Monday, March 14, 2011

Foiled Games sacks

In this tutorial we are going to use foiling to embellish some simple drawstring bags.
Here is the pattern for the dragonfly and the butterfly.
These bags are pretty useful.  I use them for my crochet and tatting projects, and these two are for my mum, who uses them for the game pieces for Rummikin, which is sort of like rummy (cards) and uses tile like mah jong.

So, let's get down to business.
  • You will need some fabric and some string for the drawstring.  I use cotton rope..
I have used some furniture fabric samples that I was given.  This fabric is excellent for this type of project because it is thick and durable.  If you know someone who owns an upholstery store, they may give you a sample book when it is out of range, if you ask nicely.

  • some fusible webbing.  I have used two different types.  In the photo I have traced my patterns on the paper side of the webbing.
  • some transfer foil.  This is not just wrapping paper foil, but is made specially for transfer to surfaces

  • An iron and ironing surface
The first thing to do is make the bag.
I have cut two pices of fabric 16 x 8.5 inches
I have overlapped them so you can see that they are right sides together.
Next, starting 2 inches from the top, sew down to the bottom, across to the other side and up to the 2 inch mark as in the picture below
Next, hem the 2 inches of the sides you have left unsewn.
Do this by folding the seam allowance back and topstitching.
Next,  fold the tops down 1 inch  and seam to make a channel on the fron and the back of the bag as shown below
The finshed channels and the bag turned right side out
Next insert the drawstrings.  You will need two lengths of rope or string which are at least three times the width of the bag.

 Attach the first string to a bodkin or large safety pin

next, push the string through to the other side, making sure the end is still at the start
then take the string through the other side of the bag going the other way.
Tie off the two ends at the start
then, with the other string, attach to pin and start taking it through in the same way from the opposite side
once you get to the knot side,
take it back through the other channel
now, tie off in the same way as the other knot.  You should have a knot on either side of the Bag
I like this method, because the strings draw tight and are more secure than one string.


First, cut out the webbing shapes, leaving the paper on

next, place them on the fabric and iron down (using parchment to protect your iron)
then rermove the paper backing (when cool) and place the transfer foil coloured side up, cover with parchment and iron
As you can see below, different webbings will produce different effects.  In the top sample, the foil transferred cleanly and did not stick to the fabric at all.  In the bottom sample, the transfer was partial, and there was some transfer in places where there was no webbing.
I actually liked the partial transfer and decided that a bit more experimentation was required.  I cut out a piece of the fusible plastic I made here and fused my butterfly to the webbing side (upside down), then cut it out and fused it above the foil, slightly out of register.
Now this, I really liked with the foil showing through and the bright colour - Wow.

And now we have two games sacks!