Monday, August 10, 2015

Stash and Dash Bag Sew Along (Days 11-15)

Welcome back to Round 3 of my recap of the Stash and Dash bag Summer Sew Along!

In the detailed Sew Along posts on Annie's Blog, the first 15 steps are now done.  So, I'm going to link each section back to her original post, and I will give you my running commentary on this page.  Please remember that my comments are MINE. You've probably seen the disclaimer on TV saying views expressed on this show may not reflect the views of the producers or whatever blah blah blah. The same thing applies here. If I do something differently, that's fine. It is what works for me, and your mileage may vary too. :)

Make the Back Vinyl Pocket

(Go here for Annie's post)

Making the vinyl pocket is pretty straight forward, and Annie's post will give you some great tips that will save you time and frustration.  I find vinyl to be pretty easy to sew with once you learn the tricks.

This is pretty redundant, but I really couldn't agree more about my Teflon/Non-Stick feet being worth the expense (mine have been $15-30 depending on the machine).  The one in the picture is the Janome Ultraglide foot that fits my Juki TL-2010Q, and I have sewn a lot of the same vinyl with the Non-Stick foot on my Pfaff machines.  If you're wondering why my picture looks a little weird, I had the extension table on my machine, and the vinyl was sticking to the plastic so I rotated it 180 degrees (the vinyl piece is small enough that it easily fit within the harp space of my Juki).

Make Placement Lines and Attach the Strap Closure and Slider

(Go here for Annie's post)

The best tips that I can give you on this section are to make sure that your slider is facing the correct direction.  With the metal slider that I used, there is a slight curve.  You want to make sure that yours is oriented properly so that it will operate correctly once installed.

This is just a side view showing how the strap works with the slider.
The other tip that will save you a lot of frustration is to double check your line placement.  As you can see in the picture below, I was double checking that my strap was positioned properly before stitching it down.  This is also another time where Wonder/binding tape can be very useful.  I put a line of tape on the center of my original seam from sewing the fabric tube.  I left the tape short enough that it wouldn't cross my marked lines, but long enough that it would keep my fabric in place for easier stitching.

Attach the Back Vinyl Pocket

(Go here for Annie's post)

I'm admittedly a super big fan of Clover Wonder Clips.  While I use the small clips 99% of the time, the large size (they are usually green) is handy.  On the left side of the picture, you can see that I've used the small size clips to hold the edge of the vinyl.  The top/right side of the picture shows 3 large Wonder Clips holding the bound edge of the vinyl pocket in place for easier stitching.  The large clips have a long enough reach to allow the fabric to remain flat.

I will also note that for my purposes, I chose to omit the vinyl back pocket (except on the first bag that I made in the picture) because I didn't find that it was necessary for how I was planning to use the bags.  The instructions were great, I just didn't need it.  If I'm making a bag, with few exceptions, I will follow the directions as written.  It's usually on bags 2 and on that I'll start making modifications. 

Attach the Inner Zippered Mesh Pockets

(Go here for Annie's post)

I think Annie's post covered this section really well.  I will add that in my 3rd Stash and Dash bag, I opted to use vinyl pockets instead of mesh.  I was making the bag for my husband, and the mesh pockets wouldn't have worked very well for how he was planning to use the bag.  I could have gone with a finer mesh, but it would have really obscured the view of the items.  I cut the vinyl to the same size as the mesh, and I used the same method as described in the pattern to stitch it down to the bag (using my nifty Teflon/non-stick foot).  In my next post which covers finishing the bag, I will share more pictures of how my husband is using his Stash and Dash bag.

Here's the finished bag for my husband with the vinyl interior pockets.

Round the Corners of the Organizer

(Go here for Annie's post)

So, here's where the button templates that I mentioned in the first post of the series comes into play.  I really like the spool of thread trick that Annie talks about, but I have about 7 or 8 different threads, and they all have different sizes of bases.  I marked the template to indicate that it measured 2.5" across, so I don't have to continually re-measure every time I want to make something that requires a curve of that size.  I use it frequently enough that I keep it in my A Place for Everything bag.

To make the correct size curve using these templates, you want the edge of the round object to kiss the edge of two sides of the fabric and mark the curve using an appropriate marking pen.  For this project, I selected a purple Frixion pen because it would show well against the pink background of my fabric.  I've also marked the same curve on dark fabrics where I used a white pencil.  I don't often scissor-cut fabric unless I really have to do so, but I do use scissors to cut along the line that I've just marked.  I don't worry about making sure the marks are totally removed (as I would do if the line would be visible,but for this purpose, the line is your cutting line and it will be hidden inside of your binding.

With a line that is very visible against my fabric, it was a piece of cake for me to round the corners with scissors.

So, that's it for me on part three of my recap (days 11-15 of the Sew Along).  I hope you are having fun with this super fantastic little bag.  I know that I have.  I love them so much that I've already made 4 (as of when I'm writing this post), and I have 3 more to make as gifts.

If you haven't done so, be sure to head over to Annie's blog and snag a copy of the free pattern (before October 1).  While you're there, check out the official Sew Along posts.  Be sure to check back with me in a few days for more progress updates on this fantastic project.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to show us your tricks and tweaks to Annie's original pattern. I just finished my first Stash and Dash(well, I still have to hand bind), and I was wondering if you knew what the purpose is or was orginally for the vinyl pocket on the back? I also like to follow patterns the first time around and cannot come up with a reason that pocket is there. Thought you might have any ideas, or maybe Annie says in her pattern or instructions and I missed it. Thanks again for sharing your running commentary!! OH...also....I too ended up using my JUMBO wonder clips on this project....they came in handy!!

    1. Hi Lynnea! I think the original concept was to keep your car registration or a similar document in it. To be honest, the only bag that I made with it was the first. :)

  2. You have done great job by creating the bag by your own,. Looking for the anti static ziplock bags then, get these from DegageCorp who is leading supplier of cleanroom bags.