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Use an internal Hex Open bag frame – very practical and secure Sew a zip in the bag lining – adds value and security Sew with poly. Boning – which helps provide structure Sew a flat bottom into a bag - so stuff doesn’t roll around in the bags Sew a fabric strap - with D-rings and spring lever clips•
Here’s How I put it all together Shopping list (as if you were shopping and not using your own stash fabrics)
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½ yard of Sweet Home in kiwi fabric for the exterior and strap. And matching thread. ½ yard of Clean Sweep in Kiwi fabric for the exterior and (optional) inner pocket. 1 x 14” Hex Open bag frame. 1 x 6 ¾” x 22 ½” Grid Bag Bottom 1 x 7” Zip for optional inner pocket 1 x 42” x 2” strip of double sided fusible fleece (112cm x 10cm) for padding the strap (this is optional; I prefer to use this for all of my fabric straps, it makes fabric straps comfy). ½ yard of firm iron interfacing (stabiliser) ½ yard of heavy sew-in interlining 2 x 1” bronze bolt snaps 2 x 0.5” bronze D-rings·
NB: all seam allowances are 1cm (3/8”) unless otherwise stated. Pattern includes 1cm seam allowance. 1. Make up your pattern – there is only one pattern piece for this bag. This pattern is shown halved.
and 2 pieces Heavy sew-in interlining. 3. 2 pieces Clean Sweep fabric (lining).Make up your pattern as shown in the photo. 2 x 10. Use chalk to mark a Hinge Marking (22cm up from the bottom edge) on the sloping side of all fabric pieces. Make a comfy shoulder strap . 2 pieces firm iron-on. Double your fabric over and place the pattern on the fold before cutting out. Then take one of the . Cut out other fabric pieces: • • • • 1 x 42” x 4” strip of Sweet Home (exterior fabric) for the shoulder strap.follow these comfy bag handle instructions (see step 3) to the letter (except you do not need to divide the strap into 2 lengths).5” x 6” Clean Sweep (lining fabric) for optional inner pocket 1 x 10.5” x 6” firm iron-on interfacing for optional pocket 1 x 3” x 2” strip for shoulder handle loops interlining. 2. From the pattern piece cut: 2 pieces of exterior fabric.
ends of your finished strap and thread it through the ring of one of the bronze bolt snaps to 1”. Starting from one of . and do not stitch the ends of the loops. Make the handle loops – make up the handles loops in the same way as for the shoulder strap. Sew exterior bag . Match all edges and pin all together. Stitch the end of the strap down in a box formation for strength. Make a sandwich with the 2 exterior pieces (right sides together).5cm) down from the top edge as shown in the photo (jeez that’s a mouthful! Hope it all makes sense). (in the previous step) except there is no need for fusible fleece. and the other on the back exterior onto (right hand side) side edge 1 6/8” (4.iron the firm iron-on interfacing onto the wrong side of the exterior fabric. and the heavy sewin on the outside of the sandwich. Take one of handle loops and thread it through one of the bronze D-rings. Fold handle loop in half and stitch handle loop (with ring still attached) onto the bag exterior bag (one handle loop each for bag front and bag back) as shown… Sew 1 handle loop on the front exterior. you need to divide the strap into 2 equal lengths. 4. 5.
the hinge markings sew the sides and bottom of the exterior finishing at the other hinge marking as shown by my wonky pink arrow. 6. Sew polyester boning in side seams . Stitch sides and bottom from hinge marking to hinge marking as shown by wonky pink arrow.for side support (this will help the bag to stand up on it's own) .
5” up from the bottom edge just like I have. See that marking at the bottom of the pic? Make that same mark 1. We need to make the boning slightly short of the 2 markings so the bag will move naturally…you’ll see what I mean later.This is a close up view of the side edge of the exterior. my final measurement came came to 6”). and minus 6/8” that measurement (or in other words 1cm short at both ends. Now measure the distance between the hinge marking and the new marking. Cut 4 pieces of polyester boning to that measurement and stitch the boning into each layer of the side seams in the same position as shown in the photo… .
Measure 1. .Here’s me stitching boning into 1 of the layers of the side seams. make sure the line is a right angle to the seam line that runs down the center of the triangle. Not a lot of room in my 1cm seam allowance is there? That's 'cos I like to sew right on the edge – man! Hold the boning in place with your fingers as you sew. 7. Flatten to form a triangle. Stitch along the marked line and trim the excess fabric 1cm for the seam.5”down from the tip of the triangle mark the line.5”down from the tip of the triangle mark the line with chalk and hold with your fingers. Create a flat bottom for your bag – take one of the corners of your exterior bag and match the side seam line with the bottom seam line. Measure 1. Repeat for the other bottom corner of the exterior. Turn exterior bag right side out.
8. Turn the bag upside down and using a stitch ripper carefully make tiny slits into the bag feet makings on the exterior bag. The bag feet are handy for keeping the bag bottom secured down. Make chalk markings on the exterior bag base for the bag feet (not too close. Push each bag foot into the fabric slits. Use fine scissors to cut through those markings on the bag bottom. Positioning it carefully. Turn bag right side out. . and push the prongs down away from each other with your thumb. and not too far from bag corners). place grid bag bottom inside the base of the exterior bag (I like to stick it down with super strong double sided tape). right through into the holes made in the grid bag bottom. Place grid bag bottom and purse feet into exterior bag – Measure up the base of the bag for the grid bag bottom and cut to bag bottom to size. Using those markings make corresponding markings on the grid bag bottom for the purse feet.Stitch along the line you just made and trim off excess triangle as shown.
I usually place the bag bottom onto the base of the bag and then make markings for the bag feet using a pen… This way I can mark the bag and the bag bottom at the same time. Slip exterior bag into lining bag – the right sides of the exterior and the lining bags should now be touching each other. Here’s my zippered pocket in the my lining (I like having a loo brush in my bag heh!) 10. Sew lining – if you want to insert an inner pocket in to the lining do so now by following these zippered pocket instructions (give it a go. it’s not very difficult!) I placed my pocket centrally in the lining. . 7” up from the bottom edge. Sew the lining bag in the same way as in step 5 EXCEPT YOU HAVE TO LEAVE AN 8CM OPENING IN THE BOTTOM OF THE LINING and you don’t need poly boning in the lining either. 9.
Stitch the 2 flaps of the bag – you’ll see that there are 4 layers which haven’t been stitched yet (2 layers from the lining. Sew all around the sides and top edge stopping at the stitching on the lining. Repeat with other purse flap. 11.Pop the exterior bag into the lining bag. Bring the right sides of one of the lining and the exterior flaps together and pin. these will become flaps. Clip off top corners off. and 2 layers from the exterior). .
. start and stop stitching at the previous stitching made in step 5). Start and stop stitching and the hinge markings (or in other words.Pin the lining and the exterior flaps together and stitch.
I like to sew the purse flaps on the lining side. because that way it’s easier to push all of the layers back and out of the way. and give everything a good iron. You’ll see what I mean when you come to do it… 12. Pop the lining into the exterior bag. I love this bit. . push the corners out.Start stitching the flap on one of the hinge markings. Pull the exterior bag out through the gap in the lining – yep.
Repeat with the other flap. Shut yer gap! 14.Hello bag! I’ve been expecting you! 13. adjust if necessary. . and pin. Stitch the casing a couple of mms from the edge. press the fold.push the raw edges into the hole and top stitch a few mms to edge for a neat finish.5” (4cm) onto the lining side. Make casing for the Hex frame – fold one of the flaps down 1. Sew gap in lining shut . The top edge of the flap should now be almost touching the hinge marking. Double check that casing will accommodate the frame by testing.
15. You’ll end up with a flattened pin tip and now the pin is trapped secure inside the hinge. . ensure that the pin in the hinge in fully inserted. When sewing straight lines it helps if you haven’t drunken lots of wine. and you sew slowly without stopping (when you stop and start the line can become wobbly – well. and using the leather wrapped pliers squeeze the tip of the pin (you’ll see that the tip of the pin is hollow). and open the frame (like a book). Get yourself some pliers and a piece of leather (or thickish fabric). and pin (I know I haven’t pinned but I’m lazy). press. Secure the pin in one of the hinges – you’ll see that the frame already has the pins inserted into the hinges.Fold flap down 1. mine do). Take one of the hinges out. but they are not secured (so you can sew with them).5” (4cm) onto lining side. Take your time to stitch a straight line because your stitching is going to show on the exterior side of the bag. Stitch a couple of mms from the edge from one end of the casing to the other.
Now we need to make up the hinge on the other side of the frame. . Insert the frame into the casing – the free end of the frame goes in first. 16. Push the right frame through the casing until the free ends of the frame are sticking out the other end. Slip the pin into the hinge and flatten the pin tip as in the previous step (make sure the head of the pin is pointing towards the top of the bag).Squeeze the pliers to flatten the tip of the pin – think of the driver that cut you on the road the other day…grrr! Tip of pin is flattened so pin cannot escape out of the hinge. Get your pliers again and squeeze the hinge halves together until you can insert the other pin.
In the frame goes… 17. Clip the shoulder handle on the handle loops and you're done!.Rock up to your local Stitch and Bitch in style (or enjoy the envious glances on the bus) and enjoy the ‘Ohhhs and Ahhhs’ at your bag when you tell them that you made it yourself :) .