“Zippered Bags, 2.0”

As you may remember from my posts last year, I made zippered bags for everyone in the family this year for Christmas.  Two of the gentlemen in the family wanted a bag, but not the ones I made.  They are both avid cyclists and wanted a bag to attach to their bike big enough to hold an extra pair of sunglasses in a case.  Their preferred material:  vinyl.  They also each wanted the bag to attach to the cross bar of their bike and they didn’t want the bag to swing when the bike was in motion.  With that information, I went home to see what I could do for them. I found a piece of marine vinyl big enough to make both bags. 

Vinyl has a definite right side….
…and wrong side. All markings needed to be made on the wrong side of the material.
These are the main tools needed to work with this vinyl: a roller tool for making creases, a seam gauge for creating hems and a chalk fabric marker.
I found a hard shell glasses case and set it on the vinyl within my planned 1/2″ seams. That determined the width of the bags.
I set my seam gauge to 1/2″…..
….turned the 1/2″ hem….
…and used the roller to press in the hem.

I used the roller to press in the hem since you cannot use pins on vinyl. Once the hem was pressed it was time to insert one side of the zipper. The zipper is intentionally much longer than what was needed to make working with the bag’s construction much easier.

I used my optional narrow zipper foot for this task.
After completing one half of the zipper installation, it was time to add the top hem and the Velcro straps. This needed to be done while the bag was still flat.

I marked the back of the bag for the 1” drop I wanted for the zipper, so the zipper would not be directly on the very top of the bag.  This decreases the stress on the zipper over the life of the bag.  After marking the line, I used a 1” wide ruler laid along the line and then I folded the vinyl over it to create a crease. 

I laid the 1″ wide ruler along the purple line I had drawn….
…and folded the material over it to make the top of the bag.

Next item in the process was the addition of the Velcro straps to hold the bag to the bike.  I used 2 straps on the top of the bag and one on the bottom, off set to the right.  This was to hold onto the bike’s diagonal bar to keep the bag from swinging on the cross bar while the bike was in motion.  I overlapped the straps ½” and used the four way stitches on my machine to secure them to one another. I used my plastic stiletto to mark the strap placement on the front of the bags.

I turned one strap against the other to join them with a 1/2″ overlap…
…and used the 4-way stitch menu on my machine to secure them without having to turn them.
I used my plastic stiletto to mark the fabric with a crease for the strap placement.
With all the straps attached it was time to sew the other side of the zipper to the bag.
I used the Clover mini clips to hold the side seams since they would not leave a crease on the right side of the bag. Remember to leave the zipper open on this step or you will not be able to turn the bag right side out!
After sewing the side seams I trimmed the zipper to the proper length and got ready to box the corners.
I used a 1/2″ stitch line to create a 1″ box for the bottom of the bags.
With the 1″ boxed bottom the bag will stand up on its own.
The final step is to turn the bags right side out. It’s especially important to use a rounded tool to poke out the corners. Using the point of a scissors will likely tear the vinyl.
Each of the two bags will hold the glasses case, just the way the guys wanted.
With the Velcro straps placed on the top and bottom of the bag, the bag does not move when the bike is in motion.

Happy Sewing!