How to sew a gusset
Want to step up a handmade handbag, book bag, lunch bag? Or simply want to add some 3-D shape to any sewing project? A gusset is a good place to start. So here is a basic step by step guide to making a gusset!
1. By the time you're ready to sew a gusset, you probably already have the beginnings of a bag. Turn the bag inside out and iron the corner where the gusset will be:
2. Now grab the corner of your bag by the tip and match up the side and bottom seams together. This will form a triangle and you should see how this will turn your bag from a flat sack to a more three dimensional shape:
3. Open up the seam allowances (as shown in the picture above). Before you iron and pin, make sure that the bottom seam and the side seam match up. It can be helpful to stick a straight pin into the seam on top and make sure that it comes out in the seam on the bottom.
4. Once you're happy with the match up of seams, iron the area and put a pin or two in to keep it in place.
5. Now you need to determine the size of your gusset. If you're using a pattern, it will give you the size. For the gusset shown here, I measured 1" from the corner down the seam and then 3" from the corner down the fold on each side. Mark the three points using a fabric pencil, marker, or pin. Here's a diagram:
6. Connect the three points into an arc. Try to make the arc as uniform as possible so that the gussets on each side of the exterior and the lining (if you are using one) will look the same. Make the arc and sew along it.
7. Now is a good time to make sure you're happy with the gusset. I usually turn the bag inside out to make sure the seams are lined up and I'm happy with it. If you are, cut off the excess portion.
8. Turn the bag inside out and using a pressing ham (your finger or a butter knife also work great) press the seam you have just made out. And you're done!
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