Friday, January 19, 2018

Construction Notes on the City Zipper Bag

Here are some notes from the making of Anna's bag. This is the City Zipper by Quilts Illustrated. Overall, I loved this pattern and will make it again.
Here I am with my beautiful friend Anna and her new bag.
The first time I make a pattern, I generally try to follow the directions as written. I do take notes as I go, especially if I change things. I've used patterns from Quilts Illustrated before and they are well written and easy to follow. This bag is very similar to their pattern, the Chubby Charmer, which I make often.
Anna put her bag to use immediately. She was able to shove a ton of stuff into her new bag, including her laptop!
My first change was to use one solid piece of fabric for the outside of the bag rather than assemble patchwork. I didn't use fusible fleece, I used cotton batting. I put two layers of batting for the outer bag and one layer of batting inside the lining. I also added a decorative strip of fabric to the top of the bag. I forgot about it when I cut the batting, so there is only one layer of batting in that section, instead of three. That's just an accident, not a design choice.

Don't be afraid of the zipper. This is one of the easiest zipper insertions ever. I used my edge stitch foot (number 5 foot on my Bernina) to do the stitching on the zipper tabs and the straps and I used a zipper foot to insert the zipper. I used a walking foot for the rest of the construction. The zipper in this bag is optional.
The pattern included instructions for the zipper tabs too.
The pattern calls for a 22" or a 24" zipper. I used a 22" zipper, but I will definitely get at least a 24" zipper or longer. Next time I make this pattern I will use a sports zipper because it's heavier and I'm sure this bag will get open and closed often.  I think I'd like a separating zipper as well, but would have to modify the zipper tabs to accommodate it.

The pattern calls for the handles to be 22" long. This would make it a purse strap length. I made the handles 28" long. I wanted them to fit over Anna's shoulder (see her picture at the top). The handles have a neat design feature using four 1" rectangular rings. I actually had some rings in my Stash, so I used them. I only used one layer of batting in the handles so they wouldn't be too thick.

Attaching the handle.
Edge-stitching the handles. I love flat flower head pins. They are sharp and fine. They are especially sharp when you stick them in your finger by accident.
I personalized the bag with my label and I also added a cute tag that I bought in the scrap booking section of Joann Fabrics. My friend Lee Anna taught me to look there for cute items to use in wall quilts and bags.
I purchased my name labels on Etsy several years ago. The seller I purchased them from is no longer listed.
I had an epiphany and I glued the metal tag down so it wouldn't move before I sewed it.
I roughly timed my efforts and it took me about 20 hours to make the bag. Let me know if you found my construction notes post helpful. Hopefully I will remember to re-read it before I make my next City Zipper bag!

Linking up with Freemotion by the River. Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,


  1. Thanks for sharing your constructions notes! I'm still wondering how/when that zipper panel gets attached to the bag. Smart thinking using your edge stitch foot for a clean finish!! Off to see if there is one available for my Pfaff...

  2. Love bags as you might already know Nancy. It's even better when you get to see your friend use and love the bag you made her! I change things all the time on bags I make, adding or deleting things to make it better in my mind at least, lol!

  3. Wonderful bag. Great details for updating instructions. Nice pictures too.