Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bag Base Tutorial for Peltex or Fast2Fuse

I've been meaning to update this bag base tutorial for a while. Not only was the original hastily put together from a black & white pdf document (long story involving band width), but I've ever-so-slightly changed my method since it was written. (And colour is always nicer than grey, don't you think?).

This tutorial is for a base in any boxed corner bag (and it can be adapted for other bag constructions).

1. Measure the length of the base seam (above) and then the boxed corner seam (below).

2. Round both measurements down by around 6mm (1/4 inch). For example, on the boxed corner seam below, I'd round down to 6.5cm.

3. Cut a piece of Peltex (it doesn't matter if it's single-sided or double-sided fusible) or heavy weight Fast2Fuse to the (rounded down) dimensions of the base seams. (I find that a rotary cutter and quilting ruler are the business for this job).



4. Roughly cut a scrap of fusible woven interfacing large enough to wrap about 2 and a half times around the base piece - folding along the long edge. You'll also need a generous seam allowance (overhanging the Peltex/Fast2Fuse) at each of the short ends. No need to worry about accuracy here, folks!
5. Wrap the interfacing around the base piece and fuse it all together with a hot iron. The interfacing will stiffen as it cools. You can add further layers of interfacing if you'd like to make the base more rigid.
NOTE: If you use double-sided fusible Peltex or Fast2Fuse, you can use calico or fabric scraps instead of interfacing. (That's what I used to do before I discovered the benefits of layering up fusible interfacing).


6. Trim the seam allowances on the short ends to about 1.5cm (5/8 inch).

7. To make the base durable (through machine washes etc), machine stitch around the outside edge and through the centre to hold all the layers securely.

NOTE: Nobody will see this bit, so there's no need to worry about neatness.

8. Lay the base over the base seam of the bag.
9. Fold back the overhanging seam allowance at each of the short ends of the base and line up the Peltex/Fast2Fuse edge about 3mm (1/8 inch) from the boxed corner seam of the bag.


10. Stitch the seam allowances of the base to the seam allowances of the bag - about 3mm (1/8 inch) from the other side of the seam (towards the raw edge of fabric, rather than on the body of the bag). Look carefully at the photo below.

The base is attached with a little bit of movement to avoid accidentally making it too tight (which looks awful). When the bag is in use, the base will sit firmly and exactly where it ought.

When you turn the bag through to the right side, you'll see that the base creates structure but is flexible enough to not damage the fabric with wear and tear (as template plastic can). It's also comfortable when the bag is worn against the body.


Have you tried Peltex or Fast2Fuse as a base?
More free patterns, tutorials and sewing tips, are over here....

31 comments:

Nancy said...

thanks for the great tutorial... i hate the removable bottoms as they kind of slip around... i am going to try this...

susanne said...

Nicole,
This is Susanne, the Acquisitions Editor from Stash Books. I was hoping to link to your tutorial as your technique is perfect for our Lunch Bags! book. Would that be okay?
Susanne

Bethany said...

Not only will this make me rest easier knowing it won't poke through the fabric--it's a great way to use up my Peltex pieces that are too small for anything else. Nice!! And thank you!!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Genius. It's one of those things that is so obviously a better way of doing things, that you just can't believe you didn't think of it yourself before. Which is what we need you for, so I sooo didn't!!

Cheers,
AJ

Katherine said...

Brilliant. I love that it will add some structure without being too stiff and that it's washable!
Great tutorial, Nikki.

ambette said...

I love peltex as a bag base - I don't think I'd ever use anything else!

Depending on how stiff I want the base, I sometimes add more layers of the medium weight fusible interfacing until it feels right.

Oh, and Nikki - I got some of that vilene S320 from you the other day. I can see what you were raving about - I love it!!

KathyB said...

As generous as always with your tutes, thanks again Nikki.
Cheers Kathy

Fer said...

Great tutorial! In the past I've used template plastic glued to the base with spray adhesive, but this method is certainly worth a try.

Sandrine said...

Thanks for sharing your expertise and time Nikki!

Tanya said...

jolly nice of you to be the caring sharing sort xx

mrsjoanz said...

This is a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much....what a dramatic difference this is for my bags! You are terrific!

SuperMomNoCape said...

What a great solution. I'm going to try that on the next tote bag that I make.

penny dearborn said...

love this! can you tell me where to find that rose fabric??

handbags online said...

I found your blog from a pin of one of your handbags on Pinterest whilst looking around for new designs and ideas for my site - and, well I just love your blog so will return from time to time - nice work (I don't get a lot of time to sew these days but may give your bag a try :) )

vshaynes said...

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to create this tutorial. I'm not sure exactly how I found it but I'm pretty sure Pinterest was somehow involved. Anyway, I've struggled to find a good way to do this and never been very happy with the results. I followed your directions, using 2 layers of Peltex since I'm making a book bag, and the results are just what I hoped for. TYVM!

Anonymous said...

Used this on a bag for my daughter in med school to haul around her "equipment". This gives such a nice solid but yet flexible base. So much better than the thin plastic I have used in the past. Your instructions were easy to follow. Thanks so much!

Jean Collins said...

Thanks for the tutorial on making your beautiful bag and sharing your expertise of sewing. Very nice.

Buy Fabric Online said...

Thanks for sharing, another worthy pattern to add with my to do list, can't wait to give it a try.

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

Just wanted to add what I used to make the base of my tote bag more stable. I used the plasticy stuff that you can do needlepoint on. Not sure of what they call it, but it has the little squares in the plastic. I think I glued it down to the bottom of the tote, and it was nice because it went through the wash well also!

Diane Vruwink-Carlson

Barbra said...

Can someone tell me how I can find the large tote pictured Please.

Nikki said...

Barbara - try here - http://www.voodoorabbit.com.au/patterns-kits/patterns.html?p=2&pattern_brand=130 - or here - https://www.stitch56.com/collections/bag-patterns or here - http://www.sewmucheasier.com/brands/You-Sew-Girl.html - or here - http://sewing.patternreview.com/shop/You%20Sew%20Girl

Barbra said...

Hi Nikki,
I looked at those sites and did not find the pattern or tutorial for the bag above. Do you know the exact one that's used?
Thanks so much.

Nikki said...

Barbara - it's the Small Tote. You could equally use the Large Tote. The instructions for this base are now in the pattern instructions too.

Barbra said...

Hi Nikki,
There are many links, is it possible to send me the exact link that's used for this tutorial please.

Nikki said...

Barbara - This is the pattern - http://www.voodoorabbit.com.au/large-tote-and-satchel-pattern.html - and the tutorial is both in this blog post and written int he pattern.

Barbra said...

Thank you.

Barbra said...

I am having a hard time with this tutorial. I love the tote pictured, the pink cabbage rose floral tote. Can anyone please tell me the dimensions of the one above. Width, height and depth of the boxed bottom. Nikki you mentioned the tutorial is in this blog post, I haven't found the tutorial for this tote on this site. The only thing I can find is the tutorial for the Peltex bottom. I am so confused and a bit embarrassed that I don't see it. Someone please help.

Nikki said...

Barbara - There is no tutorial for the bag. It's a pattern that you will have to buy. The tutorial on this post is for the bag base. This base is also included in the bag instructions, along with many other bag-making techniques that can be applied to other bag patterns.

If you like the proportions of the bag, I'm afraid I gave you the wrong bag name. It's the Small Tote. Available at all the below links -
https://www.stitch56.com/products/small-tote-and-satchel
http://www.voodoorabbit.com.au/small-tote.html
http://www.sewmucheasier.com/small-tote-bag-pattern-by-you-sew-girl/
http://sewing.patternreview.com/patterns/40482
http://sewing.patternreview.com/patterns/40482



Nikki said...

For more info on the Small Tote pattern - http://www.nicolemdesign.com.au/shop/beginners-bag-patterns/13-small-tote-bo324.html

Barbra said...

I went to the website posted for the small bag, I converted the bag from centimeters to inches (approximately) and it comes out to be around 7.5 x 8.25 x 3 deep....that is indeed a small tote. The photo of the bag above looks a lot larger, or is it the angle. I don't have a problem with purchasing the pattern, but I just want to make sure I know what I am getting. Thanks for your patience. You can always email me privately if you choose.

Nikki said...

Barbara - I can't email you privately because your email address is not attached to your comment. Look at the large tote - the original suggestion I made. It will be listed in the same stores as the above links.