Make a Folded Strips Bag with Rob

Today’s awesome project is fantastic for
both the sewers and the quilters out there because we’re using pre cuts to make a cool
folded fabric bag. Let’s get started. That’s right, I’m using a 2 ½ pre cut
strip. This is from Riley Blake, super cute fabric. It’s called Road Trip. I absolutely
love it. And as I unpacked that 2 ½ strip roll I basically just broke it into color
families. And you can see by my bag sample here, I’ve used the red for the handle.
You’ll need four strips for that. I’ve used the trim piece as red and you’ll need
two of those. And then I’ve used it for some of side trim as well. For the rest of
the body I’ve just used the blue and the green and the cream. And we are, like I said,
going to fold these and stitch them together to make the body which is really fantastic
for bags because it’s really heavy and thick. I won’t say it’s comparable to upholstery
fabric but I’ll say it’s pretty darn close. And it’s actually four layers thick and
there’s zig zag joined on the butt end. But we’ve got a lot of work to do in today’s
video so let’s get right into the pressing. That’s the first step. And I would like
you to take just a little bit of time and press out all of your strips at once. It makes
the management of the project so much easier, right? So for the pressing we’re going to start
with our fabric face down on our ironing surface. And then I’m going to just basically make
myself a center line. And I’m doing that by coming up here and I’m setting my iron.
And I’m just kind of using my thumb and my finger to just look at this edge right
here to make sure they’re lining up nice. Based on the way this bag is constructed,
doing a good job is important. Doing a perfect job is not. I don’t know that we would ever
see anywhere in our sewing if this was not perfectly 1 ½ or excuse my 1 ¼ all the way
through. So what we’re going to do is we’re just going to finish pressing from one end
to the next, setting that center, ok? And now that center is simply a guideline. And
I do have some nice steam in my iron right now because it helps everything set. Now I’m
going to open this back up. I also learned when I’m working, a lot of times when I’m
working this way versus at you and the camera. So the next thing I want to do is I’m going
to bring the top down to the center line. That way I’m not ironing over it later and
causing a problem, versus starting with the bottom. So now I’m just folding that top
down. And what I found with my iron, especially this wonderful cordless is I could do the
center seam and I could do one entire top seam without returning to my base, except
for I need both hands. And then I let it heat up really good because after I finish this,
guess what I’m going to do? That’s right, I’m going to fold the other edge, this edge
right here back up to the center mark. So that we’re giving no raw edges when we’re
done with our strips, ok? So that’s going to then basically come down here. Then the
final trick, of course I want you to let your irons heat up a little bit longer. But I’ve
got one done that I’m going to be able to show you. I came in here and started to set
it. Let that get really nice and oh that steam is wonderful. That’s right. Ok and then
once that’s set then I want you to fold it over for the last. And because I want you
to press all of your strips, all 42 of those strips just like this, every piece needs to
be done just like this. I want you to spend a lot of time pressing this final crease so
that it doesn’t try to open up for you. And as you can see I’ve been traveling around
with this one here. And it’s perfectly pressed and ready to be used as I begin the construction
of my strips together, right? And so by taking that time to get that last crease, they won’t
shift around on you. Now all of your strips have been made just
like that. And we want to join them together and we’re going to use a zig zag. I have
my machine set up with a four millimeter wide, right? So four wide and 1 ½ long so not a
real long stitch. I’m going to use my four red strips to build the handle. That’s what
we need to do still for the bag. I’m going to use this striped one though so you can
see a little bit better with the camera. The very first seam you do is going to be different
than the other seams. So what I want to show you here is I’ve got the opening this way.
And then I have the opening here this way. These are going to lay right next to each
other. They’re not going to go on top of each other. This is a butt edge seam. So they’re
sitting right next to each other. And now I’m just going to zig zag across using the
opening of my presser foot right on top of that seam. So it’s going to be traveling
down just like that. And I’m going to be able to zig zag across those two pieces. Now
the reason I do it that way on just my first seam is that means that after I’m done I
will no longer have any raw edges. And I can actually add strips to either side. As we get ready to join these two strips together
I’m just going to remind you that you have your opening here. And you also have your
opening here. And that way when we sew these together we have no more raw edges at all.
My eye is going to look at this gap between the two. I’m going to push them close. And
I’m going to zig zag using that four millimeter zig zag over that gap right there. And I’m
going to get myself off to a nice little start. And then once we’re sewing let’s talk
about a couple of things. So yes just eyeballing the two fabrics coming together. Now a lot
of you might be concerned that with this length of fabric or with this kind of sewing that
you might be getting a lot of bulk or some travel in your strips, meaning that while
you’re sewing together that you might get a bunch of ripple in that body of fabric.
So you can sew from one end up and then down the other. I did that on one of my samples
and that worked very nicely. You can also line them all up from the selvedge side. But
what I really found out helps the most is it’s how you’re handling the fabrics over
here. So I have a little lightweight hold up in the air that’s keeping the weight
down. But I also have my left hand here applying just a little bit of pressure. But I’m applying
even pressure to both strips of fabric here with my left hand. And that should help me
come pretty much the same length of distance at the end. And then I’ll show you when
I get there the next trick. Ok so we’re almost to the end here. And I’ve kept even
pressure. Now the point I want to point out is when you get down to this end if one of
these tails was a lot longer than the other I don’t want you to try to even them up.
We do not need them even down there. We’re going to trim all that off as a matter of
fact before we put the top trim on. So I want to just leave it be. Don’t force it because
that’s where you’ll start to get ripple and pucker. Now if you notice a bunch of ripple
and pucker early on, of course you’d want to correct that. But at this point just leave
it be, sew right off of the edge. You don’t even need to backstitch, right? And we’re
just going to lift that up and out. And then from this point here there’s nothing we
need to press or anything. We’re basically done. And I just want to point here I have
a finished edge on both sides. So now as I begin adding my seams another trick to help
prevent that ripple or pucker in the texture, you could put a strip on this side and a strip
on this side if you were not at all concerned about your color management. For me, I’m
going to go ahead and just add another piece and another piece to make the four strips
for the handle and I’ll be right back to show you how to build the rest of the bag. Hey welcome back. Now check this out. I said
I would have all four strips put together for my handle. And then I did all of that
I used about 32 pieces for the body of the bag. So it’s time to construct this. And
all we really, really need to do to begin with is I’m just going to fold it in half.
There isn’t a right or wrong side. I forgot to point out that’s the whole trick to this
wonderful bag is it’s completely reversible. What I’m looking at right now when I come
in is I want to make sure that I’m going to make to the top here and I’m just going
to eventually trim all of this off. So I’m just making sure that all of my excess is
at least evened up up there. I’m really looking at this line here. And now what I’m
going to try to do is I’m going to bring this to the machine and I”m going to start
at the bottom corner. I’m going to work my way up. And I’m going to set this project
and so that I am zigging, excuse me, move my foot there. So I am going to be putting
the needle down in the bag on both pieces. And then I’m going to be doing the, the
other side of the zig zag, the other leg of the zig zag on the outside of the bag. So
that it basically helps it flatten down a little bit. If you have a topstitch finishing
foot, that might be a good choice to use right now or a blind hemming foot is also another
nice choice if you have something like that. But this works just fine this way if you don’t
have those specialty feet. And we’re going to do the same to both sides of the bag. And
this builds it all out. And I’ll be right back. Alrighty, we are finishing the actual second
side. Now we’ve got both sides completely stitched up right? We’re solid in there.
Now my original goal was that this would then flatten out that seam by having the zig zag
like that but it didn’t really work. So now this is the inside of the bag. We’ll
be doing the other work on the outside. So next thing we want to do while this is fresh
out of the machine. I’m just flattening it down nice. I want to grab a nice big ruler.
And I probably have my wonderful 45 millimeter cutter back here. And then I”m just going
to use a line on the outside of the bag to make sure I’m square. And I’m going to
make sure I cut off all these loose ends. If you had a specific size bag you wanted
to make this would be a great time to make it that size. However I’m going to next
show you the box corners so that will bring the sides of the bag down a little bit, not
a ton. And for my box corners, I’m going to do about a four inch box corner. So watch
what I’m doing. I’m bringing the bag here and I’m going to start to put the seam section
up in the top. And then I’m folding this corner so that it starts to make a peak. And
I’m not sure if you can see this in the camera or not but this is that seam allowance
that we just created. And then one of the things that I like to do, I really like these
wonderful littler rulers that have got a 45 degree marker on here. So with this 45 degree
mark running this way, we need to go four inches. So one, two, three, oops, there we
go, four inches. This is going to make a very large box corner there. And I’m going to
draw a line with my sharpie marker. Remember make sure you’re working on what will be
the inside of your bag now. So I’m going to draw this line with my sharpie all the
way across there. And then before I do anything else I’m just going to walk right back to
my sewing machine. Now you’re in a zig zag so I want you to
go ahead take a moment and go back to your regular straight stitch. Standard operating
procedure there. Ok and I want to make sure I’m dialed in for my straight stitch there.
Now this would be a good one to go ahead and backstitch on. You want to lock that in really
good. And you’re just sewing right across that sharpie pen mark, right across. Backstitch
on that other end as well. And then I’d like you to go ahead and leave this corner
in place. I do not want you to cut it off because that just adds nice strength and structure
to the bag. We need to do the other side. So I’m going to fold it around just the
same. I’ll show you the marking. And then once I do my actual stitching for it, I will
come back and teach you how to put your trim and handle right on the top of that bag. So
we’re going to do the four inches here. One, two, three, four up to the top. There’s
my diagonal line. Here’s my sharpie marker. I’m going to stitch it and I’ll see you
here in a second. Once you have both of your box corners done
your next trick is going to be to add your trim. Now remember we made the trim just like
we made all of our other strips so it’s got that fun double fold going on inside of
it. And now with that trim all we have to do is we’re going to go around the upper
edge of our bag. So what I like is I like to start by, let me see the easiest way to
teach you this. If you look very closely I have selvedges on both ends of the trim but
you can only see one. That white one we don’t want to use. This one we do want to use so
when we finish it actually is our finished edge and we can put that right on the top.
So we’re going to leave this tail open. I know this sounds a little bit bizarre but
watch how we do it. So as I’m getting ready to come to the bag, I’m going to make my
start and stop right on one of those side seams. It’s going to get buried under the
handle anyways. We won’t even see it. But what I want is I want you to run this covered
or printed selvedge past that seam. And then just bring this right in here. It’s going
to sandwich that . And then we’re going to come right over to our sewing machine and
we’re just going to topstitch right along this edge. I don’t want you to be so close
though that you miss the bottom edge. We’re going to do all of it in one step. And a lot
of you will probably find that removing your tool tray from your machine will get that
free arm open and exposed which will make your stitching much easier. And then I want
to make sure that this trim piece is out of my way where I can always make sure it is
getting completely wrapped to encase that top edge of our bag. And I’m going to set
this down and I probably have a good ⅛ of an inch from the edge of the trim from where
my needle is hitting to make sure that I capture the top and the bottom. I’m going to go
really nice and slow around here. I’m watching the trim with the edge of my foot. And then
I can see that it’s looking perfect and then I am going to jump into caffeinated mode
here in a second and teach you how to finish that edge. Ok now we are almost back around and hopefully
you’re sewing much slower than I am. And you can see here that this is the tail piece
that I want to make sure that I capture. So I’m going to take this fabric right here
and I’m going to cut a raw edge about a half of an inch. And then I’m going to make
sure that goes down first just like this. And then that selvedge edge comes over the
top of it to capture it. And I have basically no loose, fraying edges, raw threads or anything.
Now I’ve got a good pinch on it so nothing moves. And here we go to finish. And this
point you might want to have a stiletto or something handy. One of the tricks is pushing
that tip up in there far enough that it catches it without puckering. Oh that’s beautiful.
I love that finish. And that’s just going to come right around there. Let’s do a couple
backstitches to hold it because we don’t want it to ever get away from us. And now
we have the trim all the way around our bag. It looks fantastic and our bag is basically
no raw edges and completely reversible other than those silly tabs on the box corner down
there. So I guess it’s not totally reversible. But it is certainly no raw edges. And now
it’s time to go ahead and put our handles on. So the first thing I want to do with my handle,
right? Is I’m going to come down here and I better use my rotary cutter and ruler for
this. I’m going to take and I’m going to trim off, I’m going to trim off about,
I don’t know a quarter inch of the sewing part and all of the selvedge of that side.
And I’m going to do the same over here on this end to tidy it up. Remember there’s
no front or back side to these pieces. But what I’m going to be able to do now, because
I still don’t want a raw edge, is I’m going to fold this under as I approach the
sewing machine. And with that folded under the next thing I want to know is I’m going
to mark down about six inches on my bag. And I’m going to pin that in place. So what
I really want to do is take my ruler. And one of the ways I love to use these rulers
is first I flip them over so I can read them. And then I kind of put it in upside down.
And then what I”m also going to do is I”m going to use this center seam right there
and that’s going to line up with the center on my handles. And then all I really need
to do is just fold this edge under and I don’t know, maybe a quarter inch or so. And I’m
going to come down to about where that six inches is on my ruler, right? And then, let’s
get the ruler out of the way and while I hold that here I’m just going to grab myself
a pin to slide that through there, although I want to make sure I don’t put it through
the other side of the bag as well because that could get rough. And then that’s just
going to help me hold it in place while I come over to the sewing machine. And I still
have the free arm all set up on the machine too which should make it real easy to get
this on. And that one little pin in there just helps keep it all organized before we
start sewing. Ok but now that I’m under the machine I’m getting the pin out of the
way especially because I put it in right the way I’m going to sew. And I’m going to
come up just about another ⅛ of an inch or so from the bottom of that trim piece.
I”ve got it all secured nicely. And I’m going to go ahead and take a few stitches,
and backstitch it to lock it. And I”m going to come all the way across here and backstitch
it to lock it again. Now what I like to do is I’m going to actually come up to where
the handle meets the top of the bag right up in here. And I’m going to do the same
stitching again right where it meets the trim. And I’m just lining it up to make sure it
looks nice. And here I’m actually going to go and backstitch. Now this is where all
the pressure on the handle is going to be, ok? So I’m backstitching again. So one of
the things I actually do is I cut thread and I put in a whole new row of stitching about
a quarter of an inch down from that first one I just did. And I also backstitch on that
one and backstitch at the end and cut that thread. And I’ll go ahead and let you put
your handle on the other side and you will be all finished with your awesome folded fabric
bag. I want to point out, you’ve got a great
loop right there where you could hang your water bottle or keys or sunglasses holder
or something like that from while you’re out shopping and showing off the fact that
you love being a sewer and a quilter and a Man Sewing fan. So until next time we’ll
see you right here at Man Sewing.