Thanks for your response. I think the need to fiddle with a pattern is part of the problem. If a tote calls for a simple pocket, I want to make it a zipper pocket. If it calls for handles sandwiched between the lining, I have to add purse rings. And I seldom make the same bag twice. When I do, the second time goes faster. Still, cutting and interfacing are the same regardless and are my least favorite parts of the process. I would love to know what others do to streamline it.
I just read an article about a woman who makes handbags and sells them. She says it takes her 2-3 hours to make one. The accompanying photo shows a fairly simple tote style purse. I'm thinking, "What's wrong with me? I've never made a bag that quickly and I've been sewing for 40 years." It takes me about 2 hours just to cut out and interface...granted, I usually interface every piece and add tons of pockets. It takes more time if the bag is complicated. I'm just curious what your experience is and would love your suggestions for making bag projects go faster - especially the cutting out/interfacing part.
I noticed the Harts Fabric site above says the fabric should not be machine washed, but I found several others that said it could be done. I didn't even think to look at the washing instructions before I did so. The laminate does wrinkle slightly, but I used a pressing cloth and an iron to remove the wrinkles. Here's another source about washing: http://pinkchalkstudio.com/blog/2009/11/18/laminated-cotton-sewing-tips/
www.atlantathread.com. They sell YYK zippers. I usually buy 12 (different colors and sizes) at a time because you get a price break. An 11 inch nickel zipper is around $1.20 and 11 inch regular zippers are .32 each. They have a wide variety of sizes and zipper types. They charge shipping, but it's reasonable (and a better deal if you buy many zippers at once). Occasionally they offer free shipping as a promotion. It's a great place to buy serger thread as well.