Sunday, January 06, 2013

Thirty-One Utility Tote Liner Sew Along Part 3 - Organizing Pocket Prep

Our tote liner's coming along fantastic!  If you're just jumping on board, be sure to check out the first and second postings in this series.  Thanks for joining me!

For this posting, I'm going to prep the pockets.  When you're first learning to sew, it may seem like the bag structure should come first and the pockets be an afterthought.  But the pockets actually have to be sewn and inserted before you sew any of the bag sides together --you can't insert them later.  Bags, like many garments, have to be constructed in a certain order for various features like pockets, linings, dividers and zippers to be incorporated.  That's why you should always sit down and really plan your bag on paper before you start cutting and least, if you want to have any organizing features.

Remember how I told you not to fuse the pocket pieces along with the other bag parts?  I have something special in mind for these.  Read on to find out what!  :)

One thing I forgot to mention at the outset -- I used coordinating fat quarters for this project.  In all, I had eight fat quarters in four different prints.  Also, all seam allowances will be 1/2 inch.  When you design a project like this, you MUST factor your seam allowance decision into your design so you make your pieces big enough to fit properly after seaming.

First things first, if you followed the cutting list, you should have two pocket fronts, measuring 15 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches.  You should have two pocket lining pieces measuring 15 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches.

Take one of each cut and lay them right sides together.  Pin and sew along the long edge with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

Pinned.  I'm pretty lazy about pinning these days.  I put these two in for the photo and no more.  Don't judge.  ;)

Seamed and opened.  Not pressed.

Open and press seam allowances open.  Pressing them open means to separate the seam allowances and press them flat to either side.  Some projects might require you to press seam allowances to one side instead.

Now fold the pocket over with the wrong side to the inside.  Line up the remaining long edges.  Press it again and it should look like this on one side:

The other side should be solid stripes.  Do this with both sets so you have two pocket strips.

Now cut 2 pieces -- I only wrote "cut 1" on the cut list, but you'll need two -- 15 1/2 x 6 inches from your webby.  (That's my word for fusibles like Wonder Web and Misty's basically fusible glue dried into a web without any fabric foundation.  Learn more about interfacings hereLearn how to apply webby for raw edge applique here.)

Line up the long edge of the webby with one of the long edges of your pocket strips on the wrong side, so that when you fold the pocket strip back over, the webby rests in-between the layers of your pocket strips.  Do your best to make sure it's perfectly flat and there's none sticking out between the layers.  

You don't any exposed because if the webby comes into direct contact with your iron, well, you'll have a lot of cleaning to do.  See my disgusting ironing board cover?  Yep, I know a thing or two about scorching and staining.  I'm mortified that I didn't get a better picture, but I promise, an ironing board cover is really high on the project priority list!

Iron your pocket strips down.  The webby should glue the layers together, giving your lined pocket strip more structure and stability.

Each lined pocket strip should look like this: 

For the next posting, we'll attach the pockets to the interior sides and stitch through them at different intervals to create five organizing pockets.  We'll also reinforce the tops of the pockets divider stitches to make sure the pocket fabric doesn't rip away from the lining with the stress of real life with a baby!  :)  See you in a couple of days...