Here's how to make bags like the following ones:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=93001.0
(as seen in the Spring Bag Challenge)
The nice thing about this project is you can adjust the size according to how much fabric you have. Lots of fabric = big bag, little fabric = little bag. The only constraint you have is the length of the zipper. I used a 12" zipper, and I find it was a good choice.
You'll need the following supplies:
1) a main fabric, or two if you're going to do the different-style gusset
2) fusible fleece (I also call it interfacing, 'cause I'm sloppy). For those who don't know, fusible fleece is soft batting that you iron onto the WRONG side of your fabric. It provides stability for the bag.
4) A zipper.
5) Rings to connect the strap.
6) Thread... obviously.
Here's the key:
here's what to cut: (note: on the main body pieces, I made the curve a little more concave, so that the bottom edge bulged out more. It was too difficult to draw with my crappy mouse, so you may just have to imagine it.)
In summary, you'll have:
-6 main panels (2 main fabric, 2 lining, 2 interfacing)
-2 zipper panels, cut from main fabric
-3 gusset pieces, 1 of each material
- 3 strap pieces, 2 of the main fabric, 1 of interfacing
Okay, now we get down to business. First, sew the zipper. I'm sure there are million ways to do this, but this is the best way I've figured out. Plus, it looks good in the end.
Place your zipper panels right-side together. Mark the length of your zipper in the middle of the fabric. Now sew down the middle of the fabric, but here's the tricky part! Sew the edge up to the beginning of your zipper length (this is why you marked it) using a regular stitch-length (I use "3" on my Singer). Then backtack a little, and change your stitch length to the longest length!
Now baste until the end of your zipper length. NOW, start sewing with your regular stitch length again, backtack at the beginning to reinforce, and then sew to the end. WHEW!
Now press the seams right-side out so you have the two pieces of fabric pressed outwards with the seam running down the middle. Place the zipper WRONG SIDE UP on top of your seam. Make sure the zipper teeth line up with your seam. Then, carefully sew on both sides of the zipper
Now very carefully rip out ONLY the center part of your seam (the basted part) to reveal the zipper.
Now onto the rest of the bag.
Before doing anything else, go iron your fusible fleece onto the WRONG side of all your main fabric pieces.
Now attach the zipper to the main body pieces. I use tinafish's method, and she explains it so well I'm just going to refer you to her tutorial. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=35575.0
She sews her zipper slightly differently, but it shouldn't make much difference. The benefit of doing the zipper my way is that you end up with a nice flap covering the zipper, so it looks almost invisible.
OK, once you've attached the main body pieces, you need to sew on the gusset. Do one side at a time. Make sure you've opened your zipper -- this will be important once you sew your lining gusset.
Do the same with your lining, but leave a 2 to 3 inch gap in your sewing
! You'll need this to turn the bag out.
Now turn the bag right-side out. Your bag should look nearly done!
You'll have raw edges where the straps are going to attach. Fold those over and insert the rings. Now push the ends into the hole left betweeen the zipper and main body of the bag. Next time I make one, I'll photograph this step - it's kind of confusing.
Now turn the bag inside out again, but make sure to keep the rings in place.
Once the bag's inside out, you should be able so sew a seam and lock the rings in place.
Okay, turn the bag back right-side out and top-stitch closed the gap in your lining. Now it's time for the strap. Just sew the two strap pieces (with the interfacing already attached to one side) together down two sides. Turn right-side out, and press the raw edges under. Loop through your bamboo hoops and sew them on. I highly recommend doing 2 rows of stitching, as this spot can wear out quickly.
I hope this tute helps! I'm going to try and take pictures while I make my next bag, but I thought I'd at least get this tute going now. (Plus, I'm at work and have nothing better to do.)
I know I wouldn't have been able to make my bags without all the great craftsters posting tutes every day, so I love to give back.
I'd love to see any bags that come out of this tutorial! Sorry it's so long! I hope you make some kick you-know-what bags.