Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Making Jeannine's Gorgeous Green Bag

Every now and then I post pictures of the bags I make just for the fun of doing it. I do not sell these bags, I will only make them when I feel like it and only give them as gifts. Recently, my friend Joe Gallo told me that his wife Jeannine was crazy about the silk bags I posted pictures of. Joe and Jeannine have been such good and generous friends to me that I couldn't resist making her a bag so Joe could surprise her with it for their anniversary. 

Joe told me she likes green and I found two beautiful silks, an Italian silk brocade and a green/blue/gold silk dupioni which I promptly ordered. 
I also found, in my stash, a gorgeous Czech glass green and gold button with a mermaid on it:

All my bags are pretty much the same in design. Just rectangular pouches with fairly wide straps. The secret to making these look good is to select beautiful fabrics and to press and press and press as you work on them:

 I always line the bags with a good, sturdy fusible interfacing.
Before stitching up the sides, I like to add a patch pocket to the lining fabric:
When I sew up the sides I leave a large unstitched section on one side. This will be used to turn the bag inside out. You can see it on the left of the lining.
To make the loop for the closure I cut a thin strip of the lining fabric about an inch and a half wide, stitch along one side, trim, and then turn it inside out:

Once that is done I pin the loop and the straps to the top of the bag and carefully pin the lining to the outside with right sides of the fabric together. Then, when I have sewn around the top, I use the unstitched section of the lining to turn the whole thing inside out.

Once that is done, all you have to do is pin the unstitched area together and sew it shut either by hand or with a zig-zag stitch. I keep pressing everything as I work.
I then tuck the lining inside and carefully press and pin all around the top edge then add a narrow seam around the top to finish the top and secure the straps.

Just sew on the button. Adjust the closure loop to fit the button and that's it.
This is Jeannine with her new bag.

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