I came across this awesome facebook page that had amazing Disney inspired handmade bags. (Serendipi D~) She has a year waiting list and each one is very expensive, though absolutely worth it. So I figured, hey…. I can probably make one myself. I mean, I jumped head first into quilting last year, why can’t I do this too.
So I started researching how she did it. I do NOT own an embroidery machine and although Mom does, I knew that the characters on the bags were much bigger than the largest hoop her machine allowed. Then I came across Youtube videos for “fusible web applique” and there was my answer. You do not NEED an embroidery machine. A simple home sewing machine with zigzag stitch was all you need. OK, I tested my settings out and found one that worked almost as nice and smooth as a real embroidery machines “satin stitch”. I CAN DO THIS!!!!!
First steps were finding a pattern for the bag itself. I eventually found & purchased both of Erin Ericksons’ Two Zip Hipster” and “Essential Wristlet” patterns. PERFECT!!!!!
Off to Joanns I went. I knew the exact design, well TWO designs, I wanted to make. I purchased the absolutely CHEAPEST/onsale mostly solid color fabric I could as I didn’t want to “waste” money if I totally screwed it all up. It was still good quality fabric, just not the designer brand name prints. Though I wanted several prints, I used willpower and told myself, if it works and I do a decent job, I can always create MORE bags with the prettier fabric.
I already had the brown, dark marbled blue, and yellow in my stash.....
Next up was choosing my image by searching for coloring pages. Since again, this was my first attempt and also since this would be a gift my Mom would be the proud recipient of, I chose the same image used by the lady mentioned above. I figured I could study and follow her sewing lines to learn. I just flipped my image opposite of hers. (I didn’t want an exact copy of course)
Here is the image I used. I had to do a little photoshop editing and playing around with printing settings (enlarging) to get the right size.
I printed several and cut apart each piece based on the color fabric for each part. Next step was printing out the pattern pieces, taping them together, then cutting out all the parts of the bag. I needed to cut out the front of the bag to use as my base for Mickey appliqué. (Next time I think I’ll just cut a larger piece than needed, do the appliqué, then cut out the exact piece I need…. After appliquéing, my front piece ended up being slighty smaller so I had to adjust some things later on when putting the bag together ~~ LESSON LEARNED)
What my desks look like when I'm working:
I fused Steam A Seam to the back of the fabrics I would use for Mickeys parts. **Being very careful to do it on the correct side since I was flipping the image, this was tricky**. Then, I cut out all the pieces. Laying them out to make sure they fit together nicely and were the right size I was looking for before permanently fusing them. (I later realized I needed to leave a lot more room along the bottom as part of Mickeys belly is now on the BOTTOM of the bag. ~~ LESSON #2 LEARNED)
After fusing, I started the long task of “satin stitching” around the edges of each part. I practiced several times on scrap fabric for curves, points, corners, etc! The settings I used on my machine were: .1 length and between 2.5-3.0 width. This gave me a decent stitch. While there are a bunch of mistakes (missing the edge of fabric, wonky curved lines, etc...), I am pretty happy with the end result. It finished out a lot better than I honestly expected. At this time, I also created a Tinkerbell panel as I’ll be making myself a bag too!!!!
Have to say this again.... Sewing the actual bag together was a synch. Erin does an AMAZING job on all her tuts (I purchased 4 total). It went together a lot faster than I expected. It took longer just cutting Mickey out than it did cutting the bag pieces and stitching together.
Though, you do need a VERY SHARP/NEW needle to go through more than 5 layers of fabric at times. My machine got stuck several times and skipped stitches so I had to take them out and redo manually using the hand wheel. I added the ruffle above the zipper on the front myself… it was NOT in the pattern… this added 2 layers of already 3-4 layers of fabric/interfacing.
I also made a matching small wristlet as well. I didn’t take photos, but you can see the finished wristlet.
The whole process from start to finish took about 3 weeks. I started well before Mothers Day. I knew I wouldn't get it finished before then, but planned to give it to Mom before our Disney trip in November. BUT because I got way too over excited to share the finished bag with SOMEONE other than my husband, I posted it to a Homemade Disney group on Facebook. I didn't realize it was an open group (but made sure Mom was NOT a member first....) and somehow the photo ended up on my newsfeed.... thus showing Mom my "surprise".... HEE HEE!!!!! So she's getting it a lot earlier than planned..... BUT SHE LOVES IT from the photos she's seen.... However, photos do it NO JUSTICE whatsoever.... Can't wait for her to see it in person soon....
I have also finished my bag: Tinkerbell!!!!!