It is the end of the school term (and the beginning of the school holidays). I can’t remember if I posted these before, but I sewed these lunch bags in the beginning of the school year.
Unfortunately, these bags have been thrown around and stepped on and have gotten so dirty that washing them didn’t help. So I made up my mind that their next lunchbags will be made with laminated fabric. Water proof and dirt proof! Then I received some super cute laminated fabric from Modes4U from their Hello Kitty fabric range. Actually I was given a choice of fabrics to review and I found it so hard to decide! My other favorite characters from Sanrio are Little Twin Stars and My Melody, and there are so many fabrics to choose from the Sanrio range as well.
This was one of my final picks… I can never resist Hello Kitty!
Pink Hello Kitty oxford fabric heart confetti by Sanrio from Japan
There are quite a number of online shops selling Hello Kitty fabric, but not so many selling the laminated fabric range. Laminated cotton is not quite the same as oilcloth. I find that oil cloth is stiffer and not as easy to sew. Laminated cotton is basically cotton with a water proof plastic layer applied to it. The plastic coating helps to keep the fabric waterproof and also stiff enough to make bags without using interfacing. I do find it easier to sew than oilcloth.
If you are not into cutesy prints, you may be pleased to find some Kayo Horaguchi collaborations with Sanrio. Like this one
anyway, back to my fabric choice…
Armed with my new fabric, Clover Wonder Clips and masking tape….
Just some basic tips for sewing with laminated fabrics. Just like oilcloth, the plastic coating will tend to “stick” to your metal sewing foot. So it is best if you have a teflon foot. I used this one – Janome Ultra Glide Foot as my machine is from Janome, but there are many generic brands around so just check that the attachment method is suitable for your machine. If you do not intend to sew laminated fabrics often, and don’t want to purchase a special foot, you can also stick a piece of masking tape on the bottom of your metal foot, then with a penknife, carefully cut out the grooves on the foot. I used to do this before I bought the teflon foot and it works well. The other thing you can do is to sew with tissue paper on top of your laminated fabric (the paper type for making crafts, not the type for blowing your noses :P). Tear it away after you are done sewing. However, this method is not so good for sewing around curves as the paper is not so flexible, so it’s more suited for flat projects like flat pouches and squarish bags.
The sewing clips are used because pins will leave holes in your laminated fabric. Using the clips will prevent that from happening. The masking tape was used to stick the handles down because the plastic coating prevents the fabric from being folded down nicely and tends to bounce back instead of being folded flat. So using the masking tape will help keep the fabric flat. Do be sure to use a thin masking tape so that the tape will not be anywhere near your seam allowance. Otherwise the tape may stick to your sewing foot and jam your machine.
after a few hours of sewing, I now have….
a new lunch bag! I love how it can stand up nicely by itself.
I cut out one of the hello kitty shapes from the fabric, overlaid it on two pieces of felt, sewed along the outline, and made a nice little charm for the bag.
There was enough fabric left over from the 0.5m piece to make a pouch, and there are still leftovers to make more. I am thinking a pencil case or a waterproof pouch for a change of clothes in my diaper bag.
Sewing around the curves was a bit iffy because half way through the sewing, my Janome gave way after years of non-servicing. So I sent it in for servicing and fell back on my old Brother machine which doesn’t do too well on thick fabrics.
A Kitty case hiding in the Kitty pouch!
In case you are wondering, the pattern for the lunch bag is adapted from this book. The pattern in the book was more elaborate with pockets on the inside as well as the outside, but I didn’t need them. It did provide very good step by step instructions for sewing a laminated bag as well as other types of bags.