• Julie asked:
I have trouble with small darts, like for a wristlet. They end up making pointy shapes along the curved edge of the bag. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!
Lisa says: The shorter and wider the dart is, the pointier the finished dart is likely to be - and a longer and finer dart will create a much softer gradient. Try changing the shape of the dart and also press the seam to one side when sewn. This should eliminate any pointiness on the finished dart!
• Karen asked:
I had a first try at using a shell case but there is a gap between the frame and the shell along the long edges while the corners are tight. What have I done wrong?
Lisa says: You haven't done anything wrong Karen. Due to the manufacture of the frames and shells there can sometimes be a gap as you have described. This can be resolved by either gently using pliers to ease the gap shut (be sure to cover the metal with a cloth) or alternatively you could add a thin strip of interfacing to the fabric where it will sit against the frame once glued in.
• Melisa asked:
I am trying to sew the exterior and the interior of the bag together with straps sandwiched in between but there's so much puckering or pleating on the exterior portion of the bag. How do I eliminate the pleating?
Lisa says: Sewing straps in can be pretty fiddly! I'd suggest using as many pins or clips as you can, and just go very slowly as you sew. Pause every now and then, and with the needle in the down position on the sewing machine you can always lift the presser foot and feel in between each fabric layer for any puckers.
• Haline asked:
Do you know an easy way to sew a zipper in a rounded corner? In a tablet sleeve, for example, or a wallet. I always struggle with that. =]
Lisa says: Start off by pinning your zip along the straight edge of the fabric you are using. When you reach the curved edge of your fabric, make very small snips into your zip so that you can manipulate the zip around the curve of the fabric. Pin or clip into place. Continue snipping and pinning around the curve in the same way.
• Gillian asked:
How can we keep our fabric bags clean ? Surely they are not washable? Is there a product you can spray them with in order to protect them ?
Lisa says: I would recommend "Scotch Gard" fabric spray which is great for protecting your bags, and I would also recommend "Soak Flatter" to keep your bags fresh :)
Keep your questions coming by commenting on any of these Bag Making Clinic posts and we'll do our best to help :)