Yay! It’s day 5 of our Traverse Bag Sew Along and at the end of this post we will have assembled the exterior and have an actual bag!
I love how Anna does this cool think where you fold the pull-side zipper tape back at an angle and stitch it in place (as shown in the above left photo), it keeps the tape out of the way when we’re installing the zipper later on.
In the above right photo you can see me cutting my zipper. I’m highlighting this because a lot of sewists don’t know that zippers can be cut, which makes it less stressful when sourcing zippers, just get the longer one (I bought a 24″ separating) and cut it down to size!
Here we’re pressing the zipper end tab to make a little cover for the end of the zipper to keep everything looking nice and neat, as the end of the zipper will not be sewn into the bag. Once you press it into the correct shape (using the pattern directions), slip the end of the zipper into the tab and clip it in place. Then top stitch around the whole tab, being careful when sewing over your zipper.
Now it’s time to install the zipper! On the assembled front you want to make a mark 1 1/2″ in on each side of the top edge.
I used the Steam a Seam 2 1/4″ tape as in the previous zipper installation from day 3, fusing it to the top edge in between the marks, then fusing the zipper, and then sewing the zipper with your zipper foot using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Now we’re going to attach the zipper to the assembled back using the same steps we used on the assembled front.
Then, we need to clip the sides of the front and back, matching sides and corners, and pinching the zipper up so that we can sew the sides.
Before sewing, we need to cut a 1″ square out of each bottom corner, which will create the box corner. I just put a clear cutting ruler at the corner and cut around it, but you can also use a marking tool and then cut with scissors.
Now, sew up the sides and across the bottom, making sure to keep the flap and zipper end out of the way.
Press the seams open. Using Anna’s directions, clip the side and bottom together and sew, creating the box corners. Turn your exterior right side out. Now you clip the strap holders in place centered at the top of each side, on the outside of the bag with raw edges together, and baste in place.
And look at that! We have the exterior of our bag completed and are ready to work on the lining on Thursday. Thanks for sewing along and don’t forget to show us your bag progress #hartssewalong.