Saturday, December 27, 2014

Making My Own Tardis Bag: Part 4 - Windows to the Tardis

The front flap was one of the last things I created for the messenger bag.

Why? Because the rest of the bag was relatively straight forward, but the front flap needed some careful consideration in how it was constructed.

One of the things I wanted to add to my Tardis was the set of windows that you see on the front of the actual Tardis. My initial drawings also have the iconic windows on the flap of the bag.

I looked at various resources including the Tardis Handbook, which we have on our bookshelf. There are several different variations of the Tardis, depending on which Doctor and which season. I opted to do a stylized version of the windows.

But, the question is HOW to accomplish the windows themselves? This question would dictate how I would create the flap for the bag, which I had left as the last task to do on the bag.

There were several ways to do it, including:
  • Painting the windows using white fabric paint -- by far the easiest option, but one that looks flat and one-dimensional.
  • Quilting techniques -- I wasn't sure how to accomplish this, but I'm sure actual quilters would be able to figure it out.
  • Applique of some sort -- I'd have to create each window pane separately and sew them onto the fabric.
  • Embroider the windows -- this would be relatively simple using my embroidery machine, but I still didn't have access to my software.
  • Cut-out window panes using fabric -- probably the most difficult, but would give me a three-dimensional look that I wanted.
I opted to do the cut-out window technique, which meant that my flap pieces would look like the following drawing:

 There would be two pieces:
  1. the Front Flap piece -- it would comprise of three separate fabric pieces: Top, the Police Box Sign (already cut out), and the Window Pane
  2. the Back Flap piece -- it would be the size of the actual flap, and I would sew onto it a piece of white fabric the approximate size of the window panes.
The window pane portion would be the biggest pain to create.

First, I determined how big the window portion of my bag should be, cut out the fabric (with the appropriate seam allowances), and marked out where I wanted the windows. It took several tries to place the windows adequately. (The windows are 2x1 inches.)

I added iron-on stabilizer to the back of the fabric, and sewed the outlines of my window rectangles.

Then using very sharp scissors, I created a "Y" cut within the box itself to make the windows.
I edge-stitched of the small triangles after cutting. This left me with "windows".

 (This is a small sample that I used to test out my technique. I tried different cut methods.)

Then, I assembled the front piece together. There were additional items, such as attaching the front closure straps, etc.

Afterwards, I made the Back Piece by attaching white fabric to the wrong side of the back piece of the flap.

Then sewing the whole thing together, as well as stitching down each individual window pane (again) so that it wouldn't shift too much. I had some issues with the edge corners of each pane, but some trimming and fabric glue helped control the edges.

All-in-all, it took about 2 hours of fiddly work to sew the front flap together that primarily consisted of getting the window panes cut, pressed, and sewn down. (It also included the time to do the sample set of window panes on scrap fabric.)

Viola! The finished front flap.

Next up, finishing the bag!

You can also find more posts about making this bag by searching on TARDIS MESSENGER BAG or click on the following links:

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