Yay! Its Wednesday again and its time to get started with our Weekender Bags! Today, we're going to go over cutting the pieces of our bag. Chrissy, Nicole and I decided to change up the schedule a bit, so today's post is going to go over cutting here with me as written in the pattern, and Saturday I'll post on making piping, handles and assembling the main outer panels. If you are doing the piecing method with Chrissy or Nicole, they will be going over piecing panels/pockets and quilting them today with assembly of the two main outer bag panels, piping and handles on Saturday.
Weekender Bag Sew Along Schedule
Wed. April 30 – Planning Your Fabrics & Materials
Wed. May 7 – Cutting & Interfacing
Sat. May 10 - Sewing the Outer Panels
Wed. May 14 – Sewing the Outer Bag Together
Wed. May 21 – Finishing the Bag & Link Up
Wed. May 28 – Winners Announced
We think it breaks things up better for everyone into smaller chunks anyway, so let's jump right in!
Last week we gathered all of our supplies so we're all ready to get to cutting. Since I'm following the pattern as written, I think I've got it a bit easier than my co-hosts Chrissy and Nicole during this step. Chrissy is piecing her pockets (which is turning out AMAZING - you can check her progress out on Instagram) and Nicole has been making up a bunch of hexies for her large pocket panels. So be sure to check out their blogs if you are going that route.
For those of us using the pattern and 2 fabrics, our hardest part is going to be interfacing! But, this week, we just have a bit of that to break up the tedium.
First, cut out and assemble your pattern pieces. I'm sure at this point, you are wondering - well, how hard can this bag really be, it only has 3 pattern pieces?! Am I right? Well, keep thinking those positive thoughts, as I promise this bag is a piece of cake if you take your time, so that's what we're going to do.
Next, we're going to start by cutting out the pattern pieces. I always start with my outer bag fabrics first, but you'll see that my photos are with my lining fabric, as the stripes were starting to play with my eyes on the photos! LOL! So, while I'll be using lining fabric to illustrate, the process is the same for both for the main pattern pieces.
Rather than follow the instructions in the pattern (as I think that actually wastes fabric, I fold over the side edge vs. the selvage edge. For this bag in particular, since I am using a directional striped fabric, I had to do this anyway. So, if your bag fabric is directional, think about placement to ensure all of your pieces are going in the right direction. Since this home decor weight fabric is 54" long, I can get both main panel pieces and large pocket pieces along the folded edge with room to spare. Be sure to only fold over enough to cover the main bag pattern piece width wise since you will need the fabric width for cutting out the top panels of the bag.
Next, cut out the top main panels of the bag. For the outer bag, it was a tight fit for me but it worked perfectly. The lining was no problem, as I folded the fabric selvage to selvage once again.
While the fabric is folded selvage to selvage on the lining, I cut out the pieces for the handles. Again, I'm going to make mine a bit differently than the pattern suggests. So I cut 2 pieces 4" x WOF (54" in my case). The handle will finish at 1" wide and I think will be a great length. Then, I also cut my strips for my piping (again since the fabric was already selvage to selvage). Disclaimer: I do not make bias binding for my piping. I haven't had any trouble with it yet, and let's be honest: ain't nobody got time for that! So, straight cut binding it is for me selvage to selvage. Personal preferences here people, and I'm here to tell you it works fine. Is it 100% perfect and foolproof, no. But, the results are perfect-enough for me!
Next, I cut out the side pocket pieces. I'm doing something a little bit different, and I'm using my lining fabric for the side pocket panel piece. I made the decision for two reasons. First, with directional striped fabric, I wasn't really digging the horizontal side pocket and the vertical main top panel piece look on the side. Second, I really wanted to add another bit of pop of the coral to make the bag more "me" (navy and white stripes are a very tame choice for me, so of course, I needed to personalize a bit!).
Once the bag pieces are cut, its time to cut out the woven interfacing, Pellon SF101 and the Pellon Peltex as outlined in the pattern. I make quite a few changes to the interfacing cutting here, so I'm going to outline the list of pieces I use in my bag. Now, this is a personal preference of mine, as I like a very sturdy bag and lining.
From the SF101, I require at least 1-2 additional yards than the pattern requires for the following additions:
- 2 main pieces for the bag lining
- 2 additional side pocket pieces for both the outer and lining of the pocket pieces
- 4 additional top panel pieces for the lining panels
When cutting the Peltex, I follow the instructions on the pattern exactly - I know, shocker, but no changes there. Be sure to follow the instructions to get 1/2" in from all sides of the main pocket and main panel pieces to ensure it doesn't get into the seam allowances when sewing.
Once you've cut all of your bag pieces, SF101 and Peltex - you're all cut out! Yay! I like to group my fabrics by outer bag, lining and interfacing, as that is how I stay organized the best.
Interfacing the Outer Bag Panels and Main Pockets
Before we can call today's work done though, we are going to go ahead and work ahead in the pattern a bit and interface the main bag panels and large pocket pieces. This was probably the trickiest part of the pattern for me when I first made the bag.
Place your outer bag fabric right side down on your ironing board with the Peltex centered within the pattern piece, and place one piece of SF101 on top, with fusible side down. So, you are essentially using the SF101 to hold the Peltex in place. However, if you are like me, and you got the fusible Peltex, then simply just fuse the Peltex to the main panel piece starting from the center out to ensure its smooth without any creases. Then, turn over, and iron on the SF101.
Complete the above for both main outer bag panels and large pocket pieces. So, you're panels should be nice and sturdy and ready for the next step on Saturday!
Prizes for the Link Up
We're sew excited about all of the finished Weekender Bags that will be finished at the end of the month! And, we're even more excited about the giveaways we have planned for two lucky winners! Starting on Wednesday, May 21 the link up will be open to share your finished weekender bag until Midnight on Tuesday, May 27. On Wednesday, May 28, we'll announce the winners from a random drawing to win the Grand Prize or First Prize! Thanks so much to our sponsors - we've got some great stuff!
Grand Prize Pack
$50 Gift Certificate to Sew Lux Fabric
FQ Bundle of Savannah Fabric from Dear Stella
Mini Quilt Patterns from Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley
First Prize Pack
$25 Gift Certificate to Sew Lux Fabric
FQ Bundle of Haven from Monaluna
T-shirt of Your Choosing from Patchwork Threads
Man, I wish I could win! I'll see you back here on Saturday with tales of piping and outside panel piece sewing. Until then, happy cutting! And, don't forget to email me if you have any questions or run into any issues.