Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thrift Tip: Saving Swissair, Part II

Previously on Saving Swissair, Kristen showed me the different types of fuseable interfacing and we tested the material to make sure it could be ironed.  Time to get fixin'.

We decided to use interfacing that would turn into glue between two layers of fabric.  We cut two U-shaped pieces of interfacing and pinned them around the portion of the bag where the strap is attached.  Kristen then cut two squares of black canvas and pinned them inside the bag, pinning both the fabric and interfacing in place.  We then placed the scrap piece of fabric over the bag and held the iron on the area for 15-20 seconds, in a few different spots where we placed the interfacing.  It all magically stuck together.

Here's a tip (or two): Although you might be using a scrap piece of fabric between the iron and your project, it's best not to use your brand new or totally awesome iron.  This is a project for the old one that somehow miraculously still works.  It's also helpful (and in the interest of safety) to use a "sewing arm," which can best be described as a pillow used to hold awkward projects as you work.  If we were making a dress, we probably would have done our ironing on a board; but since we were working on a bag, we had to actually hold onto the piece as we repaired it.  Just be careful, okay?  I am pretty sure we got through the day without a single burn.

The next task was to sew the canvas backing onto the bag.  We didn't want this patch job to be obvious, so we poked a few holes in the anchors of each side of the strap and slipped the thread through those holes to secure the fabric.  I broke a needle in the process.  Who would have thought that would ever happen?

Kristen emphasized that to make this bag sturdy, we have to distribute the weight of the contents over a greater area than just the part where we placed the fuseable interfacing.  We cut the black canvas into big enough squares that they covered the entire side panel of the bag.  I got to work sewing the canvas onto the pre-existing seams on each side of the former hole.  It was hard work--I had to use a piece of rubber to grip the needle and force it through the thick seams.  Trust me, I was breaking a sweat.  Your hands get slippery.  Sewing is a straight-up skill.

After some coffee, mini-doughnuts, and some girl talk with ReVamp partner Erin, I went on my way with a guide for finishing the repairs in my spare time.

As of this post, the bag is still a work in progress but moving toward completion.  Stay tuned for the conclusion of our epic story....


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