Stage 1 of the APEXsewalong is live with a video posted up on my brand spanking new YouTube channel! Can’t say I ever thought I’d have a YouTube channel… “Mammy, just don’t say “Welcome to my YouTube channel!”” I was warned!
The APEXcarry has been a hugely popular pattern and, with the first stage starting on the 14th April, I’m going to host a fun sewalong in week-by-week stages to get us all summer-bag-ready here in the northern hemisphere!!
Back at the end of last year I was delighted to be asked by Simply Sewing Magazine if they could publish one of my patterns. What a wonderful opportunity! We agreed on publishing a version the MidnightSUN bag. The magazine was on the shelves yesterday, 17th March, which also happened to be St. Patrick’s Day!
Ok, so I can’t promise this bag pattern will carry everyone’s worries away, but it will help you carry almost everything else!
A really quick post to let you all know that the APEXpouch pattern has been released (shh I’m telling the rest of the world tomorrow, Saturday 27th November!) There will be giveaways happening over on Instagram, hosted by myself and a gang of wonderful testers over the next few days. Keep an eye out for #APEXpouch and #APEXgiveaway!
The APEXpouch is a versatile pouch pattern that comes in two sizes, small and large, with two main closure options; the Drawstring APEX and the Zipped APEX.
The small and large APEXpouches are sized to take a 20cm or 30cm closed ended zip. It has a simple modern aesthetic with angled outer pockets that can be secured with a snap & loop closure, a simple snap closure or subdivided with a line of stitching.
The perfect pattern for a purse, clutch, small project bag, a wash bag or make-up bag. It’s clean, modern aesthetic will show off your gorgeous fabric beautifully and is perfect for colour blocking fun.
It has angled outer pockets that can be secured with a snap & loop closure, a simple snap closure or with a line of stitching. Additionally, the large sized APEX comes with options for internal pockets allowing you to choose to add a 20cm zipped welt pocket and/or a subdivided angled pocket.
Tomorrow I will show you some of the wonderful pouches made during testing, but for now goodnight!! xx Sarah
Come join our growing bag making community over on Facebook at In Complete Stitches Sew & Share to be inspired and to share your own In Complete makes!
We made it!! Thank you for following along with my Planetary adventure! It wasn’t completely smooth sailing, but where would the fun be in that?!
Today I’ll talk through assembling the lining, assembling the bag (whoop!) and the final finishing touches!
If you joined in on the sewalong or have been inspired to make your own Planetary Backpack do let me know how you got on!! Come join us over in the In Complete Stitches Sew & Share group over on Facebook, or tag me on Instagram @incompletestitches using the hashtags #planetarybackpack #planetarysewalong or #incompletestitches! Now, let’s get this bag finished!!
The 15% discount code PLANETARYSEWALONG is still valid until 1st September to get yourself the pattern at an even better price than usual!! Click here to bring you straight to the Esty shop where the discount code will automatically be applied at the checkout.
Assembling the Lining!
Following Step 11 of the Planetary Backpack tutorial I gathered my prepared lining and internal pocket. I had interfaced the main lining pieces, B3 & B4, with a layer of Vilene H630, a lofted iron-on interfacing. Having attached the pocket to the rear lining piece I used a rivet in place of a bartack to reinforce the top of the pocket subdivision.
Note: I used a little piece of leather and some extra squares of interfacing to reinforce and support the rivet to the rear of the lining. You can just about see it in the photo of the assembly of the lining and outer bags below.
With the lining pocket fixed in place I continued to Step 12 and assembled the lining bag, sewing front and back right sides together, leaving a gap for turning in the bottom seam.
Assembling the Bag!!
Using the simplified drawstring and with the outer bag wrong-side out and the lining right-side out I assembled the bag by sewing along the seam, just like the step shown below from the mini-hack tutorial.
Note: I did baste the front of the drawstring casing, where the ends meet, in place before pinning the rest together. Just to keep it sitting neatly in place.
I then did an extra step that is not included in the Planetary Backpack tutorial but features in the MidnightSUN and SUNrise patterns. It is a way to secure the lining at the bottom of the bag holding everything in place and making the inside of your bag that little bit extra neat! It does make it a little trickier to pull the bag right-side out, but for the Planetary Backpack, which is intended to be a more relaxed style, it works great too. I’ve shown the step from the MidnightSUN pattern below to show you what I did.
With the bag still right-side out you pull the bottom corners down to meet each other and sew along the boxed out seams. I lined up the raw edges of the boxed out corners. I pinned them in place and then sewed the lining and outer together keeping my stitch line just outside the existing stitching. To reduce bulk trim the seam allowances back by about half. Confession time again; I don’t always bother to trim them back in a bigger bag. Shhhh…
Birthing & Final Steps!!!
Now it’s the very best bit (apart from using your handmade bag and telling the world proudly, “Yes I did make it… I know it’s fab isn’t it?!”)
I’m not sure I like the term “birthing” in reference to pulling your bag right-side out through the hole in the lining, but it definitely is appropriate at some level. Certainly the result is super satisfying, if not quite a life giving miracle!
I used a cotton twill tape as the drawstring for this bag which I threaded through using a safety pin. Do be careful that the pin doesn’t open halfway along… yes, this did happen to me. I then attached plastic toggle from the K-Bas stash to secure it.
Next the shoulder straps need to be finished. I used 70cm long straps for my four and a half year old, so there is not a lot of excess strap hanging out. Follow Step 14 of the tutorial to feed the strap through the d-ring and finish the end.
Finally to sew up the hole in the lining inside the bottom of the bag. If you didn’t secure the lining corners to the outer corners at the previous step, you can sew the hole shut using your machine with the hole neatly pinned together. If you have secured them you will need to hand stitch this hole closed. This is actually my favourite step of the whole process. With a fabulous bag all finished I thoroughly enjoy sitting down on the couch with a cup of tea, a needle, thread and scissors and relishing the final touch.
Here are all the fancy final pics of my littlest sweetheart’s lovely new schoolbag. Ready for 2 weeks time when we get back from holidays and she starts primary school with her big brothers! There is little better than sending them off to school with a bit of homemade PlanetaryLOVE on their backs.
Wow! Thank you so much for sticking with me till the end. I thoroughly enjoyed making this bag and preparing the sewalong posts. They will of course be here forever and a day for you to refer to if or when you decide to get cracking on your own lovely Planetary Backpack!
As I said above, if you joined in on the sewalong or have been inspired to make your own Planetary Backpack do let me know how you got on!! Come join us over in the In Complete Stitches Sew & Share group over on Facebook, or tag me on Instagram @incompletestitches using the hashtags #planetarybackpack #planetarysewalong or #incompletestitches! One of the best bits of pattern making is seeing the patterns come to life in the hands of other talented, enthusiastic sewing folk!
We’re in full Planetary swing now and this post will go through Steps 9, 10 and 11 of the main Planetary Backpack tutorial which will bring us up as far as getting the outer bag assembled!
Let the real fun begin!
This post will follow Steps 5-8 of the main Planetary Backpack tutorial, and will talk through how I added piping to both the Front Mountain Panel and the Front Flap.
Fabrics selected? Interfacing options figured out? Hacks decided? Well let’s get going so!
This Stage 2 post of the PLANETARYsewalong will focus on prepping & cutting out your fabric, applying any interfacing and working as far as Step 4 of the Planetary Backpack tutorial.
I’m very excited to get this Planetary Sewalong up and running! I know it’s prime holiday time now as we enter August and engagement might not be high. Nonetheless I hope a few of you enjoy either sewing along with me as I go through the making of this Planetary Backpack, or at least get a bit of insight into my sewing process and perhaps a little inspiration?