Anatomy of a Weezi Bag and a Philosophy

Anatomy of a Weezi Bag and a Philosophy
Hellu Pussycats!
Today I am going to show you some of the process of making a Weezi sweater bag.
This post is double fold.
One is offer some tips to those who might be looking to
make a bag for themselves.
The other is to show some of what goes
into making a hand made bag.
Sometimes people tell me that I am way too expensive
or that they can get if for  less at the mall.
Yes, you can very well get less expensive
bags at the question.

It is important to consider the process of handmade
and how the finished  item comes to be.
Handmade does not always mean quality I know that
As consumers we should and need to be aware.
 of quality no matter what we purchase.
BUT- most handmade being sold is very good quality.
It might and often does  look a wee bit different
from items at the mall.
That is b/c it IS different.
It isn't made by a machine or by a sweat shop labourer who
has had to the do process a million times already, literally.
It is made in a studio by hands that have
much talent and integrity.
The artist thinks about how to make you a quality product.
Skilled hands and a thoughtful mind make up
the soul of handmade.
Handmade is not overpowered by share holders
and the bottom line.
Something to consider.

When shopping for handmade it can't be exclusively about price.
If you want the lowest price at all cost go to WalMart.
That is what they do best.
If you want to support and buy handmade
look with in a price range and are a zillion out there.
Handmade isn't about getting the absolute cheapest price available.

I will leave my rant there.

This blog will show some details of how I come to make quality bags for you to enjoy.

Yesterday I was working on an upcycled sweater tote bag.

One of the most important things to do with a sweater bag is to
stabilize the bottom with a heavy iron on interfacing.

Knits stretch ..which is why we like them.
But, you don't want the bottom of your bag to stretch out of shape.

The next thing I do is underline the bag with a piece of 
non stretchy fabric that will provide more stability.

I use something from the sale bin that would never be use for
anything else. Who cares if it is ugly! It is on the inside.
Pin and then baste around the edges.

BTW!-When sewing a stretchy fabric onto a non stretchy fabric,
sew non stretchy side up.
Much easier and you won't lose the shape of what you are sewing.

Often, when sewing a loose knit you will  find that the foot gets caught in
the loops and can drive you mad.
Sewing on this side avoids that and will save you much stress.

Now is the time to figure out what contrast colour you
will like and to think about placement of trims and embellishments.
Remember your seam allowance and you are going to do the bag up.
DON'T leave these things until the last minute. Trust me.

This lime green corduroy seemed like a perfect fit.

I always put a liner in the handles of every bag I make.
Again, use old ugly one is going to see it.
This is a good way to use the icky fabric and NOT throw it out into a landfill.

The corduroy has a wee bit of stretch. By adding the cotton on the inside
I was able to add some stability to the fabric and not having to stretch all out
while I was stitching the handles.

I stitched  the cotton stabilizer down on only one side of the handles.
When you fold in the edges it makes for less bunching.
Try it and you will see why it works so well.

Now for pockets.
Everyone luvs pockets in their tote bags.
I do a simple coin pocket this way.
Slow and steady..don't go too fast.
This pocket is easy but if you make a mistake it will seem like forever.
This zipper was too long so I sewed over the end a bunch
of times to reinforce  it.
Nothing worse then a broken zip in a pocket.

I always reinforce the back of my pockets as well. Zippers get the most use and there is
a lot of pull and stress on those seams.
I add (again ugly) fabric to the back on my lining to ensure sturdiness.

This is the back of my pouch pockets.
You can see by the white thread how I have back stitched to 
reinforce the stress points of the pocket.

Ok so, after I added the trim along the top, I went in and marked a straight line 
4" above the trim. This will ensure I have a straight stitching line to follow
when I sew in my lining.
This is a guarantee that your trim will be exactly the same distance from the top of the bag all the way around.

One of the other most important things I do on both the bag and the liner
is to double stitch the ends or corners of the bag.

Again, there is a lot of stress on the bottom of the bag and this helps keep
your seams secure.
This is the finished bag...

I was really happy with how it turned out.
This has been a long one so I will
say Goody Bye Pussycats!!!
I hope you enjoyed it.
Be in touch! Luv Weezi xo

Ps ( sorry about the spelling mistakes!)