Building A Better Bag - Fusing Foam

Kristine Poor Building a Better Bag

I’ve always wanted to do a Basic Bag Project series; a series of blog posts that takes a basic bag and levels it up. We will add details to the bag as we go along. Time to get started!

We are going to jump right in with the “A Novel Approach” bag pattern. This bag was designed to use those small novelty squares in the pockets. It is a quilted tote – pretty basic, but pretty useful!

This bag features QT Fabric’s On Painted Wings panel combined with the Euphoria line. Love the bright and fresh factor of these fabrics!

Because it’s so easy to use and gives such a pro finish – let’s break out the Bosal In-R-Form Plus (it’s a double-sided fusible foam) as the base for our tote. We used a light fusible fleece in the pockets, instead of using the foam there. Why? We are reducing the bulk in the side seam by using a thinner interfacing for the pockets. If you’d like to use foam here, too – go ahead; I’ll address handling bulky seams in another post.

After opening your package of foam, you might notice some creases. If you would like to relax the foam a bit before using it, open out the foam and lay it over a clean sheet on the floor. Place a quilt over the foam to weigh it down gently. After 24 hours, you will notice that those creases have relaxed slightly (it may not be perfectly flat, but it will be easier to cut).

The foam and fabric is cut – now it’s time to fuse. Lay a piece of parchment paper or a Teflon sheet on your ironing surface. Place the foam over the parchment paper, then line up the lining fabric over top of that. Lightly mist the fabric with a mister filled with plain water.  Smooth away any wrinkles in the fabric. With a hot iron press firmly, but do not smash the foam down. Press but do not iron (sliding side to side).  The fabric is fused to the foam when it is dry. Now repeat on the other side.

Foam Tips:

  • If you make a mistake in aligning the fabric with the foam, you can carefully separate the fabric from the foam and reposition it, and fuse in place. 
  • If you purchased sew-in foam instead of fusible – you can make it fusible by adding fusible web to the surface and continue your project. 
  • When cutting larger pieces of foam, use a marker to mark out your piece before you cut, then use a rotary cutter. Stay tuned for our next installment – we will talk about quilting with foam.

Next week, we’ll quilt our fused foam for some beautiful texture! Thanks for stopping by!    -Kris

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