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R.Kay Design: Molly Handbag Sew-Along - FINISHED!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Molly Handbag Sew-Along - FINISHED!

The Molly Handbag Sew-Along is finished! Mine is called 'Uptown Molly'. I just think the fabric makes it feel so, well, uptown!.

I hope everyone who was sewing along with me finished too and will post pics on the Flicker group I set-up for the sew-along. I really want to see the finished products, everyone has such different taste in fabrics and such, it's so cool to see all the versions. I think you can follow this link: Molly Handbag Sew Along Flickr Group and then just join. If the link doesn't work, try going to and searching "Molly Handbag Sew Along".

Below are my sew-along pics for the weekend. I hope you don't get too bored but instead pick up a tip that you can use in your projects.  Like last weekend, I'm going to post the pics and then add a caption to each.

I'm going to run a give-away soon and Uptown Molly will be the prize. I haven't researched how to do that yet but I'm sure I'll figure it out. So stay tuned for the announcement.

Happy sewing!!

I'm using a magnetic closure for this purse. It will be added to the Top Band lining. That's the two pieces of Top Band that weren't used for the exterior shell and that have woven interfacing.

First, mark the middle of the Top Band with a pin by folding the piece in half. On the wrong side measure down 1 inch and put a mark at the mid-point and 1 inch. Actually, it may even be better to go 1-1/8 inch as that will leave a little more room for your top stitching around the finished top. Here I went 1 inch but still think 1-1/8 is better. I'm going to add an addendum page to the pattern changing this measurement to 1-1/8". Also, if you want to add a small extra piece of medium weight interfacing where the magnetic clasp is going, do it now. I didn't do it as I didn't think it was necessary but it will make the area a little stronger.

Each side of the magnetic closure piece will have a flat backing piece of metal with slots for the closure piece to grasp. Use the flat backing piece to mark your fabric. Place the center hole on the mark made in the prior step. Then mark the oblong holes.

Fold the fabric in half perpendicular to the marks with the fold going through the mid-point dot, basically folding the oblong lines in half.

Clip the oblong marks. Don't cut too long, it's better that you clip just short of the marks you made.

Now add the magnet part on the right side of the fabric slipping the prongs through the holes you just cut.

Place the flat backing metal piece over the prongs on the wrong side.

Bend the prongs out.

Right side of Top Band after the magnetic clasp is added. See how it's a bit close to the edge, I really think 1-1/8" would be better.

To do the other side, don't measure like you did with the first one. I did this once and measured both sides and the clasps ended up not being lined up. Instead, line up the other side of the Top Band and lay it down on the table.

Now feel where the mid-point of the clasp is. If you used the male portion of the clasp on the first side, you will feel the protrusion, if you used the female portion, you will the indention.

Mark the protrusion or indention with your marker. Then use that as your mid-point and complete as you did for the first side.

Finished adding clasps. Then sew the Main Body pieces to the Top Bands for both sides just like you did for the exterior. Don't forget to top stitch.

Next we're going to add the zip pocket. It's an option in the Molly Handbag pattern but very easy to do. First mark the middle of one side of your lining with a pin by folding. Also mark the piece cut for the pocket. You want to mark the middle of the 10 inch side. Lay the lining piece right side up on the table and put the pocket piece wrong side up (or right sides together) on top of the lining piece. Move the pocket piece until it is centered by lining up the two pins. Then move it down so the top edge of the pocket piece is 3 inched from the top of the lining piece. Pin in place

Now measure 1-3/4 inches from the top of the pocket piece and place a dot with your disappearing marker. Also measure 1/2 inch down from that and place another dot. Then measure 1 inch from each side on the same lines as your first two dots. You might need to use a straight edge to make sure the outer dots are lined up straight.

Now connect the dots to make a rectangle.

Draw a line down the center of the rectangle but stop short of the ends. Use a ruler to find the middle which will be 1/4 inch from the top or bottom line. Connect the mid-line to each corner like in the picture.
Sew all the way around the rectangle, stopping at each corner with your needle down, raising the foot and pivoting to turn the corner. You will be sewing the pocket piece to the lining piece.

Here's a closer shot of my stitching.

Now cut down the middle line through all layers.

Another shot of me cutting the center line.

Follow the lines you drew to the corners. The closer you can get to the stitching without cutting through it the better.

A little better shot of cutting to the corner.

Now push the pocket piece through the hole you just cut.

I won't look good until you iron it.
Press the seam so the pocket piece sits nicely on the wrong side of the lining. The wrong sides will be touching.

See how the pocket piece is now on the wrong side of the lining?

The right side of the lining has a nice finished rectangular hole. This is where the zipper will be inserted.

First thing I do is tack the top end of the zipper tape together. I do this by hand, it makes it easier to deal with the zipper.

Center the zipper in the hole. Be sure you have the top of the zipper to the  left so it will open from left to right. Pin all the way around thinking about how you will sew. Put the pins in the direction so you can pull them out easily as you sew.

Using a zipper foot, I start with the zipper pulled down a little, then sew a couple of inches.

Before I get to the zipper pull, I stop, put my needle down, lift the foot, turn the zipper somewhat and pull the zipper pull to the top. Now I don't have to sew around it and my stitching will be straighter. Just turn the piece back, put the foot back down, and start sewing again. You don't lose your place because the needle was down and all the movement was just pivoting on the needle.

The last pic showed the zipper pull down, this pic it is pulled up.
Now I'm sewing straight again without the zip pull in the way.

I always use the same color thread as the lining because my stitching never goes straight on these pockets. See how I got crooked? But this is the lining and since the thread matches the lining, it won't be noticed. I left it.

If your zipper is just a little too long, Trim it off. I used a 9" zipper. Believe it or not, you're done with the zipper!

Now,on the wrong side of the lining, take the bottom of the pocket piece and fold it to meet the top. Pin in place.
Now sew all the open edges. Do not sew to the lining, sew only on the pocket piece. It will only be attached to the lining at the zipper.

This is the right side.

Okay, now it's time to sew the lining together. To make sure that the magnet closure lines up, put the two magnets together and leave them that way while you match the side seams and sew them together.

Sew the side seams first and then stop and iron the seams open. Remember when sewing the exterior shell you had to match the the Top Band and Main Body seams at the side seam? Well, you need to do it again.
BUT...if it's not perfect (like above), don't fret so much. This is the lining, it probably won't be seen. But if it's way off, you might consider redoing it. I didn't bother with the one above. Had this been the exterior shell, I would have ripped it out and redone it.

Press the side seams open.

Fold back the side seam when you sew the bottom seam.
Sew the bottom seam but leave an opening about 7 inches in the middle. It's hard to see in my pic but I only sewed about 4 inches from the side and then stopped.

I clipped the corner, it made it easier to press the bottom seam open.

Next I pressed the bottom seam open. You can't get to it on the ironing board, so I folded one side back and pressed. I pressed all the way across even though the seam doesn't go all the way. This will make it easier for you to close the hole after the exterior and lining are sewed together.
This pic shows me folding back the other side of the seam.

And here I'm pressing it. So the seam is pressed open by pressing each side back.

Next step is to make the box corners to form the bottom. Use the instructions from the exterior. Again, if the seams don't match exactly, not a real big deal unless it's really bad. They will be in inside of the purse at the very bottom. Who'll notice if they're a millimeter off?
Once the corners of the lining are done to form the bottom, it's time to sew the lining and exterior shell together. Leave the lining inside out. Put the exterior shell, that is right side out, inside the lining. The right sides will be touching and you will see the wrong sides of both pieces. Pin all the way around the top matching the side seams.
When I sew the exterior to the lining I always us a walking foot. The picture above shows the walking foot I used to use on my old machine. A walking foot feeds the top fabric through with the bottom one. In other words, the bottom piece of fabric is pushed forward with the feed dogs, the top just follows along. This causes the top to shift a little when you have thick layers or slippery fabric. A walking foot pushes the top fabric too so the two pieces move through the needle at the same rate, so that the top piece doesn't end up with a little extra at each pin.
Sew all the way around the top. Be careful to keep the seam at 3/8 inch and no more. If you can do a 1/4 inch seam even better. Reason is because we want room to do a top stitch line around the top without running into the magnetic clasp.

My new machine has a built in walking foot. Here's a picture of me engaging it. If you don't have a walking foot, don't fret. You may get some shifting but just ease it in as best you can and if you need to make a little pleat, do it at the side seam.

Because the layers are a bit thick, I use a little longer stitch. I changed my setting from 2.5 to 2.8.
When done stitching the top, it will be time to turn it. Reach into the opening you left in the bottom of the lining and pull everything through it turning everything right side out.

That's the lining, right side out, on top of the exterior shell.

You can push the lining into the exterior shell but it won't look too good...yet.

I first press flat at the seam where the exterior and lining meet (the very top of the purse).
Then I iron it down after pushing the lining inside. I then pin the top edge so it stays nice while I top stitch all the way around the top edge.
Here's the top stitch around the top edge.

Now you need to close up the bottom of the lining. I didn't do this before because in order to get that top edge into nice shape, I had to stick my hand in there and work it. It was nice to be able to do that.

I use the machine to close the opening. I line up the folded edge. Remember, we ironed that seam all the way across when we pressed the bottom seam open? You can also hand sew this if you don't want to see it, but a machine stitch will hold up much better to the crap we women put in our purses.
I wanted the bottom seam of the lining to be as close to the edge as possible. You will be able to see it but it'll be in the very bottom of the purse. Anyway, I moved my need to the right, instead of being in the middle which is 3.5, it's at 5.0 which is to the right some.
See how the needle is to the right a little?
When I sewed the stitching was closer to the edge. Doesn't it look nice?
Here's the inside after completion.
And here's Uptown Molly all finished.

Okay, now it's your turn. Show off your completed Molly on Really, I want to see them.

Until later ~


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At September 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM , Blogger Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy said...

That looks great!!

At September 19, 2011 at 8:51 AM , Blogger Ashley said...

this is awesome!!! great tutorial!:)
thanks for sharing:)

At September 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous Carmen said...

Wow! Love the details of the tutorial...I love to make bags, but I cheat...I use jeans. Now I feel like I could make a bag from scratch ...thanks.

Also, I would like to invite you to our Rockin' link party every Friday at RoCa and Company. Come and show off what you got this coming Friday. Hope to see you there...

Remember...YOU ROCK!!

Carmen @
RoCa and Company

At September 20, 2011 at 7:07 PM , Blogger Reba said...

Thank you for the great comments. I'll definitely check out your sites and the link party.


At September 20, 2011 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Jill said...

Love your detailed tutorial! I just returned from holiday so have missed this sew along - but I may just sew along later in my own time!!!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit! Remember the voting is now open – if you want to head over and vote for your project! The most voted link will get a full post feature/promotion next week!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success
Round Tuit 67 voting

At September 21, 2011 at 11:51 PM , Blogger Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

Your bag is beautiful! I love the fabrics you used. Thanks for the inspiration!

At October 15, 2011 at 9:57 PM , Blogger petite hermine said...

Your purse and tutorial is amazing! It'll be featured on this week's Sunday Linky Party :)

At October 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Reba said...

Cool beans! Thank you so much! I'm really excited to see the post.


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