Tuesday, January 12, 2016

McCalls 6532


The outer shell of this bag is complete. It is too soft and needed more structure. I sort of expected that as there was only fusible fleece on the outer tapestry. This pattern has you interface the lining so I decided to go with that technique. I applied Decor Bond to the lining pieces. It was not enough to stiffen the bag. So I added Peltex on top of that. Now we are talking some serious structure here and it ended up being the perfect combo. Was it a PITA to sew? Youbetcha!

You can see above how the Peltex is cut back from the seam lines quite a bit. That is really necessary. In the end I cut back the Peltex on the upper curve of the gusset even more once it was complete. The Peltex gave a real box structure to the bag, actually just right. Above you can see the piece ready for the bottom seam line and to get "boxed". The stiffness presented a challenge. This is not for the light of sewing machines and I have used my two ton battle ax old Kenmore to put this together. Aside, if you can get a yard sale or thrift store heavy machine of some sort into your collection of sewing goodies, it is well worth it. I've made heavy bags on my fancy Pfaff and had to send it in to be retimed after. This has never happened with my vintage Ken. The Pfaff gives me so many things the Ken doesn't but the Ken is one strong sucker and that is just as valuable, IMO.

Here you can see the two sides piece at the bottom. Now I will put in a separate section of Peltex to cover the bottom of the bag. Both the sides and the bottom were cut back to create a folding edge without any interfacing between the two pieces. There is about a 1/4 inch crack between the pieces so they can fold and have a sharp edge. I could have done that to the side seam as well but the force exerted by the Peltex to resist any folding is just what holds the sides out nice and firm. Now to stitch and box those sides!


Here you can see me holding up the lining by the edge with one hand. It totally stands on it's own.  It is a board! You can also see the "crack" for folding  between the sides and the bottom. The good news is this lining will not be turned right side out. It will simply be dropped into the bag and stitched in at the zipper opening. I would not want to wrestle with that Peltex turning this puppy inside out!


This is how the boxing was sewn. I had to move my light to the right of the machine and stick my head into a sort of bag helmet to see what I was doing, challenging! I did not do the inset corners a la Shirley Adams here. This thin  fabric's uninterfaced areas were very cooperative and the inset corners came out just fine.

Once the lining was complete it was dropped into the bag. This pattern gives separate pieces for the lining which I assumed, without any testing, that the lining was cut smaller. It wasn't and it should be. There is excess fabric in there but for now it will stay there. If I use this pattern again I would definitely cut the lining pieces smaller. The Peltex keeps it all in check and it really isn't bad. Now I am sewing the lining edge, interfaced with Decor Bond as the bigness has me turning the seam allowances at the zipper in deeper than the half inch they should be. So one heavy duty needle, a thimble, heavy thread and a pair of pliers to pull the needle through is getting this puppy finished. It is very time consuming and the toughest part of the whole process. I have stabbed my hand and fingers with that needle more times than I've bought Powerball tickets and still have the other side to do.

Basically, I've made the outer bag, made the lining, dropped it in and closed it at the zipper. This is NOT the way the pattern has you do it. They have you stitch/serge the lining and bag together at the upper gusset/sides seams which looked a bit raw to me and even more awkward than the way I've done it here. I can see that working with lighter fabrics, however. So if you are making a cute quilting cotton version of this bag that should work fine. This was just too heavy.

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I've been contemplating my next projects. It will be a BIG white shirt and either a skirt or flowy pants to go with it. Here's a preview:


                                 
                                                                  ....................................Bunny

9 comments:

  1. I'm with you on not using your Pfaff on such a heavy sewing task. They are wonderful machines but not up to that job! Regarding the big shirt and flowy pants...I'm just not a fan of a loose top and loose pants. Proportion wise I feel the big shirt needs slimmer pants IMO. That said, I'm sure whatever you sew will look smart. Karen

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    1. I am on the fence about the billowy pants. I have a sewing friend, very petite, who they look great on but she usually wears them with a knit tip, something more snug. The skirt I'm considering would have a fair amount of volume too so we will see what happens with the bottom decision. Thanks, Karen.

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  2. I tend to agree with Karen on the top and bottom combo. I love the blouse. I made a hefty canvas bag for Christmas, my first, and now worry that I've knocked the timing of my machine out. I couldn't complete on the machine and a needle broke in the process of sewing over a really tough stretch. I take it I would know though? My bag pattern left a lot to be desired - similar construction problems inserting lining but I lacked the expertise to solve them all.

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  3. Decor Bond *and* Peltex? Oh my. I think I'd reach for one of my Kenmores, too. How wonderful yours came in handy! Beasts to lug around but brilliant for tough jobs and so easy to maintain.

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  4. As always, I love hearing all the little details you've shared. May I ask what Shirley Adams had to say about inset corners? I watched her sewing show years ago, enjoying every minute. And I agree with the general opinion here about pairing this blouse with skinny legged pants. Love the pants too though. I'm a petite, and the whole effect seems even more exaggerated on me. Linda S.

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    1. Linda, three posts back is a post on her technique for setting inset corners. On the post is also a link to her video. I used the technique on this bag where the gusset connects to side seams. Here is a link:http://lasewist.blogspot.com/2016/01/back-to-bagging-mccalls-6532.html

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  5. This is going to be a great bag once you've added your special touch :) I've been looking at doing a pair of wide leg pants lately too. I rather miss them.

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  6. It's fascinating! I get it about machines too - which is why I cling to my old Berninas as the new ones are so precious about what they will sew, which to me defeats the whole purpose. Gutted that my 1230 blew up last week - I was cording fishing line into an organza bias cut edge to make it flute and maybe I was pushing or pulling but the weird part was it happened when I was away from the machine, not using it. Hopefully it can be fixed as while I am enjoying using my old Janome Combi that weighs 50 pounds and sews like a drea, it doesn't do cording and I have a lot of fluting still to do!

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    1. These old machines are heavy and simple in task. They are great to have around and can be had so easily at thrifts and yards sales. You see pics on line all the time for some incredible machine that someone picked up for 20.00.

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