Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Buckles and Grommets.......the mystery unravelled

My latest pattern test was a fab bag with an unusual strap fastening......with a buckle.
Doesn't sound scary? To me it wasn't as I've fitted buckles before but some may find it easier with a few here goes.........

You will need the following things.......a buckle......mine are 'roll buckles' so you will also be adding a loop for the strap to go through once its been through the buckle.........grommets........and a tool to fit them. I get mine from ebay, costs no more than £5 for the tool and 200 grommets. I buy 4mm grommets for belts. Something to make holes...I like a punch and hammer but a leather cutting tool works just as well.  Rivet and rivet setter to hold it all together.

So lets begin.........

Take your grommets and hole punch.......mark in the centre of the strap and create a hole
then take your grommet and grommet pliers........push the grommet through the hole with the rounded edge on the right side of the strap. don't make your holes too big or the grommet will pull straight through, I use a 3mm hole for a 4mm grommet and fiddle it through so its a tight fit.
then take your grommet pliers........make sure you have the pointy side of the pliers at the rear of the grommet.......this will curve those sharp edges over

and PRESS!........Hey Presto! have a perfect hole with a metal grommet in place.

Fitting the buckle.....

Thread the buckle prong through the strap from the rear of the strap......then poke the top of the strap through the top of the buckle and fold it over ........its starting to look like a real buckle now. You will need to mark where you want the rivet and loop to go now. We will fit the loop with the same rivet as we secure the buckle with.

Take you loop......I make mine by cutting faux leather/vinyl approx. 3/4 inch wide then turning both sides over and top stitching to create a thin strap.......nobody will see the back of it so its not important to make it perfect at the rear. wrap the loop around the strap to see how long it needs to be, overlap it by approx. 1/2 an inch then make a hole at each end 1/3 inch from the end of the strap.  I use longer double capped rivets for this part as there are a lot of layers to get through....I found 8mm stem rivets work just fine..........This is where it gets fiddly..........from the rear of the strap (if you have double capped rivets you can do this from the front of the strap, single caps will need to be done from the rear)  thread the rivet through the hole......then through the loop strap.......
Your going to need to pull that loop over the front of the strap and thread the other end onto the rivet stem, then the top part of the strap........sounds complicated but it really isn't.......just a bit fiddly

You end up with the loop part sandwiched in between the straps..........all threaded onto one long rivet can see the end of the rivet stem sticking out in the will sit under the loop so it won't show on the finished bag...... you will need to push the loop out of the way slightly to set the rivet.....

Take your rivet setter and hammer and bash that baby into place.......

 You have a buckle........and isn't she beautiful. For the strap that goes through the buckle you fit the grommets in the same way as you did to fit the buckle grommet....... You end up with a very professional finish. Grommets come in many colours to suit most tastes, I also have some coloured ones but beware, the lacquer they use on them chips anything that might get rubbed I would avoid coloured ones.....

adding some links for some of the tools I used for reference

You will not need the additional loop for the strap if you buckle is this shape though

 I hope this helps you to be able to confidently use small grommets and buckles on your future makes.........I'll be blogging about the bag when its released too........keep your eyes peeled.......x

Isobel 'Grab and Go' Crossbody Bag by Moments

I think I'm starting to get the hang of the way Liz from moments writes her patterns, or maybe I've just come to expect the unexpected?
The wonderful new bag pattern,  'Isobel' didn't disappoint.

You can find the pattern for Isobel here

She's a classy looking bag with a feature curved zipper on the front, a wrap around pocket that also curved and a wonderful asymmetric strap that means she sits comfortably on your hip as a cross body bag.

Several things I've never tackled before in this pattern so I read it through a couple of times to ensure I was clear about what I was doing........
and then went straight into cutting mode!

For some people the fabric picking is the hardest bit.....I rarely have that problem, as soon as I see the bag I know what I'll use.....on this occasion it was even easier as the bag is named for my my first bag was for her and the fabrics are her choice. She picked a deep teal faux leather and a pretty white canvas with teal floral design......and white zippers......

My fist bag isn't without fault........ for some reason I suffered a nasty affliction........lets call it 'Notch Blindness'.....a nasty condition that will render the sufferer totally baffled when trying to fit the bottom of the bag or the zipper in the fact it will totally stop you from creating this beautiful took me a while to realise what I'd done, what I'd missed.....and how to save her..........but save her I did.......and my daughter is delighted with her version of Isobel.......if you buy this pattern....DO NOT IGNORE THE NOTCHES!

Moving swiftly on I decided to try an all fabric version

This time I was uber careful to observe every notch and mark the pattern tells you to use........and oh how much easier it was. There's a lot to be said for following the pattern rather than trying to filter out the bits you think you'll need. I used 2mm headliner to stabilise her, and SF101 on all fabrics..........she's a little more structured than the faux leather version but I quite like that......she is made using Alison glass fabrics.
This ones mine for the summer!

Number three I figured I'd set myself a challenge......and used upholstery weight glitter vinyl......something I've never made an entire bag from before.......the thickness meant I couldn't do the exterior pocket so I added some free motion stitching to the outside of the bag to give a little interest......and a magnetic snap fastening

I thought I was done but then decided to make just one more........this time in faux leather and Harris Tweed....I missed the front zipper to minimise the bulk at the seam...........and I love the finished bag........

So is it worth you buying the pattern???
Of course........this is a fun bag with a unique design and a really unusual construction......something Liz is starting to become known for.

Her construction methods are not like anything I've done before, so there are always new skills to learn.....The pattern instructions are clear and concise........lots of pictures to help when you need a visual guide........and of course Liz is always available in her Facebook group to offer words of advice and wisdom if anyone has any problems.

Take note of all the notch placements and cutting instructions, some of the pattern pieces are cut with the pattern facing right side down.........caught me out on my first

 I love the way the lining is sewn never have to worry about removing your purse and the entire lining coming out with it......... you will never have this problem with a Moments bag......the linings are secured in during construction....

Isobel is a a bag that can be made in faux leathers, vinyl, d├ęcor weight or quilting weight the options are really only as limited as your imagination........within the pattern Liz offers a couple of additional options to customise the design and lots of helpful little tips and comments to keep you going.
This is an advanced pattern, but don't let that put you off, if your a novice bag maker you may want to try her in fabric before you tackle faux leather  as I know a lot of people are worried about using faux leather.

I've really enjoyed sewing my sample bags.........and I hope if you choose to buy this pattern you will enjoy it too...