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Box Zip Bags

Lesson 3 of 8

Cutting & Prepping the Fabric

Shaerie Mead

Box Zip Bags

Shaerie Mead

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Lesson Info

3. Cutting & Prepping the Fabric

Lesson Info

Cutting & Prepping the Fabric

So we're going to dive right into our pattern we have the outside envelope like I said, which has a picture on the front and the back has all of the information on the inside of this pattern on one side here there's fabric, anatomy terms, which we're going to go over in just a minute when we start doing are pinning and there's also a glossary of sewing terms. So all of the terms that are brand new to us, I'm going to explain throughout the course of this class, the last little bit here is what I'm going to talk about right now. This is the zipper anatomy, so in order to sow zippers, you need to know the terms of all these parts of the zipper. I have it right here for you, and I'm also going to show you right on this zipper. So this zipper, this is the poll, and this is the stopper down here, both the poland, the stopper are made out of metal, so we want to be really careful when we're sowing around them on the sides of the zipper. This is the tape and then right down the center, those ...

air the teeth that separate and come together when we're using a zipper both of the tape and the teeth are made out of nylon, so we can totally so through those and those are the terms we're going to need to know to use a zipper in this class, so now I'm going to unfold my pattern on this pattern thie instructions on the pattern pieces are on the same sheet of paper, so I'm going to grab my paper scissors, paper, scissors, not fabrics years and I'm going to cut to separate the two of them, so I've got my instructions the instructions are going to start out telling me how I need to put my paper pattern pieces on the fabric to make it straight and to make them the right size that's the layout and then we're going to go through the instructions step by step talking about the zipper and how to put it in talking about how to sew the seams together, how to do those corners with the little pull tabs and then how to do that top edge and then finishing the bags and that's what these are instructions are here for and then I have my pattern pieces so you can see looking at these two patterns they're pretty much the same shape one is much larger and one is a little smaller, so this is view a the toiletries bank and this is of you be the doctor kit I'm going to choose to cut out of u a for this class, so I'm going to use my paper scissors very carefully cut along the line, leaving as much as the black line intact. It's possible, I want to cut off mostly all the white paper and just leave the black intact, so I'm going to carefully cut along the edge here. The reason you want to have different scissors for paper, scissors and for fabric is that when you cut paper, it dulls your scissors, and if you do that with your fabrics years, you're going to end up having dull fabrics years and we really don't want that when we're cutting our fabric, we want a nice, smooth edge, so I'm going to recommend that you cut along the long, straight lines of the pattern first and then go back and cut the corners it's a lot easier to angle your scissors in like this and then in like this to get a nice, clean edge there rather than to angle them like this and try to turn and go in this direction so now it's time to take our pattern peace and lay it on our fabric. This pattern piece has what's called a grain line on it, and this grain line has to match up with the long threads of your fabric called the length of grain, so these threads are parallel to your fold edge of your fabric into your selvage edge of your fabric. And we're going to use our ruler and are pins to anchor this grain line so that it's parallel, you can use either the fold edge or the cell of a judge to do this. I usually use the fold edge if I can, because sometimes the printing on the selva judge isn't straight or there's this fuzzy edge of the fabric on the salvage edge and it's hard to measure from. So I'm going to use the fold edge here. The first thing I'm going to do is lay my pattern down so it's in the middle of my fabric like this, and I'm going to use my ruler to measure from the top of the green line to the edge of my fabric. I'm going to pick a number that I can remember pretty easily, so I'm looking at five inches, and I'll pull the top of migraine line so it's, even with the edge of my ruler. So right now, the top of my grain, linus, five inches away from the fold edge of my fabric, I'm gonna move my ruler out of the way, and I'm going to grab a pin, and I'm going to anchor it in place, just like that! Now I can go down to the bottom of my grain line and make it match, so it doesn't matter how long your grain linus you can use this technique, tow line up anything on your fabric so that it's straight this is pretty important. It makes the pattern line up with the threads of the fabric, so when you're sewing it, everything is straight up and down. It will also make your fabric line up if it's got a motif on it. So that it's nice printed straight up and down. So I'm gonna anchor at first on the green line, and then I'm going to use my pins to pin all the way around. I like to pin the corners, and we're going to this time make sure that our pins are contained within the inside edges of our pattern because we're going to use our scissors in a minute to cut around this pattern. And if I have a pin that's sticking out like this, I could damage my scissors by trying to cut over that pin some way to slide these pins down a little bit more, all the corners get pinned first, and then if you like, you can add a couple more pins. The whole goal here is to make sure that this pattern doesn't move while we're trying to cut around it were using it as a template and it's really important to make sure that your fabric pieces are exactly this shape. So that you have a successful projects there's that and then I'm gonna put a couple more pins in here at the bottom of the bag and here the top of the bag if you have a fabric with a one way design on it. It's nice to know what the top on the bottom is so that you can line your fabric up correctly. Like I said, this fabric looks the same, but I like to try to pin it just like I would need to you if I had it with one directional fabricas. Well, so now that it's pinned, I can start to cut. I want tio use my scissors to make nice long, smooth cuts and it's also better if I take the tips of my scissors and rest them on the table, so I'd like to open my scissors up nice and wide like that and get them right up to the edge of the fabric and do one smooth cut like so. So I'm going to try to get us close to the edge of that fabric, that pattern as I can when I'm gonna cut all along the edge here and then I'll come this way and cut along this edge. And then I can go back and cut out that corner, just like I did on my pattern, so I'm gonna cut in this direction to cut into that corner, and I use the tips of my shares to snip right up into that corner, and then I'll come at it from the other direction, just like, so I'm gonna have a nice, clean corner. So the same thing on the rest of your bag all the way around. If you're used to cutting a lighter weight fabric, sometimes it takes a little bit to get used to cutting that have your fabric that extra weight top, however you need to cut to get nice and close to that edge of the pattern without leaving too much extra fabric and without cutting the pattern itself the's corners way don't need to make any markings on this when we're finished, so when you're done cutting, all you need to do is unpack in that's, my last corner, I can't take all my pins out, and I'm now going to do the exact same process on my lining fabric, so the outer fabric and the inside fabric exactly the same thing, line it up exactly the same way pin and cut all around the edges when we're ready to do our interfacing it's a little different. So we just pinned and cut our outer fabric and are lining fabric just like its listing here in the layout views and be exactly the same outer fabric and lining fabric exactly the same. The only thing that's different for view and view be is how we fold up are interfacing interfacing is a little bit skinnier than fabrics instead of forty five inches wide or fifty eight inches why there's only twenty inches? Why so too do view a way take a longer piece of interfacing and we fold it cut edge to cut edge just like this to give us two layers and then we can place our pattern down on this and use this edge to align our grain line up just like we did whether other fabric but for view be the smaller fabric with smaller pattern we don't need quite as long a piece because when we fold it from selvage to selvage way have just enough to fit you be like that so it doesn't need to be quite as long because we're folding it up salvage two selvage instead of cutting edge to cut edge so now I can pin and cut just like I did for my other fabric in my lining fabric in this step we're going to take our woven feasible interfacing and actually fuse it to the wrong side of our outer fabric we're going to be dealing a lot with glue and our hot iron. So I'm going to recommend that you use something called a press cloth to protect both your ironing board and your iron from getting any glue on it. I use pieces of scrap fabric that had been washed, and I lay one piece out on my ironing board and then I can start to set up for my fusing. What I want is one of my outer fabric pieces with the wrong side of the fabric facing up me. So the right side of the fabric is facing down, and then I'm going to grab one of my interfacing pieces here, the glue dots that's what we want facing down on the wrong side of the fabric. They should be exactly the same size if you end up having a little bit of interfacing that sticks out over the edge is if it's a little bit that's. Okay, press cloth will allow it to not get all over the ironing board. But if it's a lot like a quarter inch or more than you want to use your scissors to trim it off before you views, you want to make sure that the blue dots are the ones that are facing. Down onto the wrong side of your fabric sometimes it's hard to see them, but you can feel them by running your fingers along the fabric. You can feel that it's rough and on this side you can feel that it's moved, so make sure you've got those glue dots pointing down. Sometimes the glue comes right through the fabric and gets on your iron, so I'm going to take a second press cloth. We're gonna put this right over the top of it. The trick to really get these two fabrics to bond with each other is tio put the iron straight down on top of this and hold it in place for about ten seconds and then overlap and continued to hold it in place and overlap down one side up the middle and then down the other side of the fabric. You really want to create a permanent bond between these two fabrics? If you start to so and they start to come apart it's not going to do the job it's meant to do, which is make your bag a little stiff so it has some shape so you don't need to use any steam with this, and I have my iron on its hottest heat setting, usually the cotton setting once you're finished. You can check the corners to see if you can pull them apart. Sometimes, when the glue is still warm, you can pull them apart. But once it's cooled down, it should be bonded permanently. So I left that back, and these edges air now stuck together completely. So I can't pull those apart. And you're going to do the same thing for the second to pieces. So laying it wrong side, facing up that you and the glue dots get down on the wrong side of the fabric like that, lining it up, press cloth on top and fusing with the iron exactly the same way.

Class Description

Zippers add sophistication to your handmade projects, but they don’t have to add complication. Learn an easy way to work with zippers in Box Zip Bags with Shaerie Mead.

Shaerie has been making sewing simple for students at Sew L.A. since 2005. In this beginner-friendly class, she’ll show you how to make a travel bag – the easy way. You’ll learn about:

  • Interpreting a pattering
  • Cutting and preparing fabric
  • Working with a zipper foot 
  • Sewing seams and box corners
  • Turning and finishing a bag
You’ll learn how to cut and prep all the components of the bag including the fabric, lining, and interfacing. Shaerie will also offer tips on giving your corners a crisp look.

If zippers intimidate you, don’t miss your chance to learn the foolproof method for making them work in Box Zip Bags with Shaerie Mead.

Class Materials

Bonus with Purchase

Shaerie Mead - Box Zip Bag Pattern.pdf

Shaerie Mead - Box Zip Bag Supply List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Jaime Baggett

This was such a fun class and I felt so confident once I finished the box zip bag! I just bought the class last week and I've already finished two larges. I had been wanting to learn how to sew a zipper for a while and this class was a perfect choice. I love the instructor, she's easy to follow and doesn't use weird, hard to understand terms. And she defines things that might be unknown. THANK YOU, SHAERIE!