24 October 2012

Tutorial: Zippered Flat Bottom Makeup Bag

So, today I’m going to teach you how to do something I’m actually GOOD AT, to redeem myself for the sub-par wreath the other day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of my wreath, but I think it could be… better? So yeah, Now I’m going to teach something I can do.

I call this a makeup bag, but it could also be a pencil case, accessory pouch, pretty much anything you could imagine. I’m also going to show you how to make the pattern, so even though mine is 8x3x3, yours doesn’t have to be! So if you’re ready to learn how to make this adorable pouch, keep going!
Okay, so here’s what you need: Some paper and a pencil, scissors, a ruler, pins, a zipper and some fabric- no more than a quarter of a yard of each (outside and lining). You can use fat quarters for this, or leftovers if you’ve got ‘em.
Draw two lines all the way down the paper at the width you want your back to be. Mine are 8 inches apart. You’re going to need some room on either side, but if you aren’t perfectly centered, that’s okay too. Then, on the outside of each line, draw a second line, half of your width of your bag away. Mine is 3 inches wide, so each line is 1.5 inches outside of the 8 inches. Diagram is labeled in case that doesn’t make sense.
OKAY now you’ve gotta draw a diagonal line to connect those two lines. Make sure your lines are the length of the HEIGHT you want your bag to be. Line up your ruler with the corner of your inner line, and draw the line where it crosses the outer line at your height. That’s 3 inches for me, but could be different for you. Then, just connect your diagonal lines. No measuring here, just draw a straight edge. Under that, draw another line that’s the half depth measurement (1.5 for me).
So here’s your shape! Make sure you add in seam allowances, just draw a line around the finished shape with whatever you want your allowances to be. My finished shape with seam allowances is the black pen, so you can see what the shape is. Cut that out, pin it to your fabric and cut that out. You’ll need two of each fabric- outside and lining.
So this is my zipper with my fabric. Make sure that your fabric fits your zipper! I like my zipper to be a little longer than my fabric so I can sew between the metal pieces and not worry about them. Take one of each fabric, right sides together, and sandwich the zipper between them. The zipper should be facing your outer fabric.
Alright you see that little metal guy I’m pointing to? Right next to my index finger? Line your fabric up just inside of that. Here’s why: If I am sewing, and I break a needle, there is a 102% chance it’s because I just tried to sew over that metal jerk. So make things easy for yourself, and eliminate the option. Go ahead and add some pins and sew. You may need to stop and readjust where the zipper pull is, so that you can sew. Try to stay pretty close to the zipper teeth, but not so close that the fabric is going to get stuck when you go to use it. I try to run my presser foot along the zipper, but that’s just what works for me.
When you’ve got this in front of you, it’s time to repeat on the other side. Again, watch out for that stupid little metal jerk when you’re lining up and pinning.
At this step,you have a choice: you can either just proceed like I do, or you can top stitch the fabric down. I never do, but I know some people prefer that look. Then, open your zipper up and lay it out like so. You should have both linings right side together and both outer fabrics right side together. Pin that down and try to get the zipper to sort of point towards the lining side.
Now you see where there’s black lines? Don’t sew there. Leave all four of those square cutout bits open, and also enough at the middle of the lining to fold this all because you’re going to need to do that. Before you sew, MAKE SURE YOUR ZIPPER IS OPEN. You will be very sorry if you sew that all up, and can’t turn it right side out. Not that I’d know from experience or anything…
Here you can see what I mean by pointing the zipper to the lining side. Also, there’s that metal piece, pay attention to where it is when you sew. Not pictured, but you’ll need to pivot your corners on the zipper at both ends. Just do it right after you pass the zipper teeth.Go ahead and sew all the way around, skipping the parts that you should be skipping.
This part is kinda hard to explain without being about to show you, but you’re going to take each of those corners and flatten them out. The first picture is showing the opening, the second shows how it’ll look as it is, and then the third is with it pulled open. If you do this part correctly, the side and bottom seams will line up.
Just sew straight across each of the corners, essentially cutting the points off. You now have a flat bottomed bag! Do this to both sides.
Pull everything right side out through the hole in the bottom and then sewing right up to the edge, close up that bottom hole. Sometimes I coordinate, sometimes I contrast. Once it’s full, you won’t see it anyway.
And, there you go! Finished flat bottom bag. If you make one of these, please post a picture and let me know how this tutorial worked out for you!

Now if for any reason you think this is too much for you to follow, you can find this exact bag on my Etsy, right here. Plenty of other colors and patterns available too!  Oh, and make sure you've entered the giveaway for a chance to win this, or any other bag, at my facebook!

Also, if you are local to Charleston, and want to try this but think you need a bit more help, I’ll be teaching this exact project in mid-December at SpaceCraft Studios! More details to follow, but I’d love to see you there!

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