Whew! Many parts to building this little snail bag…but it’s been really fun to create and very satisfying to see it come to life. It’s become so much more than I ever thought it would be when I first envisioned it in Part 1, the “idea” stage.
Today, I hope this tutorial will help anyone trying to sew a circle into a ‘tube’ end. This is similar to sewing a sleeve into a armhole…and yes, I’ve done that a few times and have learned some tricks to help keep the sewing neat and the ‘ease’ even.
Yesterday’s post showed the basic set up. Again, I don’t ever pin completely around the piece. I find that by pinning only the 4 quarter sections, the ‘ease’ you sew into each section is more even and the sewing is completed clean and neat. [I think of the ease as -the stuff that has to fit together, no matter what, between those pins-]
The basic idea when sewing this is…you MUST fit all the fabric neatly together, EXACTLY-with no bunching and puckering- from pin-to-pin. When you do that, you will have a neat and tidy finish. 😉
Match your sewing top thread to your circle piece. I always put the circle piece on the topside because it is the shape that you are trying to ‘ease’ into the ’empty space’ of the tube, so to speak. Here we have bright pink top thread and an apple green bobbin thread. [The bobbin box is now infamous…it’s the bobbin box hubby made to keep all the bobbins in, neatly sitting sideways. The heart is his add-on note to just about everything he makes for me. *it’s cute, eh?* See the wonderful tape marks on the sewing machine? That is a remnant of a marker to gauge a very deep seam that went around a blanket, or a halloween costume, or a wizard robe…or something that we made a while back. 😉 ]
And just to prove that this sewing can be done even with a rather mediocre machine, here is a photo of our handy-dandy sewing machine. Not just a straight and zigzag stitch, but still rather simple and mechanical. It was nowhere near the top end, or middle for that matter I guess, and not the very bottom end machine, but it’s been a work horse. Both hubby and I sew on it. (Yes, hubby sews. Very well indeed. He says it is just another power tool to learn to use. He’s made quite a few wonderful things on it…like that blanket, wizard’s robe and halloween costume, I mentioned: thus the use of the tape on the machine. lol)
Speaking of tape, this machine has gone through so much that the foot pedal has to be taped in to stay ‘connected’. lol Here you can see our ‘fix’ for that. This machine survived Hurricane Katrina too. We rescued it from our house after returning to find all our things flooded and covered in mold. This machine is a real trooper!
Back to the sewing… We’ve got all the parts sandwiched together and ready to place on the machine. Start a ‘seam’ spot, meaning: a place where the seam of the tube and one pin match up. Place that under your presser foot, put the foot down at your gauged seam allowance and bring the needle down into the fabric. Now you KNOW that spot is secure and the fabric sandwich isn’t going anywhere. Remember, You Are In Charge! Let that fabric know it.
I couldn’t keep taking pictures from pin to pin, but this one photo shows the ‘form’ for getting from one pin to another. You are started. Your foot is down, needle down. What you need to do is: take up the ease from one pin to the other. Translated that means, do whatever you have to to ‘hold the fabric out until it matches’. See my pointer finger and my middle finger there in the picture? My pointer is pinched with my thumb at the next ‘pin stop’. My middle finger is holding some ‘tension’ on the fabric being fed into the machine. Sew this VERY VERY SLOWLY. If you have to stop to adjust any fingers or scratch your nose, or anything for any reason, always stop with the needle DOWN into the fabric and leave the foot down. That way you will always reign over the fabric. It doesn’t have a chance to get wiggy and move around on you. See how I have used my middle finger there to make sure the top fabric matches and stays matched to the bottom fabric? That is what you do. And…all you have to ‘think’ about is making it to the next pin. Take it one pin at a time.
Here, we are at the last pin. Because we added the extra ‘bling’ of piping, we will have to do some tricks to ‘finish’ the ends before getting to the last and final end point, the beginning of the sewing.
Over lap the piping and cut it, leaving enough past the final seam to fold it back on itself.
To reduce bulk, we will have to pull some of the cord out of the piping case. (Notice the foot is still down on the machine and the needle is in the fabric. I am still the boss of this fabric sandwich! 😉 )
I’ve folded back the beginning piping tape and ending piping tape.
Here you can see it a little better in the blown up picture. (Click on the photo) Both ends of the piping are folded back over themselves and one side overlaps the other. The piping is sandwiched back into the fabric, and you can still see that my pointer and thumb have the fabric pinched while my middle finger is guiding the pink circle top fabric to stay even on the edge with the green fabric laying under the entire sandwich.
Once that ending part is sewn and backstitched a bit, we turn it to find this. See the little overlap there in the piping? It’s pretty neat and does that job. I’m happy with it.
Here are a few photos of the circle bottom now sewn into the tube, complete with some piping ‘bling’. 😉
Next stop, the lining of the purse and putting the lining and the outer purse fabric together. That has ONE really, really tricky part to it…turning it right side out! Stay tuned to learn how that’s done!
Your life needs fun. Go ahead, have some fun!
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 1 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 2 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 3 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 4 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 5 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 6 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 7 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 8 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 9 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 10 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 11 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 12 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 13 (Click Here)
Find Small Snail Purse/Bag with Vintage Snail Embroidery Part 14 (Click Here)
Find Sue of Berkshire Cottage (Click Here)
Find Helen of Show Your Workings (Japanese Knot Bag Tutorial) (Click Here)
Find My “Tinting Fabric with Crayon” Tutorial (Click Here)
Find My Iron On Transfer Tutorial (Click Here)
Find Flickr Group Hoop Love Vintage Transfers (Click Here)
Find Yahoo!Group Hand Embroidery (Click Here)
Find Hand Embroidery Group Blog (Click Here)
Find Hand Embroidery Group Summer Creativity Challenge (Click Here)
Find Stitchy Britches Blog (Click Here)
5 responses to “Tutorial-Sewing a Circle into a Tube, using a circular purse bottom as an example”
Just wondering how to do this on a very small circle and tube – approx 5 cm in diameter – trying to sew a foot onto an elephant toy!! Any help appreciated. thanks
Spots and Stripes,
I would say you could do the tube the same way…but I would think you’d have to Hand Sew it.
alicia in Hawaii
Thank you… for your clear instruction of sewing a circle into a tube it was very helpful.
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