Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Timber Mosaic Bag (& Tutorial)

Linen and Cotton Mosaic Bags by Fabric Mutt

It's been about a year and a half since I started sewing on a regular basis again, and while I've tried lots of different projects, I've learned that one of my favorite things to make is bags. There's something so amazing about making a purse exactly the way you want it to be, and with all of the great fabric and hardware out there, it can look just as good as (and in some cases, even better than) what you can find at the store. I personally love the look of a structured bag, but it can be a little more time consuming than your average tote. My first experience with this style was with my Retro Library Case, and then later I tackled the infamous Weekender. Lately, I've done some more experimenting with my Patchwork Bag and Mosaic Bag, and this week I finally put together a tutorial for making this version, which I'm calling my Timber Mosaic Bag.

Linen & Cotton Mosaic Bag by Fabric Mutt

For this one I used fabric from the gorgeous Timber and Leaf collection by Sarah Watts which paired perfectly with the leather yarn dyed essex linen I've been saving. I love how the linen reminds me of wood grain against these prints.


The inside of the bag is a light blue print by Denyse Schmidt, and the interior pocket matches the patchwork on the front. This one is large enough to carry a few books along with my usual necessities.

Linen & Cotton Mosaic Bag by Fabric Mutt

Because this bag is larger, I divided my back pocket into three sections this time. I adore that bear on the back!


A pine cone charm that I bought on sale at Anthropologie was the perfect finishing touch for the zipper.

A few notes before we start the tutorial... This version is larger than my first attempt, coming in at 13" square rather than the 9" square original. It also uses three inch squares for the patchwork instead of the more involved 1.5" squares I used to make the mosaic on my first one. I added a pocket to the inside of this bag as well. These are all details that can be easily adjusted depending on what you want your bag to look like. I find that when you're making a bag with a gusset (that's the material that joins the front and back panels together to make the sides), you have to be willing to go with the flow and keep checking your pieces as you sew to be sure that everything is going to fit right. If mistakes happen -- and they do -- don't panic. You can usually fix things easily by folding material (if a piece is too big) or sewing in an extra piece (if it's too small). While this type of bag can look rather difficult (they scared me to death when I attempted my first one), it's really a pretty straightforward construction job. Just take it a step at a time.

MATERIALS

Cotton prints
(9) assorted 3" squares for patchwork front
(1) 8 x 13" for exterior pocket
(2) 13" sqares for interior panels
(1) 6 x 12" for interior pocket
(2) 3 x 23" for zipper lining pieces
(1) 5 x 30" for gusset lining
(2) 2.5 x 50" for inside binding

Linen
(2) 3 x 8" & (2) 3 x 13" for patchwork frame on front exterior panel
(1) 13" square for back exterior panel
(2) 2.5 x 20" for handles
(1) 4.5 x 13" for exterior pocket
(2) 3 x 23" for exterior zipper pieces
(1) 5 x 30" for exterior gusset

Quilt batting or fusible batting (if using regular batting, you'll need an adhesive basting spray glue)
(1) 6 x 13" for exterior pocket
(1) 8" square for patchwork
(2) 13" squares for front and back panels
(2) 3 x 23" for exterior zipper pieces
(1) 5 x 30" for exterior gusset

Sew-in heavy interfacing (I use Peltex 70)
(2) 13" squares for front and back panels

Lighter interfacing (I use Pellon 808 Craft Fuse)
(2) 2.5 x 20" for handles
(1) 6" square for interior pocket
(2) for zipper lining pieces
(1) 5 x 30" for gusset lining

24" zipper
coordinating thread
Clover clips or clothespins


1. Sew together the 3" patchwork squares in a 3 x 3 grid using a 1/4" seam allowance. Attach the patchwork piece to the 8" batting square with basting spray and quilt as desired. Add the 3 x 8" and 3 x 13" linen strips to frame the patchwork using a 1/4" seam allowance. Attach the front panel to the 13" square of batting with basting spray. Quilt 1/4" and 1/2" from the outside edge of the patchwork square.


2. Sew the 4.5 x 13" linen and 8 x 13" cotton print together along a 13" side so that the cotton print is at the top of the piece when they are joined. Fold the cotton print back, wrong sides together, making the top of the cotton print even with the bottom of the linen, forming the outer pocket piece (see photo). Sandwich the 6 x 13" piece of batting between the folded layers and stitch 1/4" below the line where the two fabrics meet and 1/4" below the fold itself. Attach batting to the 13" linen square for the back panel with adhesive spray.


Baste the pocket in place along the bottom edge of the back panel about 1/4" from the edge. Sew one or two lines down the pocket to divide it into sections if desired.


3. Make the interior pocket. Fold the 6 x 12" cotton print piece in half (wrong sides together) so the fold is on the top. Iron the 6 x 6" square of light interfacing to one side, trim the edges, and stitch around the open edges, leaving a large enough opening in the bottom for turning. Turn right side out, press, and topstitch 1/4" from the fold. Tuck in the bottom edges, press, and pin it in place on one of the 13" interior panels, centered and about 3" from the top. Stitch 1/4" from the edges, leaving top open and backstitching at both ends.

4. Finish the outer panels. Attach the 13" heavy sew-in interfacing and interior lining pieces to the front and back panels with basting spray, making certain that each panel has a linen piece showing on the exterior side and the cotton lining print on the interior side (double check twice if you're using directional prints!). Baste 1/4" from the edge all the way around both panels.


5. Make the handles. Fuse the light interfacing to both 2.5 x 20" linen pieces. Fold each piece in half (with interfacing on the inside), press, unfold. Fold the long edges to meet at the center fold, press, fold in half again, and press. Stitch 1/8" from each long side of the handle.


Position a handle on the exterior of each panel with the raw ends poking up about 1/4" over the top edge and with the outside edge of each strap about 3.5" from the outside edge of the panel. Stitch 1/4" from the top edge of the bag over each strap to keep them in place while you work.


6. Make the zipper portion of the gusset. Cut off the ends of the zipper (keeping the sliding pull in the middle!) so that it measures 23".


Fuse light interfacing to the zipper and gusset lining pieces and, and use adhesive spray to attach the batting to the linen for the exterior zipper and gusset pieces.


Stack from bottom to top: cotton zipper lining (right side up), zipper (right side up), and linen zipper exterior piece (right side down) -- lining them up along one long end of each piece (see photo). Stitch 1/4" from the edge -- use a zipper foot if you like, though I just use my 1/4" foot for this.


Fold back the linen and lining so that the wrong sides are together and press. Stitch 1/2" quilting lines from the zipper to the edge of the fabric.


Repeat this process with the pieces for the other side of the zipper.


7. Attach the rest of the gusset. Stack from bottom to top: gusset lining (right side up), zipper piece (exterior linen up), and gusset linen exterior (right side down), matching up the raw ends (see photo).


Stitch 1/2" from the end. Flip the gusset pieces so that the wrong sides are facing each other and stitch 1/2" from the end of the zipper (see photo). Repeat on the other side of the zipper and gusset after first checking the length of your pieces around one of the panels. Make sure you're happy with how things are lining up before you attach the rest of the gusset to make the full joining circle.


Quilt the gusset in 1/2" lines that match those on the zipper piece. If you need to take up slack in the gusset due to quilting, just fold the extra fabric and stitch over it.


8. Use Clover clips or clothespins to clip the gusset in place on one panel, centering the zipper on the top of the bag panel so that the ends fall as evenly as possible on the sides. Sew 1/2" all around the bag. Go slowly and carefully, keeping the rest of the bag out of the way as much as possible while you sew. Repeat on the other side, making sure that the zipper is at least half open before you start! Trim the edges down to about 1/4", cutting carefully so that you don't accidentally cut into the panels or gusset.


9. Take both 2.5 x 50" strips, fold them in half lengthwise (wrong sides together), and press them. Take one piece and sew the ends of the strip together to make a full circle, then do the same with the other. Use this to bind the interior raw edges just as you would the edge of a quilt (see my links page if you need help with the binding process). Turn the bag right side out, press, and enjoy!


Thanks for sticking with me through the endless journey that is a tutorial! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or email me any time at hjstaples@gmail.com. If you make one for yourself, I'd LOVE to see it. You can upload pictures of your bag -- or anything else you've made from one of my tutorials -- to my blog's flickr group here.

Happy sewing!

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday & Sew Cute Tuesday.

27 comments:

  1. That is stunning! I can't wait to try it :-)

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  2. Thanks so much for the tutorial. This bag is so sweet. I love the mosaic version too.

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  3. Great tutorial Heidi! I hope to make one of these son.

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  4. Wow, your bag looks amazing...and the zipper...great job. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  5. I love, love, love all the details! From the bear to the pine one to the finished bag! Well done!

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  6. Gorgeous and such a great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing and def one to pin for future making :)

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  7. Wow! Fantastic bag! Thank you for sharing how to make it with us!!!

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  8. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! I actually have some Timber and some Leather linen so I make a copycat version. It's just too perfect!

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  9. Beautiful Heidi! I love the linen look, and that nice long zipper is perfect!

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  10. Really super tutorial. Now I want some Essex linen and some Timber fabric. And, oh......a pinecone zipper charm!

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  11. Awesome! I have a bundle of that line in my cart on Etsy, whatever have I been waiting for to order for! Except I can't copy you exactly (or can I?) That's a fantastic bag, thank you so much for the tutorial!

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  12. Your bags are amazing! I so want to make this bag. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  13. I'm pinning this for future use! I think I get intimidated by all the extra materials you seem to need with bags, lol.

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  14. fantastic, thanks for sharing.

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  15. Thanks Heidi - this is brilliant. Now I just have to wait to get some heavy interfacing, or maybe I will be impatient and give it a go without it - do you think it would still be ok? Maybe better on a smaller version?

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  16. What an amazing bag! All the little details that you put into it really make it extra special!

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  17. Very cool Heidi! Thanks for sharing - it looks great!

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  18. Great pattern! Thank you for sharing us:-)
    Greetings from Italy, Emanuela

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  19. Thanks for sharing! I really want to try this tutorial out!

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  20. Gorgeous bag, and brilliant tutorial. Thanks for sharing Heidi!

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  23. I love your bag and your tutorial. I have added it to my Pinterest board.
    Thank you for the information.

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  24. The mosaic bag is so attractive! Thank you for sharing it.

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  25. Heidi,
    I love that we are so talented, especially where the bags are concerned. I've not made any yet as I'm completing radiation & with "my radiation brain" I'm not as proficient as before--"stuff leaks out" cancer friends & I've decided.
    But, I must share this bit--I was at the oncologists office & a woman came in with what I originally thought was her own created bag. I could see at odd seams, unsnipped threads, & the 1/2 sq. triangles were not the best. I asked if she made it & she replied, "Heavens no, I found it on sale at Dillard's (maybe you should sit down), for $85.00." I was speachless & happily, (for once), went for therapy--saved me I'm sure.

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  26. Thanks for the pattern, looks fabulous and I hope to make it as it's so different to any other bag pattern.

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Aren't you the sweetest!! Thanks for making my day by leaving a comment!

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