Saturday, November 7, 2009

Making the Chemisette Bag

Linda sews beautifully and is so creative! She recently made up one of our new patterns and wanted to share with everyone her sewing experience. . . . She has included some marvelous photos.

I am making the Chemisette Handbag from Craftapple. I am using a silk/cotton blend for the top part and a heavy cotton for the base. My fabrics are more autumn colors and I think they will make a classy bag for fall.

The pattern directions are in the form of a booklet. I like this because there are no loose pages to get mixed up. This pattern has no cutting layouts and you need to watch how you fold the fabric since you need to cut on the fold and then cut a second one of many of the pieces.

I have cut out the pattern and the yardages seem to be very generous. It calls for 1/2 yard of fusible fleece but you could get by with 1/3 yard. The fleece interlining piece is actually smaller than the lining piece it is fused to so that none of the fleece is in the seam allowance - pretty nifty.

It calls for medium weight fusible interfacing. I don't always know what the definition of "medium" is so I have to find where it is used and then make a judgment call. I looked through my stash and found a lightweight to mid weight interfacing and I used that.

Fusing interfacing is not one of my favorite things - it takes sooo long. I have learned a few tricks over the years but nothing that takes away the time element. I use lots of steam and a damp press cloth. Then I count 1 pink elephant, 2 pink elephant until I can't stand it anymore. Then let the piece cool before handling it too much. I have found the fusible fleece to be harder to get a good fuse so it is a good time to practice patience. Luckily this pattern does not call for too much of that stuff.

The sewing directions are good and the diagrams are helpful.  The author also defines any terms - like topstitching - that may not be common knowledge to everyone. The only confusion is that the pieces are named chemisette and corset instead of bag bottom and top so I had to think a little bit.  When I had gathered the chemise piece I pinned it to a pressing board to get it ready for steaming, then I could see  it  looks like a bra top.

The next step was to attach the "corset" or bag bottom.  I marked the center of both pieces and pinned to make sure everything lined up.

Be sure and follow the instructions on construction order, I had to do a little bit of unsewing because I jumped the gun a bit. At one point it tells you to sew to the dot, I figured I could just sew all the way to the end but it turns out that you do need that 1/2" open, so pay attention to the instructions.

I used 2 layers of peltex for the bag bottom and followed the instructions for attaching it

This is how the boxed corners look
After attaching the pockets and sewing the lining together you put the whole thing together.  This was the hardest sewing of the whole project and that was only because you sew around the whole top that is pinned very well and it is a little bulky so it is somewhat awkward but just take it slow and you will be fine.  Turn it right side out through the opening left in the lining and then steam the top edge and insert the handles, topstitch and you are done.

What a cute bag! It is smaller (10"x7") than the picture led me to believe but I really like the size and it is different and easy to make.

Linda works at the shop on Thursdays, so if you are ever in the area on that day, stop by and meet her! 

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