Sewing Space Station Mission 3: Assembling Parts & Binding

Aug 2023

Let's make those flaps and join all the parts together and then seal those raw edges with pretty binding!

Welcome back if you're here from Part 2 in this series of blog posts!

If you've just landed here and missed the first two parts, start here and then go here for Part 2.

How have you been finding this pattern? I hope the support and extra tips have been super helpful in helping you work through this project!

Now we're up to assembling the final parts and ultimately seeing how the whole mat will look together. Woohoo! This is where it really gets exciting!

I absolutely love being able to refer you to a video ... there's nothing quite like watching a technique in motion ... so head to Video 4 for all these steps.

Not So Fiddly Flaps

We use flaps in this project to keep everything stored safely inside the top of the mat.

It's a great opportunity for fussy cutting, or I love to use a different fabric on the inside as a fun pop of interest when you open them.

The flaps are held in closed with Kam snaps, which are plastic snaps inset with a special tool. They are available in an inexpensive kit that come with a tool (I actually use a knock-off version) and come in a wide range colours in the kit that you can match to your project.

This part of the video covers the construction of the flaps, with some extra tips:

  • Make sure to include the woven interfacing as well as the fleece inside these flaps as this is the ‘sweet spot’ for making a floppy woven fabric behave. It achieves a great looking shape that doesn’t stretch out of shape either when you make it or when you use it.
  • If you struggle to sew a nice curve around the flaps, trace the interfacing template again onto the wrong side of the fabric and use this line as your stitching guide.
  • Kam snaps are attached here in the video and are a fabulous way to hold these in place.  You can also watch again here.

Attaching the Front Tool Panel

From 11:18 mark in the video we move onto attaching the Front Panel and how to cover those raw edges of that join.

Tips for making this join look neat:

  •  You can use bias or straight binding for this join – you choose! Bias in only really necessary for a curve.
  •  If you want to camouflage this join, cut your strip from the same fabric as the base and back of the tool panel
  •  ‘Layer’ your seams by trimming the top pocket panel seam by about half to reduce the bulk of the layers
  •  Fold that binding back towards the base and manipulate all the layers by really showing it who’s boss – I like to press it with lots of steam and let it cool down with some weight on it which really helps hold those layer where you want them. Remember you’re in control!
  •  Pin or glue baste this in place before you stitch for extra security that it will stay where you want it
  • Sew slowly along the edge of the binding to get it neat. Remember your stitches will show through on the top of the project
  •  You have the option of hand sewing in place if you would like no stitches showing on the front. This is also a great option if you're not confident you can sew this seam neatly

You can see my join is not perfectly straight but it's close enough for me!

After we've joined this on, the rest of the project becomes quite bulky now. Fold it up to a manageable size to reduce drag as you sew. You'll be amazed how many times I don't actually think to do this, and end up getting really frustrated trying to finagle a funky shape all at once. But folding up your project to just the part you're actually working on is a huge game changer to help you sew straight and reduce the irritation level!

Fabric Ties

The Sewing Space Station is designed to be folded up into a neat package and held shut with fabric ties when you're storing or traveling with it.

If you're not confident sewing these skinny strips, you can always substitute a ribbon or twill tape for this.

But in all honesty they're not that hard and there are some cool tricks to get them neat.

  • You can watch the ties constructed in the video here. I show you how to join shorter strips to save fabric which means you can go scrappy if you like!
  • Some careful pressing is key to getting them an even width.
  • Use your stiletto to help hold the layers together on the narrow strip as you sew
  • This nifty trick will help you get the ends of your ties super neat when they're too small grab even with the stiletto.      

Binding Your Beautiful Creation

To me, binding, scraggy, fraying edges has to be one life's most satisfying sewing moments! Not to mention that it's the final step to finishing all your hard work.

  • Watch here to see how to bind your Station
  • There are a few ways to join your binding ends together. I prefer a mitred join which is the least bulky and sits smoother than butting the ends together
  • You can sew the binding to the front or the back depending on your preference and either hand or machine sew the second edge in place. If you really can't get your stitching to look pretty here hand sewing is the perfect solution particularly if you're one of those people who love hand binding!
  • That internal curve where the Tool panel connects is tricky . Even trickier than the one on the tool panel as it curves the opposite way when you're sewing it– remember to snip and open out the curve to make the binding fit snugly.  Persevere with this step and don’t be afraid to unpick(seam rip!) and try again – I often do and spoiler alert: my curve here always has some slight puckers in it and you really don’t notice it one you’re done. 

Congratulations on finishing your mat! Celebrate by sharing your progress with the world on socials and in the Facebook Community.

In the next and final blog post in this series, I'll cover constructing the Cargo Bay Pouch and the PinPod - these are my favourite extras to add even more functionality to this project and I can't wait to get started with you!

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Meet Ali Phillips

So glad you stopped by for a read! I'm a sewist with a passion for family, creativity, & organisation.