Monday, January 14, 2013

Zest Tote bag - Part II

Welcome back to the Sewing Nook!  Remember the project we started last week?  The Zest Tote Bag project started here, and today we will zip through the assembly stage.

After sewing on the top band, the instructions tell you to stitch in the ditch!
What?? You mean I need to find a ditch to sit in and start stitching???  Thank goodness that is not what it means!  "Stitch in the ditch" is a quilting term for quilting right where two seams meet.  The photo above shows stitching in the ditch along the band and bag body.  You will do this on both pieces.

At this point you will want to sew a zig zag stitch along the outside edge.  Since this seam will show on the inside of your bag it will protect the seams from fraying, or "fluff" coming out from the batting! :)  Sew the front and back pieces together and you have a simple bag!  Now for the finishing touches...
After sewing bag together you will fold the band to the inside and stitch along the seam line.
You will find this a much easier task if you make your sewing surface a little smaller.  Do this by removing the front part of your machine.  It usually just slides off.
In this way it is quite easy to make that a nice smooth stitch.
When the instructions tell you to "box the corner" or fold the corners diagonally matching side seams, it will look like this.  It's a bit tricky the first few times you do it, but don't skip this step.  It definitely adds more "holding room" in your tote.

Stitch across like this on each bag corner.

The handles are the last step.  The project pattern instructs you to line the handles up with the bottom band edge.  I did not want the ends to show on the inside of mine, so lined them up with the handles going toward the bottom of the bag. After stitching along the seam line I turned the handles up and stitched again along the bottom band seam, and did a top stitch along the top band to hold the handles in place.
Well ... that's it!  The Zest Tote bag is complete!  Up next will be a project from the Across the Pond Sew-Along, a monthly sew-along I am joining in on.  January's project has already "taken flight!"  Watch for my version coming up next!  :)

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