To create the front of the project tote bag, you’ll need the following pieces:
- top zipper tab – with fusible attached
- bottom zipper tab – with fusible attached
- bottom front – with fusible attached
Step One: Attach the bottom front to the vinyl
- With the right sides together, fold the bottom front in half along the edge of the interfacing.
- Insert the vinyl right up to the fold.
- Stitch through all three layers.
- If you wish, use CLIPS to hold the pieces together – do NOT use pins, as you’ll leave permanent holes in the vinyl.
- I used the edge of the presser Foot A as the guide. We trim the bag front before the final assembly, so a wider than ¼” seam allowance is OK.
- Lengthen the stitch length because of the thickness of all the layers. Test first to ensure the tension is correct.
I used the Clever Clips to secure the bag sections for sewing.
- Fold the two sides of the bottom front away from the vinyl so they are now wrong sides together. I pulled the two pieces of fabric so they were the same size (more or less) – again, you’ll be trimming, so if they are a bit off, it’s not a problem.
- Finger press the seam – it‘ll be stiff with the interfacing.
- Carefully press the seam with a press cloth. I’ll topstitch later, but I want to topstitch everything with the appropriate thread color after trimming the bag front.
Step Two – Sew the zipper to the top zipper tab.
- Lay the uninterfaced piece of the top zipper tab face up.
- With the right side of the zipper facing down, place one side of the zipper along the top edge of the top zipper tab.
- I opened the zipper to make it easier to sew.
- Notice how a long zipper keeps the zipper pull entirely out of the way for sewing.
- Place the second (interfaced) piece of the top zipper tab over the zipper and the bottom part of the zipper tab. You may wish to pin or baste before you sew. Make sure the raw edges of the two pieces line up, but if they are off a bit, no big deal – we’ll trim the edges. Note the end of the zipper is parallel to the edges of the fabric.
- Attach the zipper foot to the ONYX 25
- Sew the seam.
- I used the center of the zipper foot as my seam allowance guide.
- Using the Stitch Width dial, I changed the stitch width to 6. Because I’m using a straight stitch, the needle moved to the leftmost position, allowing me to get the needle to the exact spot to sew the zipper. I can feel the ridge of the zipper with my fingernail to the left of the foot.
- Pull back the fabric pieces for the top zipper tab so they are now wrong sides together, and one zipper edge is between the two pieces.
- Finger press.
- We’ll topstitch this seam in a minute.
The top zipper tab should look like this.
Step Three – Attach the bottom zipper tab to the zipper
- You can close or open the zipper for this part. Lay out the section created in Step Two with the right side facing up.
- Position the interfaced edge of the bottom zipper tab along the edge of the zipper. Ensure the ends are lined up (we’ll trim, so it doesn’t have to be exact).
- Using the zipper foot, sew one edge of the bottom zipper tab to the zipper
- Finger-press the fabric away from the zipper.
- You’ll also top stitch this seam, but NOT right now.
The bottom zipper tab is NOT the same as the top zipper tab, as we must insert the vinyl before closing off the second raw edge. Trust me – it works!
And this is what the two zipper tabs look like from the wrong side.
Step Four – Attach the zipper tabs to the vinyl
- Fold the bottom zipper tab in half with the right sides together along the interfacing.
- Insert the second long edge of the vinyl into this fold and stitch. Use the edge of the presser foot as a guide.
- TIP for sewing with vinyl. The vinyl will not readily slide on the bed of the sewing machine. Keep the tissue paper (from the vinyl) handy and place it underneath it so it’ll move smoothly along the sewing machine.
- Pull the bottom zipper tab fabric back so the vinyl is between the fabric.
- Finger press.
- Press with the press cloth.
Step Five – Top Stitch
Let’s finish off the last raw edge of the bottom zipper tab. I’m going to sew and topstitch at the same time.
- Place the front of the project bag face down so you can work on the seam.
- Fold the seam allowance under to cover the seam used to sew this piece to the zipper.
- From the back, I pinned through all the layers as I’m going to topstitch this seam from the front, and I need to see where to sew. The pins on the back will guide your stitching on the front. If you wish to baste this seam, use a contrasting thread and a long stitch so it’s easy to pull out. As I placed the pins, I kept checking on the front to ensure the pins were in the correct position.
Here’s what the front of the project toe bag looks like. We now have four rows of top stitching to do, one of which will also stitch down the final edge of the bottom zipper tab.
- I used the Non-stick Glide Foot H to stitch next to the vinyl. The regular presser foot could stick to the vinyl, but the Non-stick Glide Foot H prevents that.
- Switch to a topstitch needle and your topstitching thread.
- Ensure the stitch length is longer, as we are now going through multiple layers. Test to see what stitch length looks good with your thread.
I used the zipper foot when I needed to topstitch beside the zipper.
When I topstitched that last seam with all the pins on the wrong side, I stitched slowly and removed the pins from underneath as I went. It’s easy to remove those pins if you have kept the head of the pins facing toward you as you sew. It worked like a charm!!!!
Here’s the right side of the topstitching. I’m THRILLED with the results. Look how even those stitches are – they are AMAZING. I wasn’t sure what to expect with all those layers!
And this is what it looks like from the back! WOW – the quality of the back of the stitches is as beautiful as the front. Notice that I used a matching bobbin thread. But the stitching on the left is where I topstitched and seamed simultaneously. If you pin right, you can have a beautiful seam and save time!!
I have to say that I’m very impressed with the ONYX 25 so far! It produces a beautiful stitch, even on the top stitching, where it’s essential to look nice. It’s easy to use, and changing the needle position was a snap.
The front of the project bag is complete! We’ll need to trim it, but let’s get the back of the project tote bag done first.
That’s the task for tomorrow, when we return with the Husqvarna VIKING ONYX 25, to quilt the back of the project tote bag and assemble it. Join me!
Have a great day!