Friday, December 2, 2011

Those 241 Totes and Some Tips

You know what's hard? Making something and not sharing it. 
You know what's really hard? Making three things and not sharing them!

Now that my Pay it Forward gifts have been received I can finally show them. I know, all the cool bloggers have secret projects and when they get to do their big reveal it's something like a book deal! Or fabric line! Or sponsors! And here I am revealing...bags. But they were fun to make, and hey, any finish at this house deserves some fanfare!

I used the wonderful 241 Tote pattern by Anna of Noodle-heads. Such a great pattern! I highly recommend it. The first bag I made went to Sarah at FairyFace Designs


Since I made her's first, Sarah's bag was a bit of a learning experience. Not that there were any problems due to the pattern or anything, it just took a little longer and I made a couple minor changes to the next two. 

Next, I made one for Annabella of Life's Rich Pattern...
and one for Jennifer of Knotted-Thread.
I made the second two assembly-line style and they went together much quicker. These bags use a magnetic snap, and for some reason I thought it would be more complicated than it was. It was so simple! I will say that on Sarah's I used one from JoAnn's and it almost sticks together too well. Like, I hope she doesn't have to use two hands to get her bag open! For the others I used snaps that I purchased from Being Bags on etsy. Besides being a much more economical way to go, I thought these snaps seemed higher quality. Also, I noticed the other day at Joann's that if you buy the magnetic snaps from the Notions section, they are quite a bit more than the ones from the bag-making aisle, where the purse handles and those kind of things are. 

I did a couple things to the bags (maybe not on Sarah's...sorry, Sarah) that I think helped them look a little more professional.
See how that stitching going along the top of the linen is a little more substantial? I used the double-stitch feature, so the needle goes over the same stitch twice. I totally don't know if that is the right thing to call it, but that's what I'm going with. Here's what it looks like on my machine...
That number 3, there? That's it. I would guess that most machines have it, but it may have a different picture for it. I'm pretty sure my old (err, 1982 model...not OLD) Singer had it. I also used that stitch when doing the top-stitching on the straps. 

Here's another thing that helped my top-stitching...
Here's the back...
Do you have one of these? It is a blind-hem foot and came with my machine. See how it has that ridge in the middle and the other part is a little higher? If you use this foot and move your needle over a bit, you can put the edge of the fabric you are top-stitching right where that ridge is and it will kind of glide right along that and keep your stitching straight. Does that even make sense? Ok, I just ran to the machine and took these pictures to help, since I don't think I'm making any sense...

Better? And yes, that's felt but it was what was on the table. I moved my needle over 10 clicks (2.5) to the left. Here's the top-stitching on Annabella's bag:

Much better than what I can do with just the regular foot on my machine. I don't know if any of you even care, but I thought I'd share since every bit helps for me.

I can definitely see myself making more of these bags and I just bought Anna's Go Anywhere Bag pattern, so I'll hopefully be trying it out soon as well.

29 comments:

  1. Thank you for those tips, need to see if I have a foot that looks anything like that! Your 241s look sunning for it.

    I have the Go Anywhere pattern going no-where at the minute - January is looking busy!

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  2. Your bags look great, Toni!! And I agree that the double stitching and topstitching around the edge looks very professional.

    Great job!

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  3. Beautiful bags! I love your fabric choices. And thanks for the tips on the bag hardware! I didn't realize they would be in two different places at Joann's.

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  4. Beautiful bags, love the fabric and the double threaded top-stitching looks really great.

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  5. they look great! and good tips :)

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  6. The bags are beautiful and it's always great to read someone else's tips for making the job easier/better!

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  7. Your bags turned out wonderfully! Thanks for the tips -- I just got the 241 pattern on sale, and I'm hoping to make one for a Christmas present. I can always use tips to make my top-stitching nicer!

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  8. This is so cool! Beautiful bags and beautiful idea!

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  9. Well done! Annabella has already been bragging about hers over on her blog.

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  10. Love all these bags, and now off to see if I have a blind hem foot in my ridiculously large collection that came with Big Brother!

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  11. Toni. They look great. I have so many feet for my sewing machine and really don't know what they are used for, so thanks for your lovely photo and tut, (I have only found out that I have a stitch in the ditch foot too. ) The bags are fantastic.

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  12. Sooo beautiful Toni. Very lucky ladies. You are setting the bar for PIF a little too high for my liking though. ;)

    Thanks for the heads up on the blind hem foot too. Very handy! Will check out my (limited) collection. x

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  13. Great job on the bags Toni! I also use a blind hem foot for top stitching, but I didn't know about the double stitch thing.....I'll have to look for that on my machine! I'm sure the three lucky ladies who received them and jumping with glee.

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  14. Love the fabrics you have used Toni - they are all beautiful bags!!!

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  15. They are really nice bags, great fabric choices. Thank you for the sewing tips, will sure come in handy in the future.

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  16. Haha, I love that you compared this big reveal to a new fabric line or book deal! I think these bags are pretty darn exciting!

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  17. Great bags! Thanks for the tips, too - I need to see if I have that stitch & that foot!!

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  18. Hey thanks Toni! I've always wondered what that funny looking foot was for, now I'm definitely going to give it a whirl! Lovely bags, I have enough bags to sink a ship, but may just need one more....

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  19. Thanks again for the gorgeous bag Toni, am still totally in love with it. And love how you made up the others too, they are all fab colour combos! Thanks for the tips :-)

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  20. Hey Toni, this is so cool! I just checked and even my little baby machine has a foot like that. I have to try it out later today! Thanks so much for sharing and yeah, we DO care ;-)

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  21. You're a genius using the blind hem foot for the edge stitching! I'm in the middle of making a bunch of different bags for gifts right now and always have trouble getting the edge stitching even, especially on bulkier parts. I'm going to go give that a try! Also thanks for the tips on the snaps, I also find the JoAnn ones almost TOO strong, and have never thought to look in the bag section for others.

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  22. Those are fabulous and they are so lucky to have received such beautiful 241s from you! Thanks for the tips too. The 241 is on my to-do list!

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  23. They look fabulous and the double top stitching is a great idea - I'll have to try and remember it for the next time I make a bag!!

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  24. those are wonderful! They look so professional, toni! brava!

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  25. So impressed with your totes and they look so great! I love the colors you chose!

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  26. i love these toni! the aqua and brown is so lovely. wonderful, and thanks for the tips!

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  27. The bags are awesome! I think I'll have to try that pattern. Thank you so much for the tips on the stitching and the blind hem foot. I had no idea about these things! Learn something new every day, right? Thanks!

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  28. Thanks for the tips! I will have to bookmark this to reference when I make up this pattern. And track down that foot for my machine.

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  29. Considering "Make a bag" is on my list for January, I will take every tip I can get! Thanks!!

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