Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Did someone mention TUTORIALS a while ago...?

Oh... that'd be ME.

I'm SO SORRY that life got in the way of my good intentions to spend August writing tutorials for y'all.... This bag was one of the super-stars on my table in Sydney on the weekend (on the FLOOR under my table, actually), and the attention it recieved reminded me that I was going to post a quick HOW TO about it.

It's a variation on my Wrap pattern, but you can also do the same thing with the Small Wrap and the Sling (and any other bag with all-in-one straps and facing). I'm afraid you'll need the bag pattern instuctions to get the most out of this one. The photos were taken AFTER the bag was made up, so you'll need to have a bit of an understanding of the pattern to follow these instructions.

1. Before you cut out your bag pieces, play around with some large o-rings and your pattern, and decide how much strap you'll need to fold over the rings. (Even better if you have a FABRIC version of the bag made up already!). You need to leave enough strap to fold through the ring and anchor back to the inside of the bag - at a depth that gives the strap room to gather and fall. It's a visual thing.... you'll get it when you see it.... I hope. (I forgot to take a photo of that bit, sorry!).

2. Fold the paper pattern pieces (for both the outside of the bag and the facing) to shorten the straps to the desired length. Cut out your fabric pieces.

3. Make up the bag body. Attach the facing all the way around the top of the bag (including across the top of the cut-off straps). Turn it through to the right side and backstitch/understitch/topstitch in the usual way (follow the instructions in the pattern!).

4. Fold the strap over the o-rings and pin it to the facing. (I've used two Extra-Large O-rings on each side of the strap here). Topstitch to attach the edge of the strap to the facing (not through to the outside fabric).

5. Pin the topstitched edge of the strap (and the facing) to the outside of the bag. Double-check that the fabric is falling nicely into gathers from the rings (not bunching up). Adjust the pins if necessary.6. Think of a clever way to anchor the facing and strap to the outside of the bag (to stop the facing from being pulled up out of the bag). I've used grommets, but you could use buttons, simple embroidery stitches (cross-stitch or running stitch).... safety pins...? Whatever works for you.
7. Make a new shoulder strap and attach it to the top of the rings (if you don't know how to do that I suggest you come to a class or try one of my Beginners patterns).

It looks like a completely different bag.... and I only wish I'd thought of this variation when I was writing the instructions for this pattern!
Oh - and a lot of people ask me about grommets. I don't sell them because the hole punch and setting tool cost about $100 (I can't get them any cheaper). If you want to do lots of grommets (like I do) then it's worth getting the tools. You'll need to check out your local saddlery supplier for them. If you come to one of my classes I'll let you use mine!!


laura said...

Absolutely brilliant as always! I'm trying so hard to 'think outside the box' which is difficult for me because I take things far too literally. For example: it would never have occurred to me to do what you did to that pattern! I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and tutorials, and I'm thrilled that you are so willing to share.

Bellgirl said...

Looks great! I'm about to start making your satchel pattern, I'm looking on the blogs of the Living Creatively team to find some fab fabric for the flap. I'll post a pic when it's done!

Jenny said...

Another gorgeous bag-you are so clever-thanks for sharing.

kyles72 said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I saw this bag in Sydney, and it is absolutely beautiful!!

Hoppo Bumpo said...

That variation looks fantastic. I love the grommets too.