Hello and welcome to Day Two of this little sew along for one of my latest patterns, the Hang About Toiletry Bag!!! If you’re just joining us – welcome! It’s most definitely NOT too late to join in – you can grab your copy of the Hang About Toiletry Bag pattern here and see the previous post in this series to catch up (we haven’t done much, don’t worry). 🙂
Today we get on to more exciting things – creating the flap for your toiletry bag! (Well, the first half of it anyway, LOL! 😀 ) We will work through steps 8 – 20 (steps 6-11 of the Andrie Designs-branded version), creating the flap pocket and attaching it to the flap lining, and creating an additional handle for the top of the flap (I hear a pattern hack coming on!!! Woohoo!!!).
First things first though, your pocket top… As you may already be aware, it can be a bit fiddly stitching the two pocket top pieces together without them moving on you so here’s a little trick I like to use – I pin the two layers together to hold them in place. Yes, it’s as simple as that! The trick is to ONLY pin through the fabric INSIDE the rectangle for your zipper. The fabric here is effectively the seam allowance of the zipper pocket opening, so it really doesn’t matter if it gets a few pin holes in it.
As you’re sewing your pocket top, you may find that at times the laminated cotton (or whatever waterproof fabric you are using for your lining) sticks to certain areas of your sewing machine arm/extension arm. In my case, on my extension arm I have a clear plastic window which helps when changing over the bobbin. As handy as this is, laminated cotton, vinyl and other such fabrics LOVE to stick to it when I’m trying to sew them! In order to overcome this issue, I have found a scrap piece of laminated cotton or the like, placed right side down and stuck to the window, effectively eliminates the problem. Too easy!
To add an extra handle on the top of your flap, first you will need to cut out a piece of fabric and medium-heavy weight fusible interfacing as follows –
- Small: 8″ x 4″ (20cm x 10cm)
- Large: 9″ x 4″ (23cm x 10cm)
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric, and fold and press the long sides in just like you did for the original handles on Day One. However, before topstitching closed, fold each short side in 1/2″ (1.3cm) and press. Re-fold the long sides of your handle in and press again. Topstitch around all four sides of your handle to close and also down the middle as shown.
At each end of your handle (on the right side), draw a line 1″ (2.5cm) in from each end to create a topstitching square to follow when attaching the handle to your flap. The other three sides of the square are the three sides of your handle. Also draw a X through the middle of each square as shown.
On your flap, measure 3″ (7.5cm) down from the top raw edge and mark the centre (horizontally). Measure out from the centre mark as follows to find the outer placement corners for your handle –
- Small: 3 1/4″ (8.5cm)
- Large: 3 3/4″ (9.5cm)
Working on one end at a time, align the top and outer edges with the outer placement corners you have drawn. Topstitch your handle in place by following the topstitching lines you made around the outside of your handle and also the lines you have just drawn to create a 1″ square. Reinforce well along the innermost line at each end, right next to where your hand will be when holding the bag.
When you come to sewing the second end of your handle in place, you will notice the handle curves out slightly from the flap – this is correct, don’t worry! 😀
And just like that you have a handy extra handle on your soon-to-be toiletry bag flap! Well done! 🙂 This brings us to the end of Day Two and by now you should have your flap outer and linings complete and ready to be assembled next time.
If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to comment below or ask in my patterns group on Facebook. If you’ve decided to give this pattern hack a go, I’d love to see a sneaky peak or two (no, I can NOT wait until the end of the sew along!). Please feel free to share a pic or two in my patterns group on Facebook.
See you next time for Part 2 of Creating Your Flap – putting it all together with the piping! Until then, tell me – how many of you decided to add the extra handle to your bag…?