Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stash and Dash Sew Along (Day 16-21)

This is it!  We are at the end of the road for the 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 Bias Binding

(Go here for Annie's post)

I think Annie's blog post is clear and concise.  There's not much that I do differently except that I *do* press my binding.  I tried not pressing it once, and it twisted more than the pressed binding, so your mileage may vary.

Bind the Edges, Part 1:  Attach the Binding

(Go here for Annie's post)

In my list of tools that I use for making this bag, I mentioned the Binding Tool by TQM Products.  The ruler has directions printed on the top that specify the amount of a tail that should be left to use the Binding Tool.  With the amount of binding that is prepared in the instructions, there is more than enough needed to use the tool. The big thing that seems to snag people up on the Binding Tool is that you need to leave the appropriate amount of gap between the start of the stitching attaching the binding and the end of the stitching.  With the Mini size tool that I used for this project, I had to leave a 6" gap.  If the gap is too small or too large, the binding ends will not be cut to the appropriate length and the end results will not make you a very happy camper.

My general rule of thumb is to use a 1/4" seam allowance when attaching 2.25" binding (3/8" seam allowance with 2.5" binding).

Bind the Edges, Part 2:  Join the Ends

(Go here for Annie's post)

If I didn't love my TQM Binding Tool so much, I would probably use the method that Annie demonstrates in her blog entry.  If you want to see more about how the Binding Tool works, you can check out the instructions on

Bind the Edges, Part 3:  Finish the Binding

(Go here for Annie's post)

Oh, how I love thee, Clover Wonder Clips!  I don't always clip all the way around my project to hold the binding in place, but I like to do it when I'm working on a smaller project (or usually 1 or 1.5 sides of a quilt).  I like the quick visual clues for seeing how much I've done (because I remove them as I go) and how much I have left to go.

As I've said before, I prefer the look of hand finished binding.  It takes more time than binding by machine, but the prettier finish beats the speed for me every time.

The only part of hand binding the bag that was troublesome for me was stitching through the vinyl on the back of the bag.  It's hard to see in the 2nd photo, but I was going through the vinyl in the picture.  With a sharp needle, it's doable, but it is more painful (literally).  Thankfully, the pocket isn't very large.  As I mentioned previously, the first Stash and Dash bag (in the photo below) was the only one that I made with the vinyl pocket on the back..

Make and Attach a Zipper Pull

(Go here for Annie's post)

I'll be honest and tell you that I'm not the biggest fan of the zipper pulls on this bag.  I love them on my other Patterns by Annie bags, but I'm not as keen for using them on this particular bag.  With the longer pulls on the handbag zippers, I don't think they are entirely necessary.  I may leave them on mine, or I may untie them and stash them in a drawer just in case I change my mind in the future.

So, with that said, if you are going to make them, I highly recommend using a bias tape maker.  The strips start at 1" wide and finish at a mere 1/4", so there are many chances for people like me to give themselves multiple steam burns (hey, at least I'm realistic about the likelihood that it will happen to me AGAIN).

On mine, I use 2 knots - the one that is created by pulling the ends of the fabric through the loop and another at the end of the pull.  Once I'm satisfied with the length, I trim the ends of the fabric away leaving a 1/2" or so tail beyond the last knot and I brush Fray Block on the cut edges.  Cutting the fabric at a 45 degree angle leaves you with a bias edge that is resistant to fraying, but the ends of the thread can still start to come apart.  The Fray Block helps to keep that pretty well minimized.

The Finished Project and Ideas for Using It

(Go here for Annie's post)

There are so many ways that you could use your Stash and Dash bag, but here's how my husband and I are using ours:

In my first bag, I'm keeping part of an ongoing (and seemingly never ending) English Paper Piecing project
I'm not going to pretend that I know what all of this electronics stuff is, but my husband says his Stash and Dash bag is perfect for holding it.

So, that's it for me on part four of my recap (days 16-21 of the Sew Along).  I hope that you may have learned some tips, laughed at my perpetual randomness, or gazed upon my posts in horror at my terrible attempts at photography.

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 and be sure to keep up with what Annie is doing by following her via social media or signing up for her newsletter.

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