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Friday, April 6, 2012

Today's Project: The Big Bag

This bag from Kwik Sew 3749 is one of my favorite patterns. The directions are easy to follow and the bag is roomy. I also like the handle placement. 

This is KWIK SEW 3748
One of the tricks to this pattern is sewing the gusset. The gusset is the rectangular shaped piece of fabric that is sewn to each outer side - it makes the bag wider. You'll find gussets in clothing, especially under arms and in the crotch area of fitness clothes, and will recognize them by their rectangle and diamond shapes. On clothing, they are designed to take stress off of seams.

Gussets can be tricky because they have to line up correctly...which isn't easy when you are going around curves. There is a tendency to pull and stretch the fabric; do this and you'll end up with some extra fabric and no where to go.

So here's how I recommend sewing a gusset to the big bag. The technique works because any extra fabric is worked into the curves and doesn't end up at the top of the bag.

A. Place one of the outside pieces right side up and place the gusset piece on top - RST. 

Line up the bottom seam (gusset) with the middle bottom of the bag.

Sew from the seam to the first notch - be sure to back stitch.

Remove from your machine.

B. Flip bag over and line up top of bag with top of gusset. Sew from top to notch (you'll be sewing into the area you just sewed.

If you've done your work, it should fit. If it doesn't look like it will (you should check it when you have about 3" left), flip it back over so the gusset is on top and work in any extra fabric.

C. Take the bag out and starting at the bottom seam, sew until you reach the notch. 

Stop, back stitch, and remove from your machine.

D. Flip the bag back over so the gusset is on top.

For the last step, go back to the top and line up the corner of the bag and the gusset. Sew from the top to the notch, back stitch, and remove.

CELEBRATE! The sewing fairies have created some sewing magic!

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