Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Diaper Bag Tutorial Sew-Along #3

Finally, it's time for sewing! This week, we will assemble the outside of the bag. Here we go...

Hopefully, you have all your pieces cut and ready.

To begin, we will make the front panel for the bag. Find your two pieces that are 2-1/2" x 15" in size, one of outer fabric, and one solid color outer accent. Right sides together, sew down the long side. When it is unfolded, it should look like below. 

Next up, grab your outer trapezoid piece of outer fabric. The longest side is the top.  I pinched the fabric in three spots and pinned it, in order to make the trapezoid into a rectangle. So, once the top side is pinned, it should be the same width on the top as it is on the bottom. This is purely decorative, so make it look however you'd like it to look. 

Right sides together, sew the long side of this outer fabric to the bottom right side of the solid color accent.

Once it is unfolded, it should look like the picture below. 

Now we will make the outer side pockets. Grab your FOUR 7" x 9" pieces. There should be two outer pieces and two lining pieces with fusible fleece. Put the outer piece and the lining piece right side together and sew along the short top side. Repeat with the other pocket.

When they are unfolded, they should look like the picture below. Since I am using laminated cotton, I am not ironing this down, but if you are using another type of fabric, it may make your life easier. 

Once it is folded down, sew a top stitch across the top edge, about 1/4 inch down from the seam. 

Now, we will baste the pocket to the two side panels. The side panels are 7" x 18".

Sew a simple basting stitch down the side edges of the pockets, as close to the edge as possible.

We will now attach the side panels to the front panel. Right sides together, sew straight down the side edge, just inside the basting stitch. That way, you don't have to remove the basting stitch. PS - Make sure your pockets are on the bottom! :) 

The picture below shows the stitching just inside the basting stitch.

Repeat the process with the opposite side panel. The unfolded project should now look like the picture below. 

Next up, sew the back panel to the side panel. Right sides together, sew down the long edge. Repeat with the opposite long edge and the opposite side panel.

If you turn the bag right side out, it should look like the pictures below. 

Turn the bag inside out again, and get ready to sew on the bottom panel, which is 7" x 15". Place the right side of the bottom panel against the long right side of the bag. This part can be a little tricky. The ends of the long edge of the bottom will extend a bit past the seams on either side. Try to sew just from seam to seam, backstitching at each side. 

Repeat with the other long edge. Match up the short ends of the bottom panel with the bottoms of the side panels. Sew the side edges closed, barely sewing over the backstitching on the long edges. This way, the entire bottom is sewn shut. 

When you turn the bag right side out, it should look like the picture below. 

Set aside the bag. It's time to make the straps. Grab your FOUR strap pieces, which are 3" x 35", including the two outer pieces and the two lining pieces with fusible fleece. Place the lining and the outer fabric right side together, and sew 1/4" seam down one long edge. 

Unfold the strap, and press it open if you are able to do so. If not (like me, with my laminated cotton), do your best! Once unfolded, sew a topstitch down the long edge of the strap, close to the seam, as below. One long side of the strap is finished, while the other is unfinished.

Fold down the opposite long edge of the top fabric. I intentionally made the straps pretty wide so that this folding process would be easier. It is also "possible" to sew both long edges and turn it right side out, but it is pretty difficult with the fusible fleece. Anyway, there should be plenty of fabric to fold down without difficulty. If you are able, ironing would also be helpful for this part. 

Fold the lining/fleece piece to match the outer fabric, and pin it in several places. Sew a top stitch close to the edge, down the opposite long side.

This is how your strap should look now.

Repeat the process with the second strap. Now, make sure they are the exact same length. If not, give the longer one a little trim. ;)

Sew a zigzag or overcasting stitch across each of the four strap ends.

Pin your strap down just above the accent fabric and 2 inches from the side seam, as below. Pin the opposite end of the strap in the same manner, 2 inches from the other side seam. Make sure your straps are not twisted.

Sew a straight stitch across the zigzagged portion of your straps, backstitching at both ends.

Turn your strap over and pin it down flat. Make sure it is not folding your bag fabric in a weird way when you do this. 

Sew a small rectangle with a reinforced x on the straps to sew them down securely.

Repeat the process on the back of the bag. Since I didn't have the accent fabric as a guide, I just lined the front piece up with the back piece, measured 2 inches from the side seams, and felt where the other straps were positioned.

Finally, put a bit of fabric glue on the bottom of  your Peltex or stiff craft felt and place it in the bottom of your bag. 

That's all for today! You see where we're going with this!??! :)

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