This is a totally optional step, but I like using a fabric pattern piece for a project like this.
Here’s the advantages:
Obviously, the piece doesn’t get destroyed easily – so if you’re probably going to be making more than one bag, this is extra nice.
The fabric piece clings to the fabric you’re cutting – no sliding around. Easier to be accurate.
As you’re working, the markings on the fabric piece are easier to transfer to the actual fabric you’re cutting and marking.
Stores better for future use. Again, difficult to destroy. 🙂
How to make it:
1. Start with a scrap piece of fabric that will be easy to see the markings on.
2. Press the scrap fabric well. I use Best Press to give it a nice firm, easy to cut feel.
I made this fabric piece early one morning in my sewmobile (while the granddaughter was still sleeping!) …. and I realized I didnt have any scotch tape handy to piece these together. No big deal….. it all still works…
3. Lay out the paper pieces and just mark the fold lines:
4. Then remove the paper piece for a minute and using a ruler, mark in the fold lines:
5. Lay the paper pieces back onto the scrap fabric, matching up the fold lines. Cut.
6. Ta Da! You’ve got a nice pattern piece to work with – it makes this project so much easier, in my opinion….
Hint: You may click on pics to enlarge them on this site. 🙂
So here’s my mess! 🙂 The table to the left is a 2×4′ folding table from Costco. I like it because it is height adjustable. (My granddaughter has her sewing machine on one just like it – at the lowest setting, it’s perfect for her!)
The machine is sitting on a Gidget II table by Arrow.
I like being able to have tools, a cutting mat and an ironing setup to the left of me. That little Rowenta travel iron is da bomb!
I like that this whole setup is rather compact.
And to the right of the machine, I have a small folding table I use when I need to have my laptop close by.
And if you look closely, you can see the ScrapMaBob holding my coffee cup (love this thing!) off the table… no chance of knocking it over.
and on the floor, there’s a 12″ cube that holds some of my leftover scraps – and the dogs take turn getting territorial over it.. Lucy is sleeping in it in this pic.
If you’re coming to this page first, here are two videos that show the Bionic Gear Bag Notions Tote in action. If you’re not interested in it for electronics or you don’t have any desire to laminate your fabric, then skip this first video and go take a peek at the second one… it illustrates the features of the bag pretty well. 🙂
The first video below shows how my BGB turned out with all exterior pieces being laminated with Thermo Web Heat n Bond iron-on vinyl.
The bag is so nice… but putting on all of that vinyl was just too much. ugh. It just takes the joy out of how nicely the bag *should* work.
If you haven’t already seen the video showing how wonderful the bag *does* work for sewing gear, here it is again:
I hope the videos help! It’s the next best thing to bein’ there! 🙂
Happy May Day!
Before we start out, I want to thank you all for purchasing the pattern.
When we finish up this Sew Along, the feedback and great ideas that are shared by all of you will be incorporated into the next revision of the pattern.
One thing I want you to notice right away is that at the bottom of this post, you are able to comment and even post pictures! Please do!
Let’s use the comments section as a place to chit chat and share pictures – even if you’re coming into this late, jump in! Add what you have going on!
Let’s get started….
Designing your exterior.
If you just want to get a bag done quickly, that’s cool. Cut out your piece out of cotton, interface it or add batting and quilting… and skip this section. 🙂
For me, though, this is where I like to get funky and do something that is different enough that I can really enjoy using my bag.
For this Sew Along, I already prepared my Exterior Piece “A” (A) by sewing down strips of selvedge edges.
If you look carefully (you can click on any picture to zoom in), you’ll see that the lettering is upright on each end.. meaning that I had to just go down to the middle center of the piece and then flip directions so that one end wouldn’t be upside down when the bag is completed.
As you are considering your exterior… think about the wear your bag may take. Only you know whether or not you could go overboard and do a bunch of beading (for example) and know that your bag will be treated tenderly enough to have your beading survive for long. 🙂
I’m a big selvedge edge junkie… I’m making other items for my sewing room and travel gear that are built from these – so that is why I wanted to do this bag from them.
Keep in mind that if you are adding some serious thickness to this piece, you probably will not want to add thickness to the lining pieces. Getting thick can be problematic when you go to attach side panels and can also have the potential of interfering with the zippers.
I made the “fox” pattern BGB out of cotton that I laminated. The exterior piece was fine.. and even doing the side panels out of laminated cotton worked out… but… having the bindings covered with the vinyl proved to be a big hassle. The bag turned out a little stiffer than I wanted – and made closing the zipper a little difficult on one end. You heard it here, first. 🙂
When you look at the open bag as it is ready to use, you’ll notice that on the top of “A”, there is a 3/4″ of exterior below the binding that shows rather nicely. In my picture above, the little row of campers should peek through there when the bag is done.
At this time, go over your pattern, and read the “General Pattern Stuff to Know”. If you have questions, we can use the comments section below to clarify anything. Cool, huh?
Please post your comments and share a picture of your exteriors… let’s have fun. 🙂
And then move on to the next section. 🙂