Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Favorite Things--A bagmaker's edition

Over the years of bag making, Ive developed a fondness for some products that I find myself using
most often. I’d love to take some time and share some of my favorites with you!

The products I am including here never let me down, and I use them in almost every single bag.
I am writing about them because I trust them and feel completely confident recommending them!
Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links.

Emmaline Bags hardware:

Emmaline Bags

Hands down my go to for 99% of hardware I use. Every single one of my bags include at least some
hardware from Emmaline. The quality is hands down top notch and you can’t beat their customer
service and prices. A few time in a pinch I’ve had to purchase hardware elsewhere and often I am
disappointed at the obvious lower quality. They now have an express DHL
option for international orders that is clearly run my fairies and wizards because it arrives in an
amount of time that shouldn’t be humanly possible AND it’s only a few dollars more for most orders!

I love the way these add a professional finish to bags! It’s a quick inexpensive way to brand your
products. You can attach them with beaded chain, leather cording, or even twine.
I get mine from By Piera on Etsy. You can get the custom made with your logo and in various sizes.

I LOVE these products!! If you haven’t tried sewing with cork, what are you waiting for??? It’s such a
fun material to work with and sews easily on a domestic machine. I once made the mistake of ordering
a glitter vinyl online to use in bag making and I hated my life when trying to sew a bag with it. It’s
SOOOO thick and with a domestic it was super challenging. The glitter canvas solves this problem!
It’s only slightly thicker than canvas and yet it’s quite durable and easy to work with! No special tools


If you saw my price comparison post a couple months back, then you already know that for US
customer wovenfuse is the most cost effective woven fusible interfacing available. At 45” wide it
makes it much easier to get those large panels cut and straps from just one piece. It fuses quite
quickly and has a slightly crisper body than other products.

Hands down my favorite foam stabilizer. It gives a nice structured finish, and any wrinkles from
shipping or storing press out easily. It’s easy to sew through, even with bulkier seams. At 58” wide
you can get several bags worth with just a couple yards.

Frixon Pens:

I’m sure most of you have heard of these little gems by now. The ink is heat sensitive so marks easily
come out with your iron. A caution, only use these on areas that won’t be visible in your finished bag.
There have been stories about lines reappearing with exposure to cold temperatures. The ink may
also bleach out darker fabrics.

These are my go tos for marking dark fabrics that a frixon pen will not show up on. They completely
wipe away and are super easy to use.

Zipper Template:

This was a product that I didn't know I was missing all my life, it really makes zipper pockets so much easier. No more measuring and double checking! Just lay this gem over where you want your zipper to be and trace the box. It comes in both 3/8" and 1/2" sizes and has three different zipper lengths on each template. These are from By Piera.  She also has a purse feet template that I am excited to try!

Double Sided Tape:

I used to only use Dritz Wondertape, but it isn’t the strongest tape and often doesn’t hold heavier
fabrics and vinyls well. It works well for zip pockets and to secure lighter weight fabrics. For making
vinyl, cork and leather straps I much prefer Tandy’s double sided tape or Wawak’s version. It’s Soooo
sticky which is great for securing heavier fabrics BUT you absolutely cannot sew through these as
they will gum up your needle faster than a crayon melting in your car in the summer. Only use these
in areas you will not be sewing through.

I have a love hate relationship with this product. I use it for installing zippers where I can’t use the
double sided tape. It’s wonderful when used VERY sparingly! For a few light drops along your zipper
tape, then place, then using a hot iron press to cure the glue and you can sew right through it without
gumming up your needle. The reason I don’t love this product is that it can get messy QUICK and
once I got a bit heavy handed and it actually bled through 4 layers of interfaced fabric and left a stain.
Also, some people find the smell a bit strong.

I think everyone has heard of these gems! I use them on everything!!!

Punch Set:

I have two different punch sets and they are life changing! I have one small set I use to punch holes
for rivets and Chicago screws and a larger set that has punches perfect for larger holes like grommets
and turn locks.

Small screwdriver:

I honestly don’t remember where I got this guy, I think it was in the cheapie bin at the check out at
the local hardware store. Get yourself a baby screwdriver instead of trying to fumble with a larger one.

Thread Snips:

I always thought the idea of a specific set of snips was silly. I mean, I have scissors right?? Well, after
getting these I totally get it. So convenient!

Who doesn’t have a love/ hate relationship with theirs?? I love the erasable ones, super sharp and
getting all those tiny threads out is a breeze.

Washi Tape:

I use this stuff for EVERYTHING! Taping pattern pieces together, marking seam allowances on my
needle plate and holding down slip pockets instead of pinning. I’m a total washi addict!

Image result for rotary cutter

I don't even remember the last time I used a pair of scissors to cut a pattern, it just takes me too long. I'm totally a rotary
cutter girl, so much faster to cut all your pieces. I prefer the 45 mm size or smaller for cutting the curves on bag pattern pieces.

Knitting Needle:

Image result for knitting needles

I haven’t found anything better than a large knitting needle to poke out corners! They aren’t sharp
enough to worry about poking through, but sharp enough to get those corners crisp!

Steam press:

I feel like I was living in the stone ages before my steam press! I can’t express how much of a time
saver this is fusing interfacing! It’s crazy fast and even fusing fleece is a breeze! Totally worth the
investment! I use an old bed sheet over the interfacings to keep any from getting on the plate.

These are wonderful for squeezing around vinyl areas on the final press of your bag.
I think we have all had that horrific moment of hitting some vinyl on your finished bag with
the iron, this guy makes it easier to avoid that heartache.

Guterman Mara Thread:

This is my go to thread for almost all my projects. It’s 100% polyester and is very low lint. It comes
in several weights and is a good value at under 3 dollars for a 1000 yard spool. Get the Tex 30 for
general construction or the Tex 40 for top stitching.


I use this as my go to glue on hardware that requires some glue (turn locks, grommets, strap connectors, etc). It has a horrible smell and is messy but it gets the job done.
Old Towels:

This one surprise you? Forget the fancy Tailor's Hams, grab some old towels to help you
press your bag to perfection. Check out this post here to see how.

What are your favorite tools? Any that didn't make the list? Have you tried these products? I'd love to hear about your faves too!