Friday, November 9, 2012

The Koos bag continues...construction notes

The entire outer Koos bag, Vogue 1311,  is complete and I must  say I love it, particularly it's ability to function as a backpack as well. This is a BIG bag. I am a small women, and with the fabric I have chosen it has a luggage-y look, albeit rather funky. I should have pics up as soon as I get that lining in over this long weekend. In the meantime just a few hints about construction that I wanted to pass on:


This bag consists of two large circles with a 8 inch wide band in between, major bias connected to major straight of grain. The seam allowances are half inch. 3/8 of an inch from the circle's edge I staystitched and clipped back. Watch your clipping here. It should be on the bias to prevent fraying and as you clip your way around the bag the grain changes. The angle of your clips should as well.

I put the circle and band together as any circular piece, quartering both pieces and matching up the quarter marks. Despite my best efforts something stretched somewhere. I stay stitched. I recut each pattern piece as I went along to keep it true. I used a tight cotton backing to prevent stretching which is not called for in the pattern. I still was left with an odd amount of "band" at the end of working my way around the circle. Because this happens so often when stitching bias to straight grain I did not close up the band until it was nearly all pinned in to the circle. Here you can see what was leftover.

Not quite a half inch seam allowance! And it wasn't even from one side to the other. But it worked and in the end all got fit in and then the SA clipped back to a half inch.

To attach the circles to the band I worked with those quarter marked areas sewing and pressing the SAs open on only one quarter of the bag at a time. This made it much easier to get my ham in and press the SAs open. Sew a quarter. Press a quarter open. Move to the next quarter of the bag, repeat until done. Sounds like a cake recipe, huh? Also remember to keep that zipper open as you sew up the bag. It  will give you more room to maneauver around the machine and won't let you get "locked out" from turning the bag when done. Yup, I've done that one more than once!

Once this shell was complete I had the fun of "signing" my bag, WTH! I use a "gold leaf" pen by Sharpie and  signed the bag on one of the faux leather sections. If you ever decide to do this, and you should, do several practice attempts before committing your initials to your project. It will help clear the pen of blobs and you will get a feel for the technique before signing. That signature made me feel good! You'll get to see it when done.

So this weekend will be put the lining in and Tah Dah! See ya then........Bunny


9 comments:

  1. Almost done! This bag is one of my favorite things I made all year. I use it every day and, yes, it is BIG. On Tuesday I was in Britex and the employees went nuts over it. I left it behind the counter while shopping and, when I came back, five employees were studying it and one had pulled the pattern because he couldn't visualize the shape, even when holding the bag. Too fun!

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    1. I love hearing that, Shams. This one is an eye catcher too. It is not really in "my" colors so may become a Christmas gift for my daughter. I am anxious already to make another one, this time in silvers, greys and turquoises. It will go better with my existing wardrobe. This bag is such fun and has so much opportunity for personal creativity.

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  2. Bunny, we've missed you so much on ES. Nonie has been trying to fix it so you can log back in. I just don't understand why some of these glitches only effect certain people. Have you tried to get on using a different browser? I use Firefox, but now Firefox won't let me follow a blog through GFC, so I have to use IE or Safari to follow a blog.

    Can't wait to see your bag!

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    1. I really miss everyone there, too. I am going to sign up for a new email and see if that makes a difference. It keeps telling me I have exceeded my limit of log ins. Oh, well...

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  3. You and Shams have me convinced - I did buy the pattern, but it's now going up to the top of my list. Can't wait to see your finished piece :)

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  4. I am so tempted to buy this pattern, and based on your's and Sham's comments am wondering if this bag would be large enough when I do my overnight work trips - would it hold a laptop + a few essentials?

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  5. I can't wait to see your bag! You always make the prettiest handbags. :) For the stretching, one of the products that I've used is an iron on fusible wash away stabilizer. It's pretty stiff and because you iron it on, nothing moves very much. LOL! If you can soak the "circles" after you finish stitching to allow the stabilizer to dissolve, this may be an option the next time you make it. Of course, that would only work if you're using washable fabrics. I love reading all your tips as you create these beautiful bags!

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  6. I love the progress pictures and can't wait to see the finished bag.

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