Hello everyone, we are back at it with the Weekender Bag Sew Along. The pattern is from Swoon patterns and really is a versatile bag pattern. This post is all about making your own piping, cording for the bag. You don’t need to do this, but it really does add a pop of color to your bag and makes it look like the higher end bags in better boutiques. And, with that here’s Rhonda!
Everyone who sews loves to hear the words, “I can’t believe you made this!” Although it’s a little bit of a back handed compliment, what the person is really saying is that our work has the look of having been professionally made. So what is it that takes our work to that elevated level? Of course there are many factors, but quite often, it’s the extra touches, like piping that makes all the difference. The Stella Weekender Bag from Swoon Patterns can of course be made without piping, but that added touch really does make the bag pop!
For the sample bag, I piped the front cargo pockets,
the front outside seam,
The back outside seam, and the top edge of the back pockets. If you would like to also pipe these edges, you will need 4 yards of piping.
I like to use cording inside my piping that can be purchased in the home dec area of your local fabric store. This is 1/4″ cording.
To cover the cording, you will need to cut bias strips from your fabric. To accent the bag, I used my interior fabric (lining) to make my piping.
The strips for the piping should be cut on the bias. The bias of the fabric is a 45 degree angle from the selvedge edge of the fabric.
For 1/4″ cording, and a bag with 1/2″ seam allowances, the strips should be 1 1/2″ wide. Each end of the strip will be at an angle.
To sew the strips together, overlap as you see below. Note that one strip is on a right angle to the other.
Sew the 2 strips together as you see below.
Press the seam open and continue with the remainder of your strips until you have 4 continuous yards of fabric strips.
To add the cording, simply place the cording in the middle of the strip and then wrap the fabric around the cording.
Use a zipper foot to stitch the fabric closed.
Continue to the end of your strip of fabric and the cording will be finished. Easy!
Before we attach the cording to the bag, just a note on the interfacing. The directions call for a heavy stabilizer for the handle supports. I used the fusible cotton interfacing and it worked just fine.
The exterior pattern pieces for the bag are backed with fusible fleece. I removed the fleece from the seam allowances in order to cut down on bulk in the seam allowances.
The fusible woven cotton interfacing is used on the lining pattern pieces. I did not remove the interfacing from the lining pieces. The interfacing is fairly lightweight and I did not feel that it added a lot of extra bulk.
To begin sewing the cording to the bag, let’s begin with the back pocket. Simply sew the cording to the top edge of the open pocket.
Now take the lining piece of the open pocket,
match it to the front and stitch across the top edge, The cording will be sandwiched in between the outside of the pocket and the lining of the pocket..
Press the seam at the top edge of the pocket.
At this point, we need to reduce a little of the bulk from the cording at the edges. Simply pull a little of the cording out and clip it off. The edge of the pocket should now be free of the cording and allow you to easily sew over the edge.
Take the back of the bag, the Main Panel, and place the open pocket on top. Baste the 2 together.
Find the middle of the pocket and stitch from the piping edge down to the bottom of the pocket. You will now have 2 back pockets.
Attach the piping to the outside edge of the back panel. Begin sewing the piping at the bottom edge. Leave the ends of the piping free as you see below. Also note that you will need to clip the piping so that it will lay smoothly around the curves.
To finish the ends of the piping, use your seam ripper to open 1 end of the piping and reveal the cording. Match the other end to the edge of the cording.
Clip away the cording that was revealed once the seam was opened. Fold back the end of the bias strip and lay the other end of the cording inside.
Sew down the cording. You now have a nice finished edge.
In our next post, we will install the zippers and attach the cargo pockets.
If you are just beginning to cut out your bag, there is a wonderful group on Facebook called, “Swoon Patterns Group.” It’s a closed group, so you will need to ask to join. Within the pages, you will find some wonderful information. If you find it a little confusing as to which pattern piece should have which interfacing, one of the “Swooners” put together a wonderful cheat sheet that I think you will love. Once you have been accepted into the group, click on “file” just under the banner picture. Once you are in the files, scroll down until you find, “Print Labels Stella Weekender.pdf.” The labels will tell you exactly which pattern piece should have which interfacing. A great tool!
If you have not purchased a pattern, you can find a paper version of the pattern HERE at Shop Sew It All. Now that I am making my second bag, I’m loving it even more than the first!
Until next time,