Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer fling bag tutorial

 There are two versions of this bag. One with wooden handles. Decorative, but a little inconvenient to carry around, since the handles tend to lean over to the smallest point. The other one has canvas straps. I bought these lovely canvas straps at the Purl Bee, when I was in New York (lucky bastard).

What do you need?
  • patternpaper 53x38 for  (a newspaper will do)
  • 2x outer bag  A
  • 2x lining  B
  • 2x fabric for the strip  C in the middle 54x18cm (the inner width of the wooden handle plus seam allowance). Or a 106 cm on one piece...
  • 1x outer pocket  D 55x18 cm and a nice fabric F to line it with (same size), and maybe   some vlieseline E
  • 1x inner pocket  (as big as you like it)
  • wooden handles or canvas straps
  • a magnet
Draw your pattern. This is no rocket science. You take a piece of newspaper from 55x 38 cm. Fold in half and draw.You can make perfect round edges by using a plate in the corners. When you use canvas straps (which I recommend) you use the pattern up to the dotted line, the total length will be 48 cm. Unfold your pattern and then cut out the little darts by folding both sides together (a diagonal fold) and cut of a little triangle on both edges. Now place your pattern on your fabric (which you folded, so you can cut front and back at the same time) and cut it out, both bag and lining,  but don't cut out the little triangles on the corner, instead you mark them on your fabric.

Sew and press to one side.

Now sew partly together both parts of your outer bag,  along the dotted line ( right sides facing eachother). Sew both parts of  your middle strip (C) and press the seam open (unless you have a strip that's already 106 cm long). On the long side fold and press a seam and sew it on your bag. It's now just as wide as the flaps that hold your handles or straps. (See drawing below)
Sew your front pocket. If your fabric is really thin, use some vlieseline (E). Place right sides of the outer and inner fabric(D and F) together and sew along the edges. Leave a small gap on one of the long sides and turn. Be sure your pocket and your middle strip are just as wide. There's no need to close the gap. That will follow in the next step. You might want to top stitch your pocket.

Now sew your pocket on to your middle strip. Be sure to define the middle and place that on the seam of your bag. 

Let's work on the lining of the bag (don't you love the Bob Ross sound of that?). You might want to add a pocket G  inside. Here's a wonderful tutorial for a slip pocket. This is also the moment to place your magnet. Define the middle line and place it. 

Now you can sew the rest of the bag from to *. Place the little triangles opposite from each other, like this:

Now place both bags inside each other. The right sides of the fabrics must face each other. In case of fabric handles, your must include them now and leave a gap on the side to turn the bag.

Start sewing like you see in this picture and stop sewing 5 cm before you reach this point again. Turn the bag through this gap and close it by topstitching close to the edge.

Et voila, you're done. (Well, after some serious pressing. Really, you should use that iron every little step of the way. It pays off.) If you want to look intelligent, add a newspaper. (I did it to show you it's a pocket. I don't need a newspaper to look intelligent. I have glasses since a couple of weeks. And although they might give me a slighter intelligent look, they're also screaming "over forty" very hard.)
If you use the wooden handles, it's even easier. You just leave one flap open, turn the bag, close it by top stitching close to the edge (fold in the seam) and place them over your wooden handles.

Enjoy your summer fling!


  1. Dat is een mooie tas! Die houd ik in gedachten voor als ik weer eens een tas wil maken.

    Mrs Busy

  2. Wat heb je een fijne dingen op jouw blog staan. Jammer dat ik me niet als volger kan aanmelden.
    Een fijn weekend,
    Nicole -Maasels en Meer-

  3. Hi I liked your bag so much I made one myself, though I am only a beginner. I just made one change - I left the tops of BOTH straps open, then after the bag was turned out the right way I folded in all the raw edges and top stitched them closed, before adding rope handles, to go with seaside themed cloth I used. Thanks very much for the pattern.

  4. I love the show and tell pattern. I am a beginner, but I am trying this one. Thank You

  5. I loved your bags this much that I made two of them as gifts. I used retro fabric for both of them. I changed your pattern a little for me. I added a zipper to open the bag and 2 pockets. Thank you so much for your tutorial :)