Wednesday, October 26, 2011

{amylouwho} my super secret bag making tip

As I said yesterday, I don't really do tutorials.  I'm deathly afraid of trying to explain something I do with the right words.  I could sit down with you and show you what to do - but to write it out? scary!! It's probably the other reason I haven't worked more on the pattern for my bag.

While I was working on this bag last week I thought I might share one of my favorite discoveries when making bags.  Fusible Thermolam. It's technically not fusible fleece, even though it feels a lot like it.  I think it's a little tighter weave or something.

I used sew-in fleece when I made my first several bags, what a pain! Then I decided to try fusible fleece! Much easier.  But I found when I fused it on some things it would pucker the fabric because it was shrinking with the iron's steam, so I started using it on the lining instead of the outer fabric.  Then one day I ended up with the Thermolam instead of the fleece and I'll never go back! (btw, this is not a sponsored review - I'm not saavy enough to get offered something like that! I just really like this stuff!)
pellon thermolam

Using the interfacing on the lining provides some stability to the fabric when inserting your snaps and also for the key hook.  And I love how it stands on it's own!  Another added bonus is that it's really lightweight, so your bag isn't heavy, but still keeps it's shape. It's also flexible enough that turning the bag isn't a huge chore.
nice and sturdy

Look how sad and schlumpy it is without the interfacing! 

bag without interfacing

Once you put the interfaced lining in, the bag perks right up!
Sara's bag

I also cut my interfacing pieces a seam allowance shorter all the way around so that the seams aren't so bulky.
from the inside

It is important to follow the directions for fusing. Because the thermolam is so thick, you should press it with the fabric side up (interfacing underneath), so the heat is getting to the fusible side, otherwise your interfacing won't stick or stay in place.

I hope this helps some of you bag makers or hopeful bag makers!  I love making bags, they are so quick and satisfying to finish.

What kinds of sewing tricks have you learned making bags? Or anything for that matter! Oh! And what is your experience with Decor Bond? Is it hard to turn the bag right side out?

13 crafty mcCrafters commented:

sonia said...

Oh thanks! I've never seen it but I'll surely look for it and try it. I'll let you know! Thanks for the tip!

Laura said...

I love your purse! When will you have a pattern available??? Love it!

Eleanor said...

I am not crazy about Decor Bond. It has more tendancy to bubble than other interfacings. Also, when it gets a crease in it, it shows through the fabric. I have used Shape-Flex a lot recently because it is what is called for in Amy Butler's Style Stitches. It is much lighter weight but it makes a really nice bag.

Meg said...

Haha...so funny. I have the exact opposite experience from the above commenter. I looooove Decor Bond. It is definitely my go to because I find it doesn't bubble near as much, but I do use Shape-flex for bags that are supposed to be "softer" like sling bag types.

Melissa {polkadot chair} said...

I've never tried that. Thanks for the tip.I'll have to pick some up this week.

I also love to use canvas for bags- gives it body without making them stiff.

Belinda said...

I like to use shapeflex (Pellon SF101) on both the exterior & lining pieces. I often add a muslin interlining if I want the bag to have even more stability.

Pamela said...

Your bag it perfect! This is a bag I could actually make. The weekender ~ no, crazy scary! Even though I've been quilting for 10 years I rarely venture out into sewing or bag making. This bag I want to try.

Heather said...

Really like the bag. Now I want one to magically appear next to my sewing machine, but I haven't seen the sewing machine elves in a while.

bhafer said...

I have started on bag making and will have to give this a try. Thanks.

BumbleBee Bagz said...

love, love, love Thermolam!!! I use it in all my bags on the outside and inside. I will tell you that I only use the non fusible kind...its 2 dollars cheaper and if you iron it to the fabric it will stick enough to sew. I dont ever like fusing anything to the fabric...it can cause wrinkles and shifting! plus as I'm sure you know...you can use a joanns 50% off coupon on a WHOLE bolt!!! makes it super cheap!!

V's Sweet Ideas said...

wow thank you so much for sharing this info!

Heidi said...

Thanks for the great advice! I'll pick some up for my next project for sure!

Heidi Reads...

S.S. said...

I never knew to the iron the fabric side! that makes so much sense! :)

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