I’ve been designing patterns with The McCall Pattern Company since ’89. Initially the sewing patterns were all fashion with a few accessory ideas thrown in for good measure. A recent accessory pattern—McCall’s 6579—features a trio of bags, including a backpack version made with laminated fabric. Here’s a preview of this easy-to-sew pattern.
The London Bag
Okay, you’re not going to see that name printed on the pattern, but that’s what we call this bag at my office. (Names make it so much easier when identifying a project.) I’m especially fond of the zipper closure that’s a cinch to add—we made it easy!
I purchased the laminated, eyeglass print fabric about two years ago and knew it was a handbag candidate. I wish it was still available! Regardless, laminated fabrics are the hot ticket right now. I know you can find a print that’s just right for you.
Carry a laptop around? Here’s a bag with an adjustable strap that is just the right size for your laptop. Make it out of two or three fabric prints. What a wonderful way to showcase a fabric collection.
Sewing Tips to Share
You’ll find all the sewing tips on the pattern guide sheet of McCall’s 6579, yet I thought I’d share some of my ideas with you.
Sewing Tips for the London Bag
- If using a print, make certain that you fussy-cut the bag front and back. Here we centered one of the geometric rows.
- Adding the right stabilizers makes the difference between a terrific-looking bag and a lack-luster bag. I used Peltex as an all-over stabilizer and Shape ’n Create for the bag bottom. There is more info on the inside detail in my blog, It’s What’s Inside that Counts.
- A zipper foot is the key for stitching the straps to the bag and adding the hardware. Also, consider “chain stitching” the hardware to the straps, using a quilting process for bag making.
The Perfect-Sized Backpack Sewing Tips
- It’s tricky to pin laminated fabric. To handle the thickness of the fabric and stabilizer, pin with Wonder Clips. (They live up to their name.)
Computer Bag Sewing Tips
- The strap connector is added to the seam. Easy!
- When creating both the two- and three-fabric bags, we added Wrap ’n Fuse fusible piping to the outer edges. Attach a zipper foot or use the Pearls N Piping Foot as detailed here.
- When stitching the front to the back, keep the same foot on your machine. The seaming will be effortless.
- My new favorite way of attaching a snap to the lining involves stitching a small rectangle (1″ x 2″) of Shape ’n Create to the wrong side of the lining at the top centers.
- Then, the snap is attached to the bag as indicated on the pattern. The small rectangle of Shape ’n Create gives stability to the snap area.
- Use a 3/4″ Bias Tape Maker to create strap accents.
- It’s a quick way to add trim to the straps. (All the details are on the guide sheet.)
- It’s a roomy yet secure bag for your computer!
I know you’ll enjoy the process of creating one of these bags and wearing it!
Thank you to everyone who responded to my blog titled “What’s Your Favorite Sewing or Quilting Book?” The random winner is Pam Himes. Her comment was “Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting. Great pictures, tutorials, and techniques.” Pam wins the scissors that cuts fabric like a hot knife through butter, the Bordeaux Shears from Clover Needlecraft
Bye for now,