BGB – #1 – Getting Started – Exterior

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.  🙂