Friday, January 6, 2012

Pleated Bag Tutorial

Ok, here it is!  It didn't take long!  I will try and explain things the best I can but if you have questions please feel free to leave me a comment!  There could be someone else who has the same question!
Dimensions:  Bag body 21x14 (edited from original measurement)
Straps:  34x3 (or 17.5x3 cut on fold)
Pocket for inside 11x7
All seams are 1/2 seams
Cut out all your pieces
Cut 2 "bag" pieces from both the outside fabric and the inside fabric (lining)
Cut 2 straps out of the outside fabric
Cut 2 pocket pieces out of the outside fabric

Mark your fabric with a pen or chalk where your darts will be. I measured in 4 inches from each end and then again 3 inches from the first mark, towards the center.  Be sure to mark all your pieces, outside fabric and lining fabric.

Now, if you have floppy fabric you have an option of using some interfacing to help your bag keep shape.  I would suggest a lightweight fusible interfacing or your bag will be too wrinkly (too stiff form interfacing.  I chose to use interfacing to help show the back and front of this fabric.
So, iron-on your interfacing to the wrong side of your outside bag pieces and your straps.

Ok, let's make some pleats!!
Find the center between your two marks on each side and put in a pin.  Then you will fold the fabric towards the pin, making a "Z" with the fabric.  Pin that pleat.  Then repeat for the other half of that side.  Each bag piece will have two pleated spots (with 2 pleats in each spot)  Got all that?
This is what it should look like when you have pinned one section.
This is what the back side should look like.
Next, base stitch across the pleats to keep them in place.
Do the same thing on all 4 pieces.  This check fabric is the lining for my bag, sewing the pleats.
After a pleat has been sewn
Ok, inside pocket.  With right sides together sew around all 4 edges of the pocket but leave a hole in one side so you can turn it right side out. 

Be sure to clip the corners so that you will have a nice clean corner when your turn it.
Then turn it right side out and iron it flat.
Pin the pocket to the right side of your lining with the open (not sewn) seam on the bottom edge. 
Stich 3 sides leaving the top open, as your pocket. Stitch close to edge.

Fold your strap in half lengthwise and iron. 
Then, on each side fold in about 1/2 inch and iron

Fold again on the original half fold and iron shut.  Stitch close the edge.
Back to the bag
Pin bag with right sides together and stitch sides and bottom.  Then clip corners like you did with the pocket.
Do the same for the lining of the bag, only leave a hole in the bottom seam for turning the bag right side out later.(that's the pocket you see in there :) )
Back to the straps
Pin your straps on the right side of your bag, over your pleats.  Be sure and pin your straps in a manner that they "curve" when you have it on your shoulder.  It's hard to explain but look at a bag you have at home and see how the straps are.
Now, outside bad and place it inside your lining.  They should be right sides together.  You'll have to forgive me, I had Carter climbing on me while I was sewing and didn't get a picture of this part, so I had to go back and whip up a small bag so I could get pictures.
 Now line up the top of both bags, pin and stitch all the way around.  Then  you can turn your bag right side out through that whole you left in the bottom of the lining! 

Sew up your little hole. You can either just top stitch it (like I did for time) or you can slip stitch it by hand.  I usually slip stitch the hole shut.

Now tuck your lining into your bag.
(back to the big bag :) )
Pin the top edge of your bag all the way around, keeping the lining in and the straps out

Top stitch all the way around the top edge of the bag, about 1/8 inch from edge.  There you have it!!!  You're done!!!


Candice said...

Awesome tutorial Becky!! Thanks for posting it, I can't wait to try making this bag!! I'm not too familiar with my sewing machine but I'll definitely give this a whirl:)

Steffanie said...

You totally rock, Becky! You are a sewing goddess!

Pamela said...

Looks great!!!! :) Wish I did more stuff like this.