November 11, 2009

bag tutorial

A few weeks ago, my self-made grocery-bag was stolen. After handling with the obligatory bussiness of blocking and replacing credit cards, mobile phone and things like that, I realised that this left me without my favorite large take-it-anywhere-bag. I just had to make a new one.

It's quite a change from the old one, but I had left the pattern of that with a friend a while ago, and I didn't feel like having to dye canvas fabric again, while I had this great Ikea print in my stash. The fabric wasn't going an
ywhere there because I considered it too stiff and rough for clothing.

I just freehanded at making this bag, but this is how you could do the same.
The pattern looks roughly like this:

You can make it any size but mine is about 60 by 65 cm. The band (about 4 cm wide) at the top should be interfaced and will later be turned in, this will be the facing. If you line the bag, cut the lining from the pattern minus this top bit.
First, you sew the darts, than the outline of the bag. Do the same for the lining.
If you what to make pockets (inside or outside), put them on the panel where you want them before sewing the outline.
Decide on the length and placement of your shoulder straps, sew them and attach them to the top of the band (if you make fabric straps, interface them for strength).
Right sides together, sew the bag and the bag lining together along the top edge, catching the shoulder straps in the seam. Turn it right side out through a gap in the lining outline seam (and close that by hand). Make sure to turn in the facing, and topstitch it in place. Also topstich the shoulder straps to the facing.
Now, you have a finished, flat bag. To give it a nicer shape, I folded side seams in at the top of the bag and sewed them down about 4 cm further down (picture follows tomorrow)

I hope these instructions were helpfull, let me know if there's something I need to explain better.


  1. This is such a chic shopping bag! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I posted a link on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  2. This bag is gorgeous, I love it. Do you find yourself up to the armpits looking for the elusive keyring at the bottom?! This is always my problem with big bags, however chic!

  3. Thanks ladies! Actually Carolyn, I'm well aware of the keyring-problem, which is why I'm a firm believer in putting pockets in or on big bags. You can just make out the copper zipper in the picture.