Sunday, August 8, 2010

Clover: “Wrap ‘N Fuse” Piping Technique

This spring, we posted a survey on the blog, and asked readers to pick their favorite market bag tote pattern.

Wouldn’t you know it… we had a tie! 

Click here for the results.

As promised, I made a tote with one of the winning patterns:

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Although it might not be obvious in the pattern photo, the directions call for piping.

Piping?  I don’t do piping.  I’ve never done piping…. Maybe I can skip that part….

Just in time to solve my piping dilemma, Clover notions released a clever new product, called “Wrap ‘N Fuse”, a new easy way to make custom piping.  This new product is endorsed by Nancy Zieman, of “Sewing with Nancy” fame.

Well, it it’s good enough for Nancy, it must be good enough for me.

Turns out Nancy really knows her notions, as this stuff is great!

Available in two diameters, and two lengths (Click here) :

  • 3/16” x 2.2 yards
  • 3/16” x 6 yards
  • 12/32” x 2.2 yards
  • 12/32” x 6 yards

The “Purse Strings” pattern called for 7 yards of pre-packaged covered piping.  So, I needed a small package & a large package for the project : 2.2 yards + 6 yards, with a little left over…

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Here’s how the piping accent was stitched into the bag handles.

Start with pre-measured bias strips,  and the  Wrap ‘N Fuse (3/16”).

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Set the “Wrap ‘N Fuse” along the wrong side of the bias strip, aligning the piping cord in the center of the strip. Fold the strip over (WRAP), aligning the raw edges, and pin to the ironing board. The raw edges are at the bottom of the photo, and the pins are through the piping cord.

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Using a warm, dry, iron, gently FUSE the raw edges together. Run the tip and edge of the iron up to but not over the piping cord.

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Work on small segments at a time, smoothing any wrinkles with your fingers, and repositioning as needed.

Once the piping is made, align the raw edges of the piping with the raw edge of the RIGHT SIDE of fabric handle. Stitch in place, using a zipper foot to sew right along the edge of the piping cord.

Yes, you probably own a zipper foot.  I didn’t know I did, but I was surprised to find one in my “tool box” of presser feet. I know it’s hard to see, but the needle is stitching thru the fabric right next to the left prong on the presser foot.

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Repeat on opposite side of fabric handle strip.

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Then, layer a second strip of handle fabric right sides together with the piece you just made.  Pin the layers together, with the stitched size on top, so you can see your stitching line.  Carefully sew on top of the previous stitching or just INSIDE it, to hide the first row of stitches.

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Turn the handle right side out and “TA-DA”:

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It’s beautiful!

If I do say so, myself :)

Proceed with the excellent instruction in Mary Ann’s pattern:

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Wow!  This is one of my favorite bag patterns yet.  (Click here.)

The piping accent adds a lot, and I like the gathered pocket with elastic & a button loop.  Sorry, no button yet… I’m still making up my mind.

I used the coated fabric for the bag body, durable twill for the bottom & handles, and regular weight cotton for the accent & lining. Click here for the Moda Freebird collection by Momo.

Here’s the supply list for the pattern:

  • 3/8 yard outer bag fabric
  • 1/4 yard contrasting lower band fabric
  • 1/2 yard contrasting lining fabric
  • 1/2 yard contrasting handle fabric
  • 3/8 yard contrasting pocket fabric
  • 1/8 yard contrasting binding fabric for top of tote
  • 7 yards pre-packaged covered piping
  • 1/4 yard 1/2” wide elastic
  • 3/4 yard 22” wide fusible woven interfacing (example: Form Flex) for back of outer bag
  • 1/2 yard 15”-22” wide sturdy interfacing for back of lower band (example: Stitch N Shape by Floriani or Timtex)
  • 1/2 yard fusible knit interfacing for back of lining (example: Fusi Knit)
  • 1” or larger button for pocket.

A note about the interfacing:

The above recommendations assume you are using regular weight cotton quilting fabric.  I wasn’t, therefore my interfacing requirements were different. I didn’t use any interfacing for the back of the coated fabric.  It is stiff enough without it, plus you can’t iron it or it will melt.  It does finger press nicely, and my sewing machine had no trouble stitching through the layers.  Also, twill doesn’t need a sturdy interfacing, as it is a heavier weight cotton fabric with more body. I backed the twill with a soft non-woven fusible, so it had shape without too much bulk.

Click here for our current selection of bag patterns, grommets, accessories, fusibles & more.  If you don’t see something you need, just ask.  Wesley can probably get it :)