Making purses sturdier?

Besides lining a purse (which sounds fun because I could pick out crazy fabric at the fabric store), do any of you put in some type of cardboard insert in the bottom of the bag to let it have a definite bottom?

If so, do you place it between teh bag and the liner? What if you want to wash the bag?

Secondly, if I am going to line a purse, do I want to wash and dry the fabric lining? I figured if I ever wanted to wash the bag and I hadn’t pre-shrunk the liner, things could get yucky…

I did a backpack for my DS and put cardboard between the bag and the liner. He’s used it for school for over a year and it’s holding out so far!

I’ve heard of people using that plastic needlepoint canvas cut to size. I’ve seen it at Michaels and they probably have it at Joanns.

I’ve used plastic canvas before and it works quite well. Depending on how large the piece of canvas is, I will either use the gentle cycle or handwash it, and hang or lie flat to dry.

i am such a newbie, what is plastic canvas?

plastic canvas is …well plastic with holes in it…perforated plastic. People do cross stitch type designs on it…it is stiff plastic so it is great for reinforcing the bottom of bags. you can also sew up a little cover for it so that it matches your liner if you make one.

the cable purse pattern on KnitPicks also uses a canvas tote bag as a liner. i think that would be great for giving your bag some body.

link please :slight_smile:

Plastic Canvas
Coaster set made with plastic canvas

Here is the link for the purse. :thumbsup:

thanks, very cool. plastic canvas would be great to use for the bag bottom if sealed up in its own litle case with leftover fabric, plus it could be washed

I use it for all kinds of things… including it’s intended use! It is washable as long as you don’t use hot water, or put it in the dryer. I have quite a few containers and covers I’ve made with it, and all I do to wash them is get them wet in the sink, rub some dishsoap on them, rinse and then let them dry in my dishdrainer. Since I use mostly acrylic yarns on it, it takes no time at all to dry.

You can also get coloured plastic canvas, which can come in handy when you are making something thinner where the canvas might actually show a bit.

Being a sewer as well, maybe I can offer some alternatives.

  1. Interface the lining of the bag with a medium weight SEW IN interfacing.
  2. DON’T use cardboard if you plan on washing the bag
  3. Put in a removeable base of template plastic (available from quilting stores) covered in the lining fabric, or a double layer of Buckram (which is a miliners mesh).

PM me if you have any questions :smiley:

I don’t know if you guys have ever seen Vera Bradley bags/purses (I must say I’m addicted to them!! :heart: ) Anyways, their bags are quilted, and they have a cardboard liner that is just covered in the matching lining of the bag, but comes out so they can be washed. The cover to the cardboard is just a sleeve with a little extra fabric on the end, tucked in once the cardboard is in there. So the cover for the cardboard is washable too. Looking into the purse, it’s hard to even notice it, but it is very handy when you go to wash the purse!

The one advantage of template plastic or buckram over cardboard, is that if your bag gets wet at all (heaven forbid), the plastic or buckram won’t get soppy or lose its shape.