Thursday, September 8, 2016


Back when I made my blue and white handbag, I made a "med bag" to go along with it.  As you can see the zipper has not held up to hard use!

As someone with numerous health issues...incuding diabetes, I need to carry around a LOT of supplies!  What I need is a bag that is bigger than the blue and white bag pictured above.

Quite a while back I was in a thrift store when I spotted this fabric.   The fabric turned out to be the makings of a dress that someone had chosen not to complete.  That's okay, their lack of motivation would be my gain!

However, I was in love with the WRONG SIDE of the fabric, problematic given the long pieces of colored thread on the back of the fabric.  There is no doubt that these threads would pull and break within the first 24 hours that the med bag was in my purse!  What to do?

Somewhere in my quilting/sewing experience I had heard about iron on vinyl.  I was anxious to see if this could provide a solution to the problem of loose threads on my chosen fabric.

I cut my fabric to 9 x 7 inches for the front and the same for the back.  I basted a seam across the top and bottom of the fabric where the colored threads were likely to unravel.  

I carefully followed the instructions on the bag of vinyl.  It was SO easy!

Within no time I had two squares of fabric covered in vinyl!  The mark on the right hand piece is a crease in the fabric that I was unable to iron out prior to applying the vinyl.  I think the fabric had been folded in a closet for a long, LONG time!  No matter, I planned to place that crease at the bottom of my med bag so it wouldn't be as obvious.

I went into my zipper box and found a metal zipper repurposed from something else.  Hopefully this zipper would hold up to excessive use!

I used my zipper foot to attach the zipper to the bag.

I repeated the process for the other piece of fabric.

I sewed across the zipper so that I could cut the large amount of excess zipper away.

 I folded back the zipper on the inside and ironed it flat.

 A little bit of top stitching and the back of the zipper would not get caught.

See how nice the first topstitching looks?

Using my Sizzix I cut some graduated sized flowers out of fabric that coordinated with the stripes.  I glued the button to the top flower and then sewed it in place with blue thread.

Here it is all attached, but it needed something secure the petals to prevent bending and creasing them in my purse!

I used my free motion foot to "thread paint" a lacey design on top of the flower.

I moved the zipper pull to the middle of the pouch to enable me to turn the pouch right side out after it was sewn  shut.

Here it is sewn all around and turned inside out.  As usual I really messed up the left side of the zipper.  I don't know WHY I have such a hard time with zippers!  However, my med bag will still work fine even though the zipper is not right!

Here it is all filled up!  I LOVE the vinyl on the outside as I will be able to wipe it clean as needed.  This bag is handled A LOT!!!

And the best part?   There is still room to add a few more items should the need arise...although I have more than my share of health problems and am not looking for any more!

All in all the iron on vinyl was a breeze to use and I would highly recommend it for its ease of use.  I will keep you posted as to how the vinyl wears over time.



  1. Good work Lin. I love the fabric flower it really sets off the bag.

    God bless.

    1. Thanks, Jackie. I really fell in love with the fabric but had NO idea how I would ever use it. Not bad for less than $2! I'm thinking a large tote bag or duffle bag next if I have enough fabric left. Of course it will be covered in vinyl to keep the threads attached!

  2. Great bag! The flower with thread painting tops it off well. I bought the vinyl years ago and will try it now. Another nice inspiration. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Marcy. It is really holding up well to HARD use. A few nights ago my grandson spilled something at the dinner table and my bag, which had been sitting on the table after I took my dinner meds, was in the path of his milk river. It wiped clean with no issue. Next time I may try a matte finish vinyl if the company makes it. It makes a bit of crinkly noise when handled but there is no cracking or peeling so far!