Today, we are going to make our first BAG. Hurrah!
This is also the first barkcloth-and-vinyl combo in our series. The vinyl is a light gray upholstery-grade vinyl and the accent fabric is Jessica Jones' Time Warp Navy Ripple from Cloud9 Fabrics.
The lining is Heather Bailey's Pop Blossom and the solid navy is a duckcloth.
To the side seam, I added strap anchors with D-rings. I would've preferred circular rings, but was insufficiently motivated to go shopping. A carrying handle is sewn permanently through the D-rings, leaving room for a snap hook attached to a longer, adjustable strap.
The carrying handle has a tubular insert. I used a thick piping/welt cord instead of my preferred vinyl tubing because it was what I had at home.
The handle doubles as a short shoulder strap.
The longer, adjustable strap allows the bag to be worn lower on the shoulder or across the body.
The bag itself is a big, flat zippered pouch with a gusseted base.
See how the flap is totally symmetrical. And because the strap anchors are also sewn symmetrically along the side seam, the handle and strap can be shifted to lie on either the print or solid side of the bag,
so that it can be used either side out
with either a solid or printed flap.
Accessing the bag contents by unzipping the flap can take some getting used to, so if you prefer, the flap can be unzipped fully and tucked into the bag cavity,
so the bag becomes a regular open-mouth tote,
with no flap at all.
Not bad for a variation on that standard flat zippered pouch design, right? Rather versatile, I thought.
So let's make this bag, shall we?
The outer layer has three parts - dimensionally-identical front and back pieces, and a funky-shaped base gusset. In the picture below, the base gusset is cut as two pieces, joined in the middle where the shape is thinnest. If you zoom in, you will see the cut edges behind the pink letter g.
Here is that same photograph, annotated to help you visualize how it's put together.
The zipper goes between X and Y, the gusset attaches along ACB, and the short sections AX and BY are bridging seams, over which the strap anchors are sewn.
Here are those points on the finished bag:
And here is the schematic plan.
Stage 1: Install the zipper
This is done exactly the same way as with all the other who-knows-how-many lined pouches we've made so far. The only thing different is that we're installing the zipper along a curved edge.
I used a double-pull zipper, incidentally. This felt like the kind of bag whose flap needed it - it probably had something to do with all that inherent symmetry.
So go ahead and prep your zipper with fabric stops, and baste one side to the edge of one piece of lining fabric. The WS of the zipper should lie against the RS of the lining.
Do not sew the last 1/4" of the fabric stop. This is to allow you to pinch that last 1/4" into the bridge seam later.
Like this - see?
Now add the outer fabric, sewing from X to Y. Here, the outer fabric is the solid navy piece. You will now have faced half of the zipper (i.e. one side of its zipper tape).
Repeat this process to face the other half of the zipper, sewing the other side of the zipper tape to the remaining outer body (the print fabric, in this case) and the remaining lining body piece.
When you are done, turn everything RS out for inspection. You will have the zipper attached to all four fabric body pieces from X to Y. The rest of the edges are loose (you can see the raw SA beyond the red arrow in the photo.
Fully unzipped from X to Y, the opening looks like this. Again, you can see the remaining open seams beyond the red arrows.
Stage 2: Sew the bridge
Turn the bag WS out again. Pair the outer layers together, and the lining layers together, as shown, with their respective RS in contact.
We'll be sewing each pair of fabrics into a separate bag and each separate bag to its respective gusset later.
Sew the bridge seams - these will be four disconnected seams: two on the outer pieces between XA and YB, and two on the lining pieces between XA and YB (in the photo, points X and Y are hidden).
Do you see the loose ends of the fabric stops? Push them out of the way of your stitching lines without sewing over them - they will naturally settle into the SA region in a neat point when you turn your bag RS out.
Turn the bag RS out now and attach all strap anchors to the RS.
Stage 3: Attach the gussets
Now turn the bag WS out again, and attach
- the outer gusset to the outer bag along both seams ACB, and
- the lining's gusset to the lining bag along both seams ACB. Leave a gap along part of the seam for turning RS out later.
Meet the seams at a neat point and, if you like, edge-stitch on the WS to flatten the SA and keep the seam edges crisp and sharp.
Here is the lining side:
Turn the bag RS out through the gap and hand-stitch that gap shut.