Sunset Bag Finished

Sunset Project Bag Finished (from top)
Sunset Project Bag Finished (from top)

I finished the Sunset Project Bag not long after my last post. I like the shape and how well it stands up. 

The fabric is one I unearthed when I was looking through my fabric for the correct colors for pieces for Orange You Glad. I thought I had used up all of this old Philip Jacobs fabric. Even though it doesn’t match my Take a Stand bag or my A Place for Everything v.2.0 bag, I like the way it came out. The fabric seems cheeful and light to me.

I really like the way the zipper came out. It works as expected. I was a little disappointed in the zipper on the my Take a Stand bag. It just seems weird to use.

I fussy cut the front and back panels to take advantage of the beautiful roses. The yardage I have left now looks a bit like Swiss cheese, but I am more interested in a good looking bag than non-Swiss cheese fabric.

I would have preferred pink or light blue handles, but I don’t think the darker turquoise looks bad. The handles came from some cotton webbing I have had around for a long time. It was time to use it.

Sunset Project Bag: inside full
Sunset Project Bag: inside full

The inside came out particularly well. The True colors fabric I used looks great. I thought that I would want to save it for something special, but what? I don’t have a lot of it left, but I decided to use something that would make me happy when I opened the bag and now I am really glad I did. I need to remember to use the good fabric.

As you can see the bag opens flat. Vanessa from Crafty Gemini uses this bag for knitting (or maybe crochet?) projects. Opening flat provides good access to the contents. With balls of yarn, however, they might roll away if the bag was opened flat.

Sunset Project Bag: inside mesh pocket detail
Sunset Project Bag: inside mesh pocket detail

The mesh pocket works well and will allow me to see what is inside.  The pocket is a good size, I think. I wonder if there are other pockets I should have added, but I think just tossing in a pouch with additional supplies will work. What are pouches for anyway?

Sunset Project Bag: inside binding detail
Sunset Project Bag: inside binding detail

The other side has no pocket, but you can see that I had to bind the raw edges on the inside to cover them. I machine sewed one side of the binding, then hand sewed the other. It wasn’t as much of a hassle to hand sew this bag’s binding as it was to sew the binding on my Take a Stand bag or my A Place for Everything v.2.0 bag. I still stabbed myself several times. One of the risks.

I am struggled with the finishing. I like to poke out the corners and make the bag nice and finished looking. In this case, I have rolled the seam joins, I have also pressed them and poked them out. Nothing I have tried will get them all the way out. I am not sure why, but maybe the binding since it is on the back of the joins.

I think it came out pretty well, though there are some things I would like to change.

Sunset Project Bag Progress

I spent some time over the weekend working on the Sunset Project Bag. As you saw, I was ready for assembly, after getting everything cut and quilted. In my mind, at least, I was ready for assembly. As I found out, I had more prep (prep plus?) to do.

Sunset Project Bag: Front panel
Sunset Project Bag: Front panel

First, I had to add the mesh pocket. Generally, this is no problem, but I immediately found a problem: my beautiful quilting would be ruined. Ok, ruined is a little bit dramatic, but one of the lines of stitching needed to keep the mesh pocket in place would go through and show on the front. That line would not fit in with my previous diagonal lines. 🙁

Sunset: mesh pocket
Sunset: mesh pocket

There was no way out. I had already quilted what I had quilted, so I just had to move on. I know that the Muggles won’t know.

Sunset Project Bag: mesh pocket detail
Sunset Project Bag: mesh pocket detail

The line of stitching across the top of the mesh pocket is the area that shows through

Note to self: if I make this again, use horizontal lines. I do think the diagonal lines look nice.

I will say that the mesh I chose goes really well with the pink and turquoise True Colors fabric I used on the inside.

Sunset: Out of place quilting line
Sunset: Out of place quilting line

You can see how the top line of stitching now shows through on the front. Sigh.

Fortunately, it is only one line not the top stitching for the other parts of the zipper assembly.

I did think about what I could do to hide the line, but I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t require remaking the front panel or unpicking a lot of stitching.

Sunset Project Bag: main zipper end detail
Sunset Project Bag: main zipper end detail

In order to assemble the bag, I had to make the gusset into a loop. I have done that before. It isn’t difficult, though the detail of the zipper end was something I hadn’t done before.

Sunset Project Bag: gusset and handles detail
Sunset Project Bag: gusset and handles detail

I should have used the True Colors fabric, but I think it looks fine. Also, the way the raw edges are enclosed within the zipper are very clever. I had to watch the video to completely understand it. I don’t always watch all the steps in the video, but I usually go through a few of the steps and the videos are always helpful.

The handles are attached to the gusset, which I thought was a good idea. I had the opportunity to sew over them several times as I completed the bag.

I also added a piece of vinyl to the bottom, now incorporated into the gusset, to keep the bottom clean when I use the bag. I wanted to try that technique after seeing it in a Tula Pink Tuesday video. I only used the vinyl for the bottom, not for the whole bag. It was sticky on the bed of the machine, as is usual for vinyl. I am out of practice with vinyl and needed to reorient myself to sewing with vinyl.

I struggled with final assembly. The bottom corners had a bit too much fabric in them for me. I wonder if I could round the corners to make the assembly easier. I found that to be a real help with the Andalusian pouch, the Andalusian does not have a gusset.

Sunset Project Bag

Last Autumn (sheesh! Has it been that long???), at the urging (temptress-ness) of Angela I joined the Crafty Gemini 8th Bag club. I liked the bags and some of the techniques I would learn, so it was a good idea. I tried to keep up, but cutting (which you know I dislike) really kept me from keeping up. I made the Flagler backpack and that was it.

Sunset Project Bag cut out and quilted
Sunset Project Bag cut out and quilted

The Sunset Project Bag has been on my mind and I finally started it. Cutting, of course, takes me so long. I tried get into a Zen frame of mind about, but almost lost it when I realized I had to quilt a bunch of pieces, too. I started and then after four lines of stitching, I decided to vary the design to leave a 1.5 inch space between four lines of stitching. I really like the way that design turned out. I think it looks like I actually know how to design quilting designs rather than just wanting to get it over faster.

I just did straight line quilting horizontally along the gussets. I didn’t want to stop and start after 20 stitches over a 35 inch wide piece.

Sunset Project Bag - fussy cutting?
Sunset Project Bag – fussy cutting?

I lined up the pieces and noticed that it looks like I fussy cut some pieces to fit together well.

Those pieces don’t go together and I didn’t plan it, but it would be nice if they did.

I am in the process of sealing the edges of the quilted pieces and will be ready to start assembly soon. There aren’t very many pieces so I should be able to finish quickly. Fingers crossed anyway.

Starting the Flagler

Flagler Bag Pieces
Flagler Bag Pieces

The Flagler bag is the first bag in Crafty Gemini’s 8th Bag Club. I took some time to cut it out over the weekend.

The bag really doesn’t have a lot of pieces, unlike the A Place for Everything bag, so it didn’t take me very long to cut it out.

I wasn’t going to make this bag, because I didn’t think I would use it, but then I thought it would be great for my nephew. He has a new baby and may need to carry around a small amount of her stuff for quick trips.

Flagler in process
Flagler in process

I had seen that spot fabric recently and looked for it for a long time. I almost gave up finding it, but am glad I kept looking because I think it will look good with the stripe.

I was able to get some of the sewing in, too.

All Rolled Up Tote Yet Again

Some projects never die.

I told you that I finished this project back in January. According to the pattern, I did finish it. However, ever since then, I have been contemplating handles. Mostly, I have been thinking of adding handles because of the way Vanessa (Crafty Gemini) stuff the thing full of tools, notions and everything sewing imaginable in the video introducing the Organizer Club**. I just couldn’t imagine how I could carry this thing around.

I thought about handles a lot and finally, months later, had an idea. I bought some pleather and tried making handles out of that, but it just didn’t look good on the bag. I saved the strap for possible use with another project.

So, the bag sat until last weekend. Post Flying Around, I am finishing up bag projects. I talked about the 4 Zip Organizer and the Running with Scissors tote. On Sunday, I turned to this bag and decided that Sunday was the day this bag was getting handles.

All Rolled Up tote with handles
All Rolled Up tote with handles

I thought I would make really good progress on the Poolside tote I am making, but I spent most of the day slowly working on the handles for this bag.

For some reason, I am convinced that these bags need to be supported. Part of it, again, is the videos showing how much stuff can be stuffed into these bags. The other part is that I don’t want to be trying to repair bags whose handles have ripped off. Thus, you may see some similarities between the handles on this bag and the handles on the 4 Zip Organizer.

Taking good photos of these handles was a challenge. In the above photo, you can see how far they extend off the top. I made the initial strip about 80 inches long. The black & white Peony Brocade fabric acts as an enhancement, but the outside of the strap is meant to blend into the outside of the bag itself.

Adding the handles also made the bag have more of a defined round shape. I tried to install the handles so they wouldn’t interfere with the wide opening of the bag. I think I achieved that. I think, though, that the bag takes on a different shape once holding the bag by the handles.

I am still not sure how I am going to use this bag. I wrote a dissertation about that before so I won’t got into it again. I do think that I will put Wonder Clips in one of the pouches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**N.B. The Organizer Club is still available for purchase, but this is the club that was new in 2018, so any announcement of early bird specials is no longer valid.

4 Zip Organizer Finished!

4 Zip Organizer: Finished (inside)
4 Zip Organizer: Finished (inside)

I finished the 4 Zip Organizer on Saturday after a nice long day of sewing! I am pretty excited about the recent finishes, and this one in particular because it has been hanging around for so long.

I used fabrics that went with the All Rolled Up Tote. I am trying to create a matching set of bags and totes, but I keep switching fabrics!

4 Zip Organizer: Pen/pencil holder, D-Ring
4 Zip Organizer: Pen/pencil holder, D-Ring

As you can see, my Organizer has 3 pockets and a pencil holder. The pattern talks about making 4, but I used the directions from the Classmates tote to make the pencil carrier instead. I had to add another facing to the vinyl pocket above it. Though, Vanessa’s video didn’t say to do this, I figured it out from how she explained what pieces were covering others to finish them. I had an extra zipper facing, so I was all set.

4 Zip Organizer: D-Ring in action
4 Zip Organizer: D-Ring in action

While I was taking photos, I decided to try out the D-Ring. I grabbed one of the vinyl pouches I made for the All Rolled Up tote and clipped it on to the 4 Zip Organizer. I filled it a little too much for this bag, but it will work.

I didn’t want to put any fabric pockets in this bag, but somehow the bit of vinyl I had left disappeared after the Retreat, so I made one fabric pocket. I fussy cut the flower and think it looks nice.

Kam Snaps tools & Supplies
Kam Snaps tools & Supplies

After watching Vanessa’s video about snaps, I was shocked when I opened the KamSnaps supply bag. The device that secures the snaps was included! I knew I bought some snaps, but was convinced I had forgotten the device. It took me a few tries and some wasted snaps, but I finally was able to install the snap closure.

4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder
4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder

The Running with Scissors tote had thread holders on the center facing. I decided that I would add the same thing to this bag. Why not? I know I said I would use it for knitting, but who knows? I may need some thread or storage for Wonder Clips is always needed. Fortunately, the center is kind of round when the bag is closed so it can accommodate some thread or Wonder Clips. I bought the double fold elastic from ByAnnie.

I used a variety of colors of zippers from the selection I bought recently. I was pleased that I had a few extra for this project. I thought the zippers I used would be too small, but I had to trim less zipper tape on these.

I am pleased to check another Crafty Gemini Organizer Club project off my list.

4 Zip Organizer in Process

After finishing Flying Around, I needed a little break from serious quilts. I didn’t want to start a new quilt yet, though I have some fabric lying around waiting for their time in the sun. I decided to work on some bags that were hanging around. I am almost finished with the Running with Scissors tote and the Poolside Tote is cut out.

The 4 Zip Organizer won out. The last time I worked on this project was with Gerre back in June. Then, I quilted the pieces I needed to quilt and put it away to concentrate on Flying Around.

Friday was the day. I started working on it and got excited about it again. This was one of the bonus projects for the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. Ever since I started knitting the Lightweight Raglan Pullover, I have wanted to finish this bag, so I would have a carrier for my notions.

4 Zip Organizer: Long Handle
4 Zip Organizer: Long Handle

I decided to do some different things with this piece. I made a long handle put it all the way around the bag, so it would support the weight if I stuffed the bag full. It was kind of a hassle, because I forgot and sewed all the way to the edge. That meant I had to rip, but eventually I worked it out.

Since this handle worked, I have more of an incentive to finish adding the handle to the All Rolled Up Tote. I know! Yes, that bag is still hanging around waiting for me to deal with the handle. Perhaps soon, now that I am on a Bag Binge.

4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder
4 Zip Organizer: Thread Holder

I had to add a center facing anyway, so I added some thread holders. I learned how to do this by doing the same thing on the Running with Scissors tote. I thought it would make a good addition, especially since I had that seafoam elastic, thought I think it will only hold small Aurifil spools. I am able to also use that elastic feature for Wonder Clips.

In making this, I found that the large Wonder Clips came in handy. I have only ever used them to keep my design wall under control, but they were useful in putting this bag together.

I also added a pencil holder and a D-Ring to the bag instead of one of the pockets. I thought I would like to have a pen handy (and under control). Also, I think i mentioned, I am adding a D-Ring to all of my bags, so I can move the small vinyl bags around as I fill them with critical supplies. I first came across this with the All Rolled Up Tote.

Stay tuned for the big finish.

All Rolled Up Tote Again

All Rolled Up Tote - open
All Rolled Up Tote – open

I did finish the All Rolled Up tote, but it has been sitting unused while I contemplated handles. Many makers in the Crafty Gemini group have just added handles to the top using a box stitch. I am afraid such handles would be ripped away after awhile so I have been contemplating handles that went all the way around the bag. Because of the way the bag opened up, I had to be careful not to impede the opening and the zipper.

Finally, I came up with the idea, in consultation with other bagmakers, of making a loop and just sewing it to the areas where there were only three layers. See the giant flower in the front? That would be one place to which the straps were sewn.

All Rolled Up tote with sample handles
All Rolled Up tote with sample handles

I didn’t have much time to sew over the weekend, so I snuck in time where where I could and came up with a loop made out of pleather.

On the side with the seam I sewed some of the Philip Jacobs fabric I used for the inside. I love that fabric!

I think the idea has merit, but I am not happy with the execution. I don’t love the handles – the width and the material. I will probably make another set of sample handles from fabric.

Thoughts?

Organizer Club So Far

After completing the All Rolled Up Tote, I thought I would layout the massive number of projects in the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club that I have completed.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019
Sewing Machine Mat from front
Sewing Machine Mat from front

Four.

Yes, I have completed 4 projects. I still have 3 more projects to go to complete the club. I do want to make all of the projects since I did sign up and pay for them. I did not sign up for the subsequent clubs since I have not yet finished the three projects left in the club. Also, I have a lot of other bags and organizer type projects I want to make.

I also want to make another Roadtrip Bag that has a vinyl window rather than using vinyl all the way across the front. I realize that is not the design, but I want to try my design change in order to not have to turn the vinyl. I am not sure how I will use the Roadtrip bag, but I like the design.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019-open
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019-open

You can still buy the club (no affiliation). Check out the video showing all the projects.

All Rolled Up Tote – Finished!!!

All Rolled Up Tote - finished (closed)
All Rolled Up Tote – finished (closed)

I am thrilled to tell you that I finally finished the All Rolled Up Tote!

Yep. Finished. Done. Complete.

It was a big project. Not difficult, but with a lot of steps. The steps made it somewhat daunting. I say daunting only because the project was unfamiliar and the sheer number of steps seemed impossible to complete. I had done most of the techniques before, if in different patterns, so that wasn’t the problem. I have a new appreciation for video tutorials.

All Rolled Up Tote - size comparison
All Rolled Up Tote – size comparison

The Tote is HUGE. I didn’t really understand how huge until I had sewed the main parts of the project together. It is really hard to understand the size without seeing the thing in person. I have included a photo with my most recent Sew Together Bag side by side with the the All Rolled Up Tote for comparison. I know many of you are familiar with the Sew Together Bag.

All Rolled Up Tote - open
All Rolled Up Tote – open

I am thrilled that I made such a complicated and different project. It is similar to the Sew Together Bag, but the construction was different in some places.

The other thing I did differently was the front panel (see blue/turquoise vertical strips). This panel calls for a 1/4″ piece of elastic to be installed horizontally. I didn’t want any pens I might want to carry around to be accidentally opened and bleed on to my fabulous Philip Jacobs fabric. I also thought the 1/4″ inch elastic was not sturdy enough and looked a bit cheap. I decided to install wider elastic, which I happened to have, having bought it somewhere along the line. I measured out a few items that I might want to have with me, if I carry this around as a project bag, and sewed the elastic down. I think it looks nice.

All Rolled Up Tote - sleeve view
All Rolled Up Tote – sleeve view

One thing that was hard to understand without the video was the sleeve. I tried to understand it before watching the videos and it was a mystery. Finally, I watched the videos and could see what it was for. There is an extra area below the pockets (thus the changes in construction in comparison to the Sew Together Bag) where one can store flat items. I put a ruler halfway into the sleeve (see right), so you can see the sleeve. I haven’t tried filling this bag yet as I haven’t quite decided how I will use it, so use of the sleeve may change once I decide.

My pouches fit nicely in the Tote. Of course they are the correct size, but my lobster clip plan worked well. It was pretty easy to clip and unclip them from the D-rings on the tote. Crafty Gemini shows putting WonderClips into one of the pouches, which might be a good idea, since I could take the pouch out and put it somewhere if I knew I had to refill it because I had used my ‘on the go’ supplies (like clips) for a project. I also think that these little pouches might make good small gifts. They do require a lot of steps, but are unique as well.

One issue I had with the pouches was zippers. I happened to have zippers that were the exact right size. Crafty Gemini doesn’t say anything about having zippers the right size. In terms of whether we needed to secure ends or add a zipper tab. I might do that next time just to make sure everything was sewn together tightly. I am concerned that the zipper ends will come out.

Some of the problems I had with a recent Sew Together Bag were alleviated by the pattern’s suggestion that makers hand sew on the second side of the binding. I did hand sew the second side of the binding. It took me somewhere between 4-6 hours, I think. I am pleased with the way the binding turned out. No sloppy looking stitching because of multiple layers and a cranky sewing machine.

I am I still contemplating handles. Some of the other people in the Organizer Club who made this project added handles, but I wasn’t completely happy with their design. If I were to add handles I think that I would like to add them all the way around the bottom of the project in a loop design. I imagine that these would not go over the top of the bag, so access would not be impeded.

Off hand I can’t think of other changes I would make to another version of this bag, but I have the feeling I want to make another one. *I*, of course, don’t need another one, but I am sure I know someone who needs it as a gift.

All Rolled Up Tote – Pouches

All Rolled Up Tote - pouches (front)
All Rolled Up Tote – pouches (front)

Part of the All Rolled Up Tote pattern includes some pouches that can be clipped on to the D-rings I inserted when installing the pockets.  I worked on those over the weekend and was able to finish them up. I am not 100% happy with the zipper ends, but done is better than perfect.

They turned out larger than I thought they would. Yes, the finished dimensions were readily available, but somehow I had it in my mind that they were about 3/4s the size.

All Rolled Up Tote - pouches (back)
All Rolled Up Tote – pouches (back)

I am pleased with how they turned out. The fabrics are cheerful and they fit well into the Tote itself. I also think the pattern would be useful for gifts to others. Even without the Tote, they could be clipped to other bags.

The clips are the one thing I did differently than the pattern suggests. I put the lobster clips on the pouches rather than in the All Rolled Up Tote. I wanted to minimize interference with items I put in the Tote and thought the D-ring in the Tote would be less obtrusive. I also thought that I might want to fill these with something that I would want to transfer to other bags, so the lobster clip would allow me to clip the pouch on to other bags without needing that other bag to have a lobster clip. I’ll have to start adding D-Rings to my other bags!

I just have a bit more to complete before the All Rolled Up Tote itself is complete.

All Rolled Up Tote – Serious Progress

The All Rolled Up Tote is finally starting to look like something. It is amazing to me how I can sew and sew on a bag project and it looks like a bunch of disparate parts, then all of a sudden it looks like something. It’s like magic.

All Rolled Up Tote - pockets assembled
All Rolled Up Tote – pockets assembled

Just as I needed the sides, the fabric arrived from HipStitch and I had time to wash it. For once I cut the outside properly and was able to move forward.

As I said, it is similar in shape and use to the Sew Together Bag, but much larger. The finished size is 15in./L x 9in./W x 6in./H. I placed my rotary cutter in the photo above so you could get some idea of scale. This bag is much larger than the Sew Together Bag.

I am also finding the construction to be a little different. For example, the pockets are assembled separately unlike the Sew Together Bag. I am sure I will find some other differences when I get farther along.

All Rolled Up Tote – Pockets

All Rolled Up Tote pockets
All Rolled Up Tote pockets

I finished the pockets for the All Rolled Up tote. As mentioned, this is part of the Crafty Gemini 2018 Organizer Club. You can buy the stand-alone pattern on her site. Above three of the pockets are shown. I have decided to alternate where the zippers start to lessen bulk.

The first pocket, which will go in the front of the bag has elastic on it for writing implements, glue sticks, etc. the pattern calls for a 1/4″ piece of elastic placed horizontally all the way across. I thought a thicker elastic placed vertically would work better for me. I didn’t want tips of pens to be too close to the fabric in case they should open and stain. I am also not a fan of that 1/4in. elastic. I think it looks a little cheap. My fat turquoise elastic (I wish I could remember where I bought it in case I want to make another) looks super fun as well.

Progress!

Zipper Tab Techniques

Zipper Tabs in process
Zipper Tabs in process

Does anyone have any good tips on keeping the zipper tabs in place before sewing them? I pull the zipper pull down to get it out of the way of the sewing machine foot, which makes the zipper fabric at the top flop around. As you can see, I have used WonderClips to keep the zipper fabric and new zipper tabs in place so I can sew them. I have tried pins, but the clips are better. It is not ideal but I can’t think of anything better.

I posted to the Crafty Gemini Facebook page and some people had some good ideas: tape, staples and sewing the ends together until they won’t come apart. I am thrilled to have some new ideas. I am not sure why I didn’t think of these things.

What do you do?

All Rolled Up Tote Progress

All Rolled Up Tote pieces cut
All Rolled Up Tote pieces cut

I am working very slowly on this All Rolled Up Tote bag, but I am making some progress.

I started cutting back in September and haven’t really put it on the front burner until now. It is part of the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club that I bought last year. I bought the course and am determined to finish all the bags in it. I have made several and plan to alternate them with quilts in the beginning of the year.

It isn’t difficult, but the bag has a lot of steps. It is similar in shape and use to the Sew Together Bag, but much larger. The finished size is 15″L x 9″W x 6″H. I am also finding the construction to be a little different. I should have watched the videos before I started cutting, but didn’t think I needed to. I know how to cut, but there are some tips and tricks. It would have helped.

The videos are a great way to make a bag. No fumbling with written directions and trying to figure out what they mean. I don’t even really like watching sewing videos, because I can’t listen to an audiobook while I am watching a video. I am, however, getting more into the swing of video courses.

I had to get some more fabric for one outside piece as it was challenging to cut and I cut it wrong.  Twice. Bleah. I can continue on and go back to that piece when the fabric arrives.