The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong

Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Fabric

Today we begin making the Phoebe Handbag by assembling the pattern pieces and cutting out the fabric and stabilizer. To follow along, you should already have a copy of the Phoebe Handbag Pattern.

Print and Assemble the PDF Sewing Pattern

If you have a digital sewing pattern, the first thing you need to do is to print and join the pattern pieces.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

When printing pattern pieces from a pdf sewing pattern it’s important to make sure that the pages are printed to the correct size. To do this, open the pdf file and scroll to the page you want to print. From the main menu select … File > Print. This opens the print dialog screen. Select the page or the page range you want to print, and make sure that “Page Scaling” is set to “None”. This will ensure that the pattern prints to the correct size.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

As an alternative measure to make sure the pattern is sized correctly, all the pattern pieces have a special 1″ square printed on the page. You can measure this square using a ruler to double check the size.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

For multiple pages that need to be taped together, the pattern pieces will also have a scored line with a registration mark.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

Carefully cut along the scored line on one of the matching pieces, overlap onto the corresponding piece, line up the registration mark which will form a circle, then tape in place.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

This particular pattern piece has four sections which join together to form the complete pattern piece. Each pattern piece includes 1/2″ seam allowance and shows the stitching line. Cut the pattern pieces around the outer line which is the cutting line.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

Before Cutting the Fabric and Interfacing Pieces

Attaching the Interfacing

Unless the pieces are small and simple, it’s often difficult to iron interfacing to fabric after both pieces are cut to size. Somehow they just never seem to match up exactly.

For Bag Body Piece A, Bag Body Lining Piece E, Bag Top, Slip Pocket, Belt, Outside Zipper Pocket, Inside Zipper Pocket, Straps…
For both the fabric and the interfacing, rough cut around the pattern pieces by 1/2″-1″. Iron the interfacing to the fabric, then cut out the pattern pieces to size. You’ll find this a much easier and more accurate way to cut the pieces.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Sewing Pattern

Directional Fabric Designs

The Phoebe Handbag is designed for fabric that has a multidirectional design, however you can also use fabric that has a directional design.

For Bag Body Piece A and Bag Body Lining Piece E …
With the right sides of the fabric facing, fold the fabric so that the design is running in the correct direction on both pieces. Position the pattern on top of the fabric and instead of placing the bottom edge of the pattern on the fabric fold, cut a 1/2″ seam along the bottom.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Fabric

Sew the seam. When you open the fabric, the pattern on both pieces should be running in the correct direction.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Fabric

Press the seam open.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Fabric

Cut The Pieces

Before you cut out all the pieces, here are a few tips.

The easiest way I’ve found to cut pieces using patterns made from copy paper is to use fabric weights which allows the fabric to lay perfectly flat while you cut. Using pins tends to scrunch the fabric and this can result in inaccurate cutting. You can use any small heavy object as a pattern weight. I made mine using large fabric yo-yos filled with rice and a couple of large metal washers to add extra weight.

To make long straight cuts, line a quilter’s ruler along the outer edge of the pattern and use a rotary cutter to make the cut. For shorter cuts, use a sharp pair of fabric scissors.

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Fabric

Coming up Next

In the next session we’ll begin by making the Ruffled Panel for the front of the bag.

 


The Phoebe SewAlong

1. Welcome
2. Gather Your Supplies
3. Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Pieces
4. Make the Ruffled Panel
5. Make the Bag Body
6. Make the Lining
7. Make the Bag Top
8. Assemble the Bag


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