Alright, Moxie Peeps… let’s get a bottom on this bag and put some stuff in it! There’s one important thing to note in this step of our sew along: I made a mistake when I attached the fusible fleece. It’s supposed to go on the external bottom panel, but I accidentally fused it to the lining bottom panel. It’s not the end of the world and when all is said and done, no one can tell the difference. But in the following pictures, you will see just a fabric panel with the fusible woven interfacing. When we make the lining of the bag, you’ll see that my bottom lining panel has fusible fleece sandwiched in between the fabric and woven fusible interfacing.
Now that my disclaimer is done, let’s get on with this! You should have your entire external bag with all the side seams attached and then you’ll need to locate your exterior bottom panel. Make sure that your exterior bag is wrong side out.
In Amy Butler’s Style Stitches, I don’t totally love the instructions for attaching the bottom panel. The last time I tried those instructions verbatim, I found it made the bottom panel rather uneven. So, this is what I do instead. I center both of the long edges and secure them with an anchor pin right in the middle of each side. I’m pinning them so that the fabrics are right sides together. After I anchor the long sides, I do the same with the short sides.
Then, I leave the two short sides with the single, centered anchor pins, and I fill in pins to line up my seams on both long sides.
By this point, you’re probably noticing that the little 1/2″ line we stitched to in the previous step are coming in really handy now! We are going to stitch each side from one end to the other and because our seam allowance is 1/2″, we have *exactly* the right amount of fabric on the bottom of each side and main exterior panels. Don’t forget to back stitch at the start and finish of your seams.
After we finish the long sides, we’re going to do the same thing to both short sides. Pin, stitch, and don’t forget to back stitch.
To reduce the bulk in the corners and help them turn right sides out, we’re going to carefully clip the corners and remove the excess fabric. Be careful that you don’t clip into your stitching!
Now we are going to turn the bag, right sides out, and it’s going to be helpful to use a point turner or a chop stick to push out your corners fully.
We’re going to press bottom seams of our bag and I find it’s really useful to use a combination of my tailor’s ham and the pointy end of the ironing board. There’s a lot of bag to work around at this point, so do whatever comes most naturally for you!
In our next step, we’re going to get the inside lining of our bag prepared and create the inside pockets. The rest of the bag going pretty quickly after that! Get ready… you’re about to have the hottest tote bag in town.
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