Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Confused About Abbey Bags

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can. -Sydney Smith

I received a question in the comments on one of my posts about the Abbey Bag pincushions. The commenter did not leave a way for me to contact them, so, I'm hoping that they will come back and see the reply here.

I saw your comments on the abbey bags that you made. I'm in the process of making one myself and I'm stuck and was wondering if you could help me! For the Outer Bag the instructions say to sew the two pieces together to form a tube. I'm confused, do I sew the 9" x 9½" to the middle of the 9" x 20" piece and have 5½" left on each end of the 20" piece or do I sew the 9" piece to the end of the 20" piece and have 11" left on one end? And then after the tube is formed do you add the gathering stitch just the top and bottom (9" side) of the 9" x 20" piece or do you stitch all the way around the two ends?

I've followed a lot of patterns over the years and some are better than others :wink:. I found the instructions for the Abbey Bags a bit confusing. Part of the trouble is they have you working with a 9" x 9½" piece, which is just too close to a square for it to clearly be a rectangle :lol:. Hopefully this will help.

• For your outer bag pieces, place them right sides together, lining up the 9" sides on one end and sew a ¼" seam on that edge.

• Bring the free 9" side of the 9" x 9½" piece so that it lines up with the free 9" side of the 9" x 20" piece and sew a ¼" seam on that edge. This forms the tube, but the seams do not divide it equally. The smaller piece will be the back of the bag and the larger piece, which will be the front, will be gathered to fit it.

• Run a basting stitch along the top and bottom edges of the 20" portion of the tube. Mark the bottom center of the 9½" piece and the 20" piece and then match them, pinning them right sides together. Pull the bobbin thread of the basting stitch so that the 20" piece is gathered evenly to match the 9½" piece and sew together along the bottom edge.

• Turn the bag right sides out. The gathers make the front all puffy and cute. The top of the bag will be gathered to fit when the lining is inserted. For now, it is OK to leave it flat.

• The back of the bag is flat.

Hopefully this helps! If you have other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or send them by e-mail.


Kit said...

Thank you SO much for your excellent instructions on the "difficult" part of making the Abbey Pin cushion/bag. Abbey Lane should contact you or better yet, pay you a dividend:) Thank you so much for the quick response and countless helpful tips on your site! Us amateurs really need experts like you to make sure we don't quit. Now I have an excuse to blow off the housework for one more day and get back to making my project. Thanks again!

The Sunflower Patch said...

You are a project saver! Thank you so much for such clear and concise directions :)
It seems that all of a sudden the peeps writing the pattern directions for this bag just got in a hurry to finish. If they would have added a sketch like in the previous illustrations it would have been easier to figure out.
I soooo love your background for your blog,sunflowers are my favorite!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have taken out my stitching on my abbey bag 3 times! I finally got online, and just did a search for "help with abbey bag" led me to your post on your blog, and your instructions are excellent...and easy!! I agree with the others, someone should pay you a fee for clearing up the confusion...NOW I may even make more of these...

Lauren said...

Thanks so much for your help!!! Now I can finish this little bugger!!!:) :) :)

Gretchen said...

Thanks for the help! I was able to finish my Abbey bag! Glad I found your tutorial!

Quigley~ LoCo Wino Dog said...

So happy to have found your tutorial after just not getting this part. Really helped me over the hump. This is my first project, taken on to get started in quilting.Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same problem....I couldn't understand that part of the problem. Thanks for the clarification! Now off to finish project!!!! yipee!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just purchased the Abbey Bag and was very confused. I searched the Internet and found your web site. Thank you so much for clearing up the problem. Now I can finish my project and maybe make another.
June 12, 2013.
E. Letourneau

Anonymous said...

I just purchaed the Abbey Bag pattern and was also very confused about the outer bag assembly. Thank God for the internet and your website. Your instructions answered all my questions. Thank you again for taking the time to post this for all of us.