Saturday, April 16, 2016

In love with my new labels and Char's Lined Canvas Tote!

I pinned a post about printing your own labels using Spoonflower ages and ages ago.  I loved the idea but was completely stymied about what I would print for them.  Since I started getting more comfortable with basic graphic design and manipulation using Photoshop Elements (thanks to my duties on the elementary school yearbook committee!), the idea popped back into my head to finally design a logo and figure out this Spoonflower thing I'm always reading about.

Since I'm no artist, I decided my logo needed to just be lettering.  I had so much fun browsing fonts on and finally came up with a concept -- my initials plus the initials of this blog (N S and R R).  I sew all sorts of different-shaped items, so I wanted a logo that could be square, rectangular, and then arranged so I could fold a tag to stick out from a seam.  I needed everything to be in black & white because I didn't want to clash with any of the fabrics I sew with, so I came up with this:

Uploading the logos to Spoonflower and tiling them (i.e., making the pattern repeat) was beyond easy.  I wanted a fat quarter's worth of each logo on just regular old cotton fabric, and that cost me about $30 (around $10 per fat quarter).

Today, my labels arrived!  I may have squealed when my husband brought the mail in.  The labels were exactly as I had envisioned them.  I counted, and there are 246 usable labels in all.  Not bad for only $30!  I left plenty of space around each label for turning under the edges if I wanted to.  I plan to just iron on some WonderUnder on the back of the whole shebang though so I can easily slap on a label and stitch around it without a lot of fuss.

As luck would have it, I was literally right in the middle of sewing a tote bag for my daughter's friend for her 8th birthday when the labels arrived.  What better time to use them?!?!  The quality of the fabric is very nice with some good body.  The printing is nice and sharp.  For my first go-round, I decided to cut out one of the labels to be folded and inserted into a seam.  I added a bit of Fray-Check to the raw edges (if this were a more formal project I might have ironed over the edges and actually stitched down them, but I was in a serious time crunch and didn't feel like changing my thread) and sewed that puppy right into the seam of the bag's lining.


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I finished sewing the tote bag with only about 15 minutes to spare before the party, so I only had time for some quickie cell-phone shots of the finished product (from a terrific Lined Canvas Tote tutorial by The Inspired Wren) before Charlotte was off to the party.  I'm really kind of bummed I couldn't keep this bag for myself (although I totally would have appliquéd on an "N" instead of a "C" for Char, the birthday girl!).  Thank goodness I have some more of that fun floral fabric left (which Charlotte picked out for Char's tote this morning at Jo-Ann's).

Also this morning, I finally decided to buy some actual topstitching thread.  WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED THIS BEFORE???  I'm completely in love with it.  Its thickness makes the topstitching really pop, and it's adorable on the appliqué.  Using a triple/stretch stitch was my usual go-to method for thicker stitching, but this was way easier.

I went a little rogue with the tote tutorial by making the pocket the same fabric as the base rather than the same as the main body, and I just couldn't resist a little appliqué since sweet Char is one of my favorite students in Charlotte's class (which boasts not one, not two, but THREE girls named Charlotte).  I might try it as written if I try it again.

I'm so excited about my new labels that I need to come up with some projects to sew ASAP.  Maybe I need to sew one of these tote bags for myself!


Linking up to: The Inspired Wren

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Jumbo Piping Pillow -- Sewing Tutorial

Pillows are easy to sew and make a terrific beginner project.  Adding a bit of piping is an easy way to add color and make a pillow look even cooler.  There's no need to limit it to just prepackaged, standard-sized small piping though.  Grab some nice, fat cord and make some jumbo piping to stand out even more on a pillow!

This is no wimpy little piping -- this is jumbo piping!  The white piping on the right is just your standard-issue piping sold in a package at the fabric store.  Meh.

Forget that.  Let's make something with more impact!

Jumbo Piping Pillow -- Sewing Tutorial

Materials Needed:

Solid or subtle tone-on-tone print fabric (any weight except for super lightweight)
Coordinating (but contrasting!) print fabric (quilting weight or home decor weight)
Pillow form
Cord -- 1/3" or 1/2" diameter
Thread to match the coordinating print
Zipper foot

MAIN FABIC: The amount of fabric depends on the size of the pillow form you are using.  I was using a 20" square feather pillow form, so for my main fabric (the denim) I needed a piece at least 21" by 42" (to be divided into two squares 21" by 21" each).  Basically, you just need enough fabric for two pieces with dimensions an inch larger (on width and height) than your pillow form.  If you like a firmer stuffed pillow, you can cut your fabric closer to the actual size of the pillow form, but the more you stuff the pillow the less your piping will be visible.

CORD: The length of cord should be about 6" longer than the length it will take to go around the edges of one of your pillow fabric pieces.  My fabric was cut to 21" by 21", so I needed 90" of cord (21" x 4 = 84", then add 6" to get a total of 90").  You can pretty much use any smooth rope or cord for the inside of piping.  I just saw my daughter's jump rope in the kitchen (because of COURSE a jump rope goes in the kitchen, right?) and considered stealing that for my piping.  Wasn't long enough, unfortunately.

COORDINATING PRINT:  This is the fabric you will cut on the bias to make the piping.  You need strips long enough to cover all of the cord.  It's kind of difficult to estimate yardage for bias-cut strips, so just make sure you have at least a half of a yard or so and you should have plenty left over for some other little projects.  Beware of using a linear geometric print, though -- it's tough to keep the fabric 100% straight when making piping and it can look wonky in a hurry.

PILLOW FORM: Use whatever size you want.  Use whatever shape you want.  Or skip the form all together and just the pillow cover with loose stuffing.  Go bananas.  I went with a boring 20" by 20" down-filled form.

STEP ONE: Making the jumbo piping

If you have ever made your own piping before, then this will be easy as pie.  Same concept, just bigger scale.  Cut 2 1/2" wide strips of your coordinating fabric on the bias -- enough to more than cover the length of cord you have.   I cut about 4 or 5 strips that added together in length to be about 100" (including the angled ends).

(Cutting fabric "on the bias" means slicing it at a 45° angle from the selvage edge.  Woven fabric stretches more on the bias, so this will help the piping ease around the rounded corners of the pillow cover we're sewing.  If you're making piping for a project that has no curves, you don't need to cut the fabric on the bias.)

Now we're got to join these puppies together to make one long strip of fabric.  Take two strips and place them together perpendicularly with right sides facing.  I like to line them up on my cutting mat to make sure they're nice and straight, but this is probably overkill.

Pin the strips together and draw a diagonal line with a fabric pen across where the strips intersect.

Sew right on top of that line.

Trim the ends off about 1/4" or so away from the stitching line.  Also trim off the little triangles sticking out on the sides.

Press the seam open so it looks like this from the back . . .

. . . and like this from the front.

Join each of the strips together like so until you have one long strip.

Now grab your thick cord and fold the fabric strip over it lengthwise, matching the raw edges of the fabric.  Either pin or clip into place every few inches or so.  (I love these clips that Erin got me last year for our birthday!)

Now you should have something that looks like this (perhaps with a bit of extra fabric on the end, but don't cut this off just yet):

Now grab your zipper foot.  Stop whining -- I know the zipper foot is a pain in the butt, but it's necessary in this situation.  I have a handy dandy "piping foot" for my machine, but that's only for wimpy little standard-diameter piping.  This is jumbo piping we're talking about here!  Gird your loins and stick that zipper foot on the machine.  (Actually, I'm not even 100% sure that this is what my foot is actually called -- I have another foot which might actually be the zipper foot, but this is the foot I like to use when making my jumbo piping.  Just go with it.)

Using a nice, long stitch length (a little shorter than basting length, but longer than the default) and moving your needle over to the left as far as it will go, stitch as close to the cord as possible.  Try not to stretch the fabric too much.

Now you have a nice, long snake of jumbo piping.  Don't let your six-year-old run off with it to use it as a lasso, like mine did.  I had to hunt him down and confiscate the piping to take this photo.  Cut off any excess fabric beyond the end of the cord, if there is any.

Are there spot where the raw edges didn't stay even?  No worries.  As long as the edges stayed somewhat near each other the piping will be fine.

STEP TWO: Stitching the jumbo piping to the front of the pillow

Grab your main pillow fabric and cut two shapes the same size as your pillow form plus an inch in length and width.  (My pillow form was 20" by 20", so I cut my fabric into two squares, 21" by 21" each.)  Stack the two pieces on top of each other and round off the corners a bit.  I used a small Ball jar as a guide.

Set one of the pieces of main fabric aside.  Place the other one on your workspace with the right side facing up.  Grab one end of the jumbo piping and line it up on the edge with the raw edge of the piping matching the raw edge of the main fabric.  Make sure you are placing the piping on the right side -- not the back or wrong side of the fabric.  Start in the middle of one of the edges (which will become the bottom of the pillow).

Beginning about 4" from the end of the piping, stitch the piping to the fabric, stitching right on top of the seam that is holding the piping together.  You should still be using thread that matches the piping -- NOT the main fabric.  Make sure your stitch length is back to the default (or the length you like to normally stitch with.)

Continue all the way around, curving the piping around the corners and stitching slowly there (since the raw edges of the piping want to curl up at those points).  Stop about an inch or two before you get to the point where you meet the beginning of the piping.  Do a lock stitch before cutting the thread.

Where the ends meet, you need to integrate one end into the other end.  For instructions how to do that, see my tutorial for the Floating Inset Pocket with Piping.  Once you have done that, the face of the pillow cover should look like this:

The corners probably curve up all crazy like this:

To fix that, make a few clips in the raw edges of the piping.  Cut very close to, but not through, the stitching line.  That will help it all lie down nicely and neatly.

STEP THREE: Adding the backside of the pillow cover

Grab the main body piece that you had set aside earlier and place it face up on your workspace.  Lay the other main body piece (the one with the piping) face down on top and pin them together.

Starting on the bottom (the side that has the place where the piping is joined together), stitch almost all the way around the pillow.  Leave a large enough gap on that bottom side to stick the pillow form through later.  Make sure you stitch JUST INSIDE the existing stitching line that you can see from where the piping was stitched to the first side of the pillow.  Don't go too far inside.  Just a thread's width or so.

Notice that I have switched to my regular sewing foot.  This allowed me to float over the piping and ensure my stitching was inside the existing stitching line.  If I had left on the zipper foot and was trying to do it from the side, this would have been much more difficult.

Flip the whole shebang right side out and figure out where your six-year-old is to retrieve the pillow form he ran off with.   PETER!!!

STEP FOUR: Stuffing the pillow in and stitching the opening shut

I didn't take a photo of me stuffing the pillow into the cover because two hands were definitely required and I figured that part was self-explanatory.  And despite how much I LOATHE hand-sewing, even I have to agree that it's the best and only way to close up a piped pillow.  (I like this tutorial for how to use a ladder stitch to close up a pillow.)

Now go throw your pillow onto a chair and admire your work!  The jumbo piping really stands out, and it's a lot more fun than some teeny little store-bought nonsense.

Next time I make another pillow, I'm totally stealing my daughter's jump rope to use as the cord in some jumbo piping.  Shh -- don't tell Charlotte.

Featured at: Threading my Way, Craft Gossip, Crafty Staci, Paint Yourself a Smile

Linking up to: Crafty Staci, Threading My Way, DIY Crush, Craft-o-Maniac, Tatertots & Jello, Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, Creating My Way to Success, Sew Can Do, Nap-Time Creations, Sweet C's Designs, Sugar Bee Crafts, Paint Yourself a Smile, Sew Can She

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What to include in a sewing tutorial

I am an avid consumer of free online sewing tutorials.  I have over a thousand of them pinned, and I have sewed well over a hundred of them (at least in my estimation).  These tutorials basically taught me to sew, and the tips and tricks included in them helped me hone my craft.  I adore how bloggers are so generous with their time and creativity as to publish these tutorials for free, and that certainly inspired me when I created my own tutorials to share.

Some tutorials, however, are written better than others.  Those tutorials include certain pertinent pieces of information without which any sewing project can fail.  It feels slightly creepy to criticize other bloggers' hard work -- especially work done without any expectation of remuneration or critique -- and I certainly don't mean to indicate that anyone has written a "bad" tutorial by not including the following information.  That being said, here is what I have found to be extremely helpful in a sewing tutorial.

1.  FINISHED DIMENSIONS, or at the very least a photo of the finished project with another identifiable object next to it for scale.  For every tutorial that neglects to include this information, there is always someone commenting on the post requesting the dimensions.

  • FABRIC -- the more specific, the better.  It doesn't help to just write "fabric".  That's obvious.  Virtually all sewing projects need a certain type of fabric, though.  You're not going to make a zipper pouch using tulle, and you're not going to sew a blouse using duck cloth.  If bulk is an issue in the project, recommend a lighter weight quilting cotton so the reader doesn't get 3/4 of the way through the tutorial only to find that denim isn't going to work.  If you truly believe that the weight and type of fabric doesn't matter, then say that too.  
  • NOTIONS -- listing something like "sewing machine" is probably not necessary, but being detailed in the exact size of grommet or size of D-ring will help when a reader is trying out a tutorial for the first time.  Not everyone needs to know the exact brand of elastic being used, but it helps to know the width, type, etc.  If it is a specialty notion, including a link to a place to buy it or showing a photo of the packaging helps a reader find it in the store (or online).  
3.  SEAM ALLOWANCE.  Whether it is a notation at the top stating "use 1/2" seam allowance throughout" or an indication within the directions of what seam allowance is needed at a particular step, this is a crucial piece of information.  It does make a huge difference whether you use a 1/4" or a 1/2" seam allowance.  Even if the finished product isn't a garment with fit issues, different seam allowances can cause very varying results in terms of finished dimensions, and the pieces may not fit together correctly.  Sometimes I am searching to make a bag or pouch in an exact size to hold a particular item.  If my finished product isn't big enough because I had to guess at the seam allowance, it's going to be a huge bummer.  I can usually guess that if the tutorial came from a blogger who likes to quilt, she will likely mean that a 1/4" seam allowance is necessary.  For non-quilting bloggers, seam allowances can sometimes be as wide as 5/8" (which just seems ridiculous, but I guess this is common with garments?).

4.  INTERFACING.  It is NOT helpful to simply indicate that "interfacing" is necessary.  There is quite a wide range of weights and types of interfacing.  There is a huge difference between featherweight and ultra heavyweight interfacing.  Give at least a weight designation -- lightweight, medium weight, ultra heavyweight, etc.  Better yet, give the brand and number designation for the interfacing (i.e., Pellon 70).  What Pellon calls heavyweight interfacing might be different from what you consider to be "heavyweight", so it's not a bad idea to get as specific as possible.  The awesome thing about blogs is that they are accessible to and read by people all over the world.  Differences in terminology can happen across cultures and languages, and it's easier to try and find the equivalent of what the tutorial author calls "lightweight" if I also know the brand and number designation for the type of interfacing used.  

5.  ORIENTATION OF PRINT.  Sometimes the original tutorial uses fabric without a directional print.  That's totally cool.  However, if I want to use a directional print for the project I need to know which way it should be facing on each piece cut for the pattern.  It's extremely frustrating (and wasteful) to later find I have to recut the fabric with a different orientation so the print won't be upside down or sideways in the finished product. 

6.  PHOTOS.  Virtually all online tutorials include photos, but I can't make a list of the necessary aspects of a tutorial without adding this to the list.  I especially appreciate the sewing tutorials that have photos at critical stages in the process so I can compare my real life project to the author's project at the same stage of development.  This helps with troubleshooting and gives me a strong sense of security.  I never could have taught myself to sew using only written directions!

All that being said, it is fun to see the different styles people have when drafting tutorials -- what information he/she deems pertinent and just how many assumptions are made about sewing knowledge.  I probably explain too much in some of my tutorials, but I'm always imagining my audience to be like me -- bumbling my way through learning to sew, one tutorial at a time.  To be honest, a lot of the reason I write my tutorials is to record for myself how I made an item, but most of the reason is to give back to the sewing community that taught me so much!


Linking up to: Creating My Way to Success

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Piped Zipper Pouch -- Sewing Tutorial

The structure of this pouch is a little different from your typical "stitch some rectangles together and box out the corners" zipper pouch.  I'm a total sucker for piping, so I can foresee making a lot of these as gifts in the future.  It would be great to stuff with some fun lip glosses, some chocolate, and a great smelling bottle of hand lotion.  Instant perfect teacher gift!

Piped Zipper Pouch -- Sewing Tutorial

Materials Needed:

Quilting cotton or lightweight home decor fabric:

  • Exterior -- about one fat quarter
  • Lining -- about one fat quarter

Fusible fleece -- scrap about the size of a fat quarter
Piping -- at least 27 inches
Zipper -- at least 9"long (mine was 12")
D-ring -- 3/4" or 1" (mine was 3/4")
Swivel clasp
Thread to match the piping, lining, and exterior
Small glass or bowl -- 3" in diameter
Zipper foot and piping foot (if desired)

Finished dimensions: 7" wide, 4 1/2" tall, 2 1/2" deep.
All seam allowances 1/4" unless otherwise specified.

STEP ONE: Drawing the pattern and cutting the fabric

On a piece of paper, draw a rectangle 7 1/2" high by 5 1/2" wide.  Take the 3" diameter glass and trace around it to round off the top two corners.  Mark the bottom (the side with the sharp corners) to indicate the edge of the pattern that should be placed against the fold.

Take your exterior fabric and fold it.  Place the pattern piece with the straight edge against the fold and cut around it.  Repeat with the lining fabric and the fusible fleece.  These are your main body pieces.

In addition to those main body pieces, make the following cuts:

From the EXTERIOR fabric:
  • two rectangles 9" wide by 1 1/2" tall (for the top)
  • two rectangles 3" wide by 4" tall (for the side gussets)
  • one rectangle 3" wide by 13" long (for the handle)
  • one rectangle 2" wide by 3" tall (for the tab/loop to hold the d-ring)
From the LINING fabric:
  • two rectangles 9" wide by 1 1/2" tall
  • two rectangles 3" wide by 4" tall

  • two rectangles 9" by 1 1/2"
  • two rectangles 3" by 4"
  • one rectangle 5/8" by 12"
(In the photo below, I had forgotten to include the two long strips of fusible fleece.  You might also notice that the fusible fleece for the main body piece is in two pieces -- I was trying to use up scraps.)

Fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the exterior main body piece, the two 9" by 1 1/2" pieces, and the two 3" by 4" pieces.  Don't worry about the long, skinny strip just yet.

Then, take your 3" diameter glass and use it to round off one end of each of the 3" by 4" pieces.  Do the same thing to the 3" by 4" lining pieces as well.

Gotta love the souvenir Kentucky Derby mint julep glass from 2005 that I used for rounding my corners.  Too bad it rolled off the table and shattered just a few minutes later.  R.I.P.

STEP TWO: Preparing the exterior main body piece

Make sure the thread in your machine matches your piping.  I can't stress this enough.  Because you will essentially be sewing the piping on twice (sewing it to one piece, then sandwiching it between both pieces and stitching again), any slight variance in the stitching can be visible on the outside if the color of the thread is contrasting.  It's better if the stitching just disappears into the piping.

Grab your piping and stitch it all the way around the main body piece (with the raw edge of the piping matched up to the edge of the fabric).  Start near the middle of one of the long sides, and leave an inch or two at the beginning unstitched for joining to the end when you get all the way back around.  I used my piping foot, but using a zipper foot works well too.  I have found that piping works best if you make sure it is nice and taut -- don't stretch it or anything, but give it the gentlest of a pull toward you while stitching to make sure it isn't bunchy on the curves.

Where the ends meet, you can either cross them over or use the technique I love to integrate one end into the other end.  For instructions on how to do that, see my tutorial for the Floating Inset Pocket with Piping.

Back to this project.  Once you have your piping on, it should look like this.  Yes, the corners curve up.

To combat this, make 5 or 6 little snips (close to, but not through, the stitching) around each corner.  This will help it lie flat.

Set this piece aside.

STEP THREE: Creating the gusset

Take your zipper and place it face up on your workspace.  Take one of the 9" by 1 1/2" exterior rectangles, and place it right side down onto the zipper.  Align the top edge of the fabric with the top edge of the zipper.  Pin it in place if you want to.

Make sure your machine now has thread in it that matches your fabric or zipper.  Stitch them together with a 1/4" seam.  Fold back the fabric layer and press it away from the zipper.

Then, grab your other 9" by 1 1/2" exterior piece.  Lay it right side down on top of the zipper, aligning the edge of the fabric with the edge of the zipper (on the side not already sewn to fabric).  Make sure the fabric pieces are lined up together on the sides.  Stitch this piece on with a 1/4" seam as well.

Unfold the second piece away from the zipper and press.  Topstitch close to the edges of the seams.  I was lazy and didn't replace my zipper foot with my regular foot before I did it, which resulted in some wobbly top stitching.  Don't follow my horrible example!

Take a 3" by 4" exterior piece and lay it face down on the side of the zipper away from the zipper pull.  Line the flat side up with the edge of the strips of fabric.  The end of the zipper will stick out.

Stitch them together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Before you stitch the other side, grab your 2" by 3" square of exterior fabric and fold it in half with the 3" sides meeting and wrong sides facing.  Press.  Open it up and fold the edges in to the middle and press again -- basically like you're making bias tape.

If you unfold it, you should see this:

Refold it and press.  It should now look like this (2" long by 3/4" wide).

Top stitch down both sides (with about a 1/8" seam allowance) and down the center.

Take your d-ring and thread the fabric through.  Fold the fabric tab in half around the d-ring.

Next, make sure the zipper pull is back between the fabric strips you sewed on earlier.

Take the tab with the d-ring and lay it down at the edge, right over the zipper, with the raw edges of the tab extended slightly past the raw edge of the fabric strips on either side of the zipper.  I completely missed taking a photo of this step, so I drew it in with all of my amazing artistic skill for you.  (Yes, my sewing is better than my drawing.)

Keeping the zipper together (as if the zipper was zipped), baste the tab into place with a 1/8" seam allowance.  Then lay the other 3" by 4" exterior piece right side down on top of that, aligning the straight edge with the edge of the fabric strips.  Pin into place.

Stitch with a 1/4" seam.  Snip off the ends of the zipper sticking out on both ends.

Fold both ends of the fabric back and press.  Topstitch each close to the seam.

STEP FOUR: Attaching the gusset to the main body piece

Use pins (or a fabric pen) to mark the center spot on each side of the main body piece and the gusset.  Be sure to do three things now: (1) switch the thread in your machine to match the piping, (2) put your piping foot or zipper foot back on, and (3) unzip the zipper all the way.    (Pretend the tab with the d-ring is in the photo -- I had forgotten it until after this step and had to go back to rip things apart and insert it later.  I don't recommend doing that!)

Pin the tips of the ends of the gusset to the center points of the long sides of the main body piece, right sides together.  (Now you can see that my zipper was completely unzipped.)

Then match the center points of the long sides of the gusset with the center points of the short sides of the main body piece.  Pin into place.

Pin the rest of it together at all the spots in between.  Take special care to secure the curves.

With the main exterior piece facing up, stitch all the way around the main body piece right on top of the line of stitching that secured the piping in the first step.

Flip it right side out, and admire your work!  If you didn't care about raw edges inside, the main body would be done.  But you do, so we should probably get to work on a lining.

STEP FIVE: Assembling the lining

This part goes really fast -- no piping or zipper to mess with.  Switch the thread in your machine to one that matches your lining, if you want.  It's not really as vital since these inside seams won't be very visible.

Grab your two 9" by 1 1/2" strips and press down 1/4" toward the wrong side along the long edge of one side of each strip.

Lay the strips on top of the two rounded 3" by 4" pieces with right sides facing.  The folded edges of the strips should face in toward each other, and face the rounded edges of the 3" by 4" pieces toward each other.  Pin into place.

Here is another photo of the reverse side to explain it a little clearer.

Stitch down both ends with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Unfold the rounded ends away from the strips and press into place (so the seams allowances are toward the outside).  It should look like this from underneath.

It should look like this from above.

Just like you did in the last step, mark the center points on all sides of the main lining piece as well as the lining gusset.  Match those center points as before, pin it all together, and stitch it with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Don't worry about flipping it right side out though -- it will stay like this.  I trimmed the seam edges with pinking shears, but that might have been overkill.

STEP SIX: Attaching the lining to the exterior.

First, change the thread in your machine to that the top thread matches your exterior.  Your bobbin thread should stay the same as your lining.

Slip the lining inside the exterior with the wrong sides matching.  Pin into place, starting at the ends of the zipper.  The lining should cover the underside of the exterior's topstitching lines by a scant 1/8" of an inch.   I also added some pins at the main part of the body to make sure the lining stayed in place.

Stitch all the way around the zipper right on top of the existing topstitching lines.  Go slowly and don't swear too much.  See -- from the inside, the thread matches the lining.

And from the outside, the stitching matches the exterior fabric.  Fancy, huh?

STEP SEVEN: Making the wrist strap

Find the 3" by 13" strip of exterior fabric, the 5/8" by 12" strip of interfacing, and the swivel clasp.  Switch your thread in the machine so both the top thread and the bobbin thread match the exterior fabric.

As with the tab piece in step three, press the strip of exterior fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing.  Open it up and press the sides in again toward the middle fold.

Open up fabric and place the thin strip of interfacing inside (with the gluey side up or down -- it doesn't matter).  The fabric strip is 1" longer than the interfacing so the seams won't be too bulky, especially when you sew the strap flat at the end.  The interfacing should nestle in neatly between one set of creases so you can fold it all back together again.

Fold it all back together (so the fabric is 13" long and 3/4" wide) and press to adhere the fusible fleece and sharpen the creases.

Thread the swivel clasp onto the strip of fabric and push it all the way to the middle.  Then open up the fabric on both ends and pin the ends together with the right sides facing (matching up the crease marks).  Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn it all right side out again and press the folds at the (now joined) ends back into place.  Now you should have a continuous circle of fabric with the swivel clasp on it.

As you did with the tab, top stitch along both sides and down the middle, all the way around the circle.  Just keep moving the swivel clasp out of the way as you sew.

When the top stitching is done, pull the swivel clasp around close to the part with the seam that joined the circle.  Fold the strap in half with the swivel clasp at the end and stitch across right on top of the existing seam, about 1/2" inch away from the edge of the fabric.

Now the strap should look like this:

Clip the strap onto the d-ring, and you're done!  If the pouch is a bit wrinkly, stuff it full of wash cloths and press with plenty of steam.

And you're done!

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