Hi there! Lovely to have you join us for this fifth day of the Hang About Toiletry Bag Sew Along! We are making excellent progress on our toiletry bags and after today, we start to put it all together – yahoo! We are working through the Hang About Toiletry Bag pattern which can be found here.
Today we are creating our top and base panel (also know as the gusset) by working through steps 41 – 51 of the pattern (steps 21-28 of the Andrie Designs-branded version).
Does anyone else find there’s something strangely beautiful about a zipper enclosed between two top panels…? *sigh* 😀
You’ll see at step 48 that I mention the use of a ‘height compensation tool’ and I’m sure there are some of you out there that have NO idea what they actually are… Well, let me show you mine! 🙂 This is a height compensation tool –
It’s simply three equal-sized pieces of flexible perspex (I think) held together with a rivet. Did I make it? No, I didn’t. It came with my Bernina when I bought my machine last year. Do I use it much? Absolutely!!! When it comes to sewing bags, there are often a LOT of bulky seams that you need to sew up and over. This little gem comes in handy to help my machine foot get up and over those seams without bunching up the stitches and/or stretching them out too much.
How does it work? Quite simply, I place it under my foot as needed to level my foot out when heading up or down a bulky seam. I use it at the back (as shown in the photos), at the sides and even at the front. It depends on what I’m sewing.
Wish you had something like this to use…? Most Bernina stores should sell them, otherwise you can pick up something similar online (note: they may be referred to as a “seam jack”, “jeans jack” or “height compensating tool”). Can I just make one at home? Absolutely! If you have some thin pieces of plastic lying around, simply chop them up, rivet together and voila! Done! Alternatively, you could use a thick piece of cardboard too – although it wouldn’t last as long, it would certainly do the job for now!
Well done! You now have your top and base panel completed and are ready to put it all together!
Next time we start putting it all together – yaho0!!! I will be breaking the construction steps up a bit to make it easier for you, and will be throwing another pattern hack in for good measure! If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to comment below or ask in my patterns group on Facebook.
Happy sewing! Lisa 🙂