Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kate Spain Soft Tote Finish a.k.a. A Lesson in Laminate Sewing

A quick finish to report for my Q2 Finishes 
On the Windy Side.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Here's my pile of fabric. This was a learning project, 
too, because the Kate Spain fabric on the bottom is 
a laminated cotton. I had never sewn with it, and 
when I got a little less than a yard of it on clearance, 
it was a chance to try without a big investment.

Bag construction is pretty basic to most, but 
few people have recently asked how to box out 
the bottom. I'll show you how to to get an even 
box, which doesn't always happen when 
I just eyeball it.

Once the sides are sewn, mark the same
distance to the top and side of a lower corner. 
Here I've used 3" each way.

Turn the bag so the side and bottom seam are
on top of each other. If you haven't sewn a bottom
seam, which I prefer, use your ruler to square it up 
like shown. You align the side seam with a vertical 
mark on your ruler, and match the dots on each 
side of the bottom. Pin, and draw your line.

It should look like this. If I was doing a small bag,
I would cut this excess off because it would just
add bulk. I tend to keep it on a large bag, and 
just fold it under to the bottom. It adds stability
to the corner, and an additional layer should 
the bag start to wear through.

Next I made the liner for the bag with the same 
construction process. I used the same
measurements for width exactly, but added about 
4" for a fold over band. The width got me into 
pickle, and I'll show you why in a bit. I've found if 
I cut my liner width about 1/2" smaller, it fits better 
at the end. Think of nesting bowls.

Here is where I started to learn my lesson about 
laminated fabrics. They are not smooth like 
regular cotton. It wasn't as much of a problem 
catching on the machine surface or presser foot 
I could see, but was very apparent in the stitching 
in the handle below.

I saw no other way around my handle problem, 
so I used a little more contrast fabric to cover 
my laminated fabric. The laminate added weight 
inside instead of strapping, and I could sew it all together.

This handle had to be ripped out, and notice the 
fabric didn't 'recover'. The stitching holes were 
still visible even after I misted the fabric, and 
lightly pressed from the WRONG side. Do
not iron laminated fabric from the right side!
It will ruin your fabric and your iron.

The next dilemma was how to sew the handles
onto the bag with the laminate on the bottom. I grabbed
a scrap, and positioned it under the laminate so things 
would slide on the bottom as I sewed at the top.

Here's the view from the top side. At this point, the 
lining was still free of the bag. I wanted the handle 
seams hidden on the inside so it looked polished. 
First stitching, sew with the handles facing down 
toward the inside of the bag. (The white is the liner.)

Fold the handles up covering the raw seam,
and stitch all around for security.

This is what I had so far. The lining was pinned 
at the side, and sewn down at the patches only.

I was excited to be so nearly finished. My daughter 
stopped in for a look, and asked if this bag was
staying with us. Please? I knew it was a hit then.

I brought the excess liner over the top to cover 
my orange patches, and did a quick pin around. 
It puckered. A lot! I repinned. It still puckered. 

 So, I did a quick fix by taking in my liner seams by 
about 1/4" on each side, and not too far down.

That was all it needed. I pinned the liner in place where 
I knew the pin holes would notshow on the finished 
piece, and sewed. Then I went back and sewed the 
handlesall the way to the top edge, and finished
with an edge stitch around the top.

This is a bit of a less structured bag without interfacing, 
but the laminate would not have withstood the heat to 
bond, and I'm not a lover of sewn-in interfacing. It's 
proven to be a workhorse so far while loaded.

One thing I've been toting around is a new book called 
Little Quilts. Lisa in Port Hope posted her sweet mini 
from it on the Pet Project Show a few weeks ago, and I 
had to hunt it down. So many neat ideas here!

Trying new things is fun for me. I'm not afraid of 
change, but sometimes it takes getting used to. There's
a new look to the blog, as I'm sure you've noticed. I'll 
give a little tutorial on some of the features the next
time we talk. For today, notice these fancy-shmancy 
buttons below. This is where you can find all the ways 
to follow Pink Doxies in one hexie-spot. If you don't 
know what they all are, just click. They don't bite 
like Doxies.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Q2 Finishes on the Windy Side
Sew Fresh Quilts
Freshly Pieced


Kathy H said...

Very cute bag and I like the idea of using the laminates but they are harder to work with. My friends and I were sewing with some and found putting a piece of tissue paper against the plastic side makes it easier to move along. Then just tear it away when done. Not a perfect solution but still helpful.

Julie said...

Great idea, Kathy. I thought of the paper I use for paper piecing, but hadn't thought tissue paper. I have another little pouch I want to make with a different laminate, and will try that with you in mind. Thanks for the good suggestion.

Julie @ Pink Doxies

Kaja said...

Great bag - I've never tried sewing with laminate but you make it sound manageable! I love your new look.

Jayne said...

I love the bag too! Perfect for everything! I bought a teflon foot for when I sew oil cloth. It helps so much. You can also put painters tape on the bottom of your regular foot and it works too!

Ruth said...

I keep thinking of using laminate for the back of a picnic quilt - grass is usually damp enough here most of the time! Does it wash the same?

Julie said...

Excellent question! Who knows the answer? Pink Chalk Studios, Laminated Cotton Sewing Tips published Nov.18, 2009. States it washes and DRIES just as other fabric, but check it out yourself.

Julie @ Pink Doxies

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

The finished bag looks great. I find they always end up more complicated than I expected. *Visiting as a member of the official 2015 Finish-Along cheerleading squad*