For this tip, I chose to work with double-sided prequilted fabrics. These specialty fabrics truly streamline the bag or tote-making process. Here’s how to adapt the pattern and sewing steps when using prequilted fabrics for your next creative bag.
Gather the supplies
- I shopped my fabric closet and found this bright prequilted fabric. Sometime a gal just needs color!
- For the pattern, I chose the Trace ‘n Create Bag Template—Florida Tote Collection, plus collected the other findings for the bag: Wrap ‘n Fuse piping, Create-a-Strap (1″ wide), Magnetic Snaps, and Bag Hardware. I also needed Shape ‘n Create (the plastic shaping for the bottom of the bag) and Bag Feet, but somehow those items missed the photo shoot!
Cut out the fabric
- Using the template, Sharen, my ace stitcher, traced the template shapes on the fabric and then cut. (One of the benefits of using a template is that the size doesn’t change. Often with a paper pattern, I trim more away than needed.)
Add the Snaps
- I always support the back of magnetic snaps with a small square of Shape’n Create. In hindsight, we should have used the black Create ‘n Shape instead of the white, but this way you can see it more clearly!
- The initial drawback to shopping my fabric closet was that I didn’t have any coordinating fabric for the piping and straps. Sharen came to the rescue. She offered to separate the prequilted fabric for these small accent pieces. It took only a few minutes to snip the threads—the layers separated with ease. Hint: Cut out the size of the piping, then snip the quilting threads.
- Wrap the fabric around the Wrap ‘n Fuse piping; press. What a quick way to stitch the first step of piping!
- Use a zipper or cording foot to attach the piping.
Finish the raw edges
- If you’re a serger owner, use a wide width overlock stitch to clean finish the raw edges. Or, stitch with a wide zigzag stitch.
- The bag already looks finished on the inside!
- Here’s the view from the right side.
Add the bag feet
- After sewing the lower seam, add the bag feet. This is optional, but I like way the feet protect the bottom of my bags and totes. Plus, it’s easy. The template provides the exact location of the feet.
Add support to the bottom of the bag
- The traditional next step is to stitch the Create ‘n Shape to the bottom of the bag, but not this time! When using double-sided, prequilted fabric, make a pouch for the plastic Shape’n Create, making it longer than needed and also leaving one end open. Note: The instructions detail the size of the plastic bag bottom.
- Insert the fabric-covered plastic into the bag, tucking under the unfinished end. Sharen, you remember, one of my co-workers, told me she makes this type of pouch for her bags. When traveling she hides valuables in the pouch!
Add a top snap closure
- We used the fabric pouch concept when adding the top snap closure. Cut two 1-1/2″ squares of Shape’n Create. Cut two fabric pieces 2″ x 5-1/2″. Sew the side seams of the pouch, turn right side out, and insert the square of plastic.
- Add the magnetic snaps, 1″ from the lower folded edge.
- Center the snap pouches on the inside of the bag; baste. The fabric pouch is longer than the plastic so the bulk from the plastic will not be in the top seam.
Create the straps
- Fuse Create-A-Strap to the wrong side of the strap fabric. (Again, we separated the double-sided fabric—it was quick.) Press along the perforations.
- Center grosgrain ribbon over the edges; stitch.
- Follow the instructions for finishing the bag, which includes adding the straps and finishing the top edges with grosgrain ribbon.
- The snap pouch will securely hold the top of the bag together, even though the snap is not physically attached to the bag. The plastic Shape’ n Create makes the difference!
- The Florida Tote has a convertible option, changing the shapes of the sides with a unique snap closure.You might like this option, too!
Which design option was your favorite? Let me know and we’ll send a random winner a Trace ‘N Create California Bag Template Set, a $19.99 value! You can use this template for many of the Creative Designer Bag Tips.
Bye for now,