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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pleated tote bags

Yesterday and today I made tote bags as birthday gifts. I used Osnaburg fabric for the lining, facings, the top edges and the handles. I used a linen type fabric printed with large birds for the main fabric for one tote, and my own screen printed muslin with dragonflies for the second tote.

I used this free online pattern from The Long Thread by Ellen Luckett Baker  . It is a great pattern, and sews up beautifully. The only change I made was to add magnetic snaps to the top of each tote bag.
One issue that I have with the final result is the bumpy surface of the main fabric as a result of the uneven bonding of the fusible fleece. I found this advice on a tutorial on using fusible fleece:
"It is essential, in my opinion, to first fuse some regular interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric. Why? There are two reasons:
  •  See the bloated, wavy (and ugly) aspect that the fabric takes when you apply fusible fleece directly. Applying a layer of regular fusible interfacing first will prevent this.
  • The other reason is that, particularly for bags, this extra thickness of stabilizer further improves the firmness and durability of the bag."The advice above comes from the Sacotin.com website and goes on to give excellent pictures and notes on using fusible fleece. I did not follow that advice in this instance, but I will when using fusible fleece in the future.

Two tote bags ready to be gifted.


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