Advent 2019 Day 1
As Iāve mentioned in the past, I made a whole batch of little hipster bags for a Florida trip with my sister and nieces. Iām kicking off a little Advent calendar of different freebies, and the Basic Hipster is the first.
This is a picture-heavy post, though the actual bag isnāt very difficult.
I made this bag with lightweight vinyl lined with quilting cotton. Normally Iād recommend something with a little more body and a little less āgrabā than the cotton, but the only ripstop nylon I had handy was black so I went with something that will show up well in photos. Iād also recommend changing the thread color to match the lining when it comes time to sew it, but I left it for visibility.
I also made one change to the pattern after taking all these pictures: the pocket that holds the snaps for the end of the flap is deeper on the final pattern, because the edge of mine tended to pop back out.
Here we go!
The vinyl I used was a remnant and has some permanent wrinkles and creases. For a real project Iād work around those.
If you donāt want to put in a pocket, instead of the two-part front just cut one 7ā³w x 9ā³h piece.
Iād also iron the lining pieces first. Notice I used the selvedge on these pieces; itās fine for the lining, but I donāt make a practice of it.
Iām using half-inch d-rings š¦ and a chain strap š¦ that I got so amused catching pictures of the cat playing with that I forgot to take a picture sans cat.
If you want a super-simple bag, you can skip this whole section. Itās actually pretty easy, though, and itās nice to have a section of your bag that zips securely.
Iām using a 9ā³ zipper here, which refers to the end of the tape. As you can see the stops are about 7 1/2ā³ apart. You can use a shorter zipper if you extend it, though your pocket wonāt be quite as convenient.
To extend it, use a 1ā³ strip of your outer fabric. Place it right sides together with the zipper, and sew a 1/4ā³ seam (not pictured). Make sure you miss the stop, and donāt sew through metal teeth. Open up the strip and topstitch 1/8ā³ from the seam. Do the same at the other end (open the pull a little and carefully align the two sides), then just treat the extended strip the same as the zipper in these instructions.
Here is where things get just a little tricky.
In the photograph, the top front is still folded down so you can see just the tiniest bit of the lining fabric peeking above the zipper on the left. You can see where the folded lining is lifting up the vinyl at the bottom (pointed to by the piece of thread which I promise was not there when I was looking at it in real life).
Sometimes I cheat a little. Hereās the front and back, ready to sew, with the lining taped in place. (Clips wonāt reach and pins will leave holes.) I then flipped it back over and topstitched it, being careful to make sure the zipper stayed flat since itās not caught in the tape.
Tip: if you donāt have a nonstick foot, a piece of matte cellophane on the underside of a spare presser foot will do a pretty good job. Another alternative is a piece of wax paper on top of the vinyl. Just remember to switch back to the regular foot to sew things like the lining, or it will slip all over the place.
Thatās the end of the pocket.
Another time to use that non-stick foot.
Now you have a front and back, each with lining attached.
I trimmed mine by more than half ā really the extra length is there because sometimes it takes a little bit of distance from the end before the top-stitching really smooths out. I went with about an inch and a half for each strap.
That topstitched edge will be the top back of the bag, with a pocket to hide the snaps.
You might want to tape the D-rings in place now, if they seem prone to flip back and get in the seam. Open the zipper a little so the pull doesnāt get in the seam.
Remember how I said the non-stick foot will make the lining slip around? Guess who forgot to take the non-stick foot off before sewing this?
If youāre sewing a non-pocket version, donāt panic if yours doesnāt look like this: this is the pocket side, and thatās the pocket lining you see at the bottom. I forgot to color it that way in the diagram version.
Turn the corners of the outer shell neatly, using a chopstick or turning tool if necessary, but donāt turn the corners of the lining because youāre just going to turn it right back in. Just turn them enough that you donāt catch it in your topstitching.
When you tuck the lining all the way in, the top of the purse should line up with the previously-topstitched bit of the back.
Thatās the end of the sewing.
Yes, in both the diagram and the photos, the snaps are an inch too high. Measure twice, snap once.
As mentioned earlier, I made this pocket half an inch deeper, so pretend this is just foreshortened. The snaps go in the bottom of the snap pocket, in any case. The front of the bag is facing me in this picture, with the back of the bag visible and the main pocket underneath the snap pocket.
And yes, Iāll talk about making flaps shortly, both embroidered and on a conventional machine.
23 more days to go! Most of the weekday projects wonāt be this detailed, and I hope to have a nice mix of conventional sewing, embroidery, and cutting files.
š¦: Technically, that's an affiliate link. In practice, I think I got a ten-dollar gift certificate once in the past twenty years.