Sunday, October 23, 2016

Playing with Glitter Vinyl

Have you tried sewing with glitter vinyl yet? It's very trendy in the bag making community right now and for good reason, it really makes a bag stand out with the smallest accents. My first go round was with some Galaxy Vinyl that I purchased from It was very pretty but it was so thick and it was a challenge to work with. It had to be used in single layers or with a lot of pleading and cursing on my part. I then learned about glitter vinyl with a canvas type woven backing that is MUCH thinner and easier to work with. I have used it in several projects now and it IS amazing! When Sara of Sew Sweetness announced that she would be carrying glitter vinyl in her shop I was stoked.

This vinyl is also a canvas type back and is oh so pliable and easy to work with. Even though it's very pliable it has no stretch and is durable enough that you could forgo interfacing on straps and accents when using it. Sara is also carrying generous 18" x 54" pieces which is more than enough to use for most bag patterns when using accents. I had previously only found it in 12' widths and often would only have enough to do straps or small accents. The larger size gives you a lot more flexibility when using it for bags.

I was so excited to get my hands on this stuff, and after seeing the vinyl accented Park West Bag that The Cloth Albatross had made, I had to sew one up. I used her fabulous pattern hack and made this Park West bag using a black and white Windham print paired with a print from Art Gallery’s Safari Moon line.

I really love how the lime glitter vinyl pops against the black and white and how the lining complements the green in the vinyl. I don't usually go with black and white or simple fabrics for bags but I am so happy that I did for this one!

It had been a while since I had made this pattern, and I forgot how much I enjoyed it! Despite the all the accent pieces, this is a very quick sew and comes together very easily. Using the vinyl as accents was a big time saver, as you can leave the edges raw. This stuff is so easy to work with, you don't need a super fancy machine or any special feet (although a walking foot or teflon foot certainly helps). If you don't have those, you can always use tissue paper over the vinyl as it will rip right off when you are done stitching (or even the paper that your interfacing is wrapped with).

One thing that helped with the final topstitching of the bag was to trim the seam allowances of the exterior panels down as far as you can (about ⅛ inch). That will reduce some of the bulk and make it easier to get the lining side to lay nicely around the top.

Of course I couldn't leave the bag well enough alone and had to add some bling! Instead of doing a zipper tab on the end, I added a zipper end from Emmaline Bags, and of course every good bag deserves a tassel. I am quickly becoming tassel obsessed.

You can see all the amazing colors Sara is carrying in stock here, and pick up the Park West Bag pattern here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Butterfly Sling Purse Sew Along Day 4

Welcome Back!! Today is our final day in the #butterflyslingsewalong. 
That means we will be finishing our bag! Now, don't feel that you HAVE to sewing right along with us. These posts will remain up permanently, so feel free to join at your own pace. You have until November 3rd to add and tag your photos using the tag #butterflyslingsewalong. 
Ready to get sewing?! First up we are going to prepare our zippers. Cut them to exactly 10" making sure that you cut off the metal ends on both sides. Secure the ends of your zippers by adding a couple of lines of stitching 5/8" away from each end. Now mark 3/4" away from the end of the zipper on each side. Grab your 1" x 2" pieces and place one right down on your zipper, with the edge of the tab directly against the mark you made on your zipper. 

Sew this down using a 1/4" seam allowance on the side closest to the end of the zipper. Then press this back against the zipper and topstitch the edge closest to the zipper. Repeat this for all 4 zipper ends.

Then as indicated in the pattern, trim away excess fabric and excess tape under the tabs (you don't want to have to sew through the zipper tape later). Now we have 2 completed zippers. 

Now, the next few steps may seem confusing but they really aren't. It's just a matter of getting your head around the order of adding the zippers to the panels. 

Your double stick tape will be your BFF here btw,

Ok, lets start by putting one of your card slot panels RIGHT side up, then putting one of your zippers RIGHT side up along the top edge with the pull on the LEFT. Then Take your panel with the turn lock attached and at the strap tabs at the TOP and place this WRONG side up on top of your zipper. 

Now once you've secured your zipper sandwich, pop on your zipper foot and sew along the top across. You may need to stop partway through sewing your zipper and move your zipper pull out of the way. To do this leave your needle down and reach in and push your zipper pull towards the stitching you have already done (I always start on the side opposite of my zipper pull). 

Then flip your pieces wrong side together and press well. Your panel will now look like this on the backside. 

Now, grab your other card slot pocket and put it RIGHT side up, take your other zipper and place it on top RIGHT side up with your zipper pull to the RIGHT. Then take the OPPOSITE end of the exterior panel we were just working with and place this WRONG side up. So the end that has the turn portion of the turn lock will be the edge that we are sewing down. Once you've secured this zipper sandwich, sew across the top edge. Again, turn these wrong side together and press well. This will be what the other end of your bag looks like now: 

So, now we need to add the other half to our pockets and the other exterior panel. Let's start with the 10" x 5 1/2" lining piece. Lay this RIGHT SIDE up on your table, then take your exterior panel with the closure strap and turn lock (we've already attached the zipper to this piece so we are just sewing that lining panel to it) and place this WRONG SIDE upon top of the lining panel and stitch across. It will now look like this, as we have created our first pocket.

Now we are going to finish our last pocket. Grab your last lining pocket piece and again lay this RIGHT side up on your table. Then take your exterior panel with the long part of the closure strap and strap tabs and place this WRONG side up on top of your lining pocket piece. Aligning the top of the lining pocket piece to the top of the zipper tape on the exterior panel. Sew across the top edge, then grab your other exterior panel piece, making sure your card window is at the top then sew this over the zippers wrong side up in the same manner you sewed the other pieces! You are ALL DONE with you zippers! Your panel will now look like this on the inside:

Whew, the hard parts are all over, now we just need to close this lady up! Now that you have all your zipper pockets complete you will be left with a giant rectangle, which we will be sewing around. 

No one likes dented corners, so it's important to make sure that we prepare our zippers before we sew. Firstly, make sure that both zippers are completely open (or you will be cursing a lot when you go to turn your bag). Then carefully make sure that both zippers are positioned so that the teeth of the zippers are RIGHT side together (pin if needed to make sure they stay in this position when you sew, it will look they are pinched together while sewing, but they won't look that way once they are sewn....if you don't then they will end up looking recessed or wonky). Pin or clip the sides together, then sew around as indicated in the pattern, leaving a hole in the bottom of one of the pockets to turn your bag. Did I mention to make sure that both of your zippers are open?

Now, clip your corners, and flip your bag right side out. Press the bottom open edge well stitch the opening closed once you've done a thorough inspection of your exterior (did you catch all your seams, did your closure tab, shoulder tabs, etc., get caugh anywhere?). Then press the bag well. Maggie of Maggie Made bags did an amazing write up on how to press your bags here

We are in the home stretch! We just need to add the other half of our turn locks and make/ attach our shoulder strap. Get your bag and the open portion of your turn lock, find the best placement for your turn lock and mark this. Then trace around the opening of your turn lock (the inside circle).

Using some sharp small scissors, cut around the circle you made (always start smaller, you can take more out!) Once you have a nice fit, see the pattern instructions to install the remainder of your turn lock. 

Let's make our straps and finish up our bag! 

Following the pattern directions, sew up your straps, attach the slider and then attach your strap to your bag. And you are all done!! Enjoy your fancy new bag!

Thank you so much so sewing along with us!! Don't forget to use the hashtag #butterflyslingsewalong when posting your photos on Instagram and Facebook! We will be randomly drawing 4 Ten Dollar Gift Cards for Emmaline Bags on November 4th, so you have until then to sew up and share your bags! Thanks Janelle! I hope you enjoy this bag as much as I do!

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Butterfly Sling Purse Sew Along Day 3

Welcome Back! Now that we have tackled that zipper pocket, today is gonna be smooth sailing! For Day 3 we are going to be continuing to work on our exterior pieces as well as getting our internal pocket completed. Today we will be: attaching the magnetic snaps, making our closure strap, attaching part of our turn lock, making and attaching the shoulder strap tabs and making our folding card slot panel for the internal pocket.

Seems likes a lot, but each of these steps are pretty quick so we can easily knock them all out today. Ready? Lets keep on sewing!

Grab your completed panel from yesterday, your fray check, a marking pen, your magnetic snaps and your ruler. Carefully measure and mark your placement for the snaps according to the pattern directions (quadruple check your measurements!!!). Once you are super sure that your marking is correct, use your seam ripper to carefully make a slit for the prongs of your magnetic snap. Before sliding your snap through, dab the holes with a drop of fray check. Then push your snaps through the fabric and the washer on the backside of your fabric. If you'd like some more tips on attaching a magnetic snap check out this tutorial here

Let's move on to making our closure strap next. Have you decided whether you'd like the end of your closure strap rounded or squared? Now is the time to commit, so if you'd like you round the end off yours, trace along the provided pattern piece and cut the edge of your tab. Then lets sew these two together, wrong sides together, except we will be leaving a opening on the SIDE of the closure tab so we can turn them. As indicated in the pattern, it's helpful if you press each side of the opening away from the hole, one at a time before you turn it. This will help you get a crisper edge. Now flip this right side out, give it a good press and top stitch around the entire tab. 

Once we have our closure tab completed, we are going to be attaching this to the bag. Refer to the pattern to see where you will be attaching your closure tab. Make sure that you go slowly so that you can see where you are stitching, you want to sew directly on top of your previous line of stitching. 

Now that we have this completed grab your turn portion of the turn lock and the backing for this. Measure your placement according to the pattern and carefully mark your lines to cut for the prongs. Get your fray check and seam ripper and cut small slits for the prongs (always start small) and then dab on a drop of fray check for each hole. Push your turn lock through, then secure through the back piece just as you did the magnetic snaps. 

Set that piece aside for now and grab your should strap tab pieces. Fold in half lengthwise and sew together. Now we have to turn this tiny tube, which may cause some bad words, but I promise it'll turn. I have a tube turner and it's invaluable for smaller pieces like this. You can pick one up pretty cheap or you can slowly work it right side out with a blunted opbject (like a knitting needle). Once you have it turned, center the seam in the middle of the tab and press well. Top stitch the long edges slide your rectangle ring onto the tab and baste along the bottom raw edge. 

Pick up the exterior panel we have been working with and carefully mark your tab pieces according to the pattern directions and baste them to your exterior panel piece as indicated.  I like to draw a line on my peices to match up at the correct points. 

Now we can set our panel aside and prepare and make our card slot pockets. Pick up one of your card slot panels and mark according to the pattern directions. I like to actually mark the measurements on my piece as I go, so that I can make sure I have marked it correctly. 

Head over to your pressing area and press the pockets into an accordion per the pattern directions. It will look like this:

Top stitch along the top folds, then baste the sides together. Then cut as indicated in the pattern and finish this panel but carefully marking and stitching down the center of each panel. Repeat for the other panel.

 Now admire your completed card slot panels and you are done for today! Tomorrow we will be adding the top zippers and finishing our bag. 

Don't forget to share your photos of your progress or completed bag to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #butterflyslingsewalong now through November 4th to be entered to win one of (4) Ten Dollar gift cards for Emmaline Bags

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Butterfly Sling Purse Sew Along Day 2

Whew! Now that we are all done with cutting an prepping we can get to the fun part, but first some exciting news: Janelle is the best and has generously offered (4) 10 dollar gift cards for the Emmaline Shop!! You can stock up on some hardware, bling, grab some patterns or snatch up some of those fun new bag lady coasters. To enter, tag your progress photos or completed bag with the hashtag #butterflyslingsewalong on Facebook or Instagram. Winners will be randomly drawn on November 4th, so you've got plenty of time to sew one up with us! 

Today we are going to be starting our exterior and working on the ID pocket, slip pocket and the zip pocket. Grab your pattern, the pieces and lets get sewing!

First we are going to start with something nice and easy: the slip pocket. Grab your 7" x 8" slip pocket piece and fold it right sides together, with the 7" sides touching. Pin or clip in place and sew around the 3 raw edges, leaving a small 3" opening for turning the pocket, don't forget to back tack when starting because you don't want your stitches popping when we turn. Clip off those corners as close as you can to the stitching without cutting into them. Press your seam open on the top of the pocket to make it easier to get a crisp finish. Once you get your pocket turned right side out, grab your favorite pointy notion and poke out those corners. I love to use a knitting needle for this part, but use whatever suits your fancy. The bottom left corner of the pocket is courtesy of my handy knitting needle.

Once you have your corners turned out, press the mess out of that pocket! This is what it will look like after you are done pressing:

Now, we are going to do a line of top sticthing across the top of the pocket (the side with the opening) using a small seam allowance. Once that is done, we are going to attach our pocket to our main panel.

Make sure when attaching your pocket that you tack down at the start and stop of your stitching, it's so upsetting when your pocket starts to pull away from your bag because you didn't back stitch enough when you attached them! I like to go over them a couple times at the beginning and end to make sure it's nice and secure. Set that panel aside for now. 

Now that part is done, we are on to making and attaching our ID window. For this piece, I was feeling a bit fancy and decided to make mine out of a piece of glitter vinyl. If you are interested in this hack, you will need to cut a piece of vinyl (or leather if you fancy) 4" x 2.75" (instead of the dimensions listed in the pattern). Once you have your rectangle, flip it to the wrong side and draw a line that is 3/8" in from each of the sides. Then cut out the rectangle you just created on the back side of the vinyl. Your will end up with a piece that looks like this:

Now, grab your clear vinyl and wax/ tissue paper (I found that the super annoying paper that comes with your interfacing works well for our purpose) and place your clear vinyl on top of that, then your ID rectangle on top of the clear vinyl. Now take your vinyl sandwich and stitch along the inside of your rectangle securing the clear vinyl to your rectangle. Make sure that the paper is on the bottom so it feeds easily through your machine. I use a walking foot, so I don't have any issues with the vinyl on top, but if you do, you can always add some paper here too to help with sticking.

Tear away your paper and clip your threads. Grab your panel with your slip pocket attached and referring to the pattern directions, put your ID window on this panel. We don't want to use pins for vinyl, so if you are using a vinyl frame like this, grab your double sided tape and use that to hold your window in place for stitching. 

Stitch around the outside of the frame, making sure you leave the TOP of your window open. Per the insructions, check your ID for fit to make sure you don't need to adjust your seam allowance. Don't forget to backstitch!!

Ready for the next part??

Take a deep breath, it's not as hard as it seems! I've linked up to some tutorials, tips and videos below because they can help explain this part so much better than I can. 

Grab your zipper pocket piece and the main panel you were just working with and refer to the pattern for your placement and marking. Stitch around the box you have drawn and then we are going to cut through the line you made in the center of your box, and then following along the triangle you created, clip as deep into those corners as you can without actually clipping into your stitches. I like to use my embroidery scissors for this, they are small and sharp so I can clip very closely with more precision. The closer you can get the better your box will look. Also, don't be afraid to press the snot out of it!! Press, then press some more!! 

Once you have your box neatly pressed, add your double stick tape to your zipper tape, close to the edge and place in neatly inside your box. Once you have it where you like it, pop on your zipper foot and sew as close to the edge as you can around the box. My zippers are still a work in progress, I want to be able to sew zippers like Janelle when I grow up. 

If you are having trouble, here's a couple of great tutorials: 

Here's a great video tutorial: 

My Bree of My Crafty Crap did a great round up of zipper tips and introduced me to the Clover Fabric Folding pen and how awesome it is for zip pockets. Check out her tips:

Woohoo! You did it. The scary part is over!  

That's all for today! Tomorrow will be a breeze now that we have that zip pocket out of the way. Don't forget to post your progress using the hashtag #butterflyslingsewalong to get entered in the giveaway. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Butterfly Sling Purse Sew Along Day 1

Happy Monday Fellow Bag lovers and Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian Friends! Today we are kicking off the Butterfly Sling Bag Sew Along. Hopefully, by now you have gathered all your fabric and supplies and are ready to do all your cutting and prepping today. If not, no worries! You can follow along at your own pace, these posts will stay up so no pressure to get everything done on the same schedule.

Before we get started make sure you have gathered all your supplies and are ready to getting cutting. If you are anything like me, the task of picking the right fabrics often takes just as long as sewing up my projects. If you are joining us make sure you gather your pattern and hardware:

-The Butterfly Sling Purse Pattern by Emmaline Bags. Get your copy here.
-The Butterfly Sling Purse Hardware kit (If you haven't purchased the kit, the hardware you will need to complete this bag is listed in the pattern and can all be purchases separately)

**Act quickly if you want to take advantage of the sale and save 20% on your purchase of the pattern and/or the hardware kit. **

Ready?! Let's get the dreaded (at least for me) prep work out of the way. For this bag there is only ONE pattern piece to print, which is for the closure strap end if you wish it to have it rounded. Other wise we are just cutting from measurements, so that's a time saver when it comes to prepping! Once you have all your supplies, you can refer to the cutting instructions. For those of you who like to strictly follow directions, or are cutting directional prints, Janelle gives a clear layout for cutting your pieces, For those who are feeling a little more rogue, or are noty using a directional print: cut the pieces in whatever layout you find works best. Just remember to measure twice and cut once!

Now that you have all your fabric and interfacing cut, lets get fusing! Please refer to the maufacturer's instructions on how best to fuse your interfacing to your fabric. I've found that the woven Pellon Shapeflex called for in the pattern is typically pretty easy to fuse and really doesn't matter whether I iron it from the interfacing or fabric side, but do whatever you think is best . As far as the fusible fleece, I find that ironing in from the fabric side with a spritz or two of water works best for me. 

For this Butterfly Sling, I did substitute a foam stabilizer, but this is because I had it handy and I like the structure that foam gives. Sometimes the foam can make doing a zippered pocket a pain, so if you choose to use foam, I would suggest cutting a 1 "inch rectangle out of your foam where the zipper will sit on your interior pocket before basting/fusing your foam to your panel. If you forget, it's no biggie but it does make it a little more challenging to make your zip pocket sit as nicely, but just press the heck out of it!

Now that all your fabric is cut and prepped for sewing, we can call it a day and jump into the real fun tomorrow! Another plus of prepping your fabric a day before we start sewing is that the interfacing will have time to cool and will be better adhered to the fabric before we start sewing (I learned this tip from Margareth of Maggie Made Bags, it really has made a difference).

Feel free to follow this sew along at your pace! No need to feel like you HAVE to start and stop with us. I'd love it if you share your progress on Instagram or Facebook. Use the hashtag #butterflyslingsewalong so we can all see your progress and if you haven't already join the Emmaline Sewing Patterns Group on Facebook. Come back and join us tomorrow as we start constructing the exterior pieces. Happy Sewing!