Photo Tutorial: Brooklyn Handbag

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I had a fabulous and busy day sewing along with the ladies in the Bag of the Month Club Facebook Group. I promised to move it all here, so that it can referred in the future. This is a supplement to the pattern instructions, they are much more detailed. (This bag pattern is currently only available as part of the Bag of the Month Club, it’ll be released separately in July).

Here are two very helpful products I use when making this bag.

Beacon Fabri-Tac

Double-Sided Tape

Double-Sided Tape

Step 1: Prepping

First, you need to cut all fabric and interfacing. I did this a few days before the sew-along.

Since the foam is not sewn into the side seams, we need to zigzag the foam to compress the edges. This makes the transition from SF101 to foam less noticeable.

If using it, press the fusible web to one side of both foam panels.

Remove the paper backing, after it’s cooled.

Fuse foam to the wrong side of both exterior Main Panels.

Fuse (or glue baste) Bottom Support stabilizer to the contrasting Bottom Panel, on the wrong side and centered.

Fuse woven interfacing to the wrong side of all applicable panels.

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I use my steam press here!

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All fused and ready to party!

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Step 2B: Vinyl Handle Connectors

Glue two Handle Connectors WST and matching all edges. Repeat to end up with a total of 4.

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I mark a line across the Connector so I know where to stop stitching.

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Top stitch along the two parallel edges only.

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Repeat for the remaining three.

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Slide a rectangle ring onto the Connector and fold the top down 1″. I used double-sided tape to hold, but you can use a fabric clip or fabric glue. Sew across the Connector along the hardware to secure.

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Make sure all are the same size!

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Mark the Handle Connector placement on the right side of an exterior Main Panel. 1.5″ from top and to the left and right of center (2″ for all for Traveler size).

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Apply fabric glue or DST to the backside of a Connector.

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And lay the Connectors in place, glue side down. Each 1.5″ from center with the top fold 1.5″ from the top edge of the Main Panel.

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Repeat to glue baste the remaining two Connectors to the other exterior Main Panel.

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I press from the wrong side with steam to help set the glue.

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With a long stitch length and a non-stick foot, sew across the Connector along the hardware.

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Then, pivot to continue, about 1/8″ from the edge of the Connector. When I get to the bottom corner, I hand crank my machine and turn the Main Panel slightly after each stitch (with needle down).

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It always gives me pretty nice curves!

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Step 3B: Accent Panels

Apply a thin amount of glue (or DST) along all edges of an Accent Panel (wrong side).

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Lay on exterior Main Panel, glue side down, matching the bottom edges.

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I set the glue with steam.

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Using a non-stick foot, top stitch about 1/8″ from the top curvy edge.

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Then, continue to machine baste along the three straight edges.

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I use a 4mm stitch length for all top stitching and basting.

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Step 4: Strap Connectors

I LOVE using DST for straps, handles and connectors, but glue is fine too.

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Fold the long edges of the Strap Connector to the center and glue baste or use DST.

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Cut in half.

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Slide a 3/4″ D-ring onto one Connector, then fold the ends to the center on the backside. Glue baste or use DST to secure.

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Mark the Strap Connector placement on the right side of an exterior Main Panel. It should be 2″ from the edge of the notch on the right, and 3/4″ from the top edge.

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Glue baste in place.

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Using a zipper foot, top stitch around the Connector.

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Repeat to sew the remaining Connector to the other exterior Main Panel.

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The exterior Main Panels are done!

Step 5: Lining Pocket

Mark a 7″ x 1/2″ box on the wrong side of a lining Main Panel that is 2″ down from the top edge and centered.

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Flip over and pin the Pocket Panel right side down, 1″ from the top edge and centered.

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Flip over and sew directly over the marked box with a short stitch length.

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Mark like so, then cut along the center line, and to each corner. Right up to, but not through, the stitches.

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Pull the Pocket Panel through.

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Press flat. I roll the seams between my fingers for nice, straight seams.

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I apply a thin line of fabric glue along both long edges.

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Then, center the zipper, face down, over the opening. The pull should be to the right.

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Flip over and adjust the zipper if need be.

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Top stitch around the opening.

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Fold the Pocket Panel so the short edges are matching and press, then pin together.

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With the Main Panel right side up, sew around the three raw edges of the Pocket Panel, folding the Main Panel out of the way as you go.

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Trim seam allowances.

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Step 6: Main Compartment Zipper

Mark 1″ in from both notch edges along the top edge of the Main Panel. It’s hard to see here with all my other markings but it’s the one hidden in the blue lady hair.

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I use glue for the zipper. You can pin. If you do use glue, only use the smallest amount along the very edge. Be careful.

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Lay the zipper, face down with the pull to the left, matching the long edge of the zipper to the top edge of the Main Panel. The zipper stops should be centered and 1″ from the ends.

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With a zipper foot, sew along the matched edge only at 1/4″ SA.

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Pin the lining Main Panel without pocket to the exterior Main Panel, right sides together. The zipper will be hidden in between.

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Flip over and sew right over the existing stitching.

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Flip both panels WST and press (from the lining side so that you don’t melt your vinyl).

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Top stitch along the zipper seam.

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Repeat to sew the remaining exterior Main Panel to the zipper.

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Then, the lining Main Panel with pocket.

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Then, press those two panels WST.

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And finally, top stitch along the zipper seam.

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Pin the two exterior Main Panels RST, and the two lining Main Panels RST.

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Sew along both side edges of the exterior Main Panels at 1/2″ seam allowance.

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Sew along one side edge of the lining Main Panels at 5/8″ SA.

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Sew the remaining side edge of the lining Main Panels, except leave a 6″ opening to turn the bag later. I’ve marked where to stop sewing (or else I’d forget).

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Trim all seam allowances, except along the opening.

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Step 7: Bottom Panels

Mark the centers on the wrong side of exterior Main Panels and contrasting Bottom Panel.

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Glue baste of use DST to fold the long edges to the center of the Bottom Connector.

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Cut in half.

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Slide 3/4″ D-rings onto the Bottom Connectors, then fold in half and clip.

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Top stitch using a non-stick foot.

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Center each Bottom Connector on the right side of the contrasting Bottom Panel, over the center marks at the ends and matching the raw edges. Machine baste in place at 1/4″ SA.

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Matching all center marks (the marks at each end of the Bottom Panel should match the side seams), pin the contrasting Bottom Panel to the exterior Main Panels. Pin only once at each mark.

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Work your way around pinning every 1″ or so.

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Until the entire Bottom Panel is pinned.

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I decided to try the stapling method I’ve heard about here in lieu of pinning. It worked great! Just staple around, 1/4″ from the raw edges.

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Sew around the Bottom Panel at 1/2″ SA.

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Readjust as needed at the ends.

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Trim seam allowance. This also removed my staples.

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Repeat to mark the centers of the lining.

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Clip the lining Bottom Panel to the lining Main Panels.

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Then, sew at 5/8″ seam allowance.

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Trim seam allowance.

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Carefully turn the bag right side out through the opening.

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Tuck the raw edges at the opening inward 5/8″ and press, then pin the opening closed.

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Top stitch along the opening to close it.

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Step 8B: Vinyl Side Clip Connectors

Fold one long side edge under 1/4″ and glue or use DST to hold in place.

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Fold the other side edge.

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Then, fold the short edges and repeat to fold the other Side Clip Connector.

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“Box” the top corners of the bag. Match the side seam and zipper and press.

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I didn’t want to risk melting the vinyl, so just used clips.

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Slide a swivel clip onto a Connector and fold in half.

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Start 1/2″ from the wide end and top stitch towards the swivel clip.

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Pivot to sew across along the hardware.

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Then, back down the other side, stopping 1/2″ from the wide end.

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Repeat for second Connector.

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Apply glue inside a Connector.

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And slide it onto the bag, butting the Connector up to the zipper stop.

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Glue baste the other Connector to the other end of the bag and let the glue set.

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This part is tricky. Finish top stitching around each Connector to attach it to the bag, starting and stopping at the existing stitching. Don’t worry, if you mess up, it won’t ruin your bag. This is one of the last steps and you can recut and resew new ones if you want to, even after the bag is completely finished.

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Pivot to sew each edge.

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Good enough!

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Clip the Connectors down to the D-rings near the bottom.

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Step 10: Handles

I said it earlier, but it’s worth saying again… double-sided tape is amazing for vinyl handles.

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I eyeball the center and mark a few center marks to fold to. Fold one long edge to center.

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Then, the other long edge to center.

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One more strip of DST, and fold again, matching the long folded edges.

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Top stitch about 1/8″ from each long edge, using a non-stick foot.

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Cut in half.

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I am using rivets for the Handles. I make two center marks, one 1/2″ from the end and one 2″ from the end, at both ends of each Handle.

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Then, punch holes.

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Pull an end of a Handle through a rectangle ring and stick a rivet with post in from the front, through the 2″ hole.

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Then through the 1/2″ hole.

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Then squeeze a backing cap onto it.

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Repeat to attach the other end of the same Handle to the rectangle ring on the same side of the bag. Then, repeat to attach the remaining Handle to the other side of the bag. Use a press or rivet setter to set the rivets well. Trim the raw ends of the Handles to get a nice straight edge closer to the rivets.

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Finish the Strap the same way as the Handles, sewing (or rivetting) to two swivel clips instead.

All finished! Thanks for following along. 🙂

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