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A Place For Everything Bag – Tips & Tricks

For a couple of months now, I have been dreaming of a way to organize my sewing machine’s odds and ends. The accessory case that came with my Bernina broke after falling off a table many years ago. Although only one of the doors from the case will not stay put, I haven’t wanted to use it because it isn’t very stable. I thought about buying something like the Sew Stack Machine Feet Box but decided that I could just make my own. I bought a pattern By Annie called A Place For Everything, then found the perfect fabric called On the Bright Side by Sandy Gervais for Riley Blake Designs. And my dream bag was born. 

A Place for Everything bag can be broken down into sections:

Bag top and bottom
-Items used in this section are: Back of bag, front of bag, mesh for bag pockets, zipper, and binding strips (I didn’t put a zipper in here but the directions do have one here.)

Center strip with handle and zipper strips
– Items used in this section are: Zipper side strip 1 & 2, long zipper, center side strip, Velcro, stabilizer sleeve, handle and soft and stable for inside of handle

Organizing pages
– Items used in this section are: Pocket pages 1 & 2, vinyl pockets, many zippers, binding, and Velcro (I added extra pockets to my bag and decorative elastic)

Tips on making A Place For Everything bag

The finished bag is amazing, but it is not an easy make. It’s not really hard, but it can be a daunting task to make all the pieces it calls for. I ran into a few road bumps and easily worked through my issues. First off, the pleated vinyl. Sure, you can not pleat the vinyl but I want to put my sewing machine feet in the pockets so pleating the vinyl is a necessary evil. I figured out an easy way to do it. I am not 100% sure if I did this correctly, but this is my interpretation of the direction on pleating the vinyl. If you have any tips or if you interpreted the directions differently, I would love to hear about it.  

How I folded the vinyl pockets

My big crutch is painter’s tape. I love using it in projects like this. Right off the bat, I used it to help me quilt the fabrics and Soft and Stable together. To do this I placed the large piece of sandwiched fabrics on my cutting mat. Hopefully the mat you have has the 45 degree angle. I set the tape down at a 45 degree angle line and then added another piece of tape on both sides of the tape. I sewed in between the tape creating 3/4″ spaced lines. Then I repeated the process until the sandwiched fabrics were filled with sewn parallel lines. Then I repeated the process with the opposite 45 degree angle, creating quilted diamonds.   

The parts that need to be quilted are:

Front of bag
Back of bag
Zipper side strips
Center side strip
Pocket pages 1 & 2

Painter’s tape is also a great way to secure the zipper to the vinyl before it has been sewn. I tore the tape off after the first seam and then stitched another seam next to the original seam, giving a little extra security to the pockets. 

The other roadblock I encountered while making the A Place For Everything bag, was rounding the edges. I didn’t pay attention to the directions so I used (what else?) the painter’s tape circumference to mark the rounded edge for cutting. This was a big mistake because the zipper cut away the space in the middle of the bag which made me trim the pocket pages a lot. So much that I ended up only having room for a small and large pocket on one page. This ended up being ok because I want to make the bag again. The extra vinyl pockets that are left over will be used in the next bag I make. 

These are the front bag and back bag. NOTE the rounded edges are wrong here.

This is how my center strip with handle and zipper strips turned out.

I added a few extra things to the inside pages. First, I added the fruit bowl from the placemat panel. Have I told you that the line has panels?? Placemats are included in the On The Bright Side fabric line. It was perfect to make into a pocket with a Velcro closure. Then I added the quote “make today amazing” to the top of one of the mesh pockets. Giving it a little extra character. For a pen holder, use decorative elastic. Attach it by sewing parallel seams with an inch or more in between them. I took out one of the pages with pleated pockets and replaced it with a full vinyl pocket.

This A Place For Everything bag holds a lot of stuff!! I MEAN A LOT!! Below you will find a photo of all the stuff I have in my bag so you can picture it better. I really love all of the textures and colors this bag has and I love the way it turned out even with all of its flaws. That is what makes it handmade and unique. 

I love By Annie bag patterns!! She is amazing and I have actually met her. She is the sweetest!! Click on the links below to see more of her patterns that I have made.
Ditty Bag
The Stash and Dash Bag
Travel Essentials

On the Bright Side Fabric

The fabric is a whimsical floral that has a modern yet vintage feel. It has all the good stuff in it like teals, reds, grey and Etsy’s color of the year chartreuse. What you find in the designs of the fabric are incredibly fun. You guys, the fabric has fruit in it. Flowers, pears, apples, and inspiring phrases are packed within the line. It’s the apples that make me smile every time I see them. I used the main fabric, but I wish I would have ordered some of the fruit print as well because dang it’s cute. The best part about the line just might be the wide back. I love them, and this one is the perfect complement for just about any quilt. I used it on the handle and for the binding.

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The Comments

  • On the Bright Side – Riley Blake Designs
    March 3, 2020

    […] stop on the On the Bright Side Project Tour takes us to BROWN BIRD DESIGNS, where Elisabeth is sharing her fabulous A Place for Everything Bag, featuring fabric from the On […]

  • Deonn Stott
    March 4, 2020

    That is an adorable bag! Love how you fussy-cut some of the sayings. And wow! It holds a lot! So, sew cute!

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Deonn Stott
      March 17, 2020

      I love the quote too! Thanks for letting me know like it.

  • Diane Beavers
    March 17, 2020

    Elisabeth this is an amazing post about bag making! I have not tried pleating vinyl so no tips. I’ll just follow your lead. The fruit prints are so cool! Your make turned out awesome!!!

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Diane Beavers
      March 17, 2020

      That is really nice to hear and greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  • Marcia Escarcega
    March 19, 2020

    Elisabeth, I have been so out of the loop on keeping up with you. This morning I just clicked on my bookmark for you and low and behold, the perfect bag is right there. I love the design you chose and the fabric as well. I’m thinking that I might have to try this because I love it and so need a great bag like this!! Thank you so much!! Keep up the great work you do!!
    Marcia Escarcega

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Marcia Escarcega
      March 19, 2020

      Thanks for stoping by!! It’s always nice to hear from you. I was actually just thinking I might need to get some more Tupperware. You should post a line here so I can check out your newest catalog.

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Marcia Escarcega
      September 22, 2020

      Hey Marcia!! I hope you are doing good. It doesn’t look like my phone app is actually posting my replies. Thank you very much for your sweet words!! If you have any questions on making this bag, I am working on my second one now so I think I will be able to help. Take care!!

    August 27, 2020

    I am finishing up the pattern, ByAnnie, called Running With Scissors. I, too, love her patterns and enjoyed meeting her. Running is a great pattern, but a lot of work. I have the pattern you have, because I always wanted to make it. But now that I made Running, I can’t bear to make A Place for Everything. I will eventually teach some of these patterns. Annie does your pattern on Craftsy.

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > LAURIE B
      September 22, 2020

      Thanks for sharing!! I had no idea that she has a tutorial on Craftsy. I will have to watch it now that is not closing. Running with Scissors looks amazing. I am definitely going to have to get that pattern as well. I have been slowing working on another A Place for everything bag. I am going to have to add a few extra features inspired by the other pattern. Cheers to bag making!