Do you happen to have any pics of the top flap/opening of a finished bag? I read the instruction guide you posted, but I am still having a hard time visualizing what the top looks like when it is finished.
Sadly, no. All of the process photos disappeared with Community Webshots photo hosting. When the next Seattle Fabrics order arrives and I figure out what I want to make next I will take more photos along the way.
Also, it looks like 2 pieces are cut to form the bag, sealing both edges and the bottom - in other words, 2 side seams and a bottom seam. Would it be better to cut one larger piece of fabric, folded over onto itself, in which case there would only be one side seam?
Nope, and yup. One piece of heat sealable fabric is cut and folded over to form the bag. Iron the bottom seam and the folder over side seam and those two sides are done.
Lastly, once it finished, does the coated side of the fabric stay on the inside of the bag or do you turn it inside out?
The heat sealable side stays inside. So far, 7 years on, even with the DIY bags in the worst imaginable heat conditions, baking inside a closed vehicle or sun beaten atop a kayak deck in the Everglades, that heat sealable side has not “melted” or adhered to any contents. I think it takes a lot more heat and pressing down to make anything happen on the heat sealable side.
Once ironed together that material makes a helluva tenacious seam. We tried tearing apart some timed test strips of 1 inch wide x 6 inch long fold-over loops. with a 1 inch x 1 inch heat sealed area; I could forcibly (hurt my fingers) pull the 5 and 10 second pressed iron pieces apart, but after that iron duration it wasn’t gonna happen. 30 seconds to 1 minute is not coming apart, and the material doesn’t start to scorch until 2 minutes +.
I will sweeten my top template pattern offer; I’ll include a test strip of heat sealed material to try to pull apart. We tested everything from 20 seconds to 3 minutes iron pressing time.
Back to hand sanding birch. I’ve got blisters on me fingers!