Episode 405


Bobbin Along by Ellen Osten

Embellish a cute clutch with bobbinwork techniques.

Download the bobbinwork stitch pattern here.


1/3 yard of black cotton fabric

Stabilizer: mediumweight cut-away & lightweight fusible (See "Sources.")

7 1/2"x11 5/8" rectangle of lightweight cotton batting

Thread: contrasting variegated 12-wt. cotton & coordinating 60-wt. two-ply (See "Sources.")

Fine point marker

7"-long black all-purpose zipper

Zipper foot

Fabric glue

Prepare It

From the fabric, cut one 9 1/2"x13" rectangle for the bag body and one 8 1/2"x12" rectangle for the lining.

From each stabilizer, cut one 9 1/2"x13" rectangle.

Layer the large fabric rectangle right side up over the cut-away stabilizer rectangle. Baste the rectangle perimeter using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Download the bobbinwork stitching pattern; print two. Align each pattern widthwise centerline; tape together.

Trace the stitching lines onto the fusible stabilizer smooth side using a fine point marker. Position the stabilizer fusible side down over the layered cut-away stabilizer. Fuse, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Wind the bobbin with 12-wt. thread. If the bobbin thread is too thick to wind by machine, wind it by hand. Thread the machine needle with coordinating 60-wt. thread.

Sew It

Test-stitch to determine the desired decorative stitches. Use different decorative stitches for each line, or create a symmetrical design, as in the featured sample.

Adjust the upper tension so that the needle thread pulls to the fabric wrong side and isn't visible on the fabric right side.

Tip: Use matching thread in the needle when doing bobbinwork so if the needle thread shows on the fabric right side, it won't be noticeable.

Stitch along each traced line, and then clip the thread ends. Trim the rectangle to measure 8 1/2"x12", with the stitched design centered.

Center the batting over the stitched-panel wrong side. Align the remaining black fabric rectangle wrong side down over the batting; pin.

Center one zipper tape right side down over one panel short edge, aligning the edges. Fold the zipper-tape ends toward the wrong side just below each zipper stop.

Attach a zipper foot onto the machine. Stitch the zipper tape 1/8" from the zipper teeth. Zigzag stitch the zipper tape and seam allowance raw edge (1).


With right sides together, fold the stitched panel in half widthwise. Align the remaining zipper-tape edge with the opposite short edge. Open the zipper. Stitch the zipper to the remaining short edge.

With the zipper centered, align the bag side seams; stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Zigzag or overcast stitch the seam allowance edges together.

Fold the bag lower edge aligning the side seam with the widthwise center. Draw a line across the lower edge triangle 1" from the corner. Stitch across the line (2). Repeat to box the remaining corner.


Turn the bag right side out. Fold each zipper edge 1" toward the bag lining. Using fabric glue, adhere the zipper folded edge to the bag lining. Hold in place for 30 seconds or use binder clips to ensure adhesion. To secure, stitch the fold in the ditch of the side seams at each zipper end.


Original design by Lee Fletcher, Sulky National Educator.

Sulky provided the 12-wt. Blendable Cotton Thread, 60-wt. two ply Poly Lite, Soft 'n Sheer Extra Fusible Stabilizer, and Cut-Away Plus.

Products used in this episode:


© F+W All rights reserved.