Border Print Tutorial: How to Fussy Cut for a Bag
Lazies, Border prints are a special opportunity in bag construction. A border print in quilting cottons is really just an elaborate stripe, often times with some calm background fabric showing between the ‘stripes’. Let’s break it down and see just how to approach, and use a border print on my Becca Bags design.
Becca Bags by Lazy Girl Designs, pattern LGD136
Understanding the Border Print
The amazing fabrics in this post are the ‘Audrey’ collection from Timeless Treasures. Here’s the border print which has two alternating floral stripes set on a black background. I’m interested in the red stripe for this project.
I love this gorgeous row of flowers!
The red stripe by itself is too large for where I want to use it. If I fussy cut the heart of this stripe, I would lose the edge of the stripe where it meets the background and it would read as an overall print, like the detail pic below.
Below is what I would see on my bag. Still gorgeous, but I’ve lost the personality of this stripe.
Here’s what the border stripe looks like without the black background to frame the design.
The Black Background
The black background defines the specialness of this stripe which gives it context. The other ways to achieve a look like this is to make the fabric yourself by appliqueing or embroidering a detailed design onto a solid background fabric and that’s a lot of work. Timeless Treasures has done this for us!
Magic of the Margin
The magic happens at the margin which is where the border print ends and the background begins. Be sure to account for showcasing this juncture when cutting the fabric. Instead of centering the stripe, shift to include more of the background fabric as shown here.
Include a bit of the background when cutting.
This is how I cut the panel for Becca. The little bit of white flowers
at the top edge will be sewn into the seam allowance.
Essence is Enough
Sometimes, just the ‘hint’ or essence of something is enough to do the job. When I shifted the cut to include more of the black background, I lost some of the border print and that is okay here.
In this Becca, the border print wraps around the bottom of the bag and the calm black background fabric allows the print to shine.
With two Becca bags side by side, you can see the difference between
an overall print on the left and showing a bit of black background to the right.
It’s a dramatic difference!
Don’t Forget the Flange
The 1″ flange on Becca, shown in the tiny black and white stripe, is going to cover the top edge of this border stripe cut. Be sure to account for that, just as you would account for some fabric ending up in a seam allowance so it won’t show on the finished project.
Magical ‘Fourth’ Fabric
By fussy cutting the border print as I have with this Becca, the black background behaves like a fourth fabric on the outside of this bag and that is a pretty nifty trick.
Even though I’m only showing a bit of the floral border, the fabric is doing its full job on this project. So remember to audition your fabrics and try different placements of the where to start cutting your border print.
Tip: Because there can be some waste when working with a border print, buy a little more than usual so you have plenty to work with.
Becca Bags pattern LGD136 includes two sizes
and uses our unique One-Zip technique.
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Becca is available as a PDF pattern in my pattern store here.
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