Monday, January 17, 2011

Tara's Favorite Bag - The Handles !

Okay, let me start off by saying Facebook is WAY too addicting! I must get myself to stop playing so many facebook games .. it eats up way too much time. Just think what I could accomplish if I forgot all those online games?

Anyway... with that self-recriminiation out of the way .. Let's think about the handles for our purse/bag. We will be using 4" wide strips for the handles. I have cut 3 - 4" x width of fabric strips for my handles. I also have joined them end-to-end on the diagaonal so that I have one long (about 120 inches) 4" wide strip.

To join them end to end, start by laying two ends face to face as shown here and marking from one corner to the other corner, this will be a 45 degree angle on your ruler.

You then want to sew on this line and cut off the triangle.  
I press my diagonal seams open to reduce the bulk.
Next, we need to press this strip in half lengthwise. 
Re-open the strip and press each raw edge to the center crease.
After both edges have been pressed to the center, you want to repress your first crease.
At this point, if you want a padded handle, or one with a bit more "umpgh" to it, then you can add a 3/4" strip of batting inside these folds, or even use some interfacing.

Before stitching to secure the folds, test the length of the handle against your purse. 
Lay out your handle so that it looks like this:
You want to start at a handle end all the way at the top of where you want your handle, go down below the purse and come up the other side to the same height, then go back down under the purse and come up and meet your original end. Cut off any excess.  My handle ended up about 100 inches long.

Now you can join the two ends of the handle on the diagonal, but be very careful not to twist.

Next, you want to sew 1/8" to 1/4" from each edge of the handles, plus perhaps a decorative stitch down the middle.
You can see here that I am doing a smocking stitch down the center of my handle.

The next steps will envolve adding the handle to the purse base :)

Exciting isn't it?

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