Lightweight fabrics that may be too flimsy

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar hetty_ford 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #23345
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    hetty_ford
    Participant

    I’ve been thrifting a lot of items to use for the bags, and find tablecloths and curtains work really well. I have made some from sheets and currently have a set that is quite thin. I’d still like to use it – what would you recommend? I was thinking of doubling it.

    #23354
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    Hi Hetty! Thanks for your question. We find that really quite thin fabrics can work really well for making morsbags, provided that the fabric is strong enough. Some fabrics are thin as they are worn out or may be degraded by sunlight (curtains and their linings are particularly liable to become brittle and thin through this).

    Morsbags have been made from very light sari fabrics with beautiful results and the bags made from them are very strong – it just depends. Bags that rip and let the user down are not what we want, as you are obviously aware.

    If you are unsure you could see you easy it is to tear the fabric. We have sometimes had fabric that tears in one direction but not in the other – confusing, so try in different directions.

    You could make a test bag and try it out yourself, to see if it is likely to give way when in use.

    If the fabric is lovely and worth the extra trouble you could make the bag with a lining.

    Other uses for possibly unreliable fabrics are to use as applique pieces / patches / pockets to enliven otherwise dull bags.

    You could use thinner fabric to make morsbag handles as the fabric will be folded into multiple layers and sewn lengthways a few times. Contrasting handles can make a nice touch and using thinner fabric for the handles is a good tip when making bags out of thick fabric.

    Sometimes people think that making a morsbag out of extra thick fabric will produce an extra strong bag, but unfortunately it is more problematic, as when sewing the handles into the “pointing up” position you sew through eleven thicknesses of material. Domestic sewing machines struggle to cope with that, but using sheeting for the handles on bags made from upholstery fabric can work out better.

    Any other comments from other morsbaggers?

    #23488
    Avatar
    hetty_ford
    Participant

    Thanks beattie for your reply. I am currently using an all-cotton bedsheet and find it somewhat too lightweight, but yes, I think it is not weak and will not tear. I was thinking when I make the next one from this fabric I will use some interfacing in both the handles and the top fold, so that it gives it a tad more firmness. King size sheets are a great resource and will make up to 8 morsbags…!
    I have however found a wonderful solution for an extra heavy fabric (you are right, my machine balks at all those layers). I received some beautiful upholstery type fabric, and I made a shorter bag from that fabric (just side seams so no problem) and made a top section from a sheet doubled over in a matching color, which then also will accommodate the handles (also made from the sheet). This makes the bag attractive and much easier to make, and it is still a strong bag. I wish I could show a picture…..

    #23506
    ivybags
    ivybags
    Participant

    Hi Hetty
    You can post pictures on our Morsbags Flickr site, or the Facebook page
    We would love you to share them
    Ivybags
    Admin

    #23513
    beattie
    beattie
    Keymaster

    Thanks for those suggestions for showing photos Ivybags. (And welcome home again! 😀 )

    Hetty, another tip for using very thick fabrics occurs to me. You may find it easier to make the body of the bag the alternative way out, i.e. join the side seams with right sides together first time you sew them together, trim some excess fabric if necessary to neaten and reduce the bulk of the seam, then turn the bag right side out and sew the side seams again. This avoids having to turn the bag the other way out when you’ve sewn the side seams for the second time. It’s really difficult to make “tidy” corners with lots of layers of very thick stuff that doesn’t like to bend!

    I’ve found that a lot of people like to have a bag made of thin fabric as it fits easily into pocket or handbag. I’ve never used interfacing to stiffen tops or handles of bags, but the morsbags design is very flexible and if that is what you prefer, that’s just fine.

    #23588
    Avatar
    hetty_ford
    Participant

    Thanks for the help! I have tried posting on the facebook group and when I attach a file it won’t show.
    Bag no. 55 was created yesterday, and I enjoy a bit of variation to keep myself from getting bored, so I’d love to show some of my designs!

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