Ok, so I got ahead of myself in my last post… in Step #12, we’re making the little button hole tab and we’ll attach it to our lining *before* we attach the lining to the bag exterior. This way, our ratty ends will be tucked in nicely into the seam! I also have to add a little caveat here… I’m hoping that I have recounted my Cosmo Bag steps in the correct order and the way they are segmented. My Amy Butler’s Style Stitches book is still buried in one of my totally GINORMOUS plastic bins and I won’t have time to unpack them until this weekend.
(I’ll post pictures of these gigantic bins and you’ll see how I suffered a little bit of shame when my movers moved a single girl with a cat into a gigantic Texas-sized two bedroom apartment… with THAT MUCH fabric. And books… they definitely griped about the heavy boxes of books.)
The first thing we do for creating the tab, is to locate our long rectangular piece. It’s hard to imagine how this will become a tab with a button hole, but it really works!
You’ll need to determine your true center, so you will want to finger press your rectangle in half, lengthwise, just a shown in the following picture.
Go ahead and press this center fold with your steam iron so that you get a nice, crisp, clean line.
Then, you’ll open that back out and use your iron to press each long end in toward that center line. It should look like the following picture after you press both long edges.
Press this in half on that center line one more time so that you end up with a narrow, long rectangle.
Now we’re going to top stitch down both long edges… remember to back stitch!
Here’s where is starts to get tricky… If you do this wrong the first time, never fear! You can always rip out your stitches and re-do your work. If it makes you feel any better, I hadn’t made this bag in a while and had to rip out my stitches and re-do all my photographs. (Meh, it happens.) Hopefully the following pictures will help fool-proof this just a little more for you!
You’re going to create the loop by folding the long rectangle in half. It’s really helpful to have your pins handy along with your seam gauge (or other small ruler) and some chalk or water soluble pencil.
You’re going to fold your rectangular piece so that it creates a triangle with a little gap in the pointed end. It should look like the following picture. As you can see, I also marked 2.75″ which is where our stitch line is going to stop.
Then, I pin the edges together because we’re going to stitch a really tiny seam. You can overlap your fabric a little more if you like… Amy Butler really doesn’t give much guidance in this area. So, I’ll reiterate: If you aren’t happy with the amount of fabric overlapping on your tab, go ahead and rip out the stitches and re-do them. Just remember to be gentle around your top stitching!
I then like to stitch right on top of my existing top stitch line so that it looks a little cleaner. It’s REALLY imperative that you back stitch on this short seam. Remember, a button is going to go through this hole and if your bag is carrying anything heavy, your tab will take some strain from the button.
To make the point of the tab and the natural button hole that is created in the non-stitched gap, first press down with your finger as you see in the following picture. I found it was sufficient to finger press this and secure it with a pin or two.
Then, you’ll stitch a very short line (back stitching is important, again!) and I like to stitch right on top of the existing top stitch line to keep it looking clean. When you’re finished, give the pointed tip a quick press with your steam iron.
Now we need to shorten the square end, so we’re going to make a quick gathering stitch. I like to use a long basting stitch, leaving my thread ends long on both ends (*no* back stitching here!), pulling on the bobbin threads until it measures 1.5″. Secure the long ends by wrapping them around pins at either end in a figure 8 pattern.
On the exterior bag, pick either side and pin the tab to the center between the handle bases, just as shown in the following picture.
Baste the tab to the exterior of the bag, back stitching at both ends so that the basting stitches don’t unravel on you during the next step. Baste only 1/4″ because our final stitch line will be 1/2″ and this basting will then be tucked into the seam.
In the next step, we will attach the exterior to the lining (for real, this time!) and you’re going to be surprised at how quickly this whole thing comes together!
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