Monday, August 25, 2008

Custom zippers for the Weekender Bag or other projects

I bought the pattern for Amy Butler's Weekender Bag which calls for a 30" plastic or metal teeth heavyweight zipper (non separating). That's a mouthful. I first had to figure out what "non separating" was. It means that the zipper cannot separate at the end like it does on your jacket. It needs to have a permanent stopper at the end. I could not find one ANYWHERE. Finally, I found  I was real pleased with the easy to use interface for ordering. I could get any length zipper I wanted, with just about any feature for it. There are more color choices if you get a plastic zipper instead of a metal. I got mine in less than a week. [more]
I saw on another person's blog that they used a dual zipper on their weekender bag. That is an option you can order (I chose it). That means you can open and close your bag from either end or put the zipper pulls in the middle of the bag -- just like on your suitcase. It has two zipper pulls on the zipper. I thought it was a great idea!  If you want the dual zipper, chose the "bag type" zipper option when ordering.
I first ordered mine with brass teeth, without realizing how heavy it would be. I reordered in nylon and I like that much better for my bag.
*Read their "all about zippers" section first. It really helped me!
!*** Dawn & are in no way associated with Dawn is just a happy zipper customer!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag

Sarah's Messenger Bag
I recently completed a bag for my sister in-law, Sarah, from Sew Liberated's "Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag" pattern.  It turned out beautifully and only required two band-aids for me....
This bag has a short pocket on the front and a tall one on the back.
Some changes I made to the pattern:
  • I sewed in velcro as the closure for the top flap and added a pull tab from the same ribbon that is used on the pocket edging.
  • Used ribbon on the pocket top edges instead of the fabric band included in the pattern.
  • I had to cut the patch bigger in order to fit the bird on it.
Tough Spots:
  • I had a hard time sewing the bottom corners. I had to do it twice because something got caught up in the stitching the first time. (It's a lot of layers).
  • I had problems with stretch while sewing. I think I will try my dual-feed foot next time.
  • Plan your layout carefully. You can see there is a bird near the top of the front pocket. That is my second pocket. I thought I had planned to not cut off the bird's head by leaving the seam allowance above it....forgetting about the ribbon I was going to put on. That fabric is $16 a yard -- NOT a good mistake! :)
Other shots, including inside pocket:
Sarah's Messenger Bag Sarah's Messenger Bag - Inside Pocket Sarah's Messenger Bag
About the fabric:
  • The inside swirly fabric is from The Haussmann 1800's Collection by Sharon Yenter for In The Beginning fabrics. It's color matched the echino nicely. I don't know what the blue is.
  • The pocket fabric is by Echino for Kokka fabrics.
  • The bag flap and body is a corduroy.  Source unknown.
  • The blue fabric on the inside pocket is also unknown.