Monday, February 6, 2017

Handbag Straps Tutorial

I received a request on how I do the straps on my handbags, so here is a tutorial on my method. This is my current method of doing them but not the only one I have used.

All of the photos below were taken while making a set of straps for a recent bag and while the fabrics look slightly different in some photos, they are indeed the same. Different lighting and my camera sometimes alters the colors on me.

Tab Connectors

Materials:

  • Heavyweight stabilizer, cut 4 pieces 7/8" x 3" (I am using Stiffy by www.longcreekmills.com) (Pellon Peltex is another option)
  • Four 1" D-rings
  • Fabric with fusible web applied to wrong side (I use Mistyfuse fusible web), cut 4 pieces 2 3/4" x 3 3/4"



Center the stabilizer on the wrong side of a fabric piece.


Fold the left and right side over and press with your iron to fuse in place.


Fold up the bottom side and press with your iron.


Fold the remaining side and press. Repeat with the remaining pieces.


Fold the fabric covered stabilizer in half and place through a D-ring.


Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew across the fabric just below the D-ring. Don't sew too tightly against the D-ring as you want the D-ring to have some wiggle room.


Apply the connector tabs to the handbag.  I mark on my bag where the tabs go and then align the tab to that mark. Place the tab over the edge of the bag with one side of the tab on the inside of the bag and the other side of the tab on the outside of the bag. The tab straddles the edge of the bag. 


I usually push the tab so it is as far down along the edge of bag as it will go. Clip or pin in place.


Sew the tab to the bag body. I use my zipper foot for this step but you don't have to (stitching on the right side of the foot).


I then sew another line of stitching near the bottom of the tab still using my zipper foot but moving my needle position to the opposite side (stitching on the left side of the foot).


Repeat with the remaining tabs, two tabs per bag side. At this point the tabs are done but I usually add a little bling with a rivet. This is optional. Set the bag aside for now.


Straps

Materials
  • Fabric, cut two strips 3 1/2" x 24"
  • 1" wide Polypro webbing strap (or similar strap material), cut two 22" (color doesn't matter as it won't show)
A note of caution: if you are using Polypro, polyester, or nylon strap material, be sure to use caution when ironing around it as it will melt if your iron is set too high.



Mark a line along one long edge of both fabric strips, 3/4" from the edge on the wrong side. I use an air fading purple fabric marker.


Fold over the raw edge to meet the line and press to form a 3/8" hem.


Place the webbing strap on the wrong side of the fabric, on the edge opposite the hem, centered between the two ends.


Fold the ends over and pin.


Stitch the webbing to the fabric using a 1/4" seam allowance, keeping the edges aligned and the ends folded over.


Fold the strap over as shown in the following photo. I sometimes use a fabric glue stick and run a line of glue along the webbing (before folding it over) to hold it in place on the fabric. You want to be sure the fabric and strap are nice and tight with no loose areas.


Fold the remaining edge of fabric over and pin or glue to hold in place.  The hem you pressed in the first step should be right at or near the edge of the strap.


Topstitch around the entire strap. Do this with both straps.


Place one strap end through the D-ring on your bag.


Fold the strap end and pin or clip. I fold my straps at a one-inch measurement.


I forgot to take a photo of when I was stitching the strap end, but I again use my zipper foot and stitch along the end of the strap to secure, usually right along the same stitching line where it is topstitched.


Take the other strap end and place through the D-ring on the same side of the bag. Measure a one-inch fold and sew the end to secure. Repeat with the remaining strap on the other side of the bag.


And with that, I have a completed handbag.


If you don't wish to use Polypro strap material, you can create your straps using the double fold method and use a stabilizer/interfacing of your choice to add body to your strap.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

New American Made Brand Fabrics

I recently had the pleasure to play with some new fabric by American Made Brand. This line of fabric is a gorgeous quality, solid colored line that is grown and made right in the USA. It can't get better than that!

There are three new fabrics coming out and they are perfect for all that I do. But then again, the solid colors they offer are perfect too, because they are the ones that I screen print my own designs onto. But, if you happen to be a dyer and printer and want something that is ready to design with, then you will like the new offerings.

The three new fabrics are:

  1. AMB PFP cotton is fabric Prepared for Printing.  Fabric is free of finishing and treated in a way to let inks immerse the fibers in color during the printing process.  For the tech-savvy artist wanting to transform their digital creations into fabric works of art!
  2. AMB PFD cotton is fabric Prepared for Dyeing.  No starches, sizing, or finishes applied to the fabric, allowing dyes and paints to saturate the fibers.  Perfect for dyeing, batiking, fabric painting, block printing, and all types of textile art media.  Let this fabric serve as a blank canvas to unleash your inner Picasso!
  3. AMB Natural Muslin
Here is what I did with my piece of PFD cotton. 


I first dyed the PFD cotton with an orange fiber reactive dye. The color came out brilliant and gorgeous. Next I used textile paint to add some stenciled leaves to the surface. 


I decided to split my piece of PFP fabric in two so I could print two designs on it. For the first design shown, I used one of my Thermofax screen designs, another leaf design, and screened an avocado green color over the surface.


For the other piece of PFP fabric, I used one of my compressed sponge shapes. Yes, another leaf design (I must have been in a leafy mood). I sponged on textile paint in a teal color.



And for the final fabric, the natural muslin, I again used a Thermofax screen to create a fabric that has a stripe pattern.



Once the four pieces of fabric were finished I pulled some of my other printed AMB fabrics from my stash and created a small collection.


This collection called to me to make something so I decided to create a small quilt. I made an improv quilt block with a wonky plus design and then repeated the same block in a smaller size for the border.


I am very impressed that AMB has added these new fabrics to their line. I love using the AMB solids with my screen printing and now I can add these new fabrics to my stash so I can have an even larger variety of options when I want to create unique and original fabrics for my projects.

If you would like to see more of these fabrics and other AMB solids that are available, please visit:

American Made Brand fabrics is found on the web here, http://americanmadebrand.com/.

American Made Brand fabric is a division of Clothworks, http://www.clothworks.com

As always, thanks for stopping by and visiting. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

New Stencil Designs

I have just added five new stencil designs to my Etsy shop.


And I also realized that I neglected to share here, on the blog, the new stencils I added in August. So here those are:


I hope you enjoy these designs as much as I did when I created them. You will find these stencils and more in my Etsy shop, click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Repeat Printing with Thermofax Screens

Hello! I want to invite you over to The Printed Fabric Bee blog for the entire month of October. I am sharing a series of posts on how I repeat print with screen printing, mainly Thermofax screens.


You will learn my process on creating some printed yardage like the piece in the photo above.

Click here to visit The Printed Fabric Bee.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pets on Quilts 2016

Pets on Quilts 2016

Pets on Quilts is a fun way for quilters to share their photos and also be entered into a contest to win a prize. This event has been going on for several years. 

The Pets on Quilts hostess, Lily Pad Quilting, has done a great job of coordinating this event and has rounded up several sponsors who have prizes to share.

I am excited to tell you that I am offering the following fat quarter bundle to a lucky winner in Pets on Quilts 2016. The fat quarters are all ones that I have hand screen printed. 



Visit Lily Pad Quilting to read all about this event and to enter your photo (click here). Be sure to enter so you have a chance to win.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Handbags and Thermofax Screens

Since I haven't been able to get back to my screen printing project, I have been working on other things. Those things include a couple of handbags and some new Thermofax screen designs.





There are 12 new Thermofax screen designs now in my shop and most of them are ideal for printing repeating patterns. Thanks for stopping by and visiting.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Purrfectly Patterned


Last month I got one of those exciting emails....you know....the kind where you find out you are accepted into a juried show/event? This quilt, Purrfectly Patterned, was accepted to exhibit with "Patterns", the 2016 Dinner at Eight Artists exhibition, which will debut at the Houston International Quilt Festival this fall.

The quilt was made to a theme of "patterns" and it is 40" square. To read more about the Dinner at Eight Artists, please click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Stencils


I designed some new 12" x 24" stencils for StencilGirl a few months ago and today they are now available. I love working with these larger stencils. They work so well with painting on large pieces of fabric. The following samples are painted on cotton duck fabric and can be used for any number of sewing projects.




When I paint on fabric that will be sewn into a pillow cover, tote bag, or whatever, I like to use textile paints as they have a softer hand when dry and that makes for an ideal sewing experience.

The following table runner was hemmed before I painted and then I used artist acrylic paints and finished off with a coat of water-based varnish to make a surface that is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth if needed.


Pillow covers are always a fun and quick project and I share a tutorial on how to make one with a zipper closure. Click here for the Pillow Cover Tutorial.


You will find all these new stencils and all the ones I have designed in the past on the StencilGirl web site. Click here.