Sunday, October 23, 2016

A few things I've learned.............

You know I have been on a bag marathon lately. Right now the boy bags are complete. I decided to make one for my other daughter's son as well and had to order another frame which should be in this week. Pics coming as soon as all the frames are in. I am pleased with the results and my favorite man thinks they are awesome. My latest project, also nearly done, is another mini NCW for our other granddaughter. So the machines have been humming and the cutters rolling! Here are a few tips gleaned from facebook groups that focus on bagmaking. I really appreciate all the knowledge they share and these tips really help me out.


CLIPS!

These can be the Wonder Clips by Clover. Some order large bags of generic clips through Amazon. I just hightailed it to KMart (limited resources in these parts) and got a bag full of binder clips. They all work. Why clips? They remove the distortion of pins. Bags can have some real shifty, bulky spots too. It is the nature of pins to go in and out and therefore get a bit bubbly. Clips keep everything flat and they squoosh any thick parts right down and hold those parts solidly. It really prevents the layers from sliding. Love my clips!


RELEASE PAPER !

This large piece on top is the same paper that backed the clear vinyl I used to waterproof the linings of the boy bags. This stuff is gold if are ever going to iron any kind of faux leather. I've sewn with tons of faux leather over the years. Ironing is next to impossible. Fusing? Forget it. What I have come to do is fuse the interfacing to batiste and stitch that in with the vinyl like an underlining. It works but it is more work. Appear this slick backing paper. It stays on  while you iron the clear vinyl to your fabric. You let the fabric cool and then slowly lift it off.

I decide to take a chance. Nearly every time I've used faux leather I've had some of it come off on the press cloth despite low temps. I had enough extra on my latest project to do an experiment. I laid the paper down on my steam press slick side up. I next laid down the faux leather, leather side down, touching the slick paper. Then came fusible interfacing on top with the glue side facing down on the faux leather. On top of this a dry press cloth. Fingers crossed, I lowered the steam press, gave it a burst of steam and then held it down for ten very long seconds. I was convinced it would be one melted horrid mess. I lifted the steam press and voila! One perfectly fused piece of faux leather. I let the pieces cool, slid them off the press, cooled them some more. Then I carefully peeled the slick paper from the faux leather. NOTHING! Nothing was damaged, melted or transferred. The fuse was totally solid and the leather looked perfect. I am sure this same process could be done with a regular iron as long as the same layering is done with the release paper. It was a Eureka moment.

Now don't think you have to run out and get clear vinyl to get the paper backing. The paper behind mailing labels  is the same thing, just a smaller page. I use Avery labels a lot at work and take home every sheet of paper when a page is used up. It is the same stuff and works perfectly.


SHISH KA BOB STICKS !

Need to push out the corners of those pocket bags? No, you don't stick the point or the blunt end in the corner. Instead, take the blunt end and starting a couple inches away from the corner, rub the blunt end along the seam line. The garment or bag would be right side out. Push that blunt end along the seam and right into the corner. Now run the chopstick along the other seam line on the opposite side of the corner in the  exact same fashion. You will be amazed how well this works and how stress free and simple it is. You have to push that stick right on the seam line starting a distance from the actual corner. I don't get the physics but it really works. I am a total convert for corner points now.


LOW TACK TAPE !

This is used to cover that nice hardware once it is installed. It keeps the scratching down and I will do this the minute any hardware is installed from now on. This turn lock tooks some serious chiseling to get installed but in the end looks great. This is Sophie's bag that I worked on today. It is so close to done and there is a lot of color in  it that you can't see.  I'll show yo later. Look at all those clips doing their thing!

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This week has found us leaving  months long drought status. While we were blessed with incredible weather all summer and fall a deluge the past three days has filled the wells and given everything a good solid drink before winter sets in. At the end of the rain event, the temp dropped,  the snow began and the sun came out. I thought I'd share a few pics Ern and I took on our sojourn today.  This is an area called Red Tavern Road where everyone lives off the grid and the river is running wild. 

 A little blowdown. 




And this last pic I took in the rain a couple days ago on my way home from work. It's a half mile from the driveway and it just took my breath away. What a beautiful goodbye to a lovely Summer and Fall....Bunny


21 comments:

  1. Great tips! I laughed at the binder clips - I use them as well! Mostly because I already have a bunch, so why buy wonder clips. The release paper - brilliant!!! I'll be saving mine, such a good tip.

    And I love the autumn pics. I always miss the seasons this time of year.

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  2. I have yet to start on making bags, and one day I will. And when I do I will be so grateful for these clever suggestions. I also love your nature pics. What does live off the grid mean please?

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    1. It refers to the electrical grid, that huge network that sends our electricity to the masses. If you live off the grid, you have no connection to any power source other than your own which could be solar, wind power, etc. This road we went down has some lovely homes on it, some quite high end lodge homes. They are all off the grid as no power lines go out on most of this road.

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  3. I have used all of those except the release paper. The painter's tape gets used for lots of things in my sewing.

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    1. Me, too. This morning I used it to tape some fabric loops out of the way so they wouldn't get sewed into a seam by accident. This green tape is very low tack and called Frog Tape.

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  4. Bunny, the release paper (Avery labels paper~Genius association!) tip is one of the best tips offered in a long time. Even the pros never mention that one. Thank you so much.

    Snow. So hard to believe that the summer is kapoot.










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    1. I really just stumbled upon that one myself. I had all the parts and gave it a shot.

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  5. I have a UFO bag. It's been sitting in a bin for at least five years. Now might be the time to pull it back out.

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  6. I'm thinking a bag filled with UFOs but I'm pretty sure it's just one bag that is its own UFO. Hope these hints can help get it back on track. All that I have been making are for gifts.

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  7. Love the pics of fall color. We don't have that where I live (Florida). I have been following your bag making. You have inspired me to give it a try. Love your tips. In fact I reallyl enjoy your blog.

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  8. Love all these practical, accessible tips. Just one thing. As a visual learner, it would be nice to have a picture/diagram of the layering system for the fusing of the faux leather. I just can't visualize it with words, as good as the description you wrote is.
    Thanks for all your great tips and ideas.

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    1. I will do that for you next time I need to fuse some faux leather. Glad you liked the tips.

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  9. Hi Bunny, I simply love to see the construction of your bags. Beautiful and the helpful tips are a plus. Oh yeah, fall/winter is here. Great pictures.

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  10. Thanks for the tips! I do tend to use clips, but not as often as I should. I'll have to get them out and use them more. Love the skewers. I keep a skewer, manicure stick and a couple of different chopsticks depending on what I need at the time. There's nothing like the northeast for fall color. We have some in Colorado, but nothing like what you have.

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  11. Thanks for the very helpful tips!

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  12. Thank you for the helpful tips. Lovely autumn colours but snow already!

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