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Topic: adding hard bottom after the fact?  (Read 3024 times)
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Mrs_Boats
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« on: June 17, 2009 05:29:12 AM »

So I made myself a cute little round, flat-bottomed bucket bag. Because the exterior was home dec fabric it was pretty stiff, so I didn't bother to interface it. Which worked out fine...until I started putting stuff in it. The bottom needs to be stiffer that it is.

My current fix was to very carefully split the seam in the lining (where I sewed it after I turned it) and slide a piece of poster board in there. I have two problems with that; 1. it still needs to be stiffer, and 2. the poster board slides around, despite being cut to size.

Sort of taking the whole thing apart, can anyone make any suggestions for what to use as a bottom to stiffen it up a bit, and how to keep that bottom from sliding around between the layers? (Would the fusible stuff you use for appliques work here?) If it comes down to a choice, I'd rather keep it from sliding than insist it be thicker/sturdier.
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twylag
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009 05:55:06 AM »

ice cream pail lid?  put in the same way as the posterboard.
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ntaga
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2009 07:13:22 AM »

I've also had success using a really stiff cardboard  inset (posterboard might be too flimsy) and encasing it in fabric.  Just put it in the bottom of your bag. It can be removed when you wash the bag.
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Mrs_Boats
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2009 05:09:16 PM »

Those are both brilliant ideas-thanks!
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dis
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009 12:06:13 PM »

My local fabric store sells this stuff, I have no idea what it's called, but it's very stiff, about the same thickness as cardboard, and fusible on both sides. If you could find something like that you could cut it to size, put it in, and then hit it with the iron to fuse it in place.
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little me
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009 05:48:12 PM »

The posterboard is not a good idea. If the bottom of the bag should get wet or if the posterboard creases - you're out of luck. I would recommend making a floor for your bag - get some craft foam by the sheet (or ice cream pail lid like twylag said) & make a bottom for your bag, make it a little smaller. Use the same linining fabric or coordinating fabric to cover your floor, that way like ntaga said, you can remove it if you need to wash the bag. I wouldn't worry about taking out the posterboard unless it bothers you.
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MegRoseSews
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2009 07:21:25 AM »

I *always* use the same thing to stiffen the bottom of purses and bags. I also *always* add it after the item is made. It's  oilcloth which I buy from the hardware store. Cut to fit and baste it in or sew onto edges of the lining. Cute checks, cute prints.

What a marvelous, multi-purpose material. How do others live without it?

It's waterproof. It's stiff. It wipes clean when groceries or your water bottle in your purse spill over.

I use it for a lot of other things at home, which is why I use it for this purpose - I have leftover bits.

Here's how I use the big pieces ....
 It's great to protect outdoor furniture from general leaf and dirt crud, and bird or squirrel naughtiness. I use close pins to hold it in place and then the patio is already for supper al fresco.

I also use it as a tablecloth inside (though I love cloth tablecloths as well and use them too a lot). It comes in a lot of cute graphics and that wipe clean thing is mah-valous. (I admit sometimes there is a clean tablecloth under the oilcloth one both inside and out all ready to go)

As the tablecloths get older (they crack after a few years in small places) the oilcloth migrates out into the back yard for crud covers or I cut it up into pieces for the smaller uses like lining the base of a bag.

Small Pieces

I use pieces to entirely line little lunchbags I make. Pattern made from a cut up paper gift bag.

I use small pieces under the pets water and food bowls (you can also lay it inside a tray or oven pan with sides if the kibbles tend to migrate).

You can line a repurposed cardboard box with it for transporting food to a potluck.

MegRose
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MegRoseSews
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2009 07:24:01 AM »

I forgot to say for a harder bottom, double the oilcloth. Use the machine to create the two sided piece - an attractive zig zag on the outside edge (wrong sides together) then place it in bag and snag a few places to lining with a big hand needle.

MegRose
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yorkiemischief
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009 09:08:25 AM »

Peltex or plastic canvas (like for cross-stitching) work for cheap bag bottoms for purses.

Peltex comes plain, 1 or 2 sided fusible.  I use the plain and sew 3 pieces together with a wide zig zag and then stitch in a few places to the bottom of the bag.  Since your bag is already assembled, try using the fusible kind to fuse it to the bottom of your bag.
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ntaga
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2009 12:04:45 PM »

I second Peltex and plastic canvas. Oilcloth has such cute patterns, but I was a little concerned after reading this on a fabric website: "Can I sell stuff that I make out of oilcloth? There is no lead in the oilcloth, but the levels of Phthalates are too high to comply with the new standards for items which are going to be sold and are intended to be used by children under 12 years old. So you can still make and sell bags and other things created with oilcloth but items like bibs and splat-mats cannot be sold." Granted, most of the things I make are for adults, but I really try to avoid anything that might potentially be harmful. I suppose I need to check the ingredients in plastic canvas too.
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MegRoseSews
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2009 01:42:02 PM »

Re: oilcloth. I forget that people here sell stuff. I need to remember that when I post.

But I thought the original poster said she made herself a cute bag, so I think it would be OK in that case.

However I will make sure to always put that in next time as a caveat since everybody gets ideas here :-)

MEGRose
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ntaga
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2009 02:02:00 PM »

I do think oilcloth is fine as long as a child doesn't use the bag.  I wonder if covering the oilcloth would protect from any phthalate contamination (from what I understand, the chemical alters hormones)?  I really think oilcloth is my best option for making some of my bags waterproof -  It's more flexible than regular vinyl and doesn't seem to crack.  BTW - I got the info about the prohibitions against using oilcloth for kids products from an outside website - I think a store in San Francisco that sells lots of oilcloth.
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wildwoodgardens
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2009 10:31:23 PM »

I like to use plastic canvas covered with fabric. Since it has grids it is easy to cut for square bottomed bags.  Cut it a little bit smaller than the bottom of the bag.
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dis
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009 05:00:16 AM »

I do think oilcloth is fine as long as a child doesn't use the bag.  I wonder if covering the oilcloth would protect from any phthalate contamination (from what I understand, the chemical alters hormones)?  I really think oilcloth is my best option for making some of my bags waterproof -  It's more flexible than regular vinyl and doesn't seem to crack.  BTW - I got the info about the prohibitions against using oilcloth for kids products from an outside website - I think a store in San Francisco that sells lots of oilcloth.

If you need material that's waterproof, another option would be PUL or Procare. Both are used in cloth diapers, so I assume are most likely safe for kids. I know I have a ton of PUL here and it doesn't have that plastic-y smell at all that I associate with phthalates.
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Mrs_Boats
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009 05:43:39 AM »

Thanks, all, for the ideas! Now I've got a couple of choices for the next time I do this. (Yes, I'm already planning the next one; larger, mostly for storage, I think.)

In the end, I used one of the first suggestions, and sandwiched a lid from a Cool Whip tub between two layers of the same home dec fabric I used on the outside. It's corduroyish, and kind of 'sticky', for lack of a better word. I split the seam (again), removed the poster board, inserted the lid, and closed the seam. The kid is the perfect size, and addition of the fabric wrap means it doesn't slide around. It's not pretty, but since no one will see it, it'll do. Lesson learned: Think about these things first! Roll Eyes

Pictures coming soon to a thread near you! (This weekend, after I get my camera back.)
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Sing like no one is listening
Love like you've never been hurt
Dance like no one can see you
Live like its heaven on earth
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