Cosmo Bag Sew Along: Step #9

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.

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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.

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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.

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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.

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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!

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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.

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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!

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag step 9

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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  • Angel - Girl, thanks so much. I would never have been able to complete this purse without you. I have the exterior done and I am soooooo excited.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Borodychuk - I have a really silly question. Been following along your tutorial on your Cosmo Bag. It has been so helpful. But I am pulling my hair out, I can’t seem to find a “bottom panel” for the bottom of the bag?? Am I missing something here. I went back to the pattern and I don’t see it on there. Can you help? Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

    • Mary Ann Williams - Hi Lisa! I found that Amy Butler buried that bit of information in the start of the bag instructions. You’ll see some text (no pattern pieces) the tell you the rectangular dimensions you need to cut. It should also include the same measurements for the woven interfacing and slightly smaller measurements for one piece of fusible fleece. I’m so glad my sew along is helping you! Feel free to send more questions… good luck! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Karolina - Dear Mary Ann, thank you so much for your sew along!! I’d be completely lost without your instructions. So far, so good. But now I am struggling with attaching the bottom of the bag. I don’t get this part:
    “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.”
    When aligning the long sides, I don’t exactly know what to do when I get to the corners. Do I align the long side of the bottom panel with the main exterior panel only? Or do I already stitch it together with the edge of the side panel as well? If so, I have a bulk of fabric at the corners and I don’t know how to squeeze it under my presser foot without stitching into parts of the bag that I shouldn’t be stitching into. If I align the long side of the bottom panel with the main exterior panel only, how do I align the edges of the short sides of the bottom and side panel after that?
    I would be really glad if you could explain this step one more time idiot-proof for me! Thank you so much!!!ReplyCancel

    • Mary Ann Williams - Totally! Yeah, it’s a little confusing. What I did was I pinned and sewed the long sides totally from one end to the other. Then I pinned and sewed the short sides. When you do the long sides first and then the short sides, all of the lengths match up. The stitch lines overlapped at the corners and you’re right, there is bulk left over, so I trimmed the corners to remove the bulk. It will have kind of a pointy-diamond-y natural shape that starts to form, which is totally OK! Because when you turn your bag right side out, you’ll see how the shape forms some 3-D structure. I hope that makes sense?? Thank you for reading my blog, Karolina! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Oh my! I have been working on this bag for MONTHS. (since October) It was supposed to be my mom’s christmas present. I have ripped it apart twice due to not reading the pattern well. Since I found your blog, I have constructed it to this point in 3 days!!!! You are a godsend! I sent my mom a picture of the shell and she was so excited, we were joking that I wouldn’t have it done until her birthday in July at the rate I was going! THANK YOU!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

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