Because I make a certain type of project bag for my etsy shop, I sometimes have a client request a different “style” or size bag. I always am up for a challenge, so this week I am working on a larger size “box” style zipper clear bag. I want to share my experience because very few bag makers share such a bag.
Most bag makers use a thinner gauge vinyl because it suffices for what we need it for in a project bag, and lets face it the thinner gauge is easier to work with in a project bag such as the one I am currently making for a client. I tend to opt for a slightly thicker gauge vinyl because most of the style bags I sell on etsy do not require flipping the bag right-side-out once it is complete.
The thicker gauge to me is stronger and just has a better quality feel to it. With the thicker gauge you don’t have to worry about any stretching or easily scratching the surface while sewing the bag. It is durable and has a beautiful finish once the bag is done.
I’ve not made (is that correct English?) a box style bag very much, so when my client as me if it were possible I was up for the challenge. There are several quick ways to throw corners into a bag so that it become box style. For example, most cosmetic bags (I always call them shaving kits) are made box style. Simply sew your zipper in and sew corners on each of the four sides and walla! Box style bag!
However, a more supersized bag is not that easy to snip, snip and you are done. My client ask for a completely clear vinyl box style bag that measures 18″ X 18″. Now, I have to tell you I thought when I made a 15″ square project bag earlier this year was a huge bag. When I made the first bag, I was struggling to turn the bag right side out! The vinyl stuck together instantly, so I was fighting to get it right-side-out!
Remember I said I use a thicker gauge vinyl. This was so difficult to turn right-side-out, and the finish was far from desirable. I did not like the exposed corner seam inside because the thicker gauge could possible scratch the clients hand. The first bag was a fail because I did not want to struggle turning the bag wrong-side-out to cover the raw edges of the vinyl seams with binding.
I did use sewing the corners to make this a box style bag! That part was easy however to make the top box style did not finish very nice – so I scrapped the bag….literally!
I decided I would try making the bag with the corner square cut out to make the bag box style. Because I do not use this technique very often, I just assumed the bag would work by cutting the vinyl the width I need and then cut out the corners and be done with it.
I also decided to use fabric for the bottom inside and outside of the bag to prevent the rough vinyl edges. I also made the top different with a bit more vinyl. However, you can see the cut out squares took up more real estate in the width of the bag which meant the bag was not the size my client needs. So, at this point, I am thinking…maybe I cannot make this bag.
I watch Lauren Mormino’s tutorial on a clear bag project, which the top of the bag is not square. I thought about my client needing a bag she could fit a gift into and thought maybe I can make the bag similar to Lauren’s tutorial. I also wanted to figure out how to get rid of the raw edges in the bottom fabric altogether.
I will say the tutorial one was a bit easier to make. I also managed to find a way to remove the unsightly raw edges in the bottom. Though, the bag was a monster to turn right side out! At this point, I thought I was done. The handles are a bit thinner than the other bag, which I want this bag to be exquisite for my client. She seemed dissatisfied the bag is not square at the top even though she is willing to purchase this one,
so I am going to I give it another go.
My client does not want me making another sample; however, customers need to know that as a bag maker (dress maker, jewelry maker, etc.) making a bag he or she is not accustomed to go through this process. Passionate bag makers do not think about the extra time and materials they use to perfect a bag. Customers should not feel the least bit worried about bag makers making samples to their request. I let my client know I would give it a go – to see if I can make the bag she wants, but she is under absolutely no obligation to buy.
My goal is to use the cut out square method at the top and bottom of the bag. I am not sure how I will get the bottom seams to not show. I may end up just binding the corners with white vinyl. Most of the sample bags my client shared with me do this method. I don’t care for it, but the bag is for my client not me. I will share the new bag with her to see which one she prefers. The next one will be more towards what she ask me to make. We will see how it goes.
I am much happier that I followed the design my client was hoping to find. I am quite pleased with the way the final one turned out. I feel better knowing the raw edges are covered and honestly was not difficult to sew at all.