Friday, January 27, 2012

Adding a Hard Bottom to Your Bags

 I love a hard bottom on a bag...I think it adds a touch of polish not to mention helps it be more stable and durable. This tutorial is how I add a hard bottom to a simple tote bag. I have been doing it this way for awhile and I think its one of the simplest ways out there. 

For this tutorial I am assuming that you know how to make a simple bag. While this tutorial is easy to follow you do need to know how to make a basic bag to follow along. If you do not know how to make a basic bag Creative Little Daisy has a great tutorial on one. This picks up after you have cut out all your pieces and interfacing.


If you follow a basic bag pattern for a square bottom..you know that you need to cut a square out of the corners of your bag front and back like the picture below....for this bag I used a 2 inch square

Line up your front and back pieces and sew across the bottom. 

Open up the pieces and iron flat

Measure the front part of the notch 

and the long side part of the notch

Cut a piece of interfacing the same as your measurements.


Tip!! I always use Pellon #72 for my bag bottoms. It is double sided fusible and it is super stiff. For this tutorial I didn't have any so I used Pellon #71 It is one sided fusible. I just used two pieces...one on top of the other and put the fusible side to the outside on both. This works fine..but I still prefer the #72.

Cut a piece of your main bag fabric big enough to put the interfacing in the middle like below. Make sure you have at least 1 inch of fabric on the ends.

Fold over the sides and iron flat (this is where the fusible is so necessary!!)

On your bag pieces lay the hard bottom piece on top of your sewn line...making sure you center it up. Pin in place.

Sew down the sides of the bag twice...making sure your lines are nice and even as this will be seen on the bottom.


Tip!!!! I always use a #18 size needle when I make bags. I never have a problem going through all the layers this way!

Now you assemble the bag like a basic bag pattern...sewing down the sides

In a basic bag pattern you square off the corners and sew across...you do the same thing here...just make sure you pull the ends of the hard bottom fabric through your opening and smooth it out!

Sew across the bottom!


Tip!!!! I never do a back and forth motion on this part....I have had my needle jam as there is alot to put through your machine. I simply sew across....pull out and start at the top again and sew across once more.  This adds durability without trying to shove everything back words.


Do the same thing to the other side and you will have a nice square bottom.

Turn everything right side out and there you have it......a hard bottom for your bag. Just simply finish your bag the way you normally would. 

I hope this helps...if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask!! 

♥ Christina

PS: Next week I will be sharing a tutorial on how to install a inset zipper to the top of your bag like this

I am adding this to Amy's Sew and Tell Friday....check it out!

19 comments:

Barb said...

Wonderful tutorial!!

Katie said...

I always dislike the way my bags turn out because I HATE saggy bottom bags! I will definitely use your tutorial, thank you for posting it!

Sarcastic Quilter said...

That made sense to even ME and I'm bag instruction illiterate. Thanks for the great tutorial.

Heather said...

Very helpful! :o)

Dayna said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

Kristen said...

Thanks! I never know what to use I will remember these #s when I go shopping for Pellon. I am working on a bag this week. Thanks!

RaspberrySunshine said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing :) Cindy

Anne-Marie said...

Great ide, Thanks i will trye it. :-) Mia from Denmark

Pam Vaughan said...

That was a great tutorial! Thanks for the help.

Colleen said...

Thanks for sharing!!! I can't wait to try it!

Sheila Becker said...

I think I would use plastic canvas so it would be washable and maintain its stiffness

Marla D. said...

Thank you for your tips! They are really helpful! Can't wait for more.

Anonymous said...

Love your tutorial! I will use this from now on.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your tutorial looking forward for the zipper bag next week

Ali B Inspired said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I just used it and I'm in LOVE!!

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