Thursday, July 16, 2015

Another Brick and The Perils of PUL

I wanted to try PUL fabric as a lining for some of my makeup/ toiletry bags. I had found a source, in Canada (actually, fairly nearby) and last weekend, Simplifi Fabrics had a flash sale on PUL.  Obviously, I was meant to get some to try. I ordered on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised when my fabric arrived Tuesday afternoon.

I decided to try it right away, so I made another brick pouch.

I was fairly pleased with the end result, but I had a few problems along the way. This might not have been the best project for a first attempt at using laminated fabric.

First, the end result:

The outside looks pretty good. This is another fat quarter, from my stash, which, of course, has cats on it.

The inside certainly meets most commercial standards.

However, it fails to meet my standards.

The laminate on the back side of the fabric is sticky, so it doesn't feed well through the machine, and rides up on the batting, so my first attempt at top stitching the zipper, ended up as a mess. I took a picture after I picked out the seam.

You can see that the line of stitching on the lower edge was way off. So, first lesson learned: clamp the bottom edges together to keep the fabric from riding up.
Since the fabric was sticking to the presser foot, and I don't have a Teflon foot, I tried parchment paper strips on the seam line.

Better, but I substituted slippery for sticky.

Try number 2: I used some of the paper piecing paper. I had a couple of pieces that had misfed through the printer, so I didn't mind cutting them up. (Of course, I never throw anything away, so the slightly scrunched pieces of paper were still next to my printer, waiting for me to think of a use.)

This worked much better, although I couldn't see the fabric underneath. This only became a problem when I went to box the corners. I solved that by cutting the paper the exact size of the seam, laying it across the corner so it just touched each end, and sewing across the line I had drawn down the centre. I forgot to take a picture of that.

In the end, I had to rip out the stitches near the end of the zipper, on the lining and redo them by hand, and I ended up with a pucker in that seam. Otherwise, since my lining seams end up between the layers, my other problems weren't noticeable, except by me.

I think I will look into getting a Teflon foot for my machine. I expect that might be a better solution. I have seen people who claim that the walking foot will also work, but it doesn't get into the tight corners very well.

After all that, a dose of cute, as your reward for reading this far.

Birdie, Will, and Charlie, all lined up, trying to figure out what I am doing with the camera.


  1. Nice bag and cute kittens! Are you keeping all those cuties? I never even knew that teflon feet existed. The things we learn about quilting.

  2. I've made lots of bags with vinyl inserts. The paper works, but I discovered a little bottle of lubricant that's the best. I've forgotten the name and can't find it at the moment. I bought it at Fabricville and also have seen it at quilt shops.

  3. Beautiful wee kitties, every one. When I did some difficult sewing with heavy duty tarpaulin, waterproof fabric, I used double sided tape to hold the two together, it is best if it fits just on the outside of the stitches. This was a tip from the man we bought the fabric from, he is a commercial tarpaulin, sun screen, canvas sandpit covers and more... maker . I also used the Teflon foot.

  4. Your little kitties are so sweet......I bet they are fun, too! I can't offer any help sewing laminated fabrics, I haven't tried it (unless you count sewing curtains made from blockout fabric) but the double-sided tape sounds like a good idea to me.

  5. As for the bag, don't worry about it. The kitties were waiting in the wings, ready to make sure the pesky fabric, did not take center stage for too long.