Friday, June 24, 2011

Basic Bag Tutorial

Basic Bag
(a tutorial)

Is this not the cutest little bag you've ever seen?
Jaime made this one for her little girl, and here's the best part...

It is soooo easy!

and you can change it up and decorate it any way you like!

Want to make one of your own!

Keep reading...

Start with 2 equal rectangles for the body of your bag. One for the lining and one for the outside. These will need to be twice the height you want, plus the measurement across the bottom-we'll call this depth, plus the seam allowance BY the width you want plus the depth, plus seam allowance.

Here's an example...
You want the finished bag to be 12" tall, 12" wide and 3" deep (across the bottom).
for height: 12 + 12 + 3 + 1/2 (if you're using 1/4 inch seams) = 27 1/2 inches
for width: 12 + 3 + 1/2 = 15 1/2 inches

 Cut any pockets you want, remembering to add seam allowance again.

 Iron the edges of your pocket toward the back of the fabric and stitch across the top of the pocket.

 Pin your pocket to the lining of your bag. (its nice to match the stripes if you have them).

 Sew around the sides and bottom of the pocket near the edge. (I did another set of stitches just inside that too. Partly for durability and partly for looks. You could even add vertical stitches to divide the pocket like I did here.)

 Decorate the outside fabric however you like. Here I sewed a ribbon a few inches from the top on each side. (Just stitch near the very edge of the ribbon on the bottom and top).

 Now to make the bag shape. You will do these next few steps for both the lining and the outer fabric.

Fold your rectangle in half, right sides together, and sew down both sides making a 1/4 inch seam.

At the bottom of the bag, fold each corner into a triangle. Measure across the corner, perpendicular to your seam for your depth. (3 inches if you were following the example size above) Draw a line, pin, and sew on your line.

 This picture might help you see how the corners are folded.

 Cut the extra fabric off near your seam.

 Now your corner is straight instead of a triangle.

 Turn your lining right side out. (Leave your outer fabric inside out.)

 Slip your lining bag into your prepared/sewn outer fabric bag. You should see the backs of both fabrics.

 Make handles.

You'll need two rectangles again. The length plus seam allowance BY twice the width you want plus seam allowance.

Example again...
You want the handle to be 18" long and 1 1/2" wide
for length: 18 + 1/2 = 18 1/2 inches
for width: 1 1/2 + 1 1/2 + 1/2 = 3 1/2 inches

 Fold rectangles in half lengthwise (right sides together again) and sew down the long edge.
Turn right side out.

 Iron so the seam goes down the middle.

 Pin the handles between the outer fabric and the lining. Make sure you measure so they are evenly spaced on both sides of the bag.

 Pin around the top edge of the bag. Handles should be hiding inside. Sew around the top edge leaving a hole a couple inches wide. (This is so you can turn the bag right side out.)

Turn the bag right side out (through the hole you left). Stitch around the top of the bag near the edge. (This will close the hole.)

 You're done!

Here's where we link up!


  1. Very cute and easy enough even for me! Think I'll give this a go in the next couple of days. Thank you!!!

  2. Cute bag and great tutorial! Thanks a bunch, I'll be spreading the word.

  3. Love this tutorial! I need to make a bag(s) just like yours. I'm tired of those paper and plastic grecery bags. I hate them and I've been thinking about making a few grocery bags on my own.I know that I would be able to make much simpler bag for grocery but I want it to look nice as well.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Very cute bag and thanks for the tute!! Stopping by from Sew Much Ado linky party.

    This is what I'm sharing this week:

    Come on by when you have a moment.

  5. I featured your bag on WorkShop Wednesday! I just love the fabric choices! hope to see you again this week!

  6. I made this. And it worked perfectly. Thanks so much!


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