Sewing Fundamentals: Your First Zippered Project Made Easy | Dylan Mierzwinski | Skillshare

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Sewing Fundamentals: Your First Zippered Project Made Easy

teacher avatar Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

19 Lessons (1h 55m)
    • 1. How to Sew a Zipper Pouch

      1:13
    • 2. Zipper Pouches + Beyond!

      11:16
    • 3. Materials

      8:46
    • 4. Clearing the Space

      1:07
    • 5. Cutting + Pressing Fabric

      4:50
    • 6. Cutting Fabric with a Rotary Cutter

      9:43
    • 7. Cutting Fabric with Shears + a Pattern Piece

      3:23
    • 8. Interfacing Fabric

      12:45
    • 9. Prepping the Zipper

      8:04
    • 10. Threading the Machine + Basic Sewing Introduction

      6:12
    • 11. Attaching the Zipper Tabs

      3:35
    • 12. Installing the Zipper

      13:48
    • 13. Assembling the Zipper Pouch

      6:34
    • 14. Boxing the Corners

      8:36
    • 15. Turn + Finish The Zipper Pouch

      7:36
    • 16. Bag Modifications

      2:57
    • 17. Troubleshooting

      3:13
    • 18. Share Your Project

      0:50
    • 19. Ahhh!

      0:56
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

532

Students

13

Projects

About This Class

Have you ever wondered how to sew a zipper pouch? But then you got scared about sewing the zipper and decided to never try? I'm here to hold your hand through your first zippered project: a zipper pouch! One that stands on its own and is easy to make! All beginners with a sewing machine at the ready are welcome to join the zipper-bag-making-fun.

69cdd1e8.jpg

I couldn't wait to start sewing - and then I let my machine sit on the shelf for six months because I was too afraid to try. After watching a YouTube tutorial I went from never-have-I-sewn to "mom look I made a zippered pouch." I felt so excited and empowered, and the bag-making and sewing never quite went away!

I'm here to encourage you that if you can learn and practice to sew a straight line, you can also install a zipper. Spend an hour and a half with me as we:

  • Talk about bag-making possibilities¬†
  • Cut and press our fabric (I'll show you how to use a rotary cutter as well as trace-and-cut pattern pieces)
  • Stabilize our fabric with iron-on interfacing (this¬†gives the zipper pouch structure)
  • Prep + install our zipper (it's a breeze!)
  • Assemble the bag
  • Box the corners (so it can stand on its own - so proud)
  • Turn and finish the bag
  • Go over four ways to modify the base design
  • Talk about common sewing mishaps and ways to troubleshoot

Hope to sew you there! (sorry about that, I'm not going to delete it tho)

5953297e.png

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dylan Mierzwinski

Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

Top Teacher

 

 

 

My name's Dylan and I'm a strange combination of creative endeavors. From mixing cereals and making sand art as a kid, to graphic design, illustration, sewing, and general craft enthusiasm as an adult, creating and making beautiful things has not only been my constant, but an obsession. With an everlasting love of learning and trying things with my own hands, I've found joy in sharing what I've learned along the way in my eight years as a professional graphic designer turned illustrator. I believe in taking small steps forward, community over competition, fresh flowers, and Michael Scott quotes.

I'm so happy to share this creative space with you!

 

P.S Let's be insta-buddies :) and if you post any projec... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
    Exceeded!
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. How to Sew a Zipper Pouch: Dear beginner sewists, did you know that if you can learn to sew a straight line, you can also install a zipper. If you can install a zipper, you can make a zipper pouch to put all your stuff in. Then you can make pouches for your friends that use their favorite colors or fabric with little strawberries on it. You can make versions that have labels on the outside or pockets on the inside, or quilted stitches for fancy people or fully patchwork pieces for funky fancy people. All I'm saying is if you have a sewing machine and would like to make project with that sewing machine, I'm going to show you how to cut and interface your fabric. That's a fancy term for making it more stable. Then we'll prep and install our zipper, assemble the bag, box the corners, turn it right side out and marvel at how fun it was to use our hands and creativity for something so cute and functional. Then you can do it again. You can make one for your grandma or for someone who just has a lot of stuff to carry. Hope to see you there. Love, Dylan M. [MUSIC] 2. Zipper Pouches + Beyond!: In this lesson, we're going to meet the zipper pouch we'll be making as well as look at more advanced bags to which these skills can lead. The bag we'll be making in this class is a small, medium zipper pouch. I love it because it's small but it's super functional. You can throw it into larger bags and keep your smaller items organized. I use them all over the house for various reasons. It's just a great small bag. It measures, the completed width is about nine inches at the top by six inches tall, and it has about a 2.5 inch wide base at the bottom here. The main feature, of course, is it has a really nice zipper closure and so we have a zipper top and not only that, but we have these nice zipper tabs on the side, which I'll talk a little bit more about in a few minutes about how we can use that as a design element. Then the bag is fully lined on the inside and the zipper is nicely taken care of on both sides there. All the contents are safe inside the zipper pouch. The feature that is making it stand on its own without me having to hold it is not only the sturdiness of the bag, but what is called boxed corners. Down here we have this 2.5 inch base made by the box corners and I'll show you how to do that. Great thing about this bag is it doesn't need a ton of materials. So you can get away with using a quarter yard cut of fabric or a fat quarter for both the exterior and the lining and you can see that you can really do some fun things with the different combinations of what you can do for your bags. It usually takes me about an hour and a half from start to finish to make one and you can make an assembly line. I've done some before where I've done some for a group of friends and so I'll pick out different fabrics and cut them all at the same time, prep all the zippers at the same time, and that can definitely cut down on some of the time, but all in all, from getting all the materials out to cleaning up at the end, it takes me about an hour and a half. At the end of the class, I'll be showing you how to modify the base bag design to have things on the outside like labels or embroidery. I'll also show you how to do inside pockets, like this bag right here has these two slit pockets for me to slide inside. I'll show you how to do that. I'll show you how to quilt the outside of your fabric if you want to have a nice elegant touch like that and then I'll also show you how to patchwork your exterior if you want to have that kind of look. Those four modifications are at the end of the class. But at least wanted to show you this bag because this one has a cool design element in that I use contrasting fabric for the different exterior panels. One has these green and blue stripe and one side is the blue and pink stripe and then it of course has the solid lining. So just to give you an idea of some things you can do with the design. You can split the outside or like with this bag, this bag has a totally seamless exterior. It's got this little strawberry prints on both sides as well as the zipper tabs. But then on the inside I decided to do a fun split solid color lining with the pink and that hot red orange. It's little touches like that that can take this basic bag and really make it something special and make it something customized. Similarly, this is a bag that I made for myself that has this awesome Frida fabric on it and is also covered in dog hair. This is a good example of how the zipper tabs themselves can become their own design element. This bag has zipper tabs that do not match the exterior fabric and it doesn't match the interior fabric, which is this solid chartreuse color. In this example, these tabs really become a design element of their own that help enhance the overall style of the bags [NOISE] which is pretty fun. This is a zipper pouch that I made early on and you can see that it doesn't have quite the same body as the other ones. That's because this is an example of a home deck weight canvas fabric for the exterior that has no inner facing and irregular quilting cotton lining that also has no inner facing. You can see the box corners help [NOISE] it still stand on its own and have its own integrity, but it's just a little bit sloppier. I used this bag a lot. [LAUGHTER] This bag has gotten a lot of use. Then eventually you can get into playing with different materials. So this is a bag that I use to store all of my bag hardware. Like this is a bag closure. This bag is made entirely of nylon. I love the look of simple nylon. I think it's really sleek and it's also really strong and really durable, and so this bag is nylon on the inside and nylon on the outside. I also use the really heavy duty denim brass zipper here. The only caveat with nylon is it's really slippery to sew with and you can't use a high heat setting on it with an iron and so you can't interface it the same way that we'll be making this bag. But still another idea for you to keep in mind if something you can do in the future. If you're feeling intimidated, I want to show you that this is the first bag I ever made. I went from my sewing machines sitting on the shelf for six months because I was too scared to use it to making this thing after watching a YouTube video. I didn't quote the fabric. I bought pre-quilted fabric. I want to perpetrate [LAUGHTER] like I'm doing all that, but I did make the bag. I managed a metal zipper. I've got these little tabs. It's lined on the inside. If I couldn't make this on my first try, you can absolutely make this on your first try. What's cool about this is I actually ended up using this bag. It has at least one scrap from almost every project I've ever worked on. It's really fun to look back through here, and this is a quote that I made for my adopted mom and these were coasters that I made for my friend Kelly's fabric line when it came out, and so I've taken this first project and now it's like a keep sake of its own. A reminder that I can do things that are harder than I expect and it wasn't that hard anyway. Now to get you excited about where these skills can take you, I want to show you some more advanced bags that I've made. This is a purse that I made myself. I've used it. [LAUGHTER] I think I made it like four years ago in the fall and I have gotten a lot of use out of it. You can see that it also is a zipper closure bag, just like we are making today. It's even got the little zipper tabs. But then we start to get into the more advanced stuff with we've got this awesome magnetic closure here, the magnetic snap. I also have this hardware here, these little clips. I also made this strap, so I actually cut and saw the full leather for this. You can see the bag. You can open it this way and go in the top. Classic. I have PILOT Precise V7. I'm usually a V5 girl now and a quarter. Then in the back here is where I've got my label and then this other pocket that I can go into. [NOISE] Paul McCartney tickets. That sweet. Back in there. Also classic Dylan, a bobby pin. I remember I made this on a weekend. I was a pattern tester for when this pattern was coming out and it was lovely. It was a lovely thing to make and I've gotten a lot of use out of it and it's not too much harder than the bag that we're making today. It just requires a little bit more hardware. Stepping it up, I have this backpack purse that I made years ago, and it's still one of my favorites. It's got this beautiful rifled paper, co print. I use these really beautiful double-headed metal zippers from Pacific trimming. I have them custom size to fit this pattern. It's got this really beautiful solid gray lining. It's fully lined. Then on the inside here, you'll see that the lining, it's fully aligned, but the seams are covered by what's called binding. The bag that we're making, the seams are totally hidden on the inside. It's just seamless. But this is another way that bags can be made where the seams are sewn on the inside and then covered in binding. Then again, this one has its own inside zipper that's fully lined. Little pocket zipper in there. Then on the back, you've got this little faux leather handle that I made and sold in there. I made the straps. Then I've got this beautiful gold buckle hardware that we got to install. This was just another really exciting bag that it takes a long time, like there's a lot of components, but it's not difficult. It's tedious but fun, tedious work, I guess, at least to me. This is a really fun backpack purse. Then the last bag I want to show you is actually this tote bag that I made to take to quote market when I was trying to get a fabric contract, which I did. I just wanted to make something really quick to show them that I could sell. The grand plan originally was to get some of my own fabric made on Spoonflower and then make the bag from that but I ran out of time. But it doesn't matter because I was able to still make this really sophisticated tote bag. It's nice because it has the clean top edge of a tote bag. But as you can see, it has this really nice reassessed zipper top in here. From the side it looks nice and clean, but then you still get to keep your content secure in there. I open it up, I've got an inset pocket right here, a zipper pocket. Sorry, it's hard to show the inside of a bag. I have two slip pockets on the side and then I made myself a little key chain clips so that I could clip my keys on the inside and not lose them. It looks like I've got chopstick in this bag, mechanical pencil, money. Oh my gosh. Money and pens. What a day? I'm going to put those back in there and surprise myself again later. What a day. [NOISE] Then finally with the nice thing about this bag is it's got these genuine leather handles. I bought a kit from Fancy Tiger Crafts that came with the rivets and everything to secure them in there and it was a nice way to add just an elegant touch to a homemade bag. With all that, let's get into making our zipper pouch. In the next lesson, I'll provide an overview of the necessary and nice to have materials to make our zipper pouch. 3. Materials: In this lesson, I'll provide an overview of the necessary and nice-to-have materials to make our zipper pouch. There's a written materials list provided in the class resources section of the course. But I would highly recommend watching the course all the way through before gathering your own materials. These tools will be introduced more thoroughly throughout the bag making process. But here's a little intro. First, you'll need a sewing machine and its accompanying user's manual. I'll be using a Bernina 770, and I think it's fair to disclaim that this is a very nice and expensive sewing machine that I've grown into over the years. Her name is Edna. She's lovely. But I did not start on Edna. In fact, I started on a three-quarter machine, meaning it's compact and I had no problem making the zipper pouch will be making today. You do not need an Edna to start either. Here's why I mentioned having the manual handy. When I bought my first machine, the awesome folks at Ann Arbor Sewing Center, told me to bite the bullet and spend an hour reading through the manual to learn and reference how to correctly thread it, how to wind the bobbin, how to clean and oil it, see all the fancy stuff it can do, and to generally flip through to see what it had to offer. I actually listened to them and I got so much out of flipping through my manual. It wasn't boring at all and I refer to it whenever my stitches look weird or the machine needs troubleshooting in general. Now I will pass the sage advice off to you. I know it isn't sexy, but the manual to your machine tells you how to run your machine. If you don't have the physical copy, you can search for your sewing machine model online and likely find a PDF version to download. We will be using a single presser foot for this entire project, a zipper foot. Some machines come standard with a few feet, including a zipper foot, while others may require you to purchase it separately. The presser foot is what helps secure and feed the fabric through the machine; and they come in different shapes and configurations for different purposes. The zipper foot in particular has a metal channel down the center that rides nicely down the edge of the zipper with notches in either side that allow the needle to get much closer to the zipper than is possible with a regular foot. In wanting to keep the materials list as light as possible, I'll be showing you how to assemble the entire bag with the zipper foot. I'll demonstrate changing my presser foot in a later video lesson, but it will be helpful for you to refer to your sewing machine manual for instructions on how to do so on your machine. The needle I'll be using for this project is a size 12 universal needle. We'll talk about fabric in a moment but if you plan to use a home decorators weight or a canvas for your bag exterior, you'll want to size up to a size 14 needle. Next step is an iron, preferably a steamy one, and an ironing board or pad. I'll have my iron turn to the cotton setting, which is its second to highest setting for the duration of the class. If you're using a different material, you may need to adjust your heat. Let's talk fabric. For this project, I'd recommend using quilting cottons for the exterior and lining fabric as they're accessible and easy to work with and there won't be any surprises as you follow along with me. If you'd like, you can use a home deck weight or a canvas fabric for the exterior. But I would still recommend a quilting cotton for the lining fabric to keep the layers manageable for your sewing machine. If you're using a solid color or non-directional print, you can get 1/4 yard cut for each the exterior and the lining. If your fabric is directional or you'll want to fussy cut in a certain part of the design, meaning you want to make sure a certain part of the design is showcased, you'll be safer with 1/2 yard or a fat quarter cut. When you go to a fabric shop and ask for a quarter yard cut, they'll cut a nine inch strip that's as long as the width of the fabric. A fat quarter, on the other hand, is when the yard is cut into four wide rectangles or fat quarters. The caveat to using accessible and easy to work with cotton is it isn't very sturdy on its own, and so we use a material called interfacing to help stabilize it. The interfacing we'll be using we'll give our bag of sturdy shape and the strength to stand on its own. So proud. For our exterior fabric will be using a non-woven fusible fleece interfacing and for our lining we'll be using a lightweight woven fusible interfacing. Let's break that down. Non-woven fusible fleece interfacing is an interfacing that is non-woven, meaning it's like pressed together polyester and fusible, meaning it has glue adhesive on one side to help secure it to the fabric it's being iron to. I like fusible fleece because it's sturdy, but the material is lofty and easy for my needle to pass through. If I used it on both the exterior and lining however, the bag would become unnecessarily puffed up in the seams could be tough for some machines to handle. The lightweight woven fusible I use for the lining, on the other hand, is well, lightweight, meaning it doesn't add as much structure as the fleece, but it also doesn't add as much bulk. It's fusible like the fleece and has adhesive that's activated by a hot iron. Finally, woven means it's woven together much like the quilting cottons we're using. To me, it's almost like adding a second layer of quilting cotton to the back of the fabric. Interfacing is sold at most fabric shops and cuts off of a bolt just like fabric. If you're unsure where to find it, don't be afraid to ask someone for help. If you plan on using a home deck or canvas weight fabric for the exterior, you can skip the interfacing for the exterior and focus on stabilizing the lining. I'll demonstrate interfacing my fabric in a later video lesson. Next up is our zipper and you'll want a 12 inch basic nylon coil zipper. Sometimes it will be labeled as a plastic zipper, but it shouldn't be the chunky hard plastic. You'll be able to tell by looking at it. If you're shopping online, you can search for 12 inch nylon bag zipper, and you'll be able to get a little bit wider of a zipper, either will work for this project. We will also need some thread. You are welcome to match or coordinate your thread color with your fabric though I tend to try to stick to coordinating neutrals as much as possible to keep my thread stash light and dynamic. I prefer a polyester thread or a poly cotton blend. The sewing world has a lot of opinions about thread and certainly it's an important material. But for this project you'll be okay grabbing a run of the mill sew-all thread. But do you get the best that's in your budget as cheap thread can cause more headaches and waste in the long run. When it comes to cutting fabric, you'll want one of the following two setups. The first and recommended if you can afford it and plan to sell more than one bag is to get a self-healing cutting mat, some acrylic rulers and a rotary cutter. This round blade with a handle that looks like a pizza cutter. If that's outside your budget or access right now, that's okay. The second setup is to create pattern pieces using paper and a ruler and trace around those to guide cutting the fabric with shears. I've included instructions in the class resources and also demonstrated later in the course. In either scenario, you'll need some shears dedicated to cutting fabric as well as some basic utilities scissors. Last on the got to have it list is pins and or clips. I use both in my sewing practice and love them. If you're going to start with one, I would go pins, no clips, no pins, you got to have pins. Final answer. Last item for real on the got to have it list is a seam ripper. Perfectionism doesn't live here so best to have one at the ready. A few tools on the don't need but are helpful to have list are little snipes for trimming threads, designated marking tools for marking on fabric, some are chalk, some are water-soluble. I also have this point turner, that helps make sure all the seams and corners are as sharp as they can be as the bag gets finished being assembled. Finally a Taylor's ham, which can help press trickier projects. Finally, on the totally optional list, if you have a zipper that has a hollow pole, you can get fun twine and beads and pom-poms or leather to pull through to make a zipper pole. You can also buy sewing labels to attach to the exterior or lining of the bag to add some personality. I will show you four modifications you can make on the pouch at the end of the class. This is a lot of stuff. When I first started sewing, I remember feeling like I was always in need of some crucial and expensive tool. But take a deep breath, make a budget for yourself, borrow what you can and don't forget to check thrift stores for irons, fabric, and other helpful tools. It's okay to go slow and not have everything just right. You deserve to begin. In the next lesson, we'll set up and clear our sewing area. 4. Clearing the Space: In this lesson, we'll set up and clear our sewing area. I know that once I've got my materials in hand, I want to get started right away, but it always serves me well to prep and clear my area first. Generally speaking, I have some table or flat surface that I like to use as a work area for cutting, measuring, marking, pinning, etc. I also have the surface that my sewing machine Edna sits on, and it's important to free this area of any bits and bobs that can be knocked off or get in the way of sewing. We'll worry about threading and prepping our machines in a later lesson, for now it's just about clearing the space. Finally, I like to plug in my iron and get my ironing board cleared off. Once your area is clear and you're ready, don't forget to add in some intentional joyful bits, like some music or an audio book, maybe get a snack ready or light a scented candle, even setting an intention like, "I'm just going to enjoy my sewing time today," is a great way to get started. This quiet time is precious, so be sure to make it special for yourself. In the next lesson, we'll begin our project by cutting and pressing our fabric. 5. Cutting + Pressing Fabric: In this lesson, we'll begin our project by cutting, and pressing our fabric. The fabrics I've chosen for the zipper pouch I'll be making in this class is this Kelly Ventura print. I think it is so beautiful. I've paired it with this deep tomato rusty, solid interior. For the zipper tabs, I think I'm going to go ahead, and have a seamless look. I'll cut the zipper tabs from this exterior prints, so that that all matches. I'm going to show you how to cut with a rotary cutter, as well as using a pattern piece, and tracing around it, and using fabric shears. But before we're going to do either of those, we want to just rough-cut out the fabric with shears. I've gone ahead, and found a nice corner of the fabric. Now I just want to make sure that I cut out. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect. A little bit more than 10, and a half by eight inches. Ten, and a half by eight is the measurement size for our pattern piece. Since we still need to press the fabric, I just want to make sure that I give myself some wiggle room, and cut larger than that. I can look at the numbers right on my mat. If you don't have a cutting mat, you can just use a regular ruler. It's okay. Here's 11 inches. Since I've got this, and it's probably not showing on the camera as well. But this is the salvage edge, and so I don't want to sow with that. Just to give myself a lot of room, I'm just going to come all the way out to 14 inches. Then instead of just cutting a little longer than eight, I'm going to double it, so that I can have both the front, and back pieces. I'm basically just cutting out a piece that's large enough for me to cut a front, and back from. [NOISE] Then my zipper tabs is just going to be one piece of fabric that's three inches by two, and a half. I'll just cut [NOISE] a square down here. See, I'm not even worried about cutting nicely. This is literally just a rough cut just to get it away from the rest of the fabric. I've got the exterior, and the zipper tabs. I'll just do the same for my lining. I'm using a fat quarter piece for this, and so I'm not going to cut it down any further than that. This is a fine size for me to work with, and then we can cut it down from there. If you're curious, this is a conic cotton in the color terracotta. [NOISE] Now that we already have our fabric rough cut, we're going to go ahead, and press it. [NOISE] I've got my iron heated up to the cotton setting, which is a number six with this iron. We'll start with the smaller piece. If you've never ironed or press fabric before, the main thing is not to do it like in cartoons or movies where they're just roughly moving back, and forth. I like to set the fabric down, and really let the weight of the iron like I'm almost holding back, so that the full weight of the iron isn't on it. I just let the iron do the job. If you go back, and forth a lot, if you really work the fabric, right now it's okay because we haven't cut it. But once you've got it cut accurately, if you iron it too harshly, you can start to warp how this is woven together, and you can actually mess up your pieces. It's best to just treat your fabric, and your pattern pieces really delicately. This one aside, and keep going. [NOISE] If you don't have a steam setting or you're using a material that you can't use steam on, you can use some spray starch or use different sprays. You can buy at fabric stores that are supposed to help this process. But I find a steamy iron usually does it. Even this little crease here, I'm not too worried about that. I just want to press the fabric enough that I can cut it accurately. Anytime you're working with a solid, you may notice some colors shifting when you press with a steamy heat. Do a test on a scrap to make sure it's not permanent. But anytime I've noticed a color shift, it's just temporary, and it's just while the material is really hot. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to cut fabric with a rotary cutter. 6. Cutting Fabric with a Rotary Cutter: In this lesson, I'll show you how to cut fabric with a rotary cutter. [NOISE] Before we cut our big pieces, I'm going to use the zipper tab piece to show you the method of cutting with a rotary cutter. I want you to think of there being two types of cuts we're doing with the rotary cutter. Sometimes we're cutting just to create a straight line and to show things up, and sometimes we're cutting to make an accurate measured cut. Since we cut the width and the length of the fabric, that means we're going to be doing each twice. For the width, we're first going to find a straight line and cut just for a straight line, and then the second cut, we'll measure from that to create an accurate cut. Then we'll turn it sideways, and we'll do it again. Let me show you what I mean. Right now, my fabric actually does have a straight line because this was the edge of the fabric. However, like I said, that's the salvage and I don't actually want to use that to sew with and so I'm going to want to cut that off. The very first cut that I make with any piece is just to create that straight line. Now, you don't have to cut. If you want because this fabric is woven together, you could pull a thread out, and then actually rip the fabric, and it will rip perfectly along one of those warp or weft lines. However, I don't like to do that, I like to just cut it. Again, for the first cut, this is just a straight cut, so I'm not paying attention to any of the numbers on here. I'm just paying attention to making sure that I'm cutting this off, and then I'm getting a pretty straight line. When I'm ready to cut, I go ahead and secure the acrylic ruler under my hand, grab my rotary cutter, pull down the guard, and I'm going to do downward and forward motion, pressing up against the edge of the ruler. As soon as I'm done with a line, I always put the guard back on. It might seem excessive, but I've never cut my fingers, so it's a good tip. [LAUGHTER] We did our first cut, the first one to make it straight. Our second cut then is going to be for accuracy. I'm going to flip this guy over. Now, I'm going to use whatever measurement I'm looking for as my guidelines. This piece needs to be three inches by two and half, and so I'll do my three-inch side first. I need three inches so I'm just going to make sure the three-inch part of this ruler lines up on that clean edge that we just made. It looks pretty good. You can see the three inches is protected so that if I come in here and I accidentally veer off path, I'm not going to cut into the fabric I want to be using. That's all protected by the ruler. Again, I'll pull my guard down [NOISE] guard back up. There we've got a perfect three-inch width right there. But now I need my two-and-a-half inches going the other way. Now, I'm going to rotate my fabric and start again. We're back to the first cut. I just need a straight line to go off of. If I'm not ready to measure, I need to make sure that this is shored up. But unlike that very first cut we did, I now have these two straight edge lines to use to help me create this straight line. Again, I don't have to care about the numbers, but I am going to use the ruler and the lines on the ruler to help me line up against the edges that I know are already straight. Then I'm just going to cut off the excess so that we now have a third, put my guard back on, we have a third perfect line that is perpendicular to those first two cuts we made. Then you guessed it. This cut is for accuracy. Now we are going to pay attention to the numbers. This time, I need two-and-a-half. The two-and-a-half marking line is right here, line that up on my fabric and a phrase that [LAUGHTER] any sewist will pass on when they're teaching is measure twice, cut once. Always just double, triple check that you've got the right number here. I can see that I've got 1, 2, and 1/2. That's what I want. Everything else is looking good, can lower my guard. Now I have a perfect three-inch by two-and-a-half inch piece. Let me do that again on these bigger pieces. This time I want to show you right-handed versus left-handed. Now some of you will be ambidextrous like I am. The cutter will feel right in both hands and that's great. In which case, it won't matter as much. But if you do find that you are right or left-handed with it, then this will be helpful. First, let's do right-handed cutting. Actually, what I'm going to do is just cut this in half because I know I'm making two pieces because this piece is big right now, and I can just cut it down with scissors. [NOISE] This is going to be one of the lining pieces for my bag and we want it to be 10.5 by 8 inches tall. I'm going to get my 12.5 inch ruler out for this. Again, the very first cut that I'm making is just to make a straight line and so I'm going to make sure that I have at least 10.5 by 8 in this general area. Make sure that I've got some excess. I'm just going to eyeball it and see that looks pretty good. It looks like this straight edge is aligned with the salvage, so it looks pretty straight. That's going to be a good first cut to make. [NOISE] Now if you're right-handed, that means that you want to be cutting on the right-hand side, which means that now this clean edge that we made needs to go on the left-hand side. I'm going to rotate it around. Now that we've cut for straightness, we need to cut for accuracy. This is the width, so it's going to be a 10.5 inch piece. I'm going to go ahead and find my 10.5 inch line and line it up against that straight edge that we just made. Now this is going to be a perfect 10.5 inch cut, which is what I need for my width. Again, if I accidentally go off the side or if I do something wrong, my fabric is still protected. I won't have to accidentally waste this. [NOISE] I've got my 10.5 going across and now I need to do my eight inches up and down. I'm going to rotate the piece again and we're ready to make our first cut for this side. Now again, it's not just a random cut. I now have straight lines on the top and bottom to guide me. I'm just going to line up any ruler markings, doesn't matter which ones. These straight solid lines are easier for me to use that's why I just rotated it. I'm just going to make sure that I'm lining up on one of those edges and then I can go ahead and cut this side [NOISE] Three of my edges are perfect now. [LAUGHTER] It's not an accurate measurements. Now we need to cut for accuracy. I rotated it around and now I need eight inches for this cut. Here's my eight. I'm going to make sure that line, lines up on that straight edge. I can see that this is lining up nicely with that edge. Everything should be nice and straight and I can see that if I cut, I'm going to have a nice perfect eight inch cut. [NOISE] There It is. Cut down perfectly to 10.5 by eight with a right-handed rotary. Now if you're left-handed, as you may have guessed, it will be the opposite. My first cut for straightening off is going to happen on the left side. Over here. Generally just trying to eyeball it so that it's straight with the salvage since I know the salvage line is straight [NOISE] cut. Now to get my accuracy cut, I'm going to rotate it this way. For my 10.5 line, I find the 10.5 inch mark here. Lined it up on the right side of my fabric. Hold down [NOISE] and cut on the left. I broke my ruler at one point and I don't want to get a new one and so that's why that piece caught right there. That's my 10.5. and now I need to make a straight edge on the other side. I'm just going to use any of these lines to line up to make sure that I'm straight here. That's Good. For the final cut, get that edge on the other side on my eight-inch marking measure twice got my eight inch. This is my 10.5. Good to go. I can cut. That is how to cut fabric with a rotary cutter is my preferred method, especially for smaller pieces like this. But if you are not ready to invest in a setup like this, self-healing mats and rulers and everything can get pricey, then you can do what I did when I started out. You can make pattern pieces. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to cut fabric with fabric shears and a pattern template. 7. Cutting Fabric with Shears + a Pattern Piece: In this lesson, I'll show you how to cut fabric with fabric shears and a pattern template. That is how to cut fabric with a rotary cutter. Is my preferred method, especially for smaller pieces like this. But if you are not ready to invest in a setup like this, self-healing mats and rulers and everything can get pricey. Then you can do what I did when I started out and you can make pattern pieces. Especially for smaller projects like this that have just really simple shapes, this can be a nice way to do it. I'm actually going to use a filing folder because the card stock is a little thicker than paper, but you could definitely use printer paper, whatever you have. I'm going to pretend I don't have an acrylic ruler and just use a regular old ruler. I'm basically just going to make a piece of this that is 10.5 inches by 8. [NOISE] I have my 10.5 by 8 there. I can see if I lay this piece of fabric on top that it's the right size, and then not using our fancy fabric shears, just regular old utility scissors; I can cut this out. [NOISE] Now what I can do is I can double up my lining fabric, lay my template on top, and I can use a marking pencil of some kind to just trace around the fabric. [NOISE] Now I can use my fabric shears and just carefully cut around the perimeter. Now since I'm doing two layers and I don't want them to move, I'm going to put a few pins in place. Whenever I'm cutting from traced pattern lines, I like to cut just on the inside edge of the drawn line. Oops, I got a little bit of a tail there at the end, it's okay. You can see why a rotary cutter and mat is so nice to have, it's just really fast. But that's the trade-off. It's expensive, so if you have the money to give, then it will save you time, but if you don't have the money to give, then you can use some of your own time and still get the same result. [NOISE] Let me take these pins out. Now with that, we have our two exterior pieces, our two lining pieces, and our zipper tab. Now you know how to cut fabric with a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, and you also know how to make your own pattern pieces and to trace and cut with fabric shears. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to interface fabric. 8. Interfacing Fabric: In this lesson, I'll show you how to interface fabric. The process for cutting out our interfacing is similar to the fabric, in that we're going to start with a general rough cut and then cut it down accurately with our rotary cutter. Again, if you don't have a rotary cutter, you can use your pattern piece just like we did in the last video. It's very possible that when you bought your interfacing for this project or when you buy your interfacing for this project that you will buy a cut off of a bolt like like this. I make so many bags that I ended up just buying bolts of the two interfacings that I use. I'm going to be cutting off of a bolt, but you probably have a smaller cut to work with. I'll start with my fleece. It's doubled up, which is great because I'm going to need two pieces. Then I can just go ahead and lay my pattern piece down and cut around it. Now, I'm using different fabric shears for this because I happen to have them. Some people say it's okay to use your fancy fabric shears on this, some people say to use your utility scissors. I have this pair of sewing scissors that are technically shears, but they're for situations like this. They're not as nice as my Gingher shears. I try to keep this tip and this point really sharp. I like to have just a cheaper pair of Fiskars on hand for stuff like this. But if you only have nice shears and utility scissors, I would use your utility scissors for this. I've got two pieces for the exterior, and I will do the same for my lining. Now, this is the exterior piece, but obviously it's all the same size, so it doesn't matter which one I use. [NOISE] You are welcome to cut a piece of the thinner, the lightweight woven interfacing for your zipper tabs, if you'd like. I don't think it's necessary. I think it's just an unnecessary extra step, but you do you. Now I'm going to go ahead and cut these down to size. Since they're already doubled up, I'm just going to cut them doubled up. It just saves some time. The reason that I don't double cut my exterior or my fabric pieces this way is it's just a personal preference, I get scared that things are going to shift when I'm cutting multiple layers and for my exterior where the fabric is going to be really seen and I really need accurate cuts, I don't want to risk it and so I'd rather take the time to cut the pieces separately. But the interfacing doesn't matter if it's as accurate, if it ends up being a little bit too big, we can trim it. If it's a little bit too small, that's okay. I'm just not as worried, I'm not as precious with the interfacing as I am with cutting the fabric. I'm going to start with just the cut too. Sure everything up. This is actually a bad practice. Do you see how I have my material right in my cutting path? If I got a little jazzy, I could go a little bit too far and then accidentally cut into that. Try to keep your cutting path clear. Now this is a nice time to be ambidextrous. Since the pieces are layered up and I have this really nice line, if I try to rotate it, there's a chance that those will shift and no longer be aligned. Instead of rotating it, I'm just going to switch rotary cutter hands. Now I need 10.5, but then I am going to rotate it for these other cuts. I guess I don't make sense and I'm inconsistent. Now I'm doing the other cuts so I can use this straight line that I just cut to line this up, just to get my straightaway and then if I need eight inches, here's my eight, line that up. I don't know if this will be confusing. This is a quarters ruler, I think this half inch is to be able to add on a half-inch to what you're doing. But what it's about to do is add on. It's about to make my cut eight and-a-half inches instead of eight. I'm going to rotate my ruler to get a side that doesn't add on that half inch. Great. Now we'll do the same for the fleece. Now with these cut down to size, we're good to bring in our iron and fuse them. I'm going to start by fusing my lightweight woven fusible to my lining. Now, the main thing to know is that one side of the interfacing is going to feel rough, that's the side that has the adhesive on it and the other side is just going to feel like normal fabric. I'll bring in my exterior piece. If I'm using a print, I just want to make sure that I'm fusing this to the back side. This is the right side, this is the right side of the fabric that I want to be showing and I would make sure that it's face down and then I would put the adhesive side, the rough side to the back of the fabric. I'm using a solid and so it doesn't matter what side I put it on. But again, if this were a print, I would want my print to be face down, wrong side up. I'm going to take my interfacing, here's the rough side with the glue, is going face down onto the fabric so that my regular feeling fabric is up. Because I don't want my hot iron to touch that glue. Now what I can do is I'm just going to press the iron in the middle and again, I'm just letting the weight of the iron. I'm not I'm not pressing at all, my hand is just guiding it, and just gently bringing the iron across the fabric. Again, I don't want to work it too much. I don't want to go back and forth too much. I'm just trying to get enough heat onto the back of this interfacing so that that glue melts and fuses to the fabric. I don't know if you can see it on the camera, but there's a little corner of interfacing touching my ironing board that's not touching the fabric, and so I'm going to get a little stickiness on my ironing board when I peel that up, but that's okay. This is just a little bit. You can see now that's it's like I have a double thick fabric that's just nicely fused all the way around and I just like to check to make sure that I got all the edges. If anything feels loose, I can turn it over and start again. I don't know if you noticed, but I always like to start in the middle and move out. That helps keep any weird air bubbles, air pockets forming, keeps everything nice and neat. You can see this fabric drapes, this is the one that's not interface. This is just a piece of fabric. You can see it drapes right over my hand, it shows all these bumps. Whereas this interfaced one is just a little bit smoother. It's got a little bit more body to it. Same thing, adhesive side down on the wrong side of the fabric. If you have a solid there is no wrong side. Start in the middle., and just slowly pull the iron as it melts all that glue. I'm not pushing, I'm letting the iron do the work. Be careful, you know how chefs can touch things that are really hot because they lose the feeling in their finger, I've done that as a psoas. This doesn't feel too hot for me, but beware, this will be hot. You just ran over it with a very hot iron. Again, I'm just going to check the corners and the edges, make sure everything's good. Looks like we fused. We're looking good. Now when it comes to the fleece, we're going to do that a little bit differently. The lightweight woven interfacing is woven like a cotton. I think it is a cotton and so it can withstand the heat just like our fabric can. This is polyester fleece and if I were to put this hot iron on top of this, it would melt, it would get all stuck to my iron and so I can't go from the back like I did with the other piece. I'm going to go from the front with the fleece. This time just like before the fleece has a really rough glue dots side and there's like little glue bumps, and the other side is soft and lofty and fleecy. That's the side that I don't want touching the fabric, I want the glue to be touching the back of the fabric. This time I'll lay the fabric down, right side up again so that the back is touching the adhesive. I'm going to try and be even more careful about lining this one up because again, anywhere that fleece is poking through that adhesive is going to melt right to my iron, which can just junk it up. I just want to be careful. I'm going to start in the middle and work my way out just like I did before. The fleece, especially is good to take an extra second over the corners. If you've never fused before, definitely use it on a test scrap first to make sure that nothing weird happens. Okay, looking good. If I compare these two, this is the lining that's interfaced with a lightweight woven, you can see that they both have nice body, but the one with the fleece just has even more loftiness and body to it. If I compare it to the totally an interfaced fabric, you can see the difference. They're both being draped over my hand. But this one has that really nice long bend and this one is just reacting right to the shape of my hand. I think interfaced cottons are really satisfying. I love the pattern pieces, it's just satisfying. You'll have to let me know if you feel the same. I went fast there, but again, I put my interfacing glue dot side up. I put the back of my fabric on top of that, so that the glue fuses to the back of the fabric. I was hoping one of them wouldn't fuse. I should have left one unfused so that you could see, but you'll see it. The fabric will just feel a little loosey-goosey on the interfacing and not like one cohesive unit. Our fabric is totally interfaced ready for bag making. The only thing you want to check is if you have any excess that needs to be trimmed. I don't mean like little tiny bits, but anything that could throw off the bag making. For instance, let me get these out of here, do you see how there's a little bit of interfacing poking through up here and down here? I could trim that if I want. But in this case, I actually think that it is correcting the shape of the pattern piece like and all of that is going to get caught up in the seams anyway and so I'm not worried about trimming that. What I would want to trim though is if I had a really nice rectangle of fabric and then a little bit of that fleece were sticking out or something. I would want to trim that because that could throw off my sewing when I'm sewing. Weird sentence, but just take a look if you see that you got off a little bit and there's a big triangle sticking out or something. Just go ahead and straighten it back up, sure it backup, use your ruler and we will be ready to prep our zipper. In the next lesson, we'll prepare our zippers. 9. Prepping the Zipper: In this lesson, we'll prepare our zippers. The first step in preparing our zipper is taking our zipper tab and pressing it into shape. I'm going to turn it over to the wrong side, and I'm going to fold it hot dog style, which I'm assuming is an American phrase. But basically, I want to fold it along the length. You can see along the length, and then after you press it like that, you're going to open it and fold the outside edges in. Fold it again and press it. Be careful when you're pressing these tiny little areas that your fingers don't get hit with steam. We basically folded in all the raw edges, and now on one edge we just have a nice folds and on the other we have two folds. Then I'm just going to cut this in half. You're welcome to fold it in half or mark it or measure it, but it doesn't have to be perfect, we just want to generally cut those in half. I'm going to show you two types of zippers because more than likely if this is your very first time working with a zipper, you're going to go to a big box store and this is what they're going to have just a regular old zipper. I told you to get a 12 inch so that it's big enough for us to cut down to size. I'm just going to open this up. With my zipper out what we're going to be doing is cutting 9.5 inches from the center of this zipper. The zipper comes with a little metal stopper on one end, and then at the top of the pole, there's another metal stopper at the top. That makes it so that the zipper pull can't fly off the zipper tape. But we're actually cutting those off because we don't want to accidentally sow over those. That's why we get a bigger zipper than we need and then cut it down to size. I'm going to put my ruler on here, and in-between these two stops, I'm going to measure 9.5 inches. We're going to use our utility scissors for this. Important before you cut this that you get this zipper pull back into the safe area. If we were to cut right now like this, we would essentially, cut the pole right off and then things would not be good. I'm going to pull the zipper back into the safe area and then just cut on my marks. Now, I've got my 9.5 inch super ready to go. Now you need to be careful, there's nothing that's going to stop this. I tried to keep the pole away from the edge to remind myself to not accidentally pull it off of there. That is how you can cut your zipper if you are buying one that's already sized and made from the store. However, and again, since I make a lot of bags, I like to buy zipper tape that is by the yard. Actually, the reason I also like to buy it online and by the yard is because you can get a bigger variety of widths of zipper. See how this is the one I bought from the store. See how not only the tape is thinner, but the actual zipper teeth are thinner too, it's totally fine. It's going to work for this project. But sometimes with bags you want something that's going to be a little bit hefty and so I like buying coil zipper by the yard and then buying a zipper pulls and then just pulling it on myself and then cutting it down to size. Let me show you how to do this. It's going to look complicated on camera. It's going to look like I'm fighting it. But what you want to do is slip one end of the zipper tape onto one side of the zipper pull and then hold it there, it's going to hold it in place. Then I'm going to put the second one in. This is the part where it's going to look like very confusing on camera, even though it's not too bad. I've got that on there. Then do you see how I'm securing? I'm holding both edges of the zipper tape on either side so that I can hold those and pull up on the zipper at the same time. It's really hard to do this on camera and explain it. Let me just pull it on. Here we go. Now, I've got a great zipper tape ready to go and same thing, I can just measure it and cut it. Again, I don't want to cut it now, I'll cut that pull off of there, so I want to get the poll back into the safe area. The reason I prefer using nylon zippers over metal ones, I have used bras zippers in the past and honestly, just like a little too heavy duty for a zip pouch like the bras zipper is you can buy. They're more like denim zippers and to have to push and pull that zipper for a little zip pouch, it actually just didn't work out. I prefer to have a metal zip pull on a nylon zipper. Not only that you're sewing machine can sew right over this without breaking, which is really nice. I prefer to do a nylon zipper with a metal pole. Now, when I was first making bags, there wasn't a lot of bag making materials, but now it's a lot more popular. In places like Sallie Tomato or MLA bags, they sell hardware now like this and it's easier to get your hands on cool zippers. This looks like a metal zipper, it looks metallic but it's actually nylon just like this. My machine can sow right over it and it's not a problem but I get the fancy look of metal and so lots of zipper options. But in either case, in regardless of what zipper you have or what you're using, the next part is we want to take these tabs and pin or clip them on the ends of our zipper. On the closed end, it's really easy to just get that on there, and if you're using pins, then you'll pin like this. But this is one of the uses where I think clips are really helpful. If you've got pins, then that's how you'll want to pin it on there. But if you've got clips, the open-end is a little trickier, the closed-end took me no time, but the open-end, there's two things happening. On one hand, I want to make sure that this is lined up and that I clip it so that it's closed. I want to make sure that I don't accidentally lined it up like this and then the zipper can't close because there's a bubble. I want to keep it neat. But if I pull my zipper too close to the end here, you can see that, that actually gives more tension and pulls these apart further. This is one of those things I'm explaining with my words now and realizing it might sound more confusing. But basically, I like to pull my zipper far away from where I'll be clipping so that I don't have the tension of the zipper poll. Then I just like to walk my fingers up by pulling the nylon taped together just to make sure everything is going to be neat. Then while I'm pinching these together, I'm just going to go ahead and slip this side on. Again, this would be a time when I think clips are way better than pins, just much faster. Then I can check just to make sure that there's not going to be any problems with that zipper. Pinch it closed under the clip and we look good. Now, our zipper is prepped and ready to have these tabs sewn on. In the next lesson, we'll thread our machines and cover basic sewing techniques. If you've threaded and sewn on your machine before, you can skip this lesson. 10. Threading the Machine + Basic Sewing Introduction: In this lesson, we'll thread our machines and cover basic sewing techniques. If you've threaded and sewn on your machine before, you can skip this lesson. First step is filling the bobbin, the bottom spool of thread in the machine. I know for sure my fancy machine does it a little bit differently so as per usual, check your manual and also you can check YouTube for machine specific basics too. Anyway, mine starts by putting the thread on this top spool, threading it through some other mechanisms, and wrapping it onto the empty bobbin. When I switch this on, the bobbin will start spinning and winding with thread. I can let it fill and stop on its own but I tend to like to stop it when it's a little bit less than full. How you put the bobbin into the case and into the machine is important so make sure you check your manual. I've dropped mine into its case and now I'm clicking it into its housing. I like to pull the thread a little to make sure it's not stuck and cut it on the blade that's here to make sure the tail that's left isn't too long. Now the bobbin is set. Now I'm going to take my size 12 sewing needle and insert it with the flat shaft facing the back into the needle housing. Some machines have a turn screw you can use to secure it. Mine requires this tiny screwdriver to tighten it into place. Make sure you're inserting the top of the needle as far as it will go into its housing. With the needle in place, I can put on my zipper foot. You'll check your manual for yours, of course, but mine has a cone-shape that it slides onto and a hook closure that slides down to lock it in place. One of Edna's fancy features is this guy that attaches to some other feet to make them better at feeding multiple layers of fabric through the machine evenly. In this case, I'll bring him down and click it into place. The main thing that's different about a zipper foot is the needle placement must be offset from center in order to work. Otherwise, the needle is going to come straight down onto that metal foot and break. After putting on a zipper foot, I always adjust my needle position. Yours may be a button, a knob, or a lever. Mine is a button that allows me to move the needle a few places to the left or right. For now I'll move it to the left. I can use the hand wheel on the side of my machine to test that the needle is in the clear and won't hit that metal piece. Time to top thread the machine. Top threading, once you have it down becomes muscle memory so please don't feel intimidated by how random and confusing it seems the first few times you do it. You can watch YouTube videos. You can check your manual. As I've said, I still check my manual from time to time just to make sure that I'm still doing it right. Not threading the machine correctly probably accounts for 80 percent of my own sewing issues and ones my friends have come to me with. Sewing machines rely on a system of tension disks to be able to control the quality of stitches being made and accidentally slipping the thread between the wrong disks or omitting a step can completely ruin the stitches that come out. I'll pull my thread through the mechanisms and down to the needle. My machine happens to have a needle threader which is great to use but before I had that feature, I would thread the needle eye front-to-back manually. With everything in place, I make sure I've got a straight stitch and set my stitch length to three. This means the length of my stitch will be three millimeters. It's time to grab some scrap fabric and so our first test stitches. I'll put the fabric in place, lower the presser foot, hold the thread tail with my finger off to the side, place my hands on the fabric and gently press down on the foot pedal until the needle begins to move. Pressing harder on the foot pedal will make the machine go faster and taking your foot off the pedal will stop any movement. You can practice back stitching by holding the correct button or lever on your machine, which will reverse the direction that the machine is sewing and by doing so, securing the stitches that are being gone over. My machine has a button that will automatically cut the thread and raise the needle and the presser foot when I'm done sewing. If yours doesn't have these features, press the needle position button to raise it up, raise your presser foot and pull the fabric and thread out far enough to cut it. Most machines have handy blades built-in to help with this task but snips are a perfect alternative for the job if yours doesn't have that feature. If something isn't looking right with your stitches, refer to the troubleshooting video near the end of the course. Before we go, we have one last thing to talk about, seam allowance, and where to look when you're actively sewing. Seam allowance tells us how far away from the edge of the fabric the needle should be stitching. For example, the most common seam allowance and quilting is a quarter-inch, meaning the needle should be dropping down a quarter inch away from the edge of the fabric. Most machines have precise markings on the plate of the machine to help with this. My quarter-inch mark is here. When I'm sewing, my job is to make sure the edge of the fabric is staying aligned with this marking. It can be tempting to look at the needle. It's so hypnotizing but the needle is doing its job. We need to be doing ours by accurately guiding the fabric to the needle and the way to do that is to keep an eye on the seam allowance marking. That's all good and fine but we'll be using a zipper foot. When it comes to a zipper foot, since the needle has to be offset, the markings are no longer accurate. Because of this, I did some stitching tests and made a little chart that I taped to the front of my machine that tells me which seam allowance is produced by each needle position. For example, having my needle on negative 4 or negative 5, when my fabric is running down the right side of the foot gives me a seam allowance of about 3/8 of an inch. Having my needle at negative 3 when my fabric is running down the right side of the foot gives me a generous quarter inch seam allowance. For the zipper pouch, we'll be using an 1/8 of an inch as well as the 3/8 inch seam allowance. It may be helpful to experiment with yours to see what settings will yield those seam allowances. In the next lesson, we'll attach our zipper tabs. 11. Attaching the Zipper Tabs: In this lesson, we'll attach our zipper tabs. I'm ready now to sew the short distance across these zipper tabs to attach them. First thing is I want to make sure my needle placement is correct and move mine to negative four. Now just like I showed you, notice how this hand is holding down the thread that's coming off the needle. I'm holding down the thread tail. I'm going to lower my presser foot. Mine's button, yours might be a lever. I'm just going to make sure that the edge of my tab stays lined up with the edge of my presser foot. That's all I'm watching while I'm sewing. Now, one caveat is, even though this is a very small distance to sew and it's just a straight stitch, I could have a little issue at the beginning getting the feed dogs to catch the fabric. You might notice when I start sewing that it seems like I'm stuck in place. That's just because I'm waiting for those feed dogs to catch and then once I see the fabric catch, I can go back to paying attention to right here. I'll go ahead. Now, since I warned you, it actually didn't have any problem catching it. Now, I'm just going to pull this pin out. Someone just rang the doorbell. Now, just nice and calm, I'm just going to let my machine go over the nylon. The nylon zipper is no problem. Take this other pin out so we don't sew over it. I'm just going to finish strong all the way to the edge. Now, if you don't have an automatic cutter like I do, then I would do needle up and then presser foot up, pull, and cut. We have one side of the zipper tab attached. The other one is a little trickier because we have the zipper pull, so I'm going to pull that away. I'm going to use this hand to pinch these fingers as I feed it through. Same thing. I'm going to line up so that the tab is lining up with this side right here. I'm holding my thread tails with my finger so that I don't get a weird thread nest. I'm going to put my presser foot down. The clip push is making things weird, so at this point, I'm going to go ahead and just take the clip off of here and do my best to hold everything in place. On this side, with the open one, I just want to make sure that I'm holding these, that they're pinched closed so that they stay closed as they go under as they get sown. Finish strong, and I'm just going to hit my cutter button. Now our zipper is safe on both ends and it has this really cute design element. The last step we want to do here is just trim off the excess on either side of the tape. If you're using one of those all-purpose zippers, then you'll probably have a lot hanging off, but I just want to use the edge of the zipper and cut straight up. Get any threads while you're at it. Now our zipper is fully prepped and ready to be installed. In the next lesson, we'll install our zipper. 12. Installing the Zipper: In this lesson, we'll install our zipper. The first step to install the zipper is to take one exterior piece, and your zipper, and I'm going to take the exterior piece, and make sure that it's right side up. I'm going to take my zipper, and put it face down onto the exterior. I want to center it. I like to have my pole on the left side, it's just a habit. It doesn't matter, it truly doesn't. [LAUGHTER] I want to center the zipper, and then pin it to the top. I want to align the edge tops. I like to just eye it based on how much space is on either side of the zipper. But any time you need to quickly mark or find center, the way to do that is to fold piece in half. Then you can use a pin to mark where that was. Then I could do the same with the zipper, and then align those, and then I know that I'm right in the zipper there. If you're pinning, you always want to pin perpendicular to the line that you're sewing. I think traditionally I always thought that you were supposed to do it this way. But that can make things really wavy and bumpy. Let's say you want to do perpendicular. I'm going to go down, and then come right back up, and that's going to secure that on there, but make it easier. It may keep everything nice and neat. I do like to use clips, zippers. Don't worry if the zipper pull is pushing, and pulling, and making things weird. We'll move that as we're sewing. Now, we're ready to take this over to the machine. With the help of our zipper foot, we're going to sew right along this zipper. Just like with our zipper tabs, I'm going to keep my needle on this side. But unlike with my zipper tabs, when I was lining up the edge of the fabric with this side, now I'm going to run the edge of my project along this side. This is going to make it so that I can cruise along here, but the needle still going to get really close to the zipper right here like we want. Now, this zipper pole is really annoying. It's doing a lot, and so I like to hold and pull the zipper down further along, so that we don't have to deal with it. Then once we get further enough along, we can pull in back, and then we don't have to deal with a zipper at all. I'll take my clip off, I'm going to hold my needle thread tail right here, and I'm going to get up to where the zipper tape meets the bag. All I have to do is sew. Like the zipper part, this is very easy. You're going to be amazed at how easy. You're not going to feel like you're sewing a zipper. All we're doing is watching this along this tab and we're off. I do like to backstitch at the front of this stitch. Since this hand blocks things, that's why I'm doing things strangely. I'm going to hit the backstitch button with this, so that I don't block the camera. But normally, I would use this hand. Just going to hold this thread, and I'm going to do a few stitches, and then I'm going to hit my back stitch button just to secure those stitches at the front. [NOISE] Now, I can keep sewing on as usual. [NOISE] I find that, like I said, I like to just cruise. If I cruise the edge, and this tends to get close enough to the zipper, but the zipper foot can nestle up right on next to the zipper. If you want it to be a really tight install, you can go closer than this. I just find that this is the least stressful way to do it, and I still get a really nice clean results at the end. [NOISE] I'm coming up to the zipper head again, and so now, I can just pull him back to the front, and now we don't have to deal with him again. [NOISE] I got to the end, I'll go ahead, and hit my back stitch button [NOISE] to secure those stitches, and I'm going to hit my cut button. But of course, [NOISE] if you don't have a cut button, go ahead and lift the needle and the press foot. Now, we have installed one half of our zipper. But let's go back to our cutting table or our working table to pin the lining piece on top. The next step is to take one of our lining pieces. We're going to put right sides together, so this is the right side of this fabric, and this is now the right side of this fabric because the other side has the interfacing. We're going to sandwich the zipper in between those two. We're going to pin or clip this fabric to the top, just like we did before. You're welcome to do this all in one step. So where I pinned, and clipped the zipper to the exterior, and we did one line of sewing, and now we're coming back, and pinning the lining on and sewing, you could just make what's called like a sandwich. Let's say that this wasn't attached, I could take both these pieces, and just clip the zipper in there, and sew it in one line. That just makes me nervous. I feel like you can't really secure the zipper, and so I like to just do two passes, two really calm passes, and know that I got it, instead of doing one riskier one. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to sew down that exact same line. I'm going to take it to the sewing table, will line up our zipper foot along this side, and we'll sew down. Now, again, my zipper pull is causing problems up here, so I'm going to reach in, and move the pole gently down, further down so I don't have to deal with it. Then same deal. [NOISE] All I'm doing is making sure that everything is smooth and ready to line up along this edge, and go under the needle. That's all I'm worried about. This time, I am going to backstitch at the front and back again. [NOISE] I can feel this pull coming up. It's going to reach in there, move it back down towards the front. Now we don't have to deal with him. [NOISE] I want to make a quick note. One of the reasons that I say that we should or that I encourage stabilizing the lining, isn't so much the structure of the bag. Honestly, the fleece handles all the structure. But if we hadn't had this piece interfaced, then the lining fabric would be so much thinner that there'd be a pretty good chance that by the time I got to this edge, the lining only would have stretched, and would've gotten warped a little bit. That's another bonus of using the interfacing is it helps stabilize the fabric so it doesn't warp as much. [NOISE] I'm going to backstitch at the front and back. [NOISE] Let's go back to the work table. Now, if I turn this right side out, we have our zipper installed to one half of the bag. You can see that it's nicely sandwiched in between the exterior and the lining. It's all nice and neat. Now we just need to take care of the other side. It's the exact same process. I'm going to take one of my exterior pieces, and I'm going to take the zipper, and put it face down. This time, you can just use the edges of the project. You don't have to worry about centering the zipper, we're just going to make sure the edges of the project are aligned. Then just like before, I'm going to pin and clip this to the top and sew across. [NOISE] This time, my zipper pull is at the end, so I have to deal with it down there. That's okay. Back to the sewing table we go. Now you know the drill. I'm going to start at the top, hold my thread tail, and cruise down that zipper. [NOISE] I'm getting up on my zipper pull, so I'll just go ahead and pull that back. Just got a nice straight zipper to deal with. [NOISE] You guessed it, we're going to take our second lining piece face down, so that it makes another sandwich, we'll clip it in place, and we'll sew across. Grab my lining, right sides together, should be making a sandwich, so only the wrong sides are facing out. Just going to center this on here as best I can, and I've got that pesky zipper pull at the front again. That's okay. I'll move him as needed. Move my zipper pull out of the way. [NOISE] Pull this one to be everywhere we are. [NOISE] Now, if we open this up, what do we have? But a beautifully installed zipper, nicely centered. It's got its nice tabs that keep everything neat and cute. Now, the last step of installing the zipper is just top stitching. Top stitching is a decorative stitch. It's a stitch that is shown, but it also plays a function in that see how this fabric is trying to get all bunched up? We don't want our fabric to be getting caught in our zipper, we don't want it to be all bunched up. The top stitching is actually going to help also finish these off and keep them nice, and neat, and away from the zipper. I'm going to bring it over to my machine, and I'm going to top stitch an eighth of an inch away from the edge. I have my bag spread out here. I have the linings pulled away from each other, and the exterior is pulled away from each other. While I'm going down this edge, and doing the top stitching, I just want to make sure that I'm keeping everything neat under the needle. We don't need to backstitch because this is just a decorative stitch that'll get caught in the seams of the bag. [NOISE] I'm just going to coast with this edge along here [NOISE]. Now I'll take care of the other side. I'm going to pull that lining on, and holding my thread tail, No backstitching needed, [NOISE] top stitch the other side. [NOISE] Beautiful. Let's go back to the work table to take a closer look. That big scary zipper, done. [LAUGHTER] That's it. Look, we've got this beautiful stitching, everything looks so neat, and so when we're opening up that bag, we've got the beautiful top stitching on the outside, and the stitching on the inside, and the zipper is neatly preserved, and the zipper pull is not going to fly off because we've got these tabs. My friends, you just installed this zipper. In the next lesson, we'll assemble our zipper pouch. 13. Assembling the Zipper Pouch: In this lesson, we'll assemble our zipper pouch. The first step to assembling our bag is to open the zipper. It won't make sense now, but we're going to be turning the bag from inside out to right side out, and we're going to be doing it through the zipper opening, so it's just easier if you remember to open it now. Then what we're going to do is take the exterior and put them right sides together. We're going to take the lining and put those right sides together. What I'm going to do is I'm going to pin or clip around the entire perimeter of this. I like to start on the exterior because the exterior is what really creates the structure for the bag and the outer form and I want that to be the nicest. I just pulled them, lined them up, and I can just go ahead and pin across. Then I like to go to the side of the bag where the seams meet just to make sure that those are aligning. Same on the other side. Now at the lining, we're going to do something a little bit different. We are going to pin around the perimeter. However, we need to leave an opening in the bottom of the lining to be able to turn the bag. If you don't, you are going to be sad and you're going to have to rip some stitches out. At this point I like to align the bottom of the bag. Actually, that's a lie. That's a total lie. I like to go from the side. The side seams have already been lined up, and so I like to just keep things neat and keep it aligned. Well mine are lining up, but let's say that for some reason like these edges were a little skewed like this and they didn't line up. As long as things are neat down the side, I don't really care if it gets messy. This is the lining that's going to be in the bottom of the bag, and so if there's anywhere where things can get off kilter, it's in there. But it looks like I did a pretty good job and things are going to line up. That is nice. Go to the other side, same thing. Looks like I did a pretty good job. This side is lining up too, our corners are lining up. The only thing that's different about this side is I have ADHD and I don't have good memory. I think most people don't have great memory anyway. I'm not going to just remember to leave this open, and so my note to myself is double pins. Whenever I put two pins right next to each other like that, I know that I'm telling myself to stop sewing. Now I'm going to take this to the sewing table and with the zipper foot setup exactly as it is, I'm just going to go ahead and sew around the perimeter. I like to start here on the lining, go all the way, come around, come back, all the way to my stopping point. I'm going to start at my pins that are telling me this is where I can begin my sewing, and just like with the zipper, I'm going to run this edge of the zipper foot down the edge of the fabric for the entire perimeter. [NOISE] I absolutely like to backstitch at the beginning and end of this. [NOISE] When we get to a corner, you're going to want to make sure that you have your sewing machines setup to stop in the down position. I think all of them do. I'm pretty sure, but I don't want to speak for everyone, but just make sure because we're going to pivot and we're going to pivot right now. I have stopped about three-eighths of an inch away from the edge. I think that's enough. Now with my needle down, I can just turn the fabric and keep going. Now, you can see that when I turn for 90 degrees, my foot edge is not lined up with the edge of my projects. That means I can probably go one more stitch before pivoting. Needle down, rotate and now we're right on the money. I can keep going up this side. Now, this is where you see the beauty of using a zipper foot for this. There is a ton of bulk. You won't be able to see it, but when you're making yours you'll be able to feel it. The zipper is here, the zipper tab is right here, but this zipper foot is going to cost right next to all of it and it's going to let that needle get just right next to it. [NOISE] I like to go slow for this part and just be real calm. Just nice and easy over that seam. Now we're on the exterior. [NOISE] Same thing. I'm just going to stop sewing before I get to the edge. It looks like I stopped a stitch early again. Keep going. Just like before I'm at that big intersection but it's okay. My zipper foot is going to cost by the biggest bulk, and I'm just going to take it slow as my presser foot gets ready to go over that hump. We're back into the lining. [NOISE] I'm coming up to my double pins, which means I want to stop sewing. I'm going to backstitch before I hit them. [NOISE] We're in the homestretch. Let's take this back to the work table so that we can box the corners. In the next lesson, we'll box the corners of the zipper pouch. 14. Boxing the Corners: In this lesson, we'll box the corners of the zipper pouch. To box the corners you're going to want a ruler and some type of marking tool. It doesn't have to be a fabric one because this is going to be on the inside and it won't be shown, just any tool that will help you mark and see on the contrast of your interfacing. What I'm going to do is I want to mark an inch in from each corner. I'm going to go ahead and place the one-inch mark from my ruler on top of each seam line. I'm not doing it from the edge, I'm measuring one inch from the seam line. That's because it's the seam line that is creating the shape of the bag, not the edge. If I were to go off of the edge, if things don't line up perfectly or if the edges got a little skew, then the boxes aren't going to be the same and so you just want to make sure that you're measuring from the seam line and not from your edge. I have the one-inch lined up here on this seam line and I have the one-inch lined up here on this seam line. I'm just going to trace around that. [NOISE] If you are anything like me when I started sewing, this part is going to feel horribly incorrect and counter-intuitive, but we're going to cut those squares out. Yes, we are going to cut through all of these layers through these beautiful seems that we just sewed, and we're going to cut them out, and so I like to cut again on the inside of that drawn line. [NOISE] This is also in having really sharp scissors is nice so that these corners can be nice and sharp. [NOISE] Now this is one of those steps that's going to look confusing on camera but once you've got the bag in your hands you're going to know what to do. [NOISE] I'm going to pull these apart. See how these are the two exterior pieces together. I'm going to pull them apart from each other and I'm going to line up those seam lines. I'm going to pull to create a straight line. If you've never done it before, watching it on camera is going to be like what? That's confusing. When you're holding it, you're going to get it. We're just pulling these apart to create a straight line. Now, I have these seams coming together and so I just like to offset them. So see how this seam allowance is going this way and this seam allowance is going that way, that's going to keep the bulk manageable. I'm just going to pin and clip this straight line on all corners, [NOISE] and I'm weird with this I like to pin and clip these. I like to do a clip in the center and a pin in the corners. I don't know why. I'll do the other side. Now, the only thing here is I want to make sure I fold, so I'm going to pull those out, got the seams going in a different way, but I want to make sure that this seam is folding the same way it is here. If I fold these the other ways, if I switched the direction, then this seam on this side is going to get sewn down going this way and it's going to be the opposite over there. Again, these are little tips that they might go over your head the very first time you're going through this and that's fine. You're still going to make a beautiful bag, but as you start to do this more, it's these little things like noticing that the seam is going the same way and that will make a big difference for those little details. [NOISE] Same thing for the lining. I'm basically pulling at each of the corners. [NOISE]. My brain just can't comprehend how that square becomes a straight line, but it does. Don't worry, we're ignoring the opening for now. Let's pin our last one. Oops, see I almost did it. I had this seam allowance go this way but over here it's going the other way. It's not going to ruin the bag, [LAUGHTER] but it is just like a nice thing to have consistent, so the seam lies flat. [NOISE] Now I'm going to take this to my machine, and for each corner I'm going to sew with my zipper foot running along the edge of the fabric, and I want to make sure that I backstitch at the front and back. Let me show you. This step is not difficult. It's a straight line but what is difficult is all of the bulk. While you are trying to sew any one of these corners, the rest of the bag is going to be unruly and annoying and frustrating, but the good thing is, is it does not matter. All that matters is what's happening underneath this needle. If the rest of the bag is all bunched up and clumped up it doesn't matter as long as what's happening under the needle is nice and smooth. [NOISE] I'm just going to get one of these corners in here and I'm just going to push the rest of the bag down so that is out of my way. [NOISE] I'm just going to get in here and sew across, backstitching at the front and back. [NOISE] Do you see how this now it looks less straight and it looks more rounded? Again, is what that like geometry, it's just those seams and everything and so the main thing is I just want to sew straight across here. [NOISE] I just want to do nice straight even though that didn't follow along the edge, I could feel that I was pushing the bag straight through. Again, it's one of those little things like don't let these little things intimidate you, just get in there and try to sew it and then you'll see what I mean. This ends up not being a straight line from the edge, but it is I was able to sew a straight line. [NOISE] Let me show you the next one. Get him in there and I push the rest of the bag down, doesn't matter, we can iron out any wrinkles that happen. This one is looking straighter than the last one. [NOISE] The two outside corners or box and now we just need to do the lining ones. [NOISE] Sorry, I forgot this hand blocks the camera, so you may have been blocked there for a second. Now I'm onto my last corner. Same deal, and we go. Backstage at the front [NOISE] and a nice straight shot across. [NOISE] That's it, the corners are boxed. In the next lesson, we'll turn and finish our zipper pouch. 15. Turn + Finish The Zipper Pouch: In this lesson, we'll turn and finish our zipper pouch. The bag is done. We have no more sewing to do. Now we just get the fun task of birthing the bag. That looks like reaching through the lining and pulling it through the opening. Now, I just wanted to let you know just for best practices that in general, before you turn a bag, it's really good to trim some of the bulk. Where some of these seams and all the interfacing are lining up, we get a lot of bulkiness in that seam. When it comes to turn the bag, that can sometimes jeopardize the cleanness and the neatness of everything we just sewed. I want to let you know that when you're bag making you can lessen the bulk by then going in and you could notch out here. You could cut out a little triangle to cut down on that bulk. We could come in and get a little bit closer to this sewn edge for these. I could come in and even though we sewed it at about three-eight of an inch, I could go in and trim it to an eighth of an inch. That's a little close to the seam line, but basically, I just wanted to let you know that you can trim your seams to make them less bulky. I'll trim this one so it's equal to the other. But let us birth our bag. I have my point turner here just in case I need it. We're going to reach in through the lining, in through the zipper opening, and then I like to grab one of the exterior corners and pull that through. [NOISE] The first few times you make a bag you're like, "What the what? You want me to do what?" Then it works and it's amazing. Even though the lining is not finished yet, I'm going to push it into the bag just so that we can see how our bag is looking. I'm pushing out these corners. These are box corners. The bottom. I can go ahead and pop the zipper, tabs out on both sides, got some threads they still need to trim. I can push this lining down in the bag for now. I totally lied to you. I said we're done sewing, but we still have to close the lining. Sorry about that. [NOISE] Boom. Did I tell you or didn't I tell you? That's a zipper pouch my friends. Look it stands all nicely on its own. It's very even, the seams match up nicely. Everything looks happy. [NOISE] Boom, boom, success. The last thing to do is to just sew up the lining. What I do is I just come and I pull the lining out and then I tuck the edges in and then I pull a tout because there's enough of a sewn line already that the rest will just pop into place. Then pin or clip along the bottom. You have two options. At this point, I just want to be done with the project. I'm excited, the bag is done, it's cute, and so I just take it to the machine and I do a 16th of an inch topstitch. I guess it's not really a topstitch. I guess it is. I sew an eighth or a sixteenth of an inch away from the edge. What that does is it does give you a seam on the inside. If I open up this lining, you can see where these come together, it sticks up. I don't care about that. I don't mind if I can see the sewn seam. It's so much quicker and like I said, it's the lining in the bag, I don't care. Your other option is to hand sew and to do a ladder stitch so that you can have an invisible closure and then you won't be able to tell how the bag was closed. It's definitely a nicer touch, but I just find that I get impatient once I'm at this point and I'll just sew also along that edge. I'm just going to pull it over here. Since I'm going to run the edge of the foot along the edge of the bag, I actually need to move my needle because right now if I sew with it along this edge, the needle is going to sew right here and I'm going to have a huge seam allowance in the bottom of the bag. I just want to move my needle to go to the other side. [NOISE] Then I do like to do just a little bit of back stitching at the front and back just to make sure that we really catch the seam. [NOISE] That was the last sewing. I am the worst. I'm so lazy about trimming threads. It's a very easy task and yet at the end I find that I have a ton of threads all over that I need to trim. With that, we can push the lining back in. I want to give this bag a little bit of a pressing. I'm going to bring my iron over because it's a little wrinkly, but that my friends is a completed bag. The last thing I want to show you is how I go about pressing this. I have two methods. On one is to tuck the bottom seam in so that you can flatten the bag into just press from the top like you would anything else. That is a really nice method that allows you to get most of the bag smoothed out. Like you can see that already released a lot of the wrinkles. A helpful tool that I've bought to have on hand is this, I think it's called a ham, like a tailor's ham, and it can handle a lot of heat and basically it allows you to go in and be able to really press around this shape. I have found that sometimes if my feasible fleece gets really bunched up during the process, then ironing on top of the ham really helps. [NOISE] That is how you can press your bag to make it look all fresh again. Then I still have some wrinkles down here. I'll just dry from here. [NOISE] Better. Bang, bang, boom, finished bag, so cute. If you're a little bit extra, you can take a piece of faux leather or real leather. If you have an open zipper pull, pull through, now you have your own little pull. So cute. Endlessly cute. In the next lesson, I'll show you four ways to modify the base bag design. 16. Bag Modifications: In this lesson, I'll show you four ways to modify the base bag design. The first modification is to adorn the exterior of the bag with a sewing label, or embroidery beading, anything else you can think of. You'll cut your fabric and interface it as usual, but before installing the zipper, you'll place and attach your adornment. Be mindful of the seam allowances as well as the areas that will become the bottom, and sides of the bag. For my sewing label, I like to center it and place it about two-thirds from the top. Proceed with the bag as usual. The second modification is to build in interior pockets. For this modification, when cutting your fabric pieces, you want to cut one additional lining piece. Fold this lining piece in half, right sides together, press it, and stitch along the raw edge with a quarter inch seam allowance. Turn and press the pocket piece, and then topstitch an eighth of an inch away from the folded edge. Place the pocket piece topstitching side up onto your lining piece. I like to put mine in the center, and stitch it in place along the bottom with an eighth of an inch seam allowance. For the pocket dividers, since the bag has boxed corners, I like to frame the pocket panel an inch in from each side, and then I usually sew a single division in the center. Make sure to backstitch at the top of any pocket divisions to reinforce them, and then proceed with the bag as usual. The third modification is to quilt your exterior pieces. For this modification, cut your exterior pieces and fusible fleece larger on all sides than is regularly called for. I'd recommend about 12 inches by 10.5 inches. Alternatively, you could cut one long panel that's 24 inches wide by 10.5 inches tall, that gets cut into two exterior pieces after being quilted. After interfacing your fabric, use a ruler and marking pen to mark your desired quilting pattern. I like to do 45-degree diamonds spaced an inch and a half apart. Quilt your design, trim the exterior pieces down to the correct 10.5 by 8 inch size, and proceed with the bag as usual. The fourth modification is to do a fully patchworked exterior. For this modification, start by piecing together your desired design for the exterior. Either two panels larger than 10.5 by 8, I recommend about 12 inches by 10.5 inches. Or you could do a single long panel at 24 inches wide, and 10.5 inches tall that can later be cut into two exterior pieces. Once your panel or panels are pieced together, fuse them to the fleece interfacing, and mark and quilt your desired design. Trim the panel or panels down to the correct 10.5 by eight inch size, and proceed with the bag as usual. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to troubleshoot common issues. 17. Troubleshooting: In this lesson, I'll show you how to troubleshoot common issues. Sometimes things go wrong in sewing. here are some of them and how to go about solving common issues. Sometimes you're sewing along and your needle breaks. It's terrifying as it happens and then really not so bad once you calm down. Usually, the sharp part of the needle stays attached to the thread, making it easy to retrieve and dispose off the broken pieces. Double-check you got everything, load a fresh needle, check the needle position, sew some test stitches, and be on your way. If you notice you have any type of uneven stitch, so loose stitches on the top or loose stitches underneath, it's generally a tension problem and your tension dial will need to be adjusted. Your user manual should have a section about tension with instructions for various stitch issues. If you get a thread nest underneath your fabric, try holding your top needle thread tail at the beginning of a line of sewing to keep it from causing mischief down below. If that's not the issue, double-check that the bobbin has enough thread and is wound evenly and smoothly. If your top or bobbin thread runs out while sewing, simply give the empty spool of the middle finger for being so rude, mark where you left off on the project if necessary, refill the bobbin, re-thread the machine and sew over the last few stitches to secure where you left off and continue on. If you mis-sew, grab the seam ripper and rip the stitches out. We all do it, make peace with it. If you just totally mess up, congrats, you get to go to the fabric store and try again. When general weirdness is happening, or to avoid general weirdness, I turn to cleaning and oiling my machine. Again, check your manual. But I pop the plates off on my machine and use a lint-free brush to get all the lint and threads that build up over time, and then I give a few drops of oil in the designated spaces. My usual rundown for troubleshooting my machine. The equivalent of restarting your computer and deleting the extra files is this. One, I always re-thread the machine, just to be sure. When I'm really doubting myself, I double-check the manual to make sure I'm not forgetting something small. Two, I check the bobbin. If it's getting low and a loop sticks out or the tension is harder to regulate, it could be the bobbin causing problems. Three, check my thread quality. I have some old cheaper spools laying around. If I'm suspicious of the quality, I'll throw my best thread on to see if the thread was the culprit. Cheap thread can cause breakage issues and tension issues. Four is a fresh needle. An old needle can be barbed and catch on all sorts of things or can be dull and cause issues when trying to pass through the layers of fabric. I try to change my needle every few small projects or after each large project. Five is to clean and oil as described before. Six, if the above doesn't help, I turn to YouTube and start looking for videos pertaining to my model. Seven, I'll call a local cloth shop to see if they do repair consultations or to see what advice they offer. It helps if the shops sells the type of machine you're working with, though it isn't always required. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to share your project. 18. Share Your Project: In this lesson, I'll show you how to share your project. Way to go on finishing your bag. If you'd like to show it off, and I certainly hope you will, take a picture with your phone or camera and send the picture to your computer via email, Bluetooth, or memory card. From the Projects and Resources tab of this class, head to the right sidebar and click the green "Create Project" button. Listen closely. You'll want to upload your image here twice. Once up here to the cover uploader, which gives a nice preview in the project gallery when people are scrolling, and again, by clicking down into the body of the project and uploading the photo here so that when people click on your project, they can see the whole photo and not just the cropped cover. After that, pat yourself on the back, check out other people's bags if you want, and start thinking about what you want to make next. 19. Ahhh!: [MUSIC] You finish your first sewing project. It has a zipper in it, bing, bong, bing. I'm just happy for you because I remember finishing my first bag and how amazed I was and how proud of myself I was, and I can't wait for the first time that you tell someone that the gift they're holding in their hands was made by you. I'm telling you, they're going to be impressed by that zipper, and you can take all the glory while knowing that it really wasn't that hard, and you can make a million more if you wanted to. Thank you for trusting me with your first separate sewing project. If you enjoyed this course, it would mean the world to me if you left a written review, and don't forget to upload a picture to the project gallery, so that we can all marvel at your beautiful work. If you'd like to hear our future classes, I published here on Skillshare, give me a follow. Until next time. [MUSIC]