Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction

I think the Emily Bag is going to be in my top 5 tote bag sewing patterns. I'm a little behind in the sewing of it, (as usual) but I'll catch up. Hope everyone is enjoying the process. For more fantastic bag patterns and videos be sure to check out Craft Daily, with over 500 sewing and craft videos there a something for everyone. Let's have Rhonda get us going on week 3!!!

emily bag 6001 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionNow that we’ve downloaded your pattern, chosen your fabrics and gathered all of your supplies, we can finally get started on putting the bag together!!

You will find that the bag is extremely easy to sew. The zippered pocket may seem a little intimidating, but I encourage you to give it a try. Just follow my instructions and be sure to try the zipper out on some scrap fabric before inserting it into your bag.

Once you have cut out all of your pieces and interfaced your lining, decide where you would like to place your zippered pocket. There is a marking on the pattern, but just consider this a guideline, as you can move it up or down just a bit depending on the length of your zipper. If you weren’t able to purchase a 5″ zipper, you will need to move the pocket down just a little so that the zipper doesn’t interfere with the seams of the side panels. One more thing to keep in mind is the magnetic clasp. You will need enough room between the top of the bag and the zipper to insert the clasp.

photo 211 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction Once you have determined where to place the zipper, draw in a rectangle. The rectangle should be the length of your zipper and 1/2″ wide.

photo 22 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction Stitch along the outside lines of the rectangle.

photo 23 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction Now this is very important. Cut the rectangle open. Make sure that you cut in the middle and leave AT LEAST a 1/2″ “v” tab on either end.

photo 24 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionMatch the edge of the zipper to the edge of the slit opening and be sure that the teeth of the zipper are in the middle of the opening of the slit. Sew the zipper to the bag, stitching along the guideline that was previously stitched in. Sew from one end of the rectangle to the other. Do not sew across the ends at this time. As you sew along, you will need to unzip the zipper in order to move the head of the zipper out of the way of your pressure foot. Be sure to use a zipper foot to sew your zipper into your bag.

photo 25 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction Once both sides of the zipper have been sewn in, determine how deep you would like your pocket to be. 5″ is a nice depth. Cut a rectangle that is at least an inch longer than your zipper and twice the desired depth.

Match the right side of the fabric to the zipper and sew the pocket to the zipper.

photo 26 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction Sew the other end of the pocket lining to the other side of the zipper. The inside of the pocket will have a beautifully finished look.

photo 27 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction To finish the pocket, pull the “v” tabs out and lay them flat against the end of the zipper. Sew the seam. Be sure to sew exactly across the stitches on the tab. Once sewn, sew across the ends one last time to reinforce the ends of the zipper.

photo 28 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction

photo 29 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction  Congratulations! You now have a beautifully inserted zippered pocket.

If you would like, you may add a patch pocket to the other side of your bag. This is a very handy pocket, especially for cell phones.

Simply cut a rectangle the desired width that you would like your pocket to be. The length of the rectangle should be twice the desired length of your finished pocket. Place the right sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a small opening. Trim the seam if necessary, turn the pocket and press. Stitch along the end of the pocket with a double stitching line. This will keep the top edge of your pocket from stretching. Determine where the placement of the pocket and pin in place.

photo 30 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction Edge stitch the pocket to the lining and then stitch a second row to reinforce the pocket.

photo 311 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionOnce the pockets are in place, sew the side panels of the bag to the center panels. Seam allowances are 1/2″. Do not sew to the end of the panels. Leave 1/2″ open at the bottom of the bag. This will allow you to easily attach the bottom of the bag to the body of the bag.

photo 32 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionSew the bottom of the bag to the body, sewing from point to point.

photo 33 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionDo the same with the lining. Clip the intersection of the seams. This will remove all the bulk out of the corners.

photo 34 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionThe outer bag has a lovely pleat at center front. The lining does not have the pleat. Pin pleat in place,

photo 35 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction

and stitch in place to secure while putting the bag together.

photo 36 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & ConstructionFollow the instructions in the video for stitching the handles. Baste handles to the bag.

Screen Shot 2014 10 16 at 3.55.07 PM Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction

Click on image to view Rhonda’s tutorial

Next week we will attach the magnetic closure and sew in the lining. Once the lining has been sewn in, we will add the feet and construct the hard bottom.

Be sure to visit the Flickr page and post your progress. I can’t wait to see how you’re doing!!

Rhonda Buss

Rhonda’s Creative Life

 Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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One Response to Emily Bag Sew Along Week 3: Customizing & Construction

  1. Sharon Collins says:

    I love this bag or maybe it is the color of the lining! Now I want to make one. It will be later. Costume sewing is priority one now. I am taking a bag class though. Who knows I may learn something new watching the video.