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Conversational Threads

Using Heat and Bond and Tote Lining

materialgirl | Posted in General Discussion on

Thank you all for your help with the magnetic snap and tote discussion.  After desigining the tote bag from velvet and lining it with a heavy upholdstery type fabric, I found it was still “limp”.  I bought some Heat n Bond and then some heavy muslin type lining that is used for pocketbooks, to fuse to the upholstery lining.  I only fused the upper half of the the tote.

I have never used either the heat n bond or the muslin type purse stiffener.  I bonded the lining before I attached it to the tote and when I went to sew through it it did not seem to stitch well.  Should I have made the tote , attached the lining , then fused on the stiffener so it wasn’t actually in the seam areas? I hope this doesn’t sound too confusing! I actually take the top seam of the bag and understitch the bag to the lining and couldn’t even do that as the stiffener just added too much bulk?


ANY help is appreciated. I went to Joann fabric and tried to look through patterns but most totes are made from canvas and don’t really need any stiffener.

Thanks, Susan


  1. kayrosie | | #1

    You might have used the wrong type of Heat Bond.  Some you can sew on and there is a kind that you can't sew on. I made that mistake one time with using the nonsew on kind on a quilt.  I never could sew on it then.  So I stuff the quilt away somewhere and will have to figure another way. I was appliqueing scotty dogs on the blocks.  Have them all on the blocks but can not stitch around them.  So that might be what you did.  I don't have any suggestion for you to fix it though.  Sorry.

  2. sueb | | #2

    what do you mean by "it did not stitch well"?  Did your stitches skip or were they too loose?  I've made a lot of handbags myself and have always used a stiff iron in interfacing in the lining and a sew in on the outside fabric.    Are you looking for the type of stiff bag like a Kate Spade bag? 


    1. materialgirl | | #3

      Yes, the stitches seemed to skip and be loose. 

      I guess beacuse I am using velvet, the top of the bag "sags" and I wanted it to be stiffer.  I used so much of the heat bond (almost lining the whole fron and back of the bag, that now it buckles. 

      I thnk the demsmension of 15" wide to too much for a velvet tote and maybe I should make it smaller.  Can I just heat n Bond maybe 3" around the top?

      1. sueb | | #4

        the skipped and loose stitches are more a problem with the tension on your sewing machine than the interfacing I think.  Make sure you are using a new sharp needle and that the tension on your machine is set correctly.  I don't think the size of the bag is a problem.  Are you using an iron on interfacing on the entire piece of fabric or are you using the heat and bond product that is used for hems and things?  The heat and bond that comes on the roll in widths of 1" or so is not meant to be used as a stiffener or interfacing. 


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