YAY! Ellen is once again back with us for another Sew Along. This time she's sewing my June pattern for the Bag of the Month club, The Lunar Collection , currently only available to members of the Bag of the Month Club until July 1st when it will be released for everyone else.
Ellen will step you through the sewing of the Lunar Collection bags (applies to all sizes) with loads of extra photos and awesome tips and tidbits to help you along the way. So .....there's a lot to do, so lets get to it! ;) Over to you Ellen:
Well Hello Everyone... This is such an honour for me, one that I hope I can live up to. Thank you Christine for the opportunity to hopefully help some beautiful people make beautiful bags. Some of you may know me, as I’m often seen around the ridges of various groups, however you’ll find me mostly on ChrisWDesigns. For some, it will be your first time to dance around Chris’s patterns with me. Most important... have fun and good luck. (Not that you’ll need it...loll)
So the bag we’re doing is the Bag of the Month bag for June, designed by Christine Welsh, The Lunar Collection. I can’t believe she did this in 3 sizes, how Awesome and Challenging is that. My bag that I’ve made here is the Half Moon (Medium); the others are the Full Moon (Large) and the Quarter Moon (Baby). I will be doing a Quarter Moon during the online Sew Along.
This Picture Tutorial is designed to be used in conjunction with the original pattern, not instead of. I will be referring back to the pattern at various points and for all measurements. So please, go ahead and read the pattern a few times, there are tips and tricks written within the pattern, that you may miss if you don’t have a good read first.
Gather your notions, choose a size, pick some fabric, print your pattern pieces, and organize your hardware and stabilizers. Well... What are you waiting for.... lol
Take note that each size has its own cutting list. Go ahead and cut out your Fabric, interfacing, fleece and base corflute or similar, put your Soft and Stable aside to cut later , then following the list provided , fuse and prepare pieces.
STRAPS: Well the straps are up first, I must admit I was a tad confused by which strap I had to do what to, on my first read. Then I simplified it.
All Three size bags have the same width strap, and on each bag there are 4 different strap types.
They are all 10cm or 6 ¼ “wide. So I laid them all out according to width. That made it easier to know which way to fold the little strap tabs.
While the Strap Tabs have both ends turn in... And the Lower Straps have NO ends turned in. Neither of these has fleece. Go ahead and prepare all your various straps, they all get folded in four and pressed. Insert your fleece and press. I always make my adjustable straps longer as I’m a big girl and it makes them more comfortable. The duck fabric I used wasn’t long enough, so I mitred in a piece of the main fabric as a feature.
Follow the instructions and Top Stitch as required and then attach the required hardware. Put aside.
Back Luggage Sleeve / Slip Pocket. I was undecided as to whether I wanted a slip pocket or a luggage sleeve, so I made both, and will entertain both later and decide. Now to make a simple slip pocket, I do it a little different, feel free to choose whichever way suits you. To do it like the original, then jump back into the pattern and follow those instructions.
I press the seam allowance to the wrong side on one end and then fold in two, right sides together. Seam across the end and up one side (see Pics), I find it easier to turn it this way and to get the corners square. Turn and press, the open end will be closed when seaming to the bag. Top Stitch the top edge with two rows, Set aside for now.
Front Slip Pocket. Gather you exterior and lining pieces for the front slip pocket, decide if you’re having a flap and if so, what closure you’ll use. The pattern gives measurements for the Half Moon Magnetic Edge Clasp, if you wish to use a regular magnetic closure or a twist lock, then you will need to alter the position. My suggestion is to move both up by about 5/8 of an inch to allow for top stitching on the flap. As the centre of the MOON Clasp magnet sites about 3/8 up on the flap and you move it up 5/8 then it will end up being centred 1” up from the bottom edge. This of course will depend on the type and size of clasp you use.
Now for the pocket, decide on your position and insert back part of the closure. If you haven’t used one of these before then please go (HERE) for the tutorial on chriswdesigns website. When you’re happy with that then match the tops of the exterior and lining along the top edge, right sides together. Seam and then press open, then turn under so wrong sides are together, and press.
Top stitch 2 rows across the top and baste the sides and bottom at 3mm. Make sure you have top stitched the top of the back pocket / or the top and bottom of the luggage sleeve if using that.
Bottom Band Gather the 4 bottom band pieces, take two and line them up along the long straight edge. Seam together and then open out and press the seam open. Repeat with the other two.
Now take the two pieces and with the right sides together, line up the centre seams and the curved edges. Seam the curved edges only. Trim seams by using pinking scissors or do a double seam line and trim close the second line. Turn, and press the curves out. Baste down the side edges. Set aside.
Ok...so we’re going to take some of the pieces and assemble the exterior. Let’s start with the Back Exterior and Straps. Take your two exteriors and choose which one will be the back, retrieve 2 Lower straps with hardware already attached, and follow the positioning measurements specific for your size bag. Top Stitch in place at 3mm, up one side, go over the previous stitch line across the top and 3mm from the edge, down the other side. A second row of top stitch will be done later. Repeat with the other strap, following placement measurements.
Retrieve Front Exterior, Slip Pocket and the other 2 Lower Straps. Following placement measurements position and baste your pocket on the front. Followed by the straps, as per pattern. Remembering to only do one row of top stitch at 3mm, and over the previous line of stitching across the top, and 3 mm from the edge down the other side. Second row of top stitching will be done later. (Unfortunately my picture was blurry, but you can see it on the pattern pics).
So we need to make a Flap, for those doing the alternate magnetic clasp, you’ll need to install that now. Don’t forget to adjust your placement. The moon clasp calls for some extra thickness, so pop some peltex or similar onto the wrong side of the exterior piece. I made my flap the same as my slip pocket, turning seam allowance to the wrong side at the top of both pieces. Line up all edges and seam down the side across the bottom and up the other side. Leaving the top open, this will be closed when sewn in place. Turn, poke out the corners and press. I popped my peltex in now and fixed in place when pressing.
Do the two rows of Top Stitching and then install your Moon clasp or Twist lock piece.
Fit the Flap between the straps at the recommended distance down from the raw edge. Make sure your flap sticks up a little, and doesn’t sit flat, as the flap needs room to fold over and clasp on, when the pocket is in use. Do two rows of top stitching at 3 and 6mm, closing the open seam as you go.
Exterior Body: Moving along ...whoop whoop ... grab your bottom band and one of the prepared exteriors. Mark the required distance up from the bottom of each side of the exterior. Position the band at the marks, with the side edges even and secure with pins. Run a top Stitch across the curved edge at 3mm and again at 6mm, then baste down the side edges. Repeat with the other exterior.
Base time... Grab your base stabilizer and base fabric, time to glue these suckers together. But before you do, I suggest you try your stabilizer centred on the prepared exterior. Just to make sure you have enough room to attach the gussets without too much wrangling. You should have about 2cm (3/4") from the edge of the base stabiliser to the raw edge of the body on each side ...When you’re happy, then attach the fabric to base as instructed with tape or glue, do try to get your corners square. Mark the centre of the short sides and turn so the right side is up and position on the centre of the prepared exterior. Matching marks with the centre seam and have an even amount of the Exterior protruding at either end. Secure by top stitching all the way around at 3mm and repeat at 6mm. I suggest swapping to a larger size or jeans needle, especially if you’re using a domestic machine.
Soft and Stable: Time to cut out all the pieces that need soft and stable. On a big area, lay out your Exterior on the S & S, also the 2 x zip gussets and 2 x side gussets. When you’re happy that you have them pinned in place, I like to give a ½” or so border around each piece, and then cut out around them.
Baste the exterior to the S & S at about 3mm or within the seam allowance. Here we need to secure the S & S by doing the second (6mm) row of top stitching on all 4 lower straps. Following the pattern here we can also attach the slip pocket on the back. I actually decided not to put it on and used it as a slip pocket on the inside. That was before Chris developed the supplementary pockets pattern that will fit all 3 bags.
Baste the side gussets and zip gussets to the S & S within the seam allowance.
Carefully trim the excess S & S away from all pieces, as close to the stitching as possible.
Hardware time ... if you’re doing rivets, now is the time. Install two rivets just below the 12mm seam line at the top of the Lower Straps. If your using a metal Handmade label, that can be installed now. I put mine just above the front flap, centred between the straps. If you have sew-on Logo labels ... best put that on now too.
More hardware: Feet... If you’re using feet, follow the pattern measurements for positioning of feet. Mark the spot, make a hole, insert feet, best use some glue, put the washer on the back, glue to secure, spread prongs, cover the back with something to protect the lining from the metal prongs. I use scrap headliner and glue it in place.
I like to protect my metal hardware from being scratched, while working on the bag, by covering with plastic or by pinning some fabric scraps over them.
Side Pockets: grab your Cord tabs and turn the ends in 12mm and top stitch at 3mm. I do mine in a little assembly line so they will be more even and uniform (see Pic). Then I flip over and do the 6mm row of top stitch. Then fold in half with the top stitching at either end, baste raw edges at 3mm.
Retrieve your Exterior Side pockets and pocket lining, find the centre at the top of the exterior piece. Position a cord tab the required distance from the centre, copy with another cord tab on the other sides of the exterior pocket. Pin or baste on, lay your lining on top, right sides together, seam across. Again I do one pocket then the other.
Turn out, press and top stitch at 3 and 6mm. Then baste around the rest of the pocket.
To form the bottom pleats on the pockets, copy the marking from the bottom of the pattern piece. Make a fold line at the first mark and move it over in the direction of the arrow to meet the other line. Pin in place and repeat it on the other side of the pocket. Now make the other 2 pleats in the same manner on the other pocket. Complete the pleats by stitching up 1” or so, I did a second line of stitching for strength over the original. Before and after sewing in the pleat, I pinned the pocket to the bottom of the Side Exterior Gusset to make sure it fitted.
After pinning the bottom, move to the top and position the pocket top edge 2cm down from the top of the Side gusset top corner. Now, ease the pocket edge in along the curved sides of the Side Gusset. Baste at 3mm ... Repeat with the other pocket.
Retrieve your cord or make your own cord by cutting a strip 1 ¼” wide and fold in 4 and seam along the edge. Obviously I made too much ... lol .. Insert into the cord tabs and secure well by stitching over it a few times. Set aside.
Zip Gusset: Retrieve your zip and cut to the length specified for your size bag. Attach Zip Tabs, making sure you have the exterior on the outside of the zip, and lining underneath. Turn out and top stitch. Trim tabs to the same width as zip.
Grab one of the Exterior Zip gussets and lay your zip on it, right sides together. Making sure the centre of the zip is lined up to the centre of the gusset. Getting the position of this first piece right, will make it easier to position the other gusset and linings in the correct place. Don’t forget to mark a spot at 12mm at both end of the gusset and don’t sew past this point at either end. As suggested by Chris it helps to reduce bulk in the seams around the zip if you zigzag your seams or run a number of stitching lines within the seam allowance, which is what I did.
I went ahead and seamed on all the gusset pieces before going to the ironing board and pressing with a cloth to flatten ready for top stitching. Using my zipper foot I did both the 3mm top stitch lines and then followed with the 6mm lines. Making sure, not to go past the 12 mm at either ends.
Getting Somewhere now .... Prepare to join the Side Gussets to the zip gusset. On the zip gusset pin the lining pieces back out of the road at both ends and for the side gusset, pin the pocket and cord back out of the road.
Place the right side of the zip gusset down onto the right side of the Side gusset, making the edges even and pin. Seam together and zigzag or do extra rows of stitching to flatten the seam allowance. Flip and press the seam allowance towards the side gusset and then top stitch one row. Repeat at the other end of the zip gusset.
Do a little happy dance, we’re about to attach our first piece of lining. Grab your Side Gusset Lining, but before pinning it on, I found it beneficial to baste a line of stitching across the zipper gusset lining and zip tab pieces to stop it from shifting. Then pin it to the Side Gusset Lining and while holding back the exterior gusset seam allowance, seam across joining them together and do a second line of stitching for strength.
Strap Tabs If you’re installing an adjustable strap, then you need to retrieve the two prepared strap tabs now. Fold the lining up out of the way and place your tab 1 cm down from the seam to the top fold of your Tab. Seam into place with a double row of stitching all the way around and a X in the centre if you wish for strength as this will be a pressure point. Install the four rivets now too. Aren’t they pretty...
Well .... This is turning into another novel! I may have to leave it here for now. So please come back to see how the story ends.... lol
Thanks everybody!! For those of you not on Facebook, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com if there is something you need help with!
Thank you Ellen! :)
If you aren't a member of the Bag of the Month Club yet, there is still time to join HERE, (AND still get all of the patterns at the reduced price!) otherwise you will need to wait until July 1st at which time you will be able to grab the pattern for the Lunar Collection in my shop HERE.
Until next time, happy sewing!