Alright, it’s September 2nd - let's finish this thing so we can move on to other projects!
If you’re like me, it’s the sewing the whole thing together, all 12 layers of fabric (in some places) while avoiding the peltex and cording that is so intimidating. So let yourself procrastinate a little by starting with the lining and false bottom (Steps 12 A-E and Step 13). I told myself sewing the lining was like a dress-rehearsal for the big show. The only real difficulty is sewing the corners with a 5/8” seam without puckering. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures. I’ve got no suggestions for you beyond forgive yourself. Anyone who judges you for the lining is not worth having as a friend.
Then I went back to Step 10. Sewing the top to the bottom is no problem – just a couple of things to note:
The bottom is a little bit visible from the sides of the bag. I was originally planning to do my bottom with my bright red liner fabric because I thought it would be less likely to show dirt, but after seeing how much of the bottom was visible from the side, I switched back to the main fabric.
Once you’ve got the top and bottom together, you mark them for attachment. The instructions tell you to mark the center of the top and bottom panels by pressing it gently with an iron – I used fabric pen. The peltex hasn’t been inserted in the bottom at this point and if you’re anything more than gentle with that iron I think you'd seal up your interfacing before you get the peltex inside.
Now it’s time to attach. Don't forget to tuck those handles back in the pockets! Remember how hard it was to sew the corners on the lining? I had clipped my cording a little when I sewed it to the side panels:
The corners here were an unexpected breeze after that lining!
I will say I needed all ten of my red clips to attach just half of the top/bottom to a side panel – so I only sewed half of each panel at a time. I was glad I did this, because it's really nice to be able to check half-way through and confirm that you're doing it right and that no old seams are showing.
If you go slow, there are only three really bumpy parts – when you hit the seams that attach the top to the bottom:
And where you hit the overlapped cording at the middle of the bottom.
If you can get through these three points, you’re fine. The denim needle, recommended by everyone, really works.
Inserting the peltex (Step 11 E): So, I’m sorry, once the whole thing is sewn together I'm expected to stick three layers of peltex in and re-sew it closed with a ½” seam? I ironed it to seal and then hand basted it – I think getting all those layers under my zipper foot would’ve been impossible, no matter what the internet says!
Then it’s just the lining attachment. I attached the bottom four seams first and then the top and just did a little tacking at the corners and the side seams. Don’t skip pinning the top along the zipper, I was too impatient for this step and it didn’t turn out as pretty as it might have. But hey, it’s done!
As you can see, I skipped side pockets; two are enough for me to lose things in!
And finally, with some "I'm going somewhere pretty for the weekend" staging: