Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sew Serendipity Bags tutorial + Giveaway!

Have you made a Sew Serendipity Bag?

A Bag for Every Skill-Level, Every Occasion, Every Style
Kay Whitt loves designing bags, and you're going to love sewing them!

Take Your Pick of Styles:

With full instructions for twelve bags—and with a few clever variations thrown in—there are plenty of designs to choose from! Pick a handbag that is sweet, sleek or funky. Or check out some of the other great designs: a flirty little backpack, the perfect lunch bag, convenient shopping bags and handy task-oriented bags (whether that task involves a laptop, gym clothes or diapers). Each design is easy to adapt to your style.

Hone Your Skills:
Check out the technique section, which includes step-by-step photos, to freshen up your skills and learn about a few new notions, too. Next, move on to the projects to put your know-how in motion.
  • Flip to the Simple Bags for something quick and fun to sew. And even though these bags are easy to make, the end results are clever and cute.
  • Step it up in the Intermediate Bags section, with bags that play up your style. Learn a few new skills, try out a few new tools and make yourself a bag you can really show off.
  • The Challenging Bags section takes you to the level of bag maven. The bags' construction may be complex, but the instructions are not. Sew it together step by step, and find yourself with a truly professional, beautifully constructed bag.
The bags in this book are truly extraordinary—and with Kay's instruction, they are oh-so-easy to make.

Includes 6 Pull-Out Pattern Sheets!

Below are some excerpts for you from Sew Serendipity Bags!  Kay shows how to make handles, how to install a double loop slider, and how to install grommets!  

Read on...

Making Handles
Many of the handles for the projects are made in the same manner. Be sure to piece the strips together as instructed per project to ensure the proper length as well as width. Once the strips have been cut, pieced and interfaced on the wrong side of fabric, follow the steps below to create the handles.
Place two strips right sides together and stitch down one of the long sides with a 1⁄2"seam allowance. Press the seam open.

Fold in one of the outer raw edges so that it just touches the raw edge of the seam allowance and press.

Repeat for the other outer raw edge.

Fold the handle strip in half along the seam, with wrong sides together, and press.

Edgestitch down the long open side of the handle, then down the long finished edge. To edgestitch, begin at one end and follow the finished edge all the way around a piece. I like to stay within 1⁄16" to 1⁄8" away from the edge for this stitching.

Topstitch each side. To topstitch, begin again at the same end where the edgestitching started, only this time, complete the stitching approximately 1⁄4" in from the previous stitching line. Notice how I use the outer edge of my machine foot to gauge the distance evenly all the way around the piece.
Repeat for any remaining handle strips, then trim the handles down to the length specified in the instructions.

When edgestitching or topstitching handles, I like to pivot the piece and stitch across the end. Pivoting at the end of the handle saves time and means that there will be fewer threads to trim later.

1 When you are within 1⁄8" of the edge, stop with the needle firmly in the fabric. Lift the presser foot, and rotate the fabric.

2 Drop the presser foot, and continue sewing.

Installing a Double Loop Slider
Installation of a double loop slider enables the handle to be adjustable. This is particularly handy on the Cross-Body and Convertible Backpack projects. This is a simple installation once you know how to do it.

1 Feed the handle end through the slider.

Put the end of the handle through the D-ring or swivel clasp, whichever applies to the project.

Pull up some slack in the handle portion that feeds through the slider. Slip the end of this handle under the slack, and next to the middle bar of the slider.
Feed the end over the middle bar, keeping it under the slack.

Fold over the end of the handle 1⁄2" and place that end as close as possible to the slider while still being able to machine-stitch to secure it.

Stitch across the handle end. Repeat for added durability.

Installing Grommets
Grommets (or eyelets) allow for a finished-edge hole to be put into a bag. These are used for the media pockets on the Laptop Messenger, Convertible Backpack and Multi-Tasker Bag.

Tools needed:

To install a grommet, place the front portion onto the piece, following the placement in the project instructions. Use a temporary marking pencil to trace the inside of the circle.

 2 Start the opening with an awl.

Enlarge the opening with a sharp pair of scissors.

Place the front portion of the grommet in the opening with the back portion on the 
other side of the piece.

Use grommet pliers to attach the pieces around each other and secure to both sides of the fabric. 

Now, would you like to WIN your own copy of 
Sew Serendipity Bags??

Click HERE for the entry form!

And for those who don't want to wait, order your own copy!  HERE, at the Martha Pullen Store, we have it on discount, just for you, our blog readers:

Retail: $29.99
Your price: $19.79
You save: $10.20 (34%)

(Plus, save an additional 10% by entering code: MPSEWMONTH12 upon checkout!!)


  1. What a great tutorial, much better than my trial and error method! Will definitely give this a try.

  2. Thanks for another AWESOME giveaway!!! <3

  3. Oh! I just bought that book--at full price...I should have waited two weeks. It is a neat book.

  4. What a sweet little purse. I've already filled out the entry form. Wish me luck!

  5. This is perfect... I like the tutorial... thanks for sharing.
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  7. Wonderful tutorial! Been looking for a good adjustable strap tutorial and this is spot on and looks easy!