Week 8 - Finishing the Bag
Finally we are here at the close of the sew-along! The completed bag is so close I bet you can hardly stand it - so let's get cracking and get these bags done!
By now you will have an inner bag and an outer bag, and the last phase of the bag is to join them essentially. Firstly, turn both bags with their right sides facing inward. Then you will have to match up the bases, starting at the corners and moving along the sides. Pin or clip them together.
Once you have done this, I held my exterior up, with the interior hanging upside down, to make sure that the sides match up all the way round. You can see this in the odd looking photo at right.
Sew around this the bases, taking care at the corners for the way that the extra seams fold. We are starting to get really bulky now, so I am finding that holding everything together is starting to get difficult. Sewing the base together is a bit awkward, but will be well worth it when you don't have to worry about the lining moving around!
Turn the exterior of the bag around to now encompass in the inner lining. Pull the inner lining up to match the top of the exterior.
You will have a facing piece for the top of the bag. Attach the interfacing and iron in the seam on one side, after sewing the facing into a single loop.
The next step involves pinning together three or four pieces simultaneously so you might want to consider breaking it down. Firstly, pin the lining to the exterior, and baste around the top at around 1/4" from the edge.
Take your short straps, and match them up exactly with the location of the long straps and again baste place. The pattern allows for some overhang for the short straps. Begin then to pin the facing around the top outside of the bag.
The picture at right, shows the overhang of the short strap. I pinned very regularly along this seam to ensure that the facing, exterior and lining were all the same size. If you find that the sizes are slightly out, you might want to "fudge" a little to make things fit well.
Here is where things start to get awkward. At left you can see my attempt at sewing the facing on. I essentially shrouded my machine in the bag. I started to find by this stage that the weight of the bag was definitely pulling at the machine and holding the bag up to sew started to get heavy.
At right, you can see it final seam sewn in place, with the strap overhang. For reinforcement you might want to double stitch over the straps. This is a big bag which will be carrying a lot of weight!
Turn the facing to the inside of the bag and press down. Then begin to top stitch the facing in place.
I changed to my walking foot to help with the weight of the bag, but as mentioned before, I found this stage of the bag the physically hardest. It is a long way round the bag, and holding it up was tiring and hard on the machine. I recommend regular stops with needle down, and constant readjustment to ensure that there is no hanging weight of the bag!
Just how big is this bag? Big enough for one cute pussycat and a pile of quilting accoutrements!
Good luck with your finish and don't forget to upload your photos to the Flickr page!