• Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles

    Today we’ll be covering steps 6-12 in the Stowe instruction booklet, making and finishing the handles! If you’re making your own bias binding and need help with that, you might want to wait until tomorrow’s post, but I wanted to get this one up for anyone using pre-made bias binding before I walk you through making your own binding. So grab your pins and bias tape and let’s start sewing!

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    To begin, cut the binding for your handle sides. You’ll need approximately 13″ for each small bag and 25″ for the large bag. If you’re into cutting after you’ve pinned like I am, my trick is to start at one end and make sure that the first fold of the bias (where you’ll be stitching in this step) hits the edge of the handle as shown above. I then pin around the handle edge, ending back at the same place on the opposite handle side. I then trim my bias and you can see that both handles will be completely covered from edge to edge with binding. When placing your bias, you’ll need to stretch slightly to get around the curves, but make sure you aren’t stretching the bias so much that you end up gathering your fabric. It’s a find dance!

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Step over to your sewing machine and stitch in the fold of the bias tape, this is approximately ¼″ from the edge.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Your binding is now attached like so and you can see that its already wanting to turn to the wrong side. This is good!

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Now we’ll head over to the iron for pressing. If you have a ham I find it easier to work on the binding of the small bag over one. Fold the binding along the second fold as shown above.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Now fold the binding over the edge of the bag handle. You want the binding to *just* cover the stitching line left from sewing down the front, as you can see in the image above, it’s not a huge overlap.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Work your way around pressing and pinning the binding into place until the entire handle is ready to be sewn down.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Now you’ll stitch through both layers of the binding to anchor the back binding into place. I like to use an edgestitch foot and sew with the front of the bag up. It’s what I’ll be seeing when I use my Stowe so I want it to be the neatest side. As long as you just covered the stitching line when you pinned your binding into place you shouldn’t have to worry about catching it.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Your bag handle is now bound and should look like the images above. If you happened to miss any of the back you can seam rip that spot and re-stitch, or just secure the small part you missed into place with a quick hand stitch.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Repeat these steps for the side of the other handle. We’re really cruising now!

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    We’re now going to form the complete handle. Align the two top edges of the handles as shown above and pin.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Stitch across both seams with a ½″ seam allowance.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Press both seam allowances open, I find this easiest when using a sleeve roll but you definitely don’t need one.

    Now we’re going to create the handle fold that makes the side gusset possible. Try not to overthink this, a lot of people do.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Take one handle in your hand as shown in the first image above. Then grab the edge furthest from your palm and bring it in, over the edge in your palm, as shown above. That’s all there is to it!

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    You do not need to do this but I just wanted to show you how this will look from another angle since we get the bulk of our questions about this step.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Head over to your machine and sew across the two raw edges of the handle just shy of ¼″ from the edge. Repeat these steps for the other side of the bag handle.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Your bag now looks like this and we’re all ready to bind the inner edge!

    Cut a length of bias binding 30″ long for the small bag and 57″ long for the large. Depending on the type of fabric you’re using and how much stretch it has across the bias this number can vary slightly. Before completing this next series of steps I would recommend walking your strip around your bag opening just to double check you don’t need to adjust anything before you start.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Once you have your bias strip cut to the proper length, unfold the two folded edges and align the ends of the strip with right sides facing. Make sure your strip isn’t twisted anywhere or you’ll be in a pickle trying to pin it to your bag!

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Sew across the edge you pinned with a ¼″ seam allowance.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Press the seam allowance open and we’re now all set to apply the binding to the bag.

    You’re going to follow the same steps that you did for the handles, the only difference is that this binding is a circle.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Pin the binding to the bag and stitch around it in the first fold. Since this is a circle, you might find it easiest to quarter both the binding and the bag opening and pin those points first, then work from the center of each quarter out.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Fold and press the binding over and pin, making sure that you just cover the stitching line from attaching the binding to the bag in the last step.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Stitch around the bag using your edgestitch foot if you have one.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Finishing the Handles | Grainline Studio

    Before you call this step done, double check the area up where the handle is folded and make sure that you’ve caught everything properly, if anything is going to go wrong in this step its usually right there. If everything looks good, you’re all set and ready for the next steps!

    We’ll be back here Monday to finish up our bags, so if you need to catch up on anything, or perhaps start a second bag 😉 you’ve got all weekend!

    Patterns Used in this Tutorial

  • Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets

    Today in the Stowe Sew-Along Series we’re going to take you through steps 1-5 in your instruction booklet. We’ll be making the pockets, attaching them, and sewing up the sides of the bag. Believe me when I say this post is the bulk of the project! This is a bit of a long post so I’ve divided it up into three sections in case you’ve nailed part of it on your own and just need help with a specific part. With that, let’s dive in!

    Prepping the Pockets

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    The first step in making your pockets is to finish the top edge of the pocket. Start by folding down 3/8″ above the notches at the top of the pocket piece and press. Then fold that edge down 3/8″ more and press, this fold line will be even with the notches.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Stitch across the lower edge of the fold to anchor it in place and finish the top edge of the pocket.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Repeat these steps for the other pocket piece.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Now align one pocket with each of the two body pieces, the right sides of both pieces should be facing out and the finished edge of the pocket will align with the notches at the sides of the body pieces. Stitch the pocket to the body to anchor it in place, but stitch within the seam allowance (approximately ¼″) so that the stitching doesn’t show on your finished bag.

    Stitching the Pockets

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Now we need to mark our pocket lines to prepare for stitching them into the bag. To do this I used my favorite fine marking pen the Bohin Extra-Fine Chalk Pencil. To draw in my stitching lines I connected the points marked by my pins, then removed the pins. I’ve included the illustration above to show you clearly the pocket line placement you should be marking in.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    After marking my pockets I like to stick a few pins into my piece as shown above to keep the layers from sliding around as I work since there’s a bit of shifting and pivoting while sewing.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    The easiest way to sew the pockets is shown above. You’re going to start at once side of the bag (where it says Start in the illustration) and sew over to your first marked line. Pivot down and stitch to the end of the marked line. Pivot again and stitch over to the point marking the end of the pocket, then pivot up to the top of the pocket. Pivot once more and stitch to the other side of the bag (marked End in the illustration above). You’ll then go back in and stitch in the pocket dividing lines.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Here you can see the first stitching line of the pocket more clearly.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    And because I know people are going to ask, I do backtack at both sides of the second pocket stitching lines. I give my bags a good bit of wear and tear and a neat backtack doesn’t bother me at all. If it does bother you, you can definitely tie off your threads.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    You now have sides that look like this with their pockets stitched in and we’re ready for the third part of this post — sewing the sides of the bag together.

    Attaching the Sides

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    The first step in sewing the sides of the bag is to align the two sides with the right sides facing each other. Pin around the three straight sides of the bag.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Now sew around those three sides using a ½″ seam allowance.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    You can leave your seam allowances unfinished but I recommend either going around them with a serger or zig zag stitch on your sewing machine. I get asked a lot about binding the edges but I think that just gets too thick later on so personally I would avoid doing that. If you do serge around the edges, here’s a quick tip to secure your threads at the corners.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Thread one of the serger tails onto a large eye needle.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Now run the needle into the seam allowance in the opposite direction that your thread tail comes off the pouch and pull it through.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    With your needle still threaded, send the thread back in the opposite direction and pull it through so that the tail is anchored.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio

    Snip the excess tail thread. Once the thread tail is anchored in this way its very unlikely it will come undone in the future.

    That’s it for the pockets and sides! Next up we’ll be talking all about bias binding in preparation for applying the binding needed in this pattern. See you back here then!

    Patterns Used in this Tutorial

    Stowe Sew-Along: Making & Attaching the Pockets | Grainline Studio
  • Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking

    Today we’re starting the Stowe Bag Sew-Along, welcome to the party! There are two previous posts in this series which you can find below, but today we’ll be talking about cutting and marking our Stowe bags. I’ll be making the small Stowe for this sew-along since, being smaller, it’s easier to photograph, but both sizes are made exactly the same way so large or small you’re all set with this sew along. If you still need the pattern you can grab that here in print format and here in digital.

    Cutting the Stowe

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio

    The first thing you’ll need to do when cutting is to lay out your fabric. You’re going to fold your fabric selvage to selvage so that you can cut two layers at a time. I like to fold my fabric with the right sides facing out so that I can see the fabric’s print through the tissue pattern, but this is completely up to you.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio

    Lay out your pattern pieces according to the cutting layout images in the pattern instruction booklet. The above image is for the small Stowe that we’re making in this sew-along.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio

    Once you’ve cut you’ll have two bag body pieces and two pocket pieces as shown above. We now need to transfer our markings over from the pattern to the bag.

    Marking the Stowe

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio

    While cutting you’ll need to mark your notches. I do this with a small clip into the side of the fabric, its an easier maneuver than cutting the traditional home sewing triangles. Since you’re just doing a small snip, 1/8″ – 3/16″, into the seam allowance it doesn’t show in the finished bag.

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio

    Finally you’ll need to mark your pocket placement points. You can use chalk or an erasable pen, but I like to stick a pin into the pivot point, that way it doesn’t rub out or disappear while I work. We did this back when I worked as a patternmaker for a bridal company and it’s something that’s just stuck with me.

    That’s it for cutting and marking your Stowe, we’ll start sewing in the next post and you won’t believe how quickly this bag will come together! We’re using the hashtags #stowebag and #stowealong on social media if you’d like to follow along, and don’t forget to also tag @fringesupplyco in the photos as well as @grainlinestudio. If you have any questions on cutting or marking let me know in the comments below, otherwise I’ll see you back here Friday for the next step!

    Patterns used in this tutorial

    Stowe Sew-Along: Cutting & Marking | Grainline Studio
  • Making the Portside Pouch

    Today we’ll be making the Portside Pouch. This is an easy and quick project that compliments the Portside Duffle or Dopp but is also great on its own for gifting or craft supplies. The Portside Pouch is also super quick to make as you’ll see here. Let’s dive in!

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Begin by folding the seam allowance on one long edge of the upper front piece and stitching it to your zipper.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Repeat this process for one long edge of the lower front piece. Be sure that you align this piece with the edges of the upper front so your bag is even!

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Pin the front piece you just made to the back with right sides facing.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Stitch around the four sides of the bag using the ½″ seam allowance.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio
    Now to finish the sides of the pouch you have a few options. We serged around ours but you can also zig-zag on your regular sewing machine or use pinking shears. If you’re going to serge we recommend leaving long thread tails and burying them in the seam allowance. I’ll show you what I mean by that now.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Thread one of the serger tails onto a large eye needle.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Now run the needle into the seam allowance in the opposite direction that your thread tail comes off the pouch and pull it through.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    With your needle still threaded, send the thread back in the opposite direction and pull it through so that the tail is anchored, then snip the excess tail thread. Once the thread tail is anchored in this way its very unlikely it will come undone in the future.

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio

    Repeat this step for all four corners. You can clip the corners to reduce bulk as we mention in the instruction booklet, or leave them uncut. To give you another option we’ve left our corners uncut in this tutorial. It’s the easiest method to use if you’re serging.

    Turn your bag right side out and attach another zipper pull using the technique in this post and you’re all set! One pouch ready for use!!

    Patterns used in this tutorial

    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio
    Making the Portside Pouch | Grainline Studio
  • Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls

    The final step in our Portside Dopp Kits is to add the decorative zipper pulls.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    This is an optional step but I think it makes the set look a bit more polished and the leather pulls are easier to grab than the metal pulls. Begin by tracing your pull tab piece out onto your leather scrap. I traced mine with a white gel pen, but a sharpie will also work if you’re using a lighter colored leather.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    Cut two pulls and trim any jagged edges that may have occurred while cutting.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    On the pattern piece you’ll see a short line on one end of the pull that says “Cut Slit Here,” you’ll need to cut that line open on your leather pieces so that you can attach the pull.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    Using an exacto knife, cut from the edges to the center to ensure that you don’t accidentally cut through the edge! You can see my slit above.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    Now thread one end of the leather pull through the hole in your zipper pull as shown above.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    Feed the rear end of the pull through the slit you cut in the other end.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    Pull the end through the slit until the leather pull is flat.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio

    Repeat this step for the other zipper and your bag is complete and ready to keep or gift!

    Patterns used in this tutorial

    Portside Dopp Kit: Zipper Pulls | Grainline Studio
  • Portside Dopp Kit: Attaching the Lining

    Today we’ll be inserting the lining of our bag. To do this requires a bit of hand sewing so get out those hand needles and a thimble if you have one and lets get to it!

    Portside Dopp Kit: Attaching the Lining

    To begin turn the shell of the dopp inside out and the lining right side out. Place the shell inside the lining.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Attaching the Lining

    Align the edge of the lining around the zipper evenly as shown. Pin in place and get out that needle and thread.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Attaching the Lining

    Slipstitch the lining to the zipper, making sure you don’t go through to the bag shell. I doubled up my thread for this application for extra strength because I can be pretty rough on things, but if you’re a more gentile human than I, feel free to use one strand of thread.

    Portside Dopp Kit: Attaching the Lining

    Work your way around the opening of the bag, knotting off your thread when you’re done. Your bag is now lined!

    Portside Dopp Kit: Attaching the Lining

    Flip it right side out and arrange the lining into the bottom of the bag. We’re almost done, just the zipper pulls left. Unless you’re omitting those, in that case then you’re done!

    Patterns used in this tutorial

    Portside Dopp Kit: Assembling the Lining | Grainline Studio