Tuesday, June 4, 2024

NEW How-to Install No Sew Eyelets Video & Tutorial


The Wholecloth Logan Bag uses a drawstring top closure where the string travels through eyelets  around the top opening of the bag. I'm going to demonstrate how to install the Dritz Extra Large Eyelets on the Standard size Logan Bag, but the process is the same for the smaller eyelets used on the Mini Logan. 

I like the Dritz Eyelets because they can be installed with basic household tools, and don't require special pliers. The Dritz eyelet kit comes with a little tool for setting the eyelets that can easily be stored with any leftover hardware. It's a basic, entry level supply that any beginner can use. I've used them for all of my sample Logan Bags and have found them to be durable too. 

Let's start with the difference between eyelets and grommets. While they are technically two different things Dritz, the company that manufactures most big box sewing hardware like this, uses them interchangeably. Their grommet tool is used to install Extra Large Eyelets. Their grommets sometimes have a third piece, a plastic washer that compresses in the space between the decorative front hardware and the facing on the back, but not always. For basic bag sewing, you could use Dritz grommets and eyelets interchangeably. I'm calling this an eyelet tutorial, because I use the Dritz hardware, and that is how they are labeled. 

Watch the How-to Install Eyelets video on the Wholecloth Patterns Youtube channel, or follow the tutorial instructions below. 

Eyelet Setting Tools & Supplies

Dritz Extra Large Eyelets

Dritz 1/4" Eyelet Kit

Wholecloth Logan Bag Sewing Pattern

Fabric: Block print cotton gifted from Fiber to Fabric on Etsy. Large blue print. Small blue printCream print.

How-to Install Dritz Extra Large Eyelets

The Dritz Extra Large Eyelets consist of two pieces. The piece that goes on the outside of your project is more decorative and has a short tube around the center opening. The piece that goes on the inside of your project has small prongs around the center opening. 

To install the eyelets you need a little two piece tool that in included with the eyelet kit. The flat round piece (shown on left) is the base. It holds the outside of the eyelet while you set it. The other piece is a setting pin that goes inside the eyelet and you hammer on one end to set the eyelet. 

The inside facing piece goes over the little tube in the back on the outside piece with the fabric sandwiched between. When you set the eyelet the tube is rolled down to touch the facing and lock the eyelet onto the fabric. 

To set the eyelets mark the center point of where the eyelet will be on your fabric. Center the outside piece of the eyelet on the mark and trace the inside of the center ring with a chalk pencil. 

Cut out the inside of the circle you just marked. You can do this by cutting an X across the circle with scissors or an xacto knife. 

Trim the flaps of the X to make an opening in the fabric. Cut a little bit at a time, frequently checking to see if the center tube of the front of the eyelet fits through the hole. It's better to be a little too small than too large. 

Push the front of the eyelet through the hole. 

Turn the project over so you are now working from the wrong side of the fabric. Place the base of the setting tool on your work surface, and place the outside of the eyelet in the base. There is a dip around the middle of the base that accommodated with ridge in the eyelet. 

Working from the wrong side of the fabric, place the eyelet facing over the tube of the outer eyelet, with the prongs pointing toward the fabric. Place the short end of the setting pin into the center hole of the eyelet.

Hammer the end of the setting pin a few times. Use moderate pressure when hammering. The ridge around the setting pin rolls the tube down around the eyelet facing as you hammer. If you hit the pin too hard it can crack the tube. Hammer gently (is that a thing?!) so that the tube rolls evenly. 

Check to see that the front and back of the eyelet are firmly connected. If you can wiggle the facing, hit it a few more times with the hammer and setting tool. 

When the eyelet is firmly attached to the bag you're finished! Move on to the next eyelet. 

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Saturday, June 1, 2024

How-to Install Heavy Duty Snaps Video & Tutorial

The Wholecloth Logan Bag uses a snap closure on the front pocket.  I often use the Heavy Duty Snap from Dritz. It is one of my favorites because it doesn't' require special pliers (that you have to buy, store, and remember where you put them when you're ready to set a snap) to install, making it a good choice for a beginner sewists. The only additional tool you'll need is a hammer. They are also easy to get, you can find these snaps at most big box fabric and craft stores and amazon. 

Watch the full How-to Install Heavy Duty Snaps video on the Wholecloth Patterns Youtube channel, or follow the instructions below. 

Snap Setting Tools and Supplies

Snaps: Dritz Heavy Duty Snaps

Setting Tool: Dritz Heavy Duty Snap Setter

Wholecloth Logan Bag Sewing Pattern

Fabric: Block print cotton gifted from Fiber to Fabric on Etsy. Large blue print. Small blue print. Cream print.

How-to Install No Sew Snaps

Each snap is made up of 4 pieces. The functional pieces of the snap are the stud, which is the piece with the little nub, and the socket, which is the piece with the hole. The other pieces are facings that hold the snap to the fabric. The one shaped like a disk is the decorative piece that goes on the front of the pocket. The one that is shaped like a ring goes on the back of the pocket. 

Both facings have prongs on one side. These prongs are aligned with a ridge on the back of the snap pieces with the fabric sandwiched in-between. Setting the snap squishes these pieces together, locking the prongs into the ridge to hold the snap to the fabric

The snaps are set with a little metal tool. One side is the base that holds the facing side of the snap. The other side is a T shaped tool. The flat side goes over the snap, and you hammer on the narrow end to set the snap. 

To set the heavy duty snap start by marking the location of the snap on the front of your pocket. I'm showing the location here with crossed pins. Center the front facing over the mark on the fabric. Push the prongs through the fabric. This can take a little manuvering. If you're having trouble pushing the prongs through thick, or tightly woven fabric use a pencil eraser to push the fabric around the prongs.

Align the prongs of the facing with the ridge on the back of the socket side of the snap. When you can feel that the prongs are aligned hold all the layers together and place the facing in the base of the setting tool. Place the other side of the setting tool over the snap. 

Hammer on the end of the setting tool 5 or 6 times to mould the pieces of the snap together. Check to see that the 2 sides of the snap are firmly connected. When in doubt hammer it a few more times. 

Find the location of the back side of the snap. You can measure to find the location, but I usually use the front side of the snap. You can feel the location of the front snap when you push the ring facing through the fabric.

Repeat the setting process with the back side of the snap. The setting tool has a hole in the middle of the bigger end to accommodate the stud side of the snap. 

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Wholecloth Fairmount Bag Sewalong Videos

The Fairmount Bag sewalong is now available on the Wholecloth Patterns Youtube channel. These video sewing instructions will cover every step of the Fairmount Bag sewing pattern. I've broken the sewing tutorial into two manageable sections. In Part 1 we'll cut out the pattern pieces, go over the supplies you'll need for your bag, and cut out the fabric. We'll attach the piping to the View A sides and quilt the View B sides. Then we'll prepare all the parts and pieces needed to sew the bag in Part 2. In Part 2 of the Fairmount Bag sewalong we assemble the bag. I'm demonstrating with a View A bag, but the instructions are the same for both views. 

I'm calling the Fairmount an intermediate sewing pattern because it requires a few points of precision sewing on bulky seams, but a confident beginner could tackle this bag using the sewalong. My goal was to compliment the writing and illustrations in the pattern instructions with a few tips for avoiding mistakes, and clearing the way to a successfully sewn bag. 

The video instructions are available to everyone, but you'll need a copy of the sewing pattern to make the Fairmount Bag

Basic sewing skill tutorials for the making the Fairmount Bag.

You can kick-start your Fairmount Bag sewing by prepping a few of the supplies ahead of the sewalong. You can make the perfect piping and bias tape to match your bag using the How-to Make Your Own Piping, and How-to Make Bias Tape tutorials.  If you're using a metal zipper for your bag, you'll want to shorten it to the perfect 13" using the How-to Shorten a Metal Zipper tutorial. All three are core sewing skills to add to your sewing arsenal, and the perfect place to start if you're a beginner. 

Fabrics used in the Fairmount Bags in the sewalong.

Main fabric for View A: 8.5 oz canvas in Walnut from Blackbird Fabrics
Main fabric for View B and lining of View A: Merchant and Mills Elora Indian Cotton
Lining of View B: Merchant and Mills Cara Indian Block Print
View A piping and View B pocket: Merchant & Mills Everyday Denim Chambray
All Merchant & Mills fabrics are from Oaks Fabrics

Watch the Fairmount Bag sewalong videos.

These videos are a skosh longer than my usual Youtube tutorial. You can hop around the video using the time stamps in the text below the video. Use them to rewatch the parts you need, and skip the parts you don't. Watch Part 1 Watch Part 2

Sunday, February 25, 2024

How-to Make Your Own Piping Video Tutorial

Follow this video tutorial to make your own custom piping to match any sewing project. Piping is a crisp, classic way to add structure and define the edges of a handmade bag. The Wholecloth Patterns Fairmount Bag uses piping to define the bottom curve of view A, that might otherwise be easily crushed out of shape. It's also used on the Logan Bag to strengthen the circular bottom seam, and help hold its bucket shape. You could buy piping, but it's easy to make and gives you complete control over the look and quality of your finished bag. 

Tools for Making Piping

The only semi-specialty tool you need to make piping is the zipper foot for your sewing machine. The zipper foot allows you to sew right up against the edge of the piping cord when you're sewing the piping and when assembling your bag. The foot I use in the video is the Bernina #4. You'll want to find the foot that works with your sewing machine.  A zipper foot is essential for sewing bags, and is included with most sewing machines. 

In addition to the zipper foot you'll need a few very basic sewing tools. We'll use scissors, a marking tool, and a ruler. 

Supplies for Making Piping

Piping is basically a string wrapped in fabric. From light weight cotton lawn to upholstery fabric, any woven fabric can be used to make piping. Keep in mind that heavy fabrics will work best with thicker piping cord, and lighter fabrics will give the best coverage to thinner piping cords. In the video I'm demonstrating with light weight denim from Joann. I've also made bags piped with corduroy, or canvas. 

Of course, the filler in piping isn't actually string (although I've used yarn in a pinch). For the most predictable results use the specialty product called piping cord. My favorite is a cotton filler cord surrounded by polyester braid. The cotton is sturdy but easy to work with, and the surrounding braid allows the cord to move smoothly inside the finished fabric cover. The piping cord in the tutorial is from Great Lakes Cordage on Amazon. You can buy small quantities of many sizes of cord, and variety packs of multiple sizes. This variety pack has all 3 sizes discussed in the tutorial. It's a great way to experiment with the scale of your piping to the fabric and project. Once you try piping cord you'll never improvise with yarn or string again. 

DIY Piping is used on the Wholecloth Patterns 
sewing patterns. 


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

How- to Make Double Fold Bias Tape Video Tutorial

Follow this video tutorial to make your own double fold bias tape for a perfect handmade seam finish. Learn what fabric to use for bias tape, how-to find the bias of your fabric, and how to make your own 1/2" double fold bias tape with common sewing tools, no gadgets needed. This technique is perfect for making the short lengths of bias tape required for bag sewing, and is used in the Wholecloth Patterns Fairmount Bag

Why make your own bias tape?

Bias bound seams are a durable and professional looking finish for bag sewing. They are also a great way to add character to your bag and continue the exterior color scheme on the interior of the bag. 

What is the best fabric for making bias tape?

Light weight woven cotton such as shirting, lawn, batiste or quilting cotton is best fabric for making bias tape. Finished bias tape has 4 layers of fabric, these light weight fabrics maintain a low profile when applied to a finished seam. Avoid heavy or bulky fabrics that will result in a bulky finished seam. Use a fabric like cotton that holds a crisp crease when ironed. You'll want your bias tape to hold its shape when you work with it, and a crisp fold will make 

In the video I use this light weight cotton hand block printed fabric from Indian Stores on Etsy. It coordinates nicely with this hand block print from the same shop. 

Tools for making bias tape.

To make your own double fold bias tape you'll need a ruler, scissors, a fabric marker and in iron. These are all basic tools you probably already have in your sewing kit. There are bias tape making gadgets, that you may want to try if you're making yards of bias tape for quilt or garment sewing, but for this tutorial we'll focus on the low tech way to make it yourself. It's perfect for the small quantities of bais tape used for bag making. 

The bias bound seam finish is used on the
 Wholecloth Patterns Fairmount Bag. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Bag Making: New Wholecloth Patterns Fairmount Bag Sewing Pattern

The new
sewing pattern is available in the shop!

The Fairmount Bag sewing pattern provides complete print at home PDF pattern pieces and full illustrated instructions for sewing your own crescent shaped bag. The adjustable strap allows it to be worn cross body as a sling bag, or on one shoulder as a hobo bag. It has a full length top zipper for easy access to the large interior. The arched sides follow the curve of the body. The pleated bottom panel creates a subtle wedge shape to minimize bulk, and maximize cargo. View A has piping along the bottom curve to define the shape, and a fully lined interior with a zip pocket. View B features quilted side panels to define the shape, and a quilted interior with a split open pocket. Both views have bias bound interior seams for a complete finish and a wide adjustable strap. 

The sewing pattern includes:
- clear step by step illustrated instructions
- PDF pattern to print and assemble at home using your home printer 
- instruction to sew 2 views of Wholecloth Fairmount Bag
- instructions to make coordinating bias binding, piping, and strap, or you can substitute ready-made
- instructions in inches and centimeters

Finished Bag Dimensions: 13 x 6 1/2 x 3 1/2 in (33 x 16.5 x 9 cm)

Get the pattern:

The exterior of View A (left) has piping around the curved edge to define the crescent shape. View B (right) uses a quilted body to maintain that curve. Both views have a full top zipper, 1 1/2" self made strap (substitute webbing), a pleated bottom panel, an optional key ring loop.

View A (left) has a full lining and an interior zipper pocket. View B (right) has an open pocket. You can easily use both pocket styles on either bag. Both views have bias bound edges so your bag looks good inside and out. 

The Fairmount Bag top zipper measures 13". You can either shorten a longer zipper or use 14" (13 inches of zipper plus the seam allowance) of zipper tape. You'll find a full video tutorial for shortening a metal zipper on the Wholecloth Patterns Youtube channel. The pattern includes instructions of making your own custom piping, bias binding, strap, and ring loop. You can easily substitute similar quantities of ready made. 

The Fairmount Bag is a good fit for intermediate sewists. It involves 2 ways to insert a zipper, applying bias binding along a curve, precision stitching where the straps meet the bag, and sewing through many layers of fabric at the (optional) key ring loop. That said, a determined sewist with a few patterns under their belt could take it one step at a time. 

I'm planning a full video sewalong making the Fairmount bag from start to finish. The tutorial will make this pattern more accessible to less experienced sewists. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified of the final dates for the sewalong. 
The Fairmount Bag sewing pattern is 20% off until Friday, February 23, 2024. No code necessary.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Sewing Tutorial : How-to Shorten a Metal Zipper

In the Wholecloth Patterns How-to Shorten a Metal Zipper video tutorial we'll cover the parts of a zipper, widths of zippers, lengths of zippers, and finally how to pull out some teeth, replace the top zipper stops and shorten that zipper in a way that looks as good as new. You can find the full youtube tutorial for shortening a metal zipper here. Below I'll give you the run down of the tools and supplies I used in the video. 

Where to Buy Metal Zippers for Bag Making.

Etsy has a great selection of shops selling zippers of every type. It's an easy place to shop for a specific length or color from many different stores. 

Zip It on Etsy. - Zip It has a large inventory of sizes, lengths, tape colors and metal finishes to choose from. Their shop is well organized so it's easy to sort for the zipper you're looking for. Good price for the quality, fast shipping and prompt customer service. 

Zipper Stop  - More great metal zipper options. The 14 inch #5 zippers I use in the tutorial video are from Zipper Stop. They also have prompt customer service and put together a custom color combo for me.  Zipper Stop is also on Etsy.

Wawak - Wawak has a good selection of metal zippers and (in my experience) fast shipping. 

Where to Buy Loose Zipper Stops

The little nubs above the teeth on the open end of a zipper are called the top zipper stops (see the video for full zipper anatomy). They prevent the slider  from coming off the zipper when it's fully closed. Replacing the stops on a shortened zipper makes it look brand new, and maintains its durability. The Etsy store Zipper Stop also sells zipper stops. I bought mine on Amazon for the free shipping. Be sure to buy the same size stops (see video for zipper sizing) as your zipper.  

Where to Buy Needle Nose Pliers

You can find needle nosed pliers at almost any big, or small, box hardware store. After borrowing the pliers from my husband's tool box for years, I finally upgraded to my own mini pair of needle nosed pliers. I've removed zipper teeth with regular pliers before, but it's much easier to precisely remove one tiny metal tooth at a time with pliers with a very narrow tip. I got mine as a set from Amazon. I'm pretty sure these are the pair I was borrowing from my husband. Mine are 5" in total length, very similar to these, these and these

Why Shorten a Zipper

Shorten zippers makes your sewing more efficient. The Wholecloth Patterns Tether Pouch requires 9 zippers to make a full set. It can be hard to find one shop with 3 different lengths of matching zippers in stock, or they aren't sold in sets of 3. It creates a lot of flexibility to buy longer zippers and cut them to the size needed for the pouches. The Wholecloth Patterns Fairmount Bag (coming soon!) uses a 13" top zipper. One way to achieve that size is to buy a 14" (or longer) zipper and shorten it to 13".