Lets walk thru building your own bag. First you need to find an old metal tape measure. Take apart the container and remove the tape. The first one I did, I carefully hide the evidence in the trash, so my husband would not find it. My evil quilting friend suggested that I put the cartridge back together and put it back in it's place in his shop, to just see how long it took him to find it, and what his reaction would be. Although tempting as it was, I chose my "chicken" method of just hiding the empty thing and making sure it went out to the trash! :-)
Attach a piece of 2" binding folded in half lengthwise to the front of the bag. Like the one on the top. Then you are going to press it up and over the underside of the bag, and stitch down like on the bottom. If you are going to put a pocket on one or both sides of the bag, now is the time to do so. I recommend one, at least, and I do a double row of stitching around the pocket. Keep in mind you will be folding over the top approximately 1 1/2" when deciding placement of the pockets.
Next, lay your 2 sides out on a table and mark your fold line. This needs to be about 1/2" to 3/4" more than the width of your tape measure you using. I like to chalk the line on both pieces at the same time to keep them even. Then I press them with steam to set them. Come back to your machine and stitch them down leaving the ends open.
It's time for the tape. You need to measure the width of your bag, and cut your tape 1" smaller than that measurement. It is very easy to cut this tape. I use one of those cheap pair of orange handle scissors. Warning! Once you do that, they will never cut another thing again, so make sure you find and old pair or a "dedicated to metal- from now on" pair for the project. You are going to want 2 layers of tape for each side of the bag. Round off the ends of all the tapes and stack them together. Use some kind of tape (I used painters tape) or a nice duct tape to tape off the ends so they don't wear a hole in your finished bag with use.
You want to push your tape into the sleeve you created for the front and back of the bag. Make sure your numbers are facing up so it snaps closed correctly. Now if you look closely at the 2 photos with the tape in it, you will notice the condition of this tape. (and trust me this was the best part of it) Really do we need to keep something that the numbers and lines are worn off ???? Especially if you are trying to take a precise measurement of anything. Or is it just me!!!!! :-)
Put your to pieces rights sides together and stitch them up. Be careful when stitching close to the tape. I push them to the opposite side from where I am working, to make sure I don't hit them with a sewing machine needle. I straight stitch at 1/4" and then when I am done go around them with the serger to finish off the seams. Turn right side out and your done. How easy was that huh? I have made a bunch of different sizes. They are great to keep supplies for classes in. I can collect the book, fabrics, threads, etc. in them to take to a class. I also like big ones to stuff all my underwear in when I am traveling. It's kind of nice to have them all concealed. With the TSA's X-ray eyes they can see them, but I can't when I open my bag! :-)
These are doubling as Christmas bags for me. I can put all the little trinkets I have collected for my friends inside and they have a new usable bag too! Now start stitchin, it's not too late! :-) :-) Stay tuned I have a few other quick and easy projects to share too. Can you tell I have had the week off from work. The timing is perfect and I am taking full advantage of it!