I finally finished my birdie sling. I am a total beginner sewer and this is only the second thing I have ever sewn from a pattern. It is a great beginner project and I need to thank Indie House and Simply Crafting for their tutorials and photos (I couldn't have sewn this bag without your lovely tutorials!).
Here is the finished product:
The directions are great for letting you know the materials you will need. I got the fusible interfacing from Fabricland (they have it on a roll just like material and sell it by the yard). I couldn't get fusible fleece, so I just got the regular kind and it worked just fine.
It took me three hours to cut out all of the pieces because you have to cut them out of the material, interfacing and fleece (I didn't mind...just listened to some good tunes and cut, cut, cut).
You start by making the pockets and the description given by the pattern is good. Don't doubt the pattern...you don't sew the bottom of the pocket closed right away. I didn't sew the fleece to the inside lining (It became attached when I sewed the pockets to the lining):
In step 5, you make the pleats on the exterior panels. It says to press the pleats, but when I did that I thought they became too stiff and defined. I was a little confused about the pleats at first, but the above mentioned blogs helped me out. Hopefully my pictures will help you (sorry, they are quite dark; unfortunately I didn't check and fix my camera settings until after these shots):
In step 6, you attach the bands to the main panels and then to the lining panels. This was easy-peasy:
Don't forget to sew a nice finishing topstitch to give your bag a "nice finished look" (I am pointing out my handiwork):
In step 7, you attach the exterior panels to each other and then you attach the lining panels together. I was confused at this part (because I am not an experienced seamstress) and I thought that I wound be attaching the exterior panel to the lining panel in this step...this is not the case. First, you attach the exterior panels to each other:
From all of the reviews of this pattern that I have read, almost everyone recommended adding a magnetic snap...it seems the bag tends to "gape" open without it. I listened to all of the suggestions and added the magnetic snap. Apple Craft has a great tutorial for installing a magnetic snap...but I was lazy and used a short cut. I remembered an old trick from my tap dancing days (LONG time ago). We always carried clear nail polish in case we got a run in our pantyhose prior to a performance. It always did the trick. I just snipped the fabric to insert the snap parts and sealed it with a bit of clear nail polish to prevent the fabric from running (I knew my nail polish fetish would come in handy some day). It worked smashingly well!
Make sure that yours looks like this (snappy part protruding from the RIGHT side of the band). After the snap was safely applied, I pinned the lining panels together in preparation for sewing:
I read this in the directions, I read this on another blog, and I even marked the spot...but in the heat of the moment, I forgot to leave a hole in the bottom when I sewed the lining panels together. This is super important because you pull the entire bag out of this hole in the final steps...needed to get out my trusty seam ripper:
Now comes the part that adds the extra pizazz to the bag - the gussets. Here are my photos to support the instructions for step 8:
Set your corner up like the photo above (make sure the seam underneath matches the seam on top and pin it in place as pictured above). Then measure and mark 1.5 inches from the corner:
Then measure and mark 4 inches from the corner down the sides and join these marks with a nice curved line:
Snip your end off after sewing along your curved line, but be careful not to snip your sewing:
You need to repeat these steps for the lining. You can now turn your attached exterior panels right-side-out (looks like a bag is forming...):
Now you make the handle (these steps are easy to follow on the pattern) and attach it to your bag. First attach one side of the handle:
...and then the other side (make sure the right sides are facing each other):
Almost finished! I was getting so excited at this point. Now, you are on step 10 - attaching the exterior panels and the lining panels. You need to put the lining over top of the exterior panels and pin it in place. Just tuck the handle in between the two layers. Here is the exterior getting tucked inside of the lining:
Now you need to pin the top of the bands together and sew:
After sewing, pull the exterior part of the bag out of the hole left in the bottom of the lining:
I closed the hole in the bottom by just machine sewing it together instead of slipstitching by hand as suggested (I don't think I'll ever notice).
The final step is to finish off the exterior with a nice topstich:
That's it! The whole project took me about 11 hours to complete and that was with photographing and having to stop to charge up my camera battery in between. Overall, I am one happy sewing girl:
PS: Nail polish worn throughout this tutorial is Secret Peri-wink-le by China Glaze: