It's really important a bag have a good rigid base. The down side is that a rigid base made from a fusible can be really difficult to maneuver around the machine. I've got more than one broken needle to prove that point! I've also used foam core for many of my bags. I find the foam core can break down if I wash the bag but have like it otherwise. It just sort of breaks in the wash. What? you don't wash your bags? I probably should just make a new bag but instead I wash! I've also used plastic canvas. That is specified in many instructions for bag making. I find it not rigid enough. It just sort of bends. I want my bag bottom to stay flat and stiff and be easy to sew. Another recommendation is to used template plastic. I haven't tried this yet but understand it is washable. While trolling the net recently I came across a new method. I have changed it up here to accommodate my supplies on hand and this particular pattern and will show you what I did.
I can't take credit for this. I was on Nicole Mallalieu's website and credit her with the technique. If you are at all into making bags, she has some great patterns and really creative interpretations. This link is for her original tutorial using a heavy two sided fusible. The shape of my bag required some adjustments to her plan and I did not have any two sided fusible. I did have Peltex and here is what I did.
First I cut a piece of Peltex one quarter inch smaller on all sides than the actual bottom area. I clipped off the corners. Peltex is a VERY heavy stiff fusible. Many patterns have you cut this piece the same size as the bottom. I find invariably, that is just too tight.
Next I cut a piece of muslin to hold the Peltex bottom. Mallalieu has you eventually stitch the short sides to the bag. Because my bag had a bottom that continued up the side of the bag and ending in a point that wouldn't work. I chose to stitch this piece in to the long sides of the bag bottom instead. So you will need a piece of muslin that is twice the width of the short side plus 4 inches. Cut the short sides of this piece one inch wider on each side. Fold the muslin in half and press. Open back up and place the Peltex on the muslin one inch away from the fold. Center the piece of Peltex. Fuse. Fold the excess fabric under the fused Peltex leaving and inch margin at the fold line.It's inside out.
Next, go to the machine and stitch along the short ends, butting the needle right up to the Peltex. A zipper foot comes in handy here. Trim the short sides down to about an 1/8th inch and turn right side out, enclosing the Peltex inside.
Turn the bag wrong side out. Pin the seams of the long sides of the Peltex pocket to the bag bottom seam allowances and stitch. You are stitching closer to the edge of the fabric than the original bag seam allowances. You are not stitching on top of the original seam line. You need some play here for all to lay nice. Do the other long side seam. Your rigid bag bottom is now free floating in the bottom of the bag. It is going nowhere! This technique feels really secure to me. I found it easier to fit into the bottom of the bag. It also eliminates fusing the bottom from the start and maneuvering awkwardly around the machine. I think any bagmaker knows the uneven stitching lines and broken needles that can produce.
I started on the lining and it is nearly done. That will go in tomorrow morning and I will then have my summer bag, at least one of them! The lining is one of the Joanne poly brocades. I like it for bag lining as it adds a bit of luxe to the inside.
I'm awaiting a delivery from Joan Hinds of a pattern for some smocked dresses for the AG doll. I think this could be really fun and can't wait to start on one. I have a feeling they will be like eating potato chips.
Next in the queue after this bag is a pair of jammies for Zachy, Camo Spider jammies to be exact !....Bunny