PS... I've forgotten to mention, I have my very own hardware for this bag, and it's now back in stock!
PS... I've forgotten to mention, I have my very own hardware for this bag, and it's now back in stock!
Get your sewing machines ready to sew up something big!
Join me for a sew-along featuring my post popular bag ever... The Holiday in London Duffle.
We will start on August 12 with two blog post a week until September 6, when we will finish the bag. There will be added hints and tips, videos, photos and instructions. You will need the pattern which is currently available on paper in my shop, and will be made available via PDF on August 4. I'm looking forward to sewing with you!!!
Are you looking for the Holiday in London Duffle?
Hi there, readers from In Color Order... Jeni posted her duffle bag made from my pattern, and so now I'm worrying you are looking for it but can't find it. I don't sell my newest patterns on my own site, so if you are looking for it you can find the Holiday in London Duffle Bag over on Fat Quarter Shop! Happy Sewing!
Instructions for Interfacing on Bags ... the double edged sword.
I have made hundreds, if not more bags, so this is something I really know about. When I made finished bags for sale, I probably tried every product and every combination you can think of. And still, Interfacing is the conundrum of bag pattern writing.
I don't want you to have a mushy, lightly interfaced bag, and on the other hand, I don't want you to struggle with many layers. I've had to make a decision about how to run with this, and I like to err on the side of not making you break you needles by sewing through 12,000 layers or the stiffest products on the market.
On the new duffle bag, for instance, I decided to have you use a layer of interfacing and a layer of fusible fleece OR use a layer of interfacing and a layer of Annie's Soft and Stable. I'd prefer you use the Soft and Stable. It really performs the way it's named. It's soft (easy to sew through) but it's stable (your bag will have body and stand on it's own). If you use the Soft and Stable, it's a sew-in interfacing. Therefore, you have to use a layer of light interfacing underneath it or your fabric could tear. So, do you now want to interface the lining as well? You totally could. But, in my opinion, you don't have to. That additional layer could be the one that breaks the horses back, or you could really like to have it... I'd be guessing there. So, I decided this time, not to have you interface the lining.
Of course, I do want your bag to stand up nicely. The Soft and Stable does this. However, I also have you do a process of top stitching at the end that helps. And it gives the affect of piping without the layers. You'll press together the outer panels/side seams and do a "Pin-Tuck". Pin tucks are when you fold fabric together like a pleat and stitch them together... But on the bag, I'm simply having you tuck the seam together and stitch on top of it. Here's a picture of what it looks like:
In the end, I have to instruct on the back of a pattern to tell you what you should buy for each pattern. But if I could, I'd put all sorts of buts and ifs with the instructions because what I really want is for you to have choices. Below is a list of interfacings I've used and their basic pros and cons. It really is a matter of what you like, what your sewing machine can handle and what you want to sew through. Happy sewing, and I hope this helps a little in your interfacing decisions.
This gives light body and is great for linings, pockets etc. It's also great for underneath sew-in stabilizers such as Annies Soft and Stable.
Cons: It can't be used alone on a bag... just not enough.
Gives extra body and stabilizes.
It's still pretty light to use alone. And it's not stiff. It might be wise to double layer this product.
Light weight and easy to sew through. Will stabilize bag while keeping it soft.
Very high loft
This stuff is tough. It will make your bag thick and stand up. It is fusible.
This stuff is TOUGH. It will make your bag thick. It's not super easy to sew with. It's fusible, but, often causes wrinkles in your fabric. You have to really take your time fusing this on or possibly use a cotton fusible underneath.
Heavy weight duck or canvas:
When I made finished bags for sale, I had full rolls of fabric backed in canvas professionally. It was fused on with heavy machinery. It really helped to make a nice thick bag that stood up. You can acheive this by making your canvas fusible... simply iron fusible web to the back of the canvas, remove the paper, and fuse to the wrong side of your fabric.
Tough to sew through.
This is a very heavy crinolyn product used in hat making. I love this stuff. It's a sew in product. It is thin, but really stiff, so it's easy to sew through.
While it's easy to sew though, it tends to slip a bit. And because it's so stiff, you'll find it a bit difficult to maneuver through the arm of your machine. You will also have to use a layer of fusible fleece to give it more body.
Bari J. Fall 2012 Sewing Patterns
Useful. That was the word that I kept going back to as I planned and designed the sewing patterns for this season. I wanted everything to be something we all could use.
In keeping with my "useful" theme, all of the patterns feature my "Keeping it Real" side bar hints and tips as they have in the past. These tips are things that I have learned along the way, that you don't usually read in sewing patterns. Like, "How do you sew past the zipper pull?", for instance. And, "How do you keep the opening you turn through neat and even?".
One of the things that I've been wanted to make for myself for years now, and an item that I get asked for all the time is a wallet. A wallet is something that you need to be "just so". It has to take a beating and it has to have space for all the things you need space for. The design of this wallet is something I worked really hard on. I wanted lots of pockets for cards, space for checks and for money and of course, a spot for change and of course a driver's license window. It even has a removable zipper pouch in case you don't want to take the whole wallet. In the end, it's exactly what I wanted. It really has it all, and it's a great afternoon sew... perfect for gifts. The fabrics featured here are from my upcoming Splendor 1920 line.
Next, I had to do an art portfolio. For one, when my girls were little, I was always looking for spots to store their art work. I have a couple purchased portfolios, but they were never just what I wanted. And for another reason, my now 16 year old daughter drags around a piece of poster paper that is folded and serves as a makeshift portfolio... every. single. day. It's falling apart, and she totally needs a good place for her growing portfolio of work. This portfolio features a heavy duty zipper top, and a clear window pocket on the front. Featured in Splendor 1920.
Another item I've always wanted to make is a duffel bag. It needed lots of pockets, a zipper and it had to conform to carry-on standards... Damn the airlines for making me pay $25 to check my luggage! Now I can carry on a bag on in style. Featured here in Splendor 1920 fabric.
And last, Suzy created an adorable coat (read: coat = useful and stylish) in sizes 2T through 6/8. I'm seriously in love with this piece. It's exactly what I wanted and more... a peter pan collar, 3/4 and full length sleeves, A-line and an adorable yoke at the top adds incredible detail... oh, and what coat would be complete without a ruffle... I love the piping and ruffle detail on the sleeve. And of course, a girl has got to have some pockets. These are lined pockets with a sweet box pleat detail. This is sewn in my LillyBelle line of fabrics.
All of the patterns are currently at the printer and will be available for wholesale purchase after 10/29... and yes, if you will be at quilt market, we will have them on hand for you to take home with you.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 14. Fabric File Portfolio
Whew! Wiping the sweat from my brow. The last project is finally done. And 14 projects in 21 days? I'll call that a success.
I hope you have enjoyed this series. I look forward to doing another (um... shorter) series when Splendor 1920 arrives in stores. Here is the 14th project. It was inspired by the loads of paper I picked up today for school registration. Happy Sewing!
1/2 yard of double sided fusible heavy Pellon
1/2 yard each of two contrasting fabrics
1/4 yard each of two constrasting fabrics for binding
1 each ON FOLD - 13" x 9 1/2" - 2 contrasting fabrics and pellon (opens to 13" x 19")
2 - 3" x WOF strips for binding on top and ties
1 - 3" x WOF strip for binding on sides
Step by Step:
1. Press each piece of fabric to opposite sides of the pellon. (wrong side faces the pellon)
2. Make binding and ties (see day 11 curtains for how to make binding except you won't need to attach pieces together for extra length as on the curtains).
3. For the ties, take one WOF piece of binding and cut it in half. Finish the ends by opening the folded binding on one short end. Fold the end in half wrong sides together and sew a 1/4" seam allowance along the short end. Turn the binding back so it is folded properly. Edge stitch the open side of the binding closed. Set aside.
4. With the "portfolio" open, sew binding onto each top edge (again, see curtains day 11 for binding instructions).
5. Sew the ties on. With the "portfolio" open, mark the middle of the top edge of each side of the folder. Place the raw short edge of the tie at the top of the folder at the mid point, just below where you've sewn on the binding. Along the short raw edge of the tie, sew the tie on using a scant 1/4" seam allowance. Flip the tie up, and sew it on (enclosing the raw edge) 1/4" above the fold. Repeat for the other tie.
6. Sew the side binding on. Cut two pieces of binding that are each 10 1/2". Fold the "portfolio" in half. Open the binding, and place it on top of the front of the folder along one raw edge. Leave an extra 1/2" at the top and an extra 1/2" at the bottom. Sew the binding through the two layers of the folder following the pressed fold as you did for the other pieces of binding. Flip the binding to the back, fold in the two raw edges at the top and the bottom, and press in place. Edge stitch the binding from the front as you did before.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 12. Tube Top.
This was probably the easiest and most fun project so far. I'm beyond excited because my teenager said she would actually WEAR something I made. I fashioned this after a tube top she got at Target, and let her pick the fabric. It was interesting to see what she picked (vintage fence in the cool sunrise palette)... and she said she would buy it if she saw it in a store, so I'm feeling like The Bomb Mom!
Here's how I made this...
3/4 yard fabric
2 yards of 5/8" elastic
This is for a small tube top... Em is probably a size 0-3. It's such a baggy/loose piece, that the only real difference will be in length of the elastics and length at the hem.
Measure your wearer, just under the underarms around the top of the chest. Subtract 1 - 2". Cut elastic to that length, then cut in half.
Cut a second piece of elastic 1 to 2" bigger than the first piece. Cut it in half as well.
Measure the wearer from just above the chest, to the mid hip (or longer depending on how long you'd like the top to be), add 4 to 5". Cut a piece of fabric that is the measured length by the width of the fabric. Cut the fabric in half so you have a piece for the front and a piece for the back of the top.
Step by step:
1. Hem: Fold the top edge in 1/4" toward the wrong side, then an additional 1/4". Edge stitch along the inside folded edge.
2. Sew on the top elastic: Using a zig zag stitch, top stitch the elastic to the wrong side of the fabric, just below the top hem. The elastic is shorter than the fabric, so you'll be pulling as you sew to make the elastic stretch from one end of the fabric to the other. The trick here is to start very slowly. Take a couple stitches so the elastic is held in place, then as the fabric comes behind the foot, use one hand to guide the fabric from behind, and the other to stretch the elastic as you sew along. Repeat for the back of the top.
3. Sew the elastic at the bottom: Measure 3 1/2" from the bottom raw edge, and draw a line across on the wrong side of the fabric (I used a heat erasable pen... you can use chalk or another erasable method... even a press line will work). Use your guideline to sew the second piece of elastic on. Repeat for the back of the top.
4. Place the two pieces of fabric, right sides together and use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew each side together. Zig zag stitch or serge to finish the seam. Turn and press.
5. Hem the bottom edge as you did the top.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 8. Doggie Bed.
Several weeks ago I went to great lengths getting foam for dog beds at the local big box sewing store. Let's suffice to say, thanks to a coupon ta do, I made two stops back there for the same item only to have a coupon argument at the cutting table when I finally did get the foam. Sheesh.
But I digress... for weeks now, I've had two ugly pieces of foam sitting around, and I hadn't gotten around to sewing covers for them. Lucky me. I commited to sewing with LillyBelle every day for 14 days... so now I had an excuse. I HAD to make the dog beds. And at least I did get one done today. I did this one with the zipper in the side... It's hidden under fabric flaps, and this is my favorite way of doing zipper on pillows of any sort.
How to make your own doggie bed...
1 yard of 5" x 24 1/2" foam
1 1/2 yards of main fabric
3/4 yard of contrast fabric
24" upholstery zipper
2 yards fusible fleece (optional)
Main fabric, fusible fleece – 2 each- 37" x 25 1/2" pieces
Contrast fabric, fusible fleece – 2 each - 3 1/2" x 37" pieces, 1 each - 6" x 37" piece, 2 each - 6" x 25 1/2" pieces
Step by Step:
Install zipper in the side:
1. Place the two 3 1/2" x 37" pieces right sides together.
2. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, BASTE the two pieces together along a long raw edge.
3. Press the seam open and place your zipper on top of the wrong side of the seam, right side of zipper down, centered on top of the seam.
4. Pin the zipper in place alternating the direction from which you put the pin in (see above).
5. From the right side of the basted panel, and with your zipper foot on, top stitch along the side of the seam about 1/4" away from the zipper. The trick here is to feel with your fingers as you sew down next to the seam, and reach under the fabric pulling pins out of the way as you go.
Zipper tip: you'll want to pull the zipper pull open as you start so it's away from the presser foot, then when you get to it, put the presser foot in the up position and wiggle the pull up again past it.
6. Sew back up the other side of the seam, again keeping 1/4" away from the zipper.
7. Use a seam ripper to open the basted seam exposing your zipper.
Note: if you have cut your zipper to length, you'll want to do a tight zig zag stitch in place to work as a tab at the bottom of the zipper so that you can't open the zipper past it (see below).
Sew the contrast fabric sides to the main fabric panels:
Note: For all of the seams, start and stop at the 1/2" point. You might want to mark 1/2" from the ends on all of the pieces.
1. Place the zipper panel on top of one of the large panels (main fabric) along a long side, right sides together. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, and starting/stopping 1/2" inch from each end, sew the two pieces together.
2. Sew the other three contrast pieces of fabric on in the same manner.
4. Repeat for the other side of the dog bed.
5. Starting and stopping at the 1/2" points, and using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew the four corners together... NOTE: Before you sew the last corner, open the zipper so you can turn through it.
6. Serge or zig zag stitch all seams, turn and press.
7. Slip on the piece of foam (read: wrangle onto the piece of foam)
8. Force your dog to pose on her new bed for a photo.
9. Post to Facebook and tell all your friends you made a dog bed all by yourself.
Bari J. + Suzy-Homemaker = Kid Pattern Yumminess!
About a year ago I mentioned to my friend Suzy of Suzy-Homemaker if she'd like to do a project with me. I adore Suzy. She's not only an incredible designer, she's also one of the best friends a girl could ask for.
It's been a long time coming... please welcome Suzy as the first licensed pattern designer for Bari J.! I love what she's done with the first two girls clothing patterns. Both are available this June. Retailers, please contact me for ordering information at Bari at BariJonline dot com.
Also coming in June... two bag patterns by yours truly...
All of the fabrics featured are from my LillyBelle line for Art Gallery Fabrics.
i love zippers, why you must buy this pattern, and please don't sew your fingers.
Sometimes we suffer for our art. But we probably shouldn't sew our fingers for it. However, that's exactly what I did in the making of this pattern. I should say before I start that the actual injury didn't turn out nearly as bad as it looked and is healing well. It just hurt like hell at the time.
Earlier this week, I was installing a very simple zipper for this new pattern. However, I made the hole for the zipper just a tiny bit too short. The metal part of the zipper was in the way. So... I decided to cheat. I made the stitch slightly longer and was going to push past the metal part. Which is something you shouldn't do. I should have made the hole slightly bigger and avoided the metal. And if I really didn't want to do that I could have made the stitch slightly longer and manually turned the needle past the metal. And if I really HAD to use the petal to sew through, I could have used a "Purple Thang" to push the fabric through instead of my hands.
But no. Never you mind that I knew all the various ways to cheat without sewing my hand, I went ahead and did it anyways.
The noise of the machine hitting my finger was ... unusual. I didn't know what had happened for a second. Except that there was searing pain for some reason. I must have looked away. And then I looked down. The needle had broken. It was in my finger nail and I could see a tiny bit of it sticking out the other fleshy side of my finger.
Very quickly, I pulled the needle out. This happened in a matter of seconds after the collision.
And then, my brain apparently started to digest what just happened. I wandered into the bathroom to wash my hand (hub came in after me), when suddenly I thought I was going to vomit. My head started spinning, I started sweating, the blood rushed out of my face and blammo. I passed out.
Talk about a drama queen. Jeezy pa-leesy! I'm telling you. While the nail is cracked, what this injury looks like is that I had a tiny shot in my nail. It feels at the most, bruised. But in my defense, I swear, there was really a tip of a sewing machine needle in my nail.
All this said. I believe this may have happened for a reason. You see, the good news its, you will benefit greatly for my suffering. I now know that if the zipper is 7" I should write the pattern to say the hole should be 7 1/4" which will put the metal pieces out of the way of any cantankorous needles. Go ahead. Thank me for saving your fingers.
The other good news: I totally adore this bag. (Warning: Here comes the sales pitch sounding stuff... but really I'm just excited! Ok. I also believe that this pattern better darn well sell to make the finger sewing episode worth it. You know what I'm sayin'.)
I think it feels part sporty and part sweet. It has pockets out the ying yang for convenience and ruffles for the girly me. The vertical zipper pocket is a great spot for my phone. Plus, inside there are two other pockets: A divided patch pocket and another (horizontal) zippered pocket. This kind of zipper, while it looks complicated is shockingly easy to install. I would say, even easier than a little zipper pouch. Really. I'm not kidding. I've been a fan of zippers for a long time, but I've fallen in love with this installation, and I'm putting them everywhere. Love love.
The other feature I'm crazy over is the strap. It actually can be used as both a hand strap, and be worn longer to go cross body or over the shoulder. You'll see in the photo at the top the strap is doubled. Below is the long strap. I think the hardware makes it look super professional too. And it's all hardware and zippers that you can get at the big box store... you know the one.
Below you can see how the strap hooks onto itself to make a shorter handle.
For the magnet, I did something extra special. I have long had a battle with magnetic closures because after much use on fabric they wear and eventually tear your bag. Here I've created a reinforcement that adds detail and a punch of color. I've noticed this on some of my store bought bags, and I love the feature.
This pattern and LillyBelle will be available in early June.
Sewing Pattern Sneak Peek
I'm super happy about this new pattern. I had been working on a prototype for nearly a year or more on and off knowing I needed a cover myself. I finally perfected it with a zipper, an adorable pocket with piping for your headphones and contrasting fabrics. Super thrilled to see it in my new LillyBelle collection.
Coming, May 2012
(not final cover)
View my line of licensed fabric designs at
Art Gallery Fabrics
Ships to stores May 2013...
In stores now...
In stores now...