Thursday, May 20, 2021

Experiments in Bag Making

 My next bag will be the Pony Express by Ujamaa Bagettes.  This bag is a tribute to the classic Dior Saddle Bag. Vintage versions of the bag have velcro as the closure but the latest versions have a flat magnetic clasp as the closure.

I decided that mine needed a magnetic closure. I have lots of magnetic purse snaps (left over from last summer's hand sanitizer pouch blitz.) but those show and a single snap didn't look like enough . So I started looking for something like the Dior bag has. It is encased in fabric (or leather) so the magnet is invisible. 

After cruising the internet, I found these.

They are intended to be used instead of a pin closure on a name badge. They came in a package of ten, so I have room for experimentation.

They go on either side of the fabric. Without fabric between the magnet and the keeper, they are really hard to get apart. So I started by trying them with denim between the layers.

With 4 layers of denim between them, they hold firm, but the fabric needs to be stiffer.

Bring on the stabilizers.

In my stash I have Fast2Fuse, Stiff Stuff by Lazy Girl, and Fashion Fuse (woven fusible interfacing). The Fast2Fuse and Stiff Stuff proved to be too thick to get a good bond from the magnets. However, the Fashion Fuse was just right. 

Next step was to figure out how to make the fabric holders. I cute two strips the size called for in the pattern for the Velcro. I added the interfacing and ironed them to shape.

If you clip the folded edges while they cool the folds stay in place .

Time to find the rest of the required hardware,

I think this will work. I still need a magnet snap for the exterior pocket, but I have lots of them near the machine.

Now to sew. I tried sewing as close to the edge as possible. I ended up with a mess.

As you can see it is hard to keep the stitching straight. Also, the flat keeper fit into the channel but the magnet half was too thick. So, I will add a half inch to the width of the fabric and try again. 

Meanwhile, I am sure the foster cat fans would like a current picture of Maggie, Foster # 187. 

Here she is, enjoying a nap on a quilt. Cats are so good at that.


  1. I do enjoy making bags but have not used magnetic pieces at all, however I do have some stashed away, time to do some experiments as well. Maggie, you are a beautiful girl. And snuggled up as all cats like to do .

  2. Hello, gorgeous Maggie! They seem like very powerful magnets, do you need to be careful around your machine when sewing with them? Nifty pattern, by the way.

  3. Once again, your extensive stash comes to the rescue. 3 stabilizers? That's impressive.

  4. Rather you than me, bags are off the menu for a long time. It looks amazing and it will be a bag of note. The cat should be named anything but...