Here’s the windup on my new bag. After embroidering the corner accents and grommet designs on both bag outer panels, I followed the instructions in Handbags 2, Designer Knockoffs for stitching the grommets on the lining. Now it was time to construct the bag. I used a centering ruler to find the center of the bag front. The long legs of the target ruler hit the grommets at the same measurement so the hole in the center designates the center of the bag. I slid my decorative trim under the ruler and pinned it in place then edgestitched the trim to secure it to the bag.
I burrowed into my stash of bag-making supplies to find the Clover Shape ‘n Create Bag & Tote Stabilizer. I found a packet and low and behold, it was mere scraps! Ugh!
But hey, since I can sew this piece to the bottom of the bag, I can probably sew the strips together to make a larger piece. That’s exactly what I did. I placed two strips under the needle, side by side and zigzagged over the joint.
I sewed the bottom seam, right sides together and taped the Shape ‘n Create in place. Then I sewed the stabilizer to the bag bottom and added the feet.
Designer Knockoffs shares some secrets for successful pressing because pressing during bag construction is crucial for a professional finish. I recently purchased Dritz Thermal Thimbles (heat resistant finger protectors) and loved using them for this task. It seems I’m always burning my fingertips while pressing the narrow ¼” seams open but not anymore! Love those Thermal Thimbles.
Next step is the grommets. If you read Designer Knockoffs, you’ll notice it calls for headliner interfacing not heavy craft interfacing. The grommets will not adhere to the heavy interfacing like they do headliner. Make sure you use the proper materials. Here’s a tip for inserting the grommets. Use a kitchen cutting board to insert the grommets. Place the prong side of the grommet on a flat surface. Center the hole (on the bag) over the grommet. Place the matching side of the grommet over the hole, connecting the two grommets. Place the kitchen cutting board over the grommets and push down on the board with the palm of your hand. You’ll hear a snap as the board forces the two sections of the grommet together evenly. Give it a try; you’ll be surprised how easy it to force the two sections together.
I followed Nancy’s instructions for adding a zipper then bound the upper edge and voila! That was fun – I love making bags!