To kick off our Mean Girls series, we must start with the Queen Bee, Regina. We styled our Jessica bag pattern to match her style.
The Jessica baguette bag is Regina’s style through and through. It is a simple design, but packs a big punch.
We added an additional strip of faux leather on the top of the front and back of the bag. We also added additional interfacing to the body of the bag since we used quilting cottons for the majority of the body instead of Sallie Tomato faux leather.
The most exciting addition is the bag feet as embellishments, because bag feet don’t only have to be on the bottom of the bag! We have taken our domed bag feet and used them as embellishments on the Jessica strap, as well as on the top of the bag body.
This addition truly makes for an eye turning bag for everyone to want to have in their bag collection.
We followed the cotton Main Fabric yardage and faux leather Contrast Fabric yardage listed on the pattern’s back cover.
Two Piece Gusset:
The cotton fabrics we used for the Main Fabric & Lining Fabric had wider selvage edges so the Gusset could not be cut in one piece. Not a problem! There’s plenty of fabric to create a two-piece Gusset:
- Cut out Pattern Piece A for the Front & Back panels and set them aside.
- Then, referring to the pattern, divide the length of the Piece B Gusset measurement in half and add your preferred seam allowance for a center seam.
- Next, Cut two Gusset Pieces following your new pattern piece measurements.
- Repeat the same steps for the Lining Fabric Pieces A and Pieces B, as well as the Interfacing.
- Foam for the Gusset is best cut as one piece.
- Follow the first step in the pattern instructions to FUSE INTERFACING TO COORDINATING PIECES, for the Pieces A Front & Back.
- Optional suggestion for a two-piece Gusset: if you’d like to create a smooth center seam in the Gusset, you can trim off the center seam allowance of the interfacing before fusing it to the Wrong Side of each Main Gusset piece.
- With the Gusset pieces Right Sides Together, sew the center seam and press it open.
- Topstitch 1/4" (6mm) from both sides of the seam to give extra detail and hold the seam allowances in place. (Or, you could topstitch after adding the foam for a slightly quilted look.)
- Repeat these steps, without the interfacing, for the Lining Gusset pieces.
- Follow your pattern to ATTACH FOAM TO COORDINATING PIECES, step 3, making sure the Gusset seam is accurately centered on the foam.
Contrast Faux Leather Accents:
Let’s review cutting the Contrast fabric for the fun additions of bling:
- To accommodate the Bag Feet Bling on the Strap, cut Piece E 2" (5.1cm) wide and the length listed in your pattern.
- Cut two 11-1/2" by 1-1/2" (29.2cm by 3.8cm) pieces for the Top Band Accents, you can use the Main Fabric Piece A pattern to shape the opposite, short ends, if you’d like.
- Cut Pieces C and D, following your pattern.
Embellishing the Top Bands and Strap:
Take a little time to plan the placement of the bag feet on the Top Bands and the Strap, keeping them centered and allowing enough space for the topstitching. Plan your bag feet embellishment locations before marking their final positions to ensure that you have enough “bling” for your project.
- Mark (using removable marking pen or chalk) the fold line of the strap, as well as the topstitching allowances on the Wrong Sides of the Contrast Fabric Top Bands and Strap pieces.
- On the Top Bands, place one bag foot at the center and one bag foot spaced 3" (7.6cm) to the left and right of center. For the Contrast Fabric Strap mark the center fold line and Strap end fold-up allowing 4" (10.2cm) so there’s room to add the Chicago Screws. Then mark the center; the first two bag feet are positioned 1-1/2" (3.8cm) to the left and right of the center mark, and the remaining bag feet are spaced 3" (7.6cm) apart.
- Punch holes and install the bag feet.
- Since the bag feet are decorative you could bend one prong over the other to keep a prong out of a seam allowance.
- Cover the prongs and washers with scraps of fusible interfacing to protect the fabric layers they could rub against.
Attaching the Top Bands:
- Mark (using removable marking pen, chalk, or washi tape) the seam allowances on the Right Sides of the Main Fabric Piece A Front, along the top edge and sides.
- It’s also helpful to add double-sided basting tape just below the top edge seam allowance.
- With Right Sides Up, center one Contrast Top Band at the top edge Piece A Front panel, aligning the top edge of the Top Band within the seam allowance.
- Topstitch each short, side edge and the long, bottom edge of the Contrast Top Band with 1/8" (3mm) allowance. (The top edge of the Band will be topstitched in step 10, after the Lining is sewn to the bag.)
- Repeat the steps for the remaining Contrast Top Band and Main Fabric Piece A Back.
Follow the pattern to complete your bag!
Attach the Strap:
- The bag feet are already installed on the Contrast Piece E (Strap). Follow your pattern instructions to make the Strap. Topstitch slowly, you may find a zipper foot or very narrow foot helpful for topstitching the long edges of the Strap, without hitting the bag feet or the washers between the Strap layers.
We can’t wait to see your version of the Jessica bag! Watch the video tutorial series for all these stylish pattern hacks!