Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SewMuchToLearn

Designing a tote for strength and quality?

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm trying to take my bag-making to the next level in terms of strength and quality. I know that hand saddle stiching is probably the strongest way to sew a seam. But within the bounds of machine-stitched: what's the best way to sew a seam on a tote bag to make it strong? (like a side, bottom, or corner seam)?

Wrong sides together and then flip the bag right side out? (first photo)

Right sides together so the seam is on the outside? (second photo)

Flat felled seam? (third photo)

Something else?

Where would you reinforce the seam and how (more stitching, rivets, something else?)

I know that different seams will change the look/design of the bag. I'm starting from scratch here and trying to design for quality and longevity. I don't expect my bags will hold anything unreasonably heavy (shouldn't be filled with bricks, but maybe a few hardcover books), but want to know how to make it last.

While we're talking quality -- what about straps? How would you attach those? Stitched or riveted or both? Will single layer straps hold over time, or do they need to be double layer?

 

Thanks for your insight!

 

wrong sides together.jpg

right sides together.jpg

flat felled.jpg

Edited by SewMuchToLearn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say that the top two with no center seam on the bottom is a good start.  You could also do the bottom separately if you wanted.  If you use burr style rivets you can be more sure about the handle's durability.    I think a "turned design" (first picture) protects the seams more.  Otherwise, use good thread...like really good thread. Even with a machine you can stitch each seam twice and back-tack the ends for extra durability. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@nstarleather What would you consider really good thread? I've been using Amann Strongbond Nylon Bonded thread (like this: https://www.wawak.com/thread/thread-by-material/nylon/?Brand=Amann ) -- is there a better choice? Is polyester preferred? I've heard mixed opinions. I figure that the cost of thread is miniscule compared to all the other inputs, so I'll gladly buy whatever is the best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SewMuchToLearn said:

@nstarleather What would you consider really good thread? I've been using Amann Strongbond Nylon Bonded thread (like this: https://www.wawak.com/thread/thread-by-material/nylon/?Brand=Amann ) -- is there a better choice? Is polyester preferred? I've heard mixed opinions. I figure that the cost of thread is miniscule compared to all the other inputs, so I'll gladly buy whatever is the best!

I use bonded nylon size 69 or 138 for everything...there are heavier options.

There are charts of the strength of thread...#69 is 11lb test meaning 22lb per stitch and at 10 stitches per inch you got 220lbs strength for each inch.  If you back-tack then it's x3.  Use #138 then double that.   It starts getting ridiculous and in truth what will break the thread isn't "normal wear" but it getting cut because it catches something. 

 I think the basic info is Poly is more UV resistant but nylon is better for abrasion...You could also put a rivet on each side at the top, though that might be overkill and effect the opening. 

Edited by nstarleather

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...