Thanks for sending in your remedies for the Bag Making Clinic - we'll be answering 5 questions per week, so keep 'em coming in!
• Daryl asked:
"Whenever I have tried to make a bag with a zipper that curves around the top of the bag and the zipper is supposed to taper in the seams at the sides, I have trouble with the tapering of the zipper into the seam allowance. I either get the fabric puckering, or the fabric caught, or the zipper ends stick out on the right side after I turn it right-side-out. Can you help to explain how to taper the zipper into the side seams so that I don't have this problem anymore? Thank you!"
Lisa says: The best way to create neat zip ends is to make "tabs" at either end of your zip.
To do this cut two rectangles of fabric 4cm x 3.5cm (this may vary depending on the size of your zip!). Take one of the zip tab fabric pieces RSU and fold under one of the short edges 1cm (3/8"). Place the folded edge of the zip tab onto the RS of one of the ends of the zip and stitch along the folded edge. The raw zip tab edge should meet the zip end edge. Repeat with the other zip tab and the other end of the zip.
By making these tabs you will ensure a neat and crisp finish on your seams, and it also looks pretty :)
• Alison asked:
"How to measure exactly how long you need to cut a gusset for a bag with curved corners?"
Lisa says: To gauge the length of your gusset pattern, measure around the outline of your main bag body pattern pieces and add 10cm (4"). This leaves you with a 5cm (2") margin for error on either short end of the gusset. If your gusset is made up of two pieces, don't forget to add seam allowance at the join.
• Lucy asked:
"I have used the clutch shells from the shop with great success. I was wondering though, how to attach a fabric 'hinge' to stop it opening fully and everything tipping out. The ones in debenhams have them, but I never want to buy a bag again if I can help it!! Thanks Lucy"
Lisa says: We've been working on a hinge pattern for our hard shell clutches, and think we've got it to a T. Stay tuned for a tutorial very soon! :)
• Ciara asked:
"oh this is great :) so how am i supposed to handle bulk where the seams meet? especially if i put a strap into the gusset, i hope you know what i mean? if i grade them will that impact on the strength/durability of the bag? there seems to be so much bulk in certain places that it make the finished product look very amateurish! i am sure i will have more questions :) thank you Lisa :)"
Lisa says: A walking foot makes working with layers so much easier and I wouldn't be without mine! When you're approaching bulky seams always go slow and take your time - turning the wheel by hand if necessary. Once the seams are sewn, you can also trim the interfacing seam allowance (being careful not to snip too close to the stitching) to reduce bulk.
• Patricia asked:
"What is the best glue to use when attaching a metal frame?"
Lisa says: I always use Gutermann Textile Glue (HT2) and you can buy it in the shop here. I wouldn't use anything else - it's super strong and easy to work with.