I have done alot of research on bag bases. Read almost everything on how people make their own. From cardboard, to wood to childrens hard back book covers, most of these have a separate fabric sleeve and have to be removed if you want to wash the fabric bag. I wanted mine to be part of the bag and able to put them through the washing machine without any worry of them distorting or melting away. You can buy the bag bases, I have never tried them, I am trying to stick to my ‘recycled’ ethos, and that includes not spending money when I don’t have to!!!
So this is my version of a stable, washable bag base for my hand made fabric bags.
2 plastic milk bottles I find the big 6 pint ones give you more flattish plastic
1 piece of polyester wadding
needle and thread
Fabric to cover
How to do it:
My bag bases ended up being around 8″ x 4″
So I cut the top off the milk bottles, with a craft knife, and the base. Cut down the seam and flattened it out. Because the bottles are shaped while being heated you will not be able to get them completely flat, But the next step will help a little.
Cut out the shape and size you will need x 2, and round off the corners.
At this stage check that the base will fit snugly in the bottom of your bag, once you are happy with the size go to the next step.
Cut a piece of the fabric that you want to cover the base with, approx 1″ larger all round
Place the two pieces of plastic together and with your sewing machine stitch 3 lines across the longest part. Your machine should take it OK if you go slowly, and gently push the plastic along, as the feed dogs on your machine may slip.
(Yes you can put thin soft plastic, like this, through your machine, just don’t try to push it through too much as you may break your needle. I have used drink cans, on my machine and lots of other wierd and wonderful things!!!!)
Next, place the wadding on top of the stitched plastic base and run through the sewing machine once more stitching once down the centre. This will stop the wadding from moving in the base of your bag.
As you can see you don’t have to be that neat, no one will see it once the bag is finished.
The next step is to cover the plastic base. Take the piece of fabric you have for the base and tack, or baste all round the edge.
Place the plastic base, wadding side down, onto the fabric
Pull your stitches, as though you are making a yoyo. and tie a knot so that the fabric is tight around the base.
You can now slip stitch the base into place at the bottom of the lining of your bag.
This is how the bottom will look when you are finished. It is sturdy and washable and won’t distort, and didn’t cost anything. It is soft enough not to leave a bruise on your hips!!!! but stable enough to give a nice flat bottom to the bag when it is full of all your bits and pieces.