Friday, September 2, 2011

The perfect Bag Tutorial

Well here is the tutorial for THIS bag I made for my sister.

You will need the following amounts from 3 contrasting fabrics.
Fabric #1: (The main fabric for the bag) 1 yard
Fabric #2: (fabric for the ruffle, underside of handle, and pockets inside) 24 inches
Fabric #3: (lining of inside of bag) 1/2 yard

Ideas for fabric choices: you can choose anything, but if you use a light weight fabric then you will have to line every single piece with the heaviest interfacing you can find. I used cotton with THIS bag and after using interfacing, the bag held it's form very nicely. If you use decor fabric, then you will only line the outside of the bag and one side of the handles with interfacing.

Cut the following pieces out
Fabric #1:
2 pieces @ 20 X 18 main body
2 pieces @ 3 X 30 outside of handles
1 piece @ 20 X 11 outside pocket

Fabric #2:
2 pieces  @ 3 X 30 inside of handles
2 pieces @ 20 X 10 inside pockets
1 piece @ 6 X length of fabric (mine was 42 inches) ruffle

Fabric #3
2 pieces @ 20 X 17 lining

Iron on the interfacing to all of the pieces cut from fabric #1

Using the 2 contrasting fabrics (cut at 3 X 30), put RST (right sides together) and sew down the length of both sides of strap. DON'T sew the short ends closed. Do this for both handles.

Flip right side out and press out the seam OR I think it's easier to lick my fingers as I go and push the seam out because it gives me better grip and control of the fabric.

 Then I pin in  place as I get the seam pushed out.

Top stitch down the length of the handle on both side.

(I purchased this fabric along time ago for really cheap. I didn't have enough of my fabric #1 to make a pocket on the outside of this bag, so I am going to show you how to make the pocket using my inside fabric. You will use the same method for all of your pockets)
fold the top over 1/4 inch and press, the fold over 1/4 inch again and press. Sew in place.

Place the bottom of pocket even with the bottom of the main fabric.  Measure in 6 1/2 inches from both outer edges and mark. I used photoshop to turn my marks black so you can see them, but I used a white marking pencil. You could also use disappearing ink. Sew a line down the front, connecting the marks.When finished you should have sewn 2 lines and the makings of 3 pockets.
RUFFLE:Fold over the edge 1/2 inch on both sides.

Gather both sides. Place the gather 6 inches from the top of the main fabric. Pin in place and be extra careful to make sure the ruffle is pinned on straight.

Line the edge of foot up with the edge of ruffle and sew ruffle in place.

Make the pockets for the lining the same way you did above under pockets. With RST, SEW JUST THE 2 EDGES of bag together.

On the bottom of the lining, make a reinforced hole at the bottom for turning the bag. Start about 3 inches from the center and back stitch 4 or more times. Then sew the rest of the bottom closed.

Find the middle of the bag. Measure 1 1/2 inches down from top and mark. Measure 1/2 inch down from the mark you just made and mark. Mark 2 centimeters on the left and right of cent. You should have a mark that looks something like this.

 Create 2 button holes along the 2 lines on either side of the center of bag.
Using a sharp seam ripper, open the 2 button holes you just made.

Put your snap closure in place.


RST, sew the sides and bottom. These next pictures are going to show you how to get a square bottom for you bag to sit better. Start at one corner.
 Pinch the corner into a triangle.
 Sew a line 2 inches down from tip of triangle.
 Cut off the top.
 Flip right side out and your bottom of bag should look like this now.
Measure 1 1/2 inches in from edge and pin the handles with the main fabrics facing each other. Do this on both sides.
With RST, place the outside of bag into the lining

 Line up the edges and pin into place. Then sew around the entire top of bag.

Turn the bag right side out by bringing it through the hole you left when sewing the lining.

Now, sew the hole closed at the bottom of your lining.

Press the seam out and top stitch around the top of the bag.

You are finished! You should now have an amazingly perfect bag with 3 pockets on the outside and 6 pockets on the inside!


Janice@GypsyFarmGirl said...

Thank you for a great tutorial! I need lots of help in the sewing department!

Melissa Bell said...

I got my bag in the mail yesterday! I LOVE it! Thanks for helping out Christina. :) I'm sure it at least required a lot of patience on your part. ;)

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