Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Serendipity Studio Camilla Insulated Lunch Bag Pattern Test Drive (with tips for sewing with laminated cottons)

For Christmas last year I made my Mum the Camilla Insulated Lunch Bag from Serendipity Studio. There are several sizes available in this pattern and it can be made as an insulated lunch bag or as a non-insulated tote bag.

Today I am going to share a few tips and tricks that you may find helpful when sewing up this bag.

I chose to make the medium size insulated version of the bag. To make things extra tricky I have used laminated cotton on both the inside and outside. Handy if you have a spill as you can simply wipe the bag clean.

Always use a pressing cloth so that you don't touch the iron directly onto the laminated side of the fabric.  I keep the temperature fairly low as well. Nothing is worse than melted laminate on your iron.

To add structure and insulation I used Insul-Bright by The Warm Company. The contents of your lunch bag is kept hot / cold by this specialty interfacing. It is non-fusible so the layers need to be quilted together. 

505 Spray Adhesive is great for sticking layers together while quilting. It holds everything in place but won't gum up your machine needle. When using a spray adhesive use a cardboard box or similar to make a spray booth so that you don't end up with glue all over your work table like I have :) If you are looking for 505 Spray Adhesive, we stock it in our showroom.

When topstitching or quilting the bag you can't sew directly over the laminated cotton with a regular metal presser foot. It sticks to the laminate and your fabric won't feed through the machine. A Teflon foot is recommended for sewing with laminated fabric, but you can also use baking paper. Just place it on top of the laminate, under your regular presser foot and sew. Once you are finished stitching, tear away the baking paper. You can also draw your quilting lines onto the baking paper which makes sewing straight lines a lot easier too!

Pinning beyond your seam allowance lines is also a no-no with laminated fabrics because they leave permanent marks. Clover Wonder Clips are a great alternative. You can use them to peg the baking paper to your fabric and not leave any holes.

Sewing on the velcro was a cinch once I basted it down with some more 505 Adhesive Spray.

A little mini iron is perfect for getting inside the bag to fuse the Peltex base. 

The final bag construction requires you to stitch through two layers of fabric plus two layers of Insul-Bright which makes for quite a bit of bulk. Even if you aren't using laminated cotton all of these layers would be too thick to pin together. Clover Clips to the rescue!

My mum loved her new lunch bag and I hope that this blog post has offered some helpful tips for sewing with laminated cottons.

- Ky 

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