Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wrapping up the Butterick 6072 Backpack Experience: Fabric and Structure

Quite possibly, my favorite bag photo ever.
Although I like this one too.
Backpack in action on Tuesday--it is the right size to use as a purse.

Previous posts about this bag:
Wonder Tape and Interior Zipper Pocket
Riri Zipper and Zipper Sandwich
Wonder Clips, Piping, and Zipper Feet
Straps, hardware, magnetic closures

Thank you for cheerleading me along!!!

I never wrote about the fabric and the stabilizing structure for Butterick 6072.

The exterior fabric is from Kashi (Metro Textiles) from PR Day 2014 and was just $2 a yard. I love love love the scale of the pattern.
The interior graffiti fabric is from Gwen Couture in San Diego from May 2013. There's a pocket for a phone and another for a point and shoot camera.
I embroidered a name label of course!  Above was in progress....I wound up stitching over it again before cutting it and sewing it into place.
The NYC subway map fabric is from The City Quilter in's kind of my signature now to always use it for interior zipper pockets.

I used Fashion Sewing Supply's medium fusible interfacing on both the exterior and interior fabric.

But how does it keep its shape?  There is nothing in the bag above!

I discussed in an earlier post how I went rogue, ignored the pattern directions (which had you hand stitch the lining to the zipper tape at the very end) and used the zipper sandwich method of making the bag.

That means that eventually you get to a point where there is an opening in the lining that is unsewn and you pull the bag through that opening....
to "birth the bag"
so once it is turned right side out, you have the opening in the lining to stitch up --but before I closed it up, I inserted some peltex inside to give it some structure. The Peltex is just resting inside--it is not sewn in because it is a bit of a bear to sew a bag with peltex and piping and a lining and turn it right side out--I have done that before but this was an experiment.

For the zipper I did sew Fashion Sewing Supply heavyweight interfacing into the zipper sandwich to help it keep its shape.  LOVE IT.

Overall it fits in well with the other "city bags" I have made.

Definitely a nice theme going on.
Three of four bags uses the same lining--I only have scraps left, maybe enough for a zipper pouch?
Izzy is overloaded.
Be well!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Straps, hardware, magnetic closures and Butterick 6072

I love the enthusiasm you are showing for my new backpack--I am enthusiastic about it too!!!

The Butterick 6072 has you make your own straps, and use no hardware.  That means the straps are not adjustable.  Instead, I raided my stash and found this 1.5" wide super sturdy and official feeling strapping from Pacific Trimming, and then bought the rectangle rings and sliders in nickel finish from this shop on etsy.

The Butterick directions have you sew the strap to the bottom of the bag, but I consulted 3 RTW backpacks and they all had the straps sewn on an angle to the side of the bag, so that is what I did (as show in the pic above).
If you've ever made a bra or camisole with adjustable straps, the process of "threading" the straps through the hardware is exactly the same--it's just the length and width of the straps and hardware are much larger!  Threading the strapping through the hardware feels very satisfying to me somehow, and I love the end result.
You can't tell what's really going on in the above pic because the strap is folding over but I am sewing the end of the strap to itself after threading it through the slider.

The directions also have you make a loop for the top of the bag, so you can hang it in a locker, and then sew it to the space between the straps.  My 3 RTW backpacks all had handles, so I made one out of 1.5" strapping, also in stash, also from Pacific Trimming.

I folded the lengthwise edges together and used Wonder Tape to secure, then sewed it down.

I sewed the handle over the straps for balance and to make the handle functional.  That way I could carry the backpack by the handle if I wanted to instead of using the straps.

Originally I made the handle too long and it was flopping over on top of the zipper, so I took that section apart and made the handle shorter to it would not cover the zipper when it flops forward.


If you are curious, I sewed the straps on top  first, then the piping, then the handle.

But on the side I sewed the piping first and then the strapping.

The Butterick directions call for velcro on the zipper flap but I don't like the attention-grabbing sound velcro makes when I'm in a quiet room, so I went for magnetic closure.

I bought the magnets (above)  on Pacific, but by the time I realized that hey, these are probably supposed to be invisible magnets that should have been sewn between the layers, that ship had already sailed, and even I, perfectionist that I am, wasn't going to undo what I had already sewn to insert them.

I also don't know what that extra ring is for?
I sewed the magnets on the inside of the corner of each flap, but did not sew through the front of the flap.  I then sewed the other half of the closure to the inside of the pocket, which was a total pain.   If I had x-ray vision, it would have made that task easier.  Ooph.

But it totally works!

This week I will post the final wrap-up post for the bag.  It is done and I am going to use it tmw!!
possibly my favorite snow picture ever
This may possibly be my most favorite snow picture I have ever taken. That was the scene from my sewing room yesterday morning. Can you believe, the snow is all gone (except for snow pile remnants).

Be well!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wonder Clips, Piping, Zipper Feet, and Butterick 6072

Ok, maybe I went a little overboard with the Wonder Clips...

Above, from left to right, is a wonder clip right side up (red is up), a wonder clip upside down (clear is up) and a regular binder clip

I've become a huge fan of Wonder Clips for holding together multiple layers of fabric for bag making.

There isn't too much difference between a wonder clip that is right side up vs upside down, but if you use it right (red) side up, the clear side is completely flat against your machine and won't get caught on anything.  Regular binder clips definitely work too, but the silver part of the clip tends to get snagged on the edge of the machine.

Wonder Clips come in packs of 10 (I think Jacqui bought me my first 10 pack--thank you!) and then I bought the 50 pack.

Here I'm sewing the other side of the zipper sandwich to the front of the backpack.  Red side is up.

I'm using my old machine in the above pic because I prefer the old-style zipper foot (there is piping between the layers--otherwise I'd use a regular presser foot).

However I went over to my newer machine (above) to use the newer style zipper foot because the old style foot was having trouble on the corners, the side pockets and with the strapping and kept sliding off. The new zipper foot seemed to handle corners/side pockets/strapping better.

Anyway, I always sew around piping multiple times to get an even, consistent appearance, first one one side and then flipped over to the other side, and then repeat if needed.  I had to repeat a lot because of the corners/side pockets/strapping.

About the piping:  I used store bought piping this time instead of making my own.  On the left is store bought piping that has not been ironed; the piping on the right has been ironed.  As you can see, ironing makes a big difference and will prevent lumpiness in the finished product.

Current status:  Coming along....

It needs the lining piece with the pockets to be sewn inside.
Finish line is definitely this weekend.

Final strap length and closure for the exterior flap are TBD.
Izzy looks out at today's snowfall mid-afternoon
I was wrong; March 5 was not the final snow of the season.

Be well!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Riri zipper and Butterick 6072 backpack

Gorgeous 2-way Riri custom cut zipper purchased online from my favorite store in the world, (yes, you can order a LOT of their stock from their website now, including custom zippers!!)
Riri Zipper Stats:
  • 20" long
  • M8 (the chunkiest zipper they are selling online; maybe that is their chunkiest zipper--I don't know)
  • nickel finish
  • 2 way, closed end, center open zipper (like a luggage zipper where both pulls can meet in the middle and the zipper is closed, not like a 2 way separating zipper)
  • At $28, the most expensive zipper I've ever purchased.
As you saw in my Wonder Tape post, I'm working on  Butterick 6072, view D, a backpack.
The pattern envelope calls for a 20" zipper.

Be aware that the length of the pattern piece (the strip of fabric that is sewn to the zipper) is only 20.25" long.  The seam allowances are .25" all around (yes, a quarter of an inch instead of the usual Big 4 5/8").  This means that leaves 19.75" lengthwise to be sewn to the zipper.

If you bought your zipper and had it custom cut to 20", because you followed the pattern envelope, and your zipper is metal...what are you going to do when it's time to sew the gusset to the end of the zipper???  You can't sew through metal, and I personally like seeing the chunky shining gleam of the zipper stops so.....I cut those pieces again (both the exterior and the lining, after fusing medium weight interfacing to rough cut pieces first) and cut them extra long with the idea of cutting them down to size later.

This is the second bag pattern I've sewn where the envelope calls for one size zipper but then it turns out the zipper needs to be just slightly shorter (the other was U-handbag's "It's a Cinch" pattern).

In the future I will always cut those strips of fabric longer than the pattern piece, like I do for waistbands, and cut off the excess later.

Lesson learned!

And because the lining print is one direction, I cut it down the middle and sewed it together so the print would always be "up", like this:


I'm also going rogue and not following the order of construction (which has you sew the lining to the zipper by hand at the very end as the final step).

Instead I have used the "zipper sandwich" method.
A peek inside the sandwich
What the sandwich looks like from the outside

Then I added yet another layer of interfacing, this time the heavy duty sew in interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. I was afraid that with a zipper that heavy/chunky that it might collapse in on itself without extra support
The heavyweight interfacing is white and is peeking out

Topstitching it into place using my blind hem foot--I am using the flange as my guide while using a regular straight stitch to topstitch.

I think I'll do a separate post about the Wonder Clips.
It is taking shape!!  Above is its current status.  Backless, and...
20150318_213221 a cat bed.

Be well!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Two Wonder Tape Tips

When I met up with Shannon of MushyWear back in May of 2013, I told her I would write a post about Wash Away Wonder Tape and two tips for its use.

It's almost 2 years later; better late than never?

(Also, Shannon is blogging regularly again, which is awesome!)

I started sewing a new bag last weekend (B6072) and wanted to include an interior zipper pocket, using this tutorial from Emmaline Bags, but with a change.   At step 9, I don't use pins to secure the zipper to the lining; I use Wonder Tape.

The above picture is step 8 of the interior zipper pocket tutorial.
That blank space is where the zipper will go!

I first heard of Wonder Tape in Jennifer Stern's Professional Jeans Construction class at the ASE and I was instantly hooked!  I suppose you could use a glue stick in place of Wonder Tape in a pinch, but the tape seems more secure than using a glue stick.

(Jennifer is also actively blogging, including lots of video quick tips.)

Tip #1 (My tip, from my experience):  

Always remove the outer layer of tape cut it off and throw it out.  Whether you buy a new package of Wonder Tape or if you have a roll that is half used, always peel off the top layer (both the white paper and the sticky tape too), all the way around, one rotation, cut it off and throw it out. That outer layer  seems to dry out so save yourself some anguish and cut that layer off.  

Tip #2 (Jennifer Stern's tip):

When you cut off a length of the tape and stick it on to the zipper, be really rough with it.  Use your thumbnail and rub roughly along the paper layer, up and down, back and forth.  This is a great chance to get out your aggressions.  It sticks MUCH better if you give it the rough treatment.  Then peel the paper layer off.  

Zipper with Wonder Tape applied roughly.  Next the paper will be peeled off.

After peeling the paper off, put the zipper into the window...and press down.  If it doesn't look right, you can still move the zipper off and re-center it.
Then you can take it over to your machine (without it shifting!) and sew the zipper with your zipper foot.

Hey, look at that! The zipper is now installed!  You can continue on with rest of the tutorial to finish the interior pocket!

Izzy is holding all the pieces of this backpack for me as I sew them, so I don't lose any of them.

One other Shannon-related item....during our shopping trip to Kaimuki Dry Goods, I bought this flannel and made a pajama top from it. I had these scraps left over and made a pillowcase for my favorite little pillow last weekend.
I used this decorative leaf stitch to finish off the edge.
Just a little something quick and easy, and that I will use til it's threadbare!!

Aloha!  and Be well!!