Learning to Sew: Turning, Top Stitching, and Turning

I completed the third lesson in the Learn To Sew Series last week, which was about turning and top stitching. Little did I know it was about two kinds of turning.

I was really looking forward to this lesson, since I have a desire to make bags. This was a mini messenger bag and the bonus is it is fully reversible. To make this bag, the two keys new skills called out were turning (flipping what you sew inside out) and top stitching. Umm…yeah I need lots of practice in both of these areas.

Here is the “outside” of my messenger bag:

Mini Messenger Bag
And here is my reversible inside (flipped out):

Mini Messenger Bag - Reversible Inside

Each lesson I really learned more than just the intent of the lesson. For me, the two lessons were:

  1. “Turning” in this lesson also meant sewing during a curved turn. Yeah, not so good at that (see the close up picture below).
  2. I REALLY suck at cutting straight. Especially long pieces of fabric.
  3. I equally suck at sewing straight over long distances. (The straps are not pretty.) And if you can’t cut straight (see #2), don’t use the edge of the fabric as your guide for trying to sew straight.

Note: I will be experimenting with different techniques over the coming weeks to help me sew and cut straighter so watch for those.

Here is that close up of the curved stitches that are not so great. I will be practicing this a lot!

Mini Messenger Up Close

While this was far from perfect, I am so excited to have made my first bag. I have it hanging on the lamp in my craft space now and it makes me smile.


  1. Christine says:

    So cute – are you finding any time to sew with the move? The secret to cutting straight is absolutely quilting ruler + roller blade + cutting mat. There’s no hope without it, at least that’s what I think. And then whatever you need to cut will inevitably be longer than your mat. So… I’m in the market for a bigger mat and perhaps a big old ruler – a metal yardstick sounds just right….
    Christine recently posted..WIP Report

    • I haven’t had time to sew in MONTHS! I’m nearly ready to unpack the sewing machine now in the new house though. I hope to make some time soon – around a very busy business travel schedule. I miss my fun, creative time!

      And yes, I think I need to invest in a larger ruler. I found a quilting ruler on line that is long enough to cut a standard width of fabric -think I may have to invest! :-)

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