Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Laminate Bags

Yesterday I taught a zippered bag class at Quilted Works. I've been fascinated by all the beautiful cotton laminates that are coming out by top designers like Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett, and wanted to see how they are to work with.
This was a simple one hour class, and QW provided the kits.

From cutting out to finish, the class was able to finish 1-2 bags in one hour.

Laminates make me think of the oilcloths of yesteryear, except for now they have the most beautiful colors.
Some of the things I have learned:
I went on line to order small quantities to make zippered bags. In order for the fabric not to crush or have bend marks, they need to be rolled on tubes to be mailed. The cost of mailing was as much as the fabric, which felt prohibitive to me. I'm now hunting for small pieces at local quilt stores and letting them pay for the shipping.
Also, you can't use pins with laminates because they will leave permanent holes. We are so used to using pins when we match seams, that it was a little tricky to maneuver. Scotch tape can help hold sections together before sewing.

Some students hadn't put in a zipper in years, and they were a little intimidated. I taught a quick, easy- to -do zipper method that I learned from an Annie Unrein class.
Annie kindly left this additional suggestion on comments:
One other suggestion: When I sew on vinyl which is similar to the laminates, I often use binder clips to hold the layers together. Easier than pins and no holes! I consider the small and medium-sized binder clips an essential part of a basic sewing kit.

You just can't go wrong with this technique.

One student said she felt the zipper lesson was as worthwhile learning as making the bag.

Bags can be made in all kinds of sizes, depending on how you would like to use them. They are much more cost effective to be made than purchased. We brainstormed ideas for gifts: for baby shower (filled with lotions, cotton swaps and bath items) bridal showers, Christmas presents (in Christmas fabrics), birthday presents, Back to School (pencils, erasers), etc.

8 comments:

Darlene said...

Cute bags - I'm seriously 'bagophobic' so I avoid making them. LOL

Oilcloth - that brings back memories!

Material Mary said...

Nedra, just love the bags. They are so easy to sew. Rae Ann wants me to post on Stash Manicure tomorrow and I need to find out how to do that. Would you mind popping me an email or a phone #? meatsmj@aol.com. Thanks bunches.
Mary

Mary Grace McNamara said...

What a fun class! Darling little zipper bags and so versatile! I saw some of the new laminates recently and a sample raincoat made up using a pink with dark pink polka dots...so darn cute!

MGM

Carol said...

They are wonderful...I'm with Darlene...totally bagaphobic...maybe zipperphobic...I wish I lived closer...I would have been there for the zipper lesson. You probably would have to do remedial zipper with me...LOL!

Janet said...

What a great class, did you have any issues with the feet sticking to the laminate? Also, do you just leave seams inside raw? I think I've seen the fabric in a couple of stores and wondered about it.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

You are right. Learning good techniques in zipper placement is such a good experience. I love laminated bags. They are fun. I want to make one for myself with a see through side, or a couple. Fun fun.

Brenda said...

Very cute bags. I love the idea of laminated fabric.

Annie said...

Nedra:

That looks like a fun class and I'm glad you put my zipper method to good use.

One other suggestion: When I sew on vinyl which is similar to the laminates, I often use binder clips to hold the layers together. Easier than pins and no holes! I consider the small and medium-sized binder clips an essential part of a basic sewing kit.

Annie