Free Sewing Tutorial. Vinyl Rain Bag (Finished 12 1/2” h x 18” w x 2” d)
½ yard cotton fabric for bag exterior
½ yard cotton fabric for lining
½ yard cotton fabric for inside pocket and handles
2 yards fusible interfacing
2-1/2 yards of vinyl (I used Therm O Web® glossy finish. I tried the matte finish, but found it to be difficult to work with.)
16” – 17” metal zipper
Jeans 100/16 Needle (This is a must because you will be sewing through several layers of fabric.)
6 – 12 metal paper clips (I used the ones you purchase at an office supply store. I am sure you can purchase them in sewing/craft stores, but they will be expensive in comparison. The clips are used to hold the vinyl fabric layers together. You cannot use pins because they will leave holes in the vinyl.)
*** Read all instructions first. ***
*** All seams are ½” unless otherwise noted. ***
*** Always backstitch when sewing two fabrics together. ***
***Always use a zipper foot when attaching zipper. ***
*** Iron on interfacing and vinyl to all fabric pieces prior to cutting. I prefer this method to cutting first and then adhering the interfacing and vinyl. It makes for a smoother finish.***
1. Iron interfacing to wrong side of inside pocket and handle fabric following manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Remove paper backing from vinyl and place on top of right side of inside pocket and handle fabric following manufacturer’s instructions. I found that the best way to do this was to pull away the paper backing slowly and smoothing the vinyl onto the fabric as I unroll the paper backing. It is really a good idea to go slowly since repositioning the vinyl sometimes causes cracks. I did repostion the vinyl a few times, but took my time so as to avoid this issue. Just a note, I found that the matte finish was harder to work with than the glossy finish. And in the end, I liked the glossy finish better.
3. Apply vinyl to right side of bag exterior fabric following manufacturer’s instructions and hints described in previous step.
1. Cut two 6” x width of fabric from the inside pocket/handle fabric.
2. Draw a centerline on each handle (lengthwise) by measuring 3” from short sides.
3. Fold raw edges toward this centerline, wrong sides together.
4. Fold again so that raw edges are hidden and clip in place.
5. Sew ¼’ away from folded edge.
6. Flip and sew ¼’ away from the other folded edge.
7. Repeat with the other handle.
8. Cut handles so that they measure 41”.
Exterior of Bag:
1. Cut two 14” x 20 ½” (h x w) rectangles from the bag exterior fabric.
2. Sew zipper to bag following manufacturer’s instructions. I prefer to first sew the left zipper tape to front of bag, right sides together. Do not use pins to hold zipper tape in place. Only use the paper clips. I do not use anything during this step because I find it easier to maneuver.
3. Repeat with the other side of zipper (right) tape and back of bag.
4. Take one of the handles and place the raw edges 6” from side of front of bag. Clip in place. Make sure the handle is laying properly, without twisting.
5. Baste handles in place.
6. Measure and mark (I used chalk for marking) 9” from bottom, raw edge of each side of handle. This line will be used to sew handle to front of bag. You will sew up and down the sides of the handle up to this drawn line.
7. Sew/topstitch sides of handle to front of bag using a ¼’ seam allowance. I used my ruler to keep my sewing line straight. I backstitched across the marked line to secure the handle in place.
8. Repeat with the other handle and back of bag.
Lining and Inside Pocket:
1. Cut two 14 ½” x 20 ½” (h x w) from lining fabric and set aside.
2. Cut 12” x 7” (h x w) from inside pocket/handle fabric.
3. Fold in half, right sides together, so that it measures 6” x 7”. Sew around 3 sides, leaving about a 2” opening for turning. Clip corners.
4. Turn right side out and place on one of the lining pieces, right sides together. The pocket should be placed 4” down from top, raw edge and 7 1/8” from side, raw edges. The pocket can be pinned in place since there is no vinyl.
5. Sew the three sides of the pocket in place, leaving the top open. This will be the lining back. I call it this because I like to have the pocket facing me when I open a handbag.
6. Sew lining front to left zipper tape, right sides together. Make sure that the handles do not get in the way of your sewing.
I did not do a good job with this picture. The lining is on the bottom.
7. Sew the lining back (the one with the inside pocket) to the right zipper tape, right sides together. Again, make sure that the handles do not get in the way of your sewing.
8. Pull the bag front (exterior fabric and lining) to one side, wrong sides together, and pull the bag back (exterior fabric and lining), wrong sides together, to the other side. Topstitch ¼” away from the zipper teeth. This step is important to secure the zipper in place. This step also makes the bag more professional in appearance.
9. Close the zipper half way. This step is very important for turning the handbag right side out. Do not skip it.
10. Clip (using the metal paper clips) the front and back of bag, right sides together, and pin the lining (front and back), right sides together.
11. Sew around all four sides, leaving a 5” opening for turning. I prefer to leave the opening on one of the sides as opposed to the bottom of the bag for asthetic purposes only. Be careful when you are sewing over the zipper. Go slowly (I ususally hand turn the sewing machine when I get to this point) and backstitch to secure zipper in place. Cut any excess zipper tape, if there is any.
12. Turn right side out through opening and then again through zipper.
13. Congratulations you are done.