As I said last week, I was well on my way to finishing the Chubby Charmer (pattern name) made from Half Moon Modern fabrics. I finished it last Sunday. It took me about 6 hours total, including pressing the Vinylfuse to the squares I was using for the bottom.
I did a couple of things differently this time.
I like bags with something on the bottom that can be cleaned without washing the whole bag. Some tote patterns use a “self-bottoming” technique to make the bottom of the bag, which is actually a really nice technique. You don’t have to insert anything. That technique does not lend itself to putting vinyl on the bottom of a bag since the bottom is made up from parts of the sides. If you don’t have a seam to create the bottom the VinylFuse will look bad and eventually peel.
The Chubby Charmer pattern uses this “self-bottoming” technique, but you can add VinylFuse to each square that will go on the bottom before sewing the charm squares together, thus enclosing the vinyl with seams.
You still have to be careful with the vinyl. You can’t rip out much as the holes stay in it. It is also messy and sticky. I used the paper backing as a pressing cloth. It worked ok most of the time, but I put the wrong side on one piece at one point and now have paper fused a bit to one of my squares. Fortunately, it is on the bottom. I could have ripped it out, but I decided to live with it.
I also made the handles twice the length of the handles in the pattern and on my other Chubby Charmers. This was an accident. You are supposed to cut and make one handle then cut it in half. I missed the one part and made two, thus this Chubby Charmer is more of shoulder bag, which is fine.
I also put Soft & Stable in the handles to make them really soft and comfortable to use. I also want to keep the handles from getting squished together permanently when I hold them.
The pattern calls for using Pellon Fusible Fleece. As I said with my first Chubby Charmer, the Fusible Fleece worked really well. This time, however, I wanted to make sure the bag stood up. I used Fusible Fleece on one side and Soft & Stable on the other size. Mission accomplished! The bag stands up. No floop!
I was a little disappointed with the Fusible Fleece, because it didn’t fuse very well. I know the fusibles can age, but it wasn’t old. I bought the product and then used it the same day. At least it wasn’t old from sitting around my house.
The other thing I did was use the walking foot to topstitch the top edge. I like more than a single line of topstitching and that area was so thick that I thought I would try the walking foot. It worked really well.
This is a great bag and it was a great use of the fabric. I already used it to go to the Midi Bag class (look for a post soon) and look forward to showing it off at the guilds soon.