The bags we sew are meant to be used and loved. And the more you use and love a bag, the more you have to wash it.
Which is not a difficult task, to me, at least. I wash most of the bags in the washing machine, on a gentle cycle.
After washing, it comes the annoying job of ironing the bag. Most bags must be pressed after washing (even if they are washed by hand). Depending on the pattern of the bag, the fabrics and interfacing used, some bags require more pressing than others.
Recently, I had to press one of those bags that require a lot of pressing (an old bag, wrinkled and in a few small areas with fabric coming off the interfacing). I really hated the job! Then I remembered that you can make pressing easier, with just a little additional effort.
Do this even if:
– you use the best materials
– the interfacing is fusible.
This technique helps and it works for bags made with heavyweight interfacing- like Peltex, Decovil…
And here is what you have to do: make your fabric and interfacing pieces a little bigger, fuse the fabric to interfacing then just stitch through both layers (like you would quilt). Then cut the pieces to the desired size.
This stitching will keep the layers together better. You can stitch with the walking foot or the free motion quilting foot. You could sew a grid, or just some wavy lines.
Here is one of my pieces and the final bag.
I have made many bags this way, my sisters use them all the time and I see how they behave after washing: much better than the bags with no stitching.
If the pattern of the fabric permits, use it and follow its lines when stitching.
The quilted bag remains my favorite bag to sew. It is so easy to press a quilted bag, sometimes you don’t have to press it at all after washing!
If pressing a bag is a stressful task, you could choose a fabric that doesn’t need pressing at all, even after washing: faux leather.
I am a big fan of faux leather! Paired with a heavyweight fabric as lining, it gives a bag a drape and feel like no other fabric+interfacing combination!
It comes in so many colors and patterns and textures…
So I decided I need an oversized bag and this is what I made. I can wash it easily and frequently and I have to press only the lining!
It is really big: the front panel measures 17” x 17”, I started with 5” squares.
Are you afraid of sewing faux leather? I use the walking foot to sew my faux leather bags and it works wonderfully.
I am very happy how this bag turned out; I finished it quickly, this is an easy and quick pattern.
So I pieced faux leather.
Because the seams can’t be pressed with an iron, I stitched down the seam allowances to keep the seams open.
Here are a few pictures to see how I pieced this panel.
I started with 5” strips…
The clips are useful when working with faux leather. If you don’t have such clips, use pins and pin only through seam allowances.
It’s like piecing quilts!
I hope you will some some helpful ideas here. Do you find pressing your bags after washing annoying?
Do you want to sew bags that turn heads?
Stylish, comfortable, and practical?
Bags that will make you proud?
Check out my bag patterns below.