Tuesday, April 5, 2011

B5197: Another Chapter In "I Hate Handsewing"

I'm slowly working on the Grandma purse, using Butterick 5197 (you know, the one with the Dumbest Pattern Piece Ever). I followed Bunny's example for this one and used a combo of fusible fleece and Decor Bond to interface. It's not finished yet but I'm pretty sure this combo will be perfect. Thanks Bunny! :-)

On to the subject of this post title … It's not so much that I *hate* handsewing, but more that I dislike it very much when it's not necessary. I prefer to use my machine whenever and wherever possible.

Case in point: There is a band/gusset that encircles the whole purse. At the top of this band, a 20"-ish (I think it's actually 22" but the pattern is upstairs) zipper is to be inserted. Remember that — twenty or more inches of zipper.

The purse is lined, and the pattern instructions would have you press under the seam allowances where the lining meets the zipper and then handstitch the lining to the zipper tape.Twenty-ish inches, times two (for each side of the zipper).

Uh, no.

So, I'm trying an experiment. I sandwiched the zipper between the outside and lining pieces so they're both machine-stitched to the zipper at once. The zipper separates so it's quite easy to do each side this way separately.

I've left the last 1/2" of the lining pieces unstitched (1/2" seam allowances) at both ends of the zipper and will either machine-stitch the rest of the lining at these spots or I will handstitch if it doesn't work like I think it will. Even if I end up handstitching, four inches is a HECK of lot more palatable than twenty-ish up and down each side of the zipper. Don't you think? Yeah, I thought so.

As one of the last steps of construction, I will edgestitch along each side of the zipper catching both outside and lining fabrics. I'm playing it safe at the moment in case my experiment is a bust and I have to rip out the zipper. But if I'm on track with this deviation from the instructions and it works, I'd do the edgestitching earlier on in the process.

Oh and here's a little tip. If you're ironing the panels next to your white-ish zipper and you see that your iron suddenly has a white streak on its sole plate, don't clean it off and keep ironing. It's the zipper melting, dummy. ;-)


  1. What is that awesome fabric? I really like the colors (yeah, all of them).

  2. O , I agree with you on the handsewing - love your way !
    Also love the fabric .

  3. And machine sewing is a whole lot sturdier than handsewing for something like a zipper! Good luck!

  4. Sounds like it will work and I am really liking the two fabrics together :))

  5. The antiquated techniques still used in pattern directions baffles me. Sorry to hear about the melted zipper!


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