the long edges. Make notches into the 'V' of the handle tab, and clip off the corners. This will reduce bulk and make for a smoother result when you turn the handle tab right side out. Turn tab right side out thru the gap and press. Repeat for the other bag handle tab.
Make notches into 'V' of the handle tab, and clip off the corners of the point as shown.
This should be the result...
5. Insert the magnetic snaps - take one of the handle tabs and fold it in half (make sure the half or the tab which has the gap in the bottom of it is facing outwards (the exterior side (not the lining) of the bag - this will be sewn shut in Step 12.) On the tab half which will face the inside of the bag, find and mark the centre of the tab and push one of magnetic snap parts into the tab so as the make two prong marks/indentations. Using a stitch ripper make two small cuts into the markings you have just made (don't cut through both halves of the tab, just one half!). Take one of the magentic snap parts and push the prongs through the right side of the tab. Slip a metal washer over the prongs at the back of the tab and then press the prongs down away from each other.
Reapeat with the other tab and the other mag snap part in the same way.
Magnetic snaps comprise of 4 parts; 2 washers, and a male and female. Find the centre of the tab, and make prong marks/indentation by pushing a mag snap part into your fabric. Push the mag snap part into the right side of your tab and slip a washer on the back.
6. Sew darts into the bag pieces - Iron the iron-on interfacing onto
the wrong side of both of the silk pieces (I wouldn't usually advise
using firm iron-on interfacing on silk but in this case I want the
interfacing to make the silk more crunchy because I am after those
'scultural qualities' for this bag). Now, take one of the silk
exterior pieces (right side up), lay it on the heavy sew-in
interlining piece, and treat as one layer. With the silk right side up fold
the dart triangle in half and and stitch the dart (with 1cm seam
allowance) as shown in the photo.
Repeat for the other 3 darts. Sew the 4 darts in the lining pieces in the same way.
Fold dart triangles and sew dart as shown.
7. Sew exterior bag - Pin the 2 exterior halves (with wrong sides out) together. Whilst pinning together ensure that the dart lines meet each other (so that the darts will run smoothly from the front of the bag to the back). Measure 7.5cm down from both top edge corners and mark. Starting from one of the markings sew around the sides and bottom of the exterior and stop at the other marking. Turn right side out.
Sew lining bag bag in the same way EXCEPT YOU HAVE TO LEAVE A 15CM GAP IN THE BOTTOM & DO NOT TURN LINING BAG RIGHT SIDE OUT.
Measure and mark 7.5cm down from the top edge on both sides. Sew by following the good ol' wonky blue arrow!
8. Bring exterior and lining bags together and stitch together - with right side out, slip the exterior bag into lining bag. The right sides of the lining and the exterior bag should now be touching each other. Make the 7.5 cm markings as in Step 5.
Measure and mark 7.5cm down from the top edge on the left and right sides of the lining. Sew by following the good ol' wonky blue arrow!
9. Pull the exterior bag through the hole in the lining - Yep, this is always my fave bit! Pop the lining into the exterior bag and smooth everything out. Stitch the gap in the lining shut by tucking the raw edges into the hole and top stitching for a neat finish.
Out she comes! Stitch hole in lining, and press.
This should be the result (after a spot of ironing!)
10. Insert the pleats - Mark the centre top edge of the flap with a pin. Pleat the flap as shown in the picture. Hold the pleats in place with paper clips. Important; ensure that after pleating the flap is the same length as the handle tab casing. This part will take a bit of fiddling and adjustment, so take your time and get it right at this stage or end up swearing a lot (yeah, just like I did!). Hand sew a few stitches to keep the pleats in place. Repeat with the other flap.
Front view of pleats. Notice how the outer edges bend upwards? Don't worry about that, just make sure that when you place one of the handle tabs over your pleats (position the tab on the blue line which is 1cm down from the centre top edge) everything lines up nicely - in other words, the bag sides flow up into the handle tabs to create a smooth line. To get the width of the pleats right will take a bit of fiddling about (it would be good to have a cup of tea handy for this bit!) Secure pleats with some paper clips and then with a few hand stitches.
This is how the pleats should look from the lining side.
11. Position the handle tab onto the purse flap - Take one of the handle tabs and fold it in half over the pleated purse flap and slip one of the handles onto the tab. Ensure that the mag snap is facing inwards! Because there a quite a few layers to sew through, and this stage is all about positioning the tab correctly over the pleats, we are NOT going to trust pins to hold everything in place (I tried to a few times and I ended up inventing some new swear words...lots of them!). Instead we are going to glue the tabs onto the pleats and then sew - believe me this will save you a lot of grief!
Slip a handle onto the tab. Apply some fabric glue to the lining side of the handle tab and the top edge of the pleats. Wait for a minute or two and then bond pressing the edges firmly. Repeat for the lining side of the pleats. Be careful to line everything up as best as you can ensuring that the bottom of the edges of the tab are even on both the lining side and the exterior side of the bag (in other words, one edge should not hang lower than the other), also make sure that you get a nice straight diagonal line from the sides of the bag through to the handle tabs. Tip: Don't be as messy with the glue as I was!
12. Sew the handle tab onto the pleats - When the glue has dried sew the handle tab onto the pleats 2 or 3 mm from the edge. Ensure that you catch all of the layers as you sew (which if you positioned everything correctly in Step 10 everything will be fine...la la la!). This is where you will sew the gap in the bottom of the Tab shut. Take your time!!! Repeat Steps 11 & 12 for the other handle tab.
Y'know what, you're finished and you're a very proud owner of a very, very Predddeeee Purse! Send me a clear pic of this purse when you've made one and I'll show it off in all of it's glory on this here blog!
Stitch the tab onto the pleats. Go slowly! I know it's a bit bulky and awkward but if you take you time you should get a nice straight/ish line...wasn't gluing this first just a BRILLIANT idea?