Hello everyone! Yes, it’s Sew Along time again! We are slowly but surely working our way through all of the patterns and yes…there are still quite a few to go but for this one, Ellen has chosen the Uptown Girl.
The Uptown Girl is a perfect bag for a day out on the town.
This bag may have a minimalist appearance on the exterior, with two slip pockets on the sides for your phone or keys; however, inside you will find a multitude of storage pockets for organisation.
Its roomy interior is secured by a recessed zipper and boasts an additional interior zippered divider pocket, PLUS 4 extra slip pockets and 2 pen pockets.
Finished bag size = approx. 30cm (12”) X 30cm (12”) X 11.5cm (4½”)
Now….it’s over to you, Ellen:
Hello………. I know you can’t hear me, but I said that with a big happy bounding voice… happy to be back here for another Sew Along. I got the jump on choosing this time as I’ve wanted to do this pattern for….. Well since it came out. Loll Thanks Christine for letting me (not that she had a choice… lol). Oh yes Thank You to Christine for having me back again…. lol.
Schedule: This is purely a guide as I’m sure everyone will work at their own pace:
Week one – Reading and Prep work, Cutting, Fusing and Outer shell.
Week two – Finish outer shell. Construct Lining and pockets and centre zipper pocket.
Week Three – Add any tags or labels. Joining the outer and inner shells. Making straps and installation of grommets or tabs and attach straps.
Uptown Girl .. Mine is going to be pretty… lol I’m doing mine in fabric, so for those who are doing pleather/vinyl, please read pages 5 and 6 where you’ll find info and tips on using those products. The pattern is well written, so with the correct tools and notions, I don’t foresee any problems.
So could everyone please read read read the pattern 3 times before cutting… (I’ll be testing you…lol). Another thing to look at before cutting is the handles and how you will connect your handles to the bag. A number of different examples can be seen on the chriswdesigns.com website. Hopefully soon there will be many more that Chris can add as examples. I’m using grommets, I have two shapes to choose from, and I went with the one on the right as it gives me a slightly wider strap.
After deciding on connections then you can work out the width of your straps. I made my straps 32” long which includes an amount for turning and attaching the ends. You should check your own measurements against a bag you already have and love, for the length. You can use bought or make your own handles from whatever product your using.
Here are my fabric choices.
Gather your tools and bits and bobs, I use candle stick holders as weights and put pins on the top in case I need them, I also have pretty white rocks that I bought back from overseas as weights( they remind me of happy times and people I miss). It’s a good idea to put name tags on your pieces when cutting, sometimes I use the ones provided in the pattern and sometimes I use my own. I cut up the off cuts from the pattern pieces, cut them into tag sizes and keep them handy in a zip lock bag.
When you’re ready go ahead and cut out all your pieces of fabric and interface. Then fuse all relevant pieces, taking note that if using fabric then you will need all corresponding interface pieces.
Front and Back panels – go ahead and construct your Lower front panels as per the pattern. Because of the pattern on my fabric, I have omitted the seam and top stitching that is in the centre of the front panel. Continue adding your Upper body panel, then the foam stabilizer and top stitch on both sides of the join.
Base and feet – Moving onto the Base, position your foam and install the bag feet as per measurements on the pattern. You can see in the top of the picture that I have put a prong through each hole, but in the bottom of the picture I have put both prongs through one hole and then split. I prefer the bottom one as I think it sits better/flatter. Don’t forget to cover this with something to protect your lining from the prongs. I sometimes also add template plastic across the bottom to give a stronger bottom; however I only put a square of it at either end on this one.
Attaching the Base – following the directions line up your base with the bottom edge of the front panels. Seam together, press the seam allowance towards the base, turn over and top stitch on the base side. Repeat on the other side.
Assembling your side Gusset sections – take one of your Lower Gusset and one of your Gusset Pocket A pieces, right sides together, seam across the top edge / turn /press /top stitch. Repeat with the other two pieces.
Grab one of the Upper Gussets and the Gusset Pocket B pieces and with right sides together seam along the top short end as per pattern instructions /turn /press / top stitch. Repeat with the other two pieces.
Now lay your upper gusset piece down and place the lower gusset piece down on top with the right side of pocket pieces together and so the top of the pocket just covers the seam behind. Match the sides with pins or clips. The top piece will look like it sticks out a bit too much, but that’s ok, it works out perfect later …you’ll see. Now, turn and seam the bottom of the pocket and reposition the sides and baste down both sides.
Retrieve your foam and position in place using some wonder tape if you wish. Now turn to see the outside and secure your foam by stitching over the top of previous stitching on the inside of the pocket, through all the layers. (See the pics ) Now switch to the other end, lift up your fabric and stitch the bottom of the pocket to the foam. (See pics)
Attaching the Body Panel to the side Gusset Panel – First thing to do is line up the top of the pockets with the top of the Lower Body Panel. See the picture in the pattern instructions. Then pin or clip the side panels on the straight edges, I find it easier to seam the sides together now, stopping a half inch before the curve starts. Then work on the bottom section easing it in on the curve. It can be tricky, but just keep squigying it and try and fit it in. I must admit I had trouble, (don’t try this at home), as I was being lazy and I used straight grain pieces to make piping and normally that would work on a straight edge. But I forgot there was a curve at the bottom. I’m sure it would of worked out well had I of used bias cut strips for my piping… that’ll teach me. Seam around the bottom, turn out and check to see if you’re happy and then repeat on the other side of the bag. If you’re confident you can top stitch this seam.
Turn the outer shell to the right side and make sure your happy with it.
Recessed Zipper – I left my zipper longer than on the pattern and put a tab at both ends.
I also did my zipper panels differently; I cut my panels in to 2 pieces so I could do a different colour on the back. So I now have a top side and a lining for both sides. Turn in and press a 10mm seam allowance to the wrong side on all short ends. Centre the topside panel on the centre of the right side of the zip and seam with your zipper foot, making sure that the pressed seam allowance is turned in at both ends. Place the lining against the wrong side of the zip matching the ends and seam together, fold both panels to the right side and press in place, repeat with the other panels on the other side and press in place. It should now look like this.
Give it all a nice press with a dry iron and a pressing cloth and then top stitch the layers together starting along the short ends and pivot and do 3mm along the zipper and pivot and then along the other short end, making sure you have caught you lining underneath. Now also baste the outside edges together. Now it should look like this.
So I’ve decided to cut the Blog into 3 sections so I will see you all soon……Don’t go far…I’ll be back.
AWESOME! Thank you for all your hard work Ellen! I am really looking forward to seeing your Uptown Girl!
If you don’t have it already, you can grab the pattern for the Uptown Girl HERE!
Do you LOVE the Uptown Girl but don’t sew?…Just pop along to our new Buy and Sell Facebook group where you can find plenty of awesome people who do! 🙂 Sellers, you are most welcome to join us there too!
Until next time, happy sewing!