After claiming high creative energies, I finally put them to some good use! I lost the bid to get an old t-shirt to make my infinity scarf, though :(….never mind, Im sure spring cleaning will throw something up!
In the meanwhile, I pulled out some fabric and interfacing I had lying around, and got a pattern (See & Sew) from Joann fabrics. After diligently cutting out the trace paper with the pattern, I had no idea how to proceed. Ive never sewed anything off traceable patterns, so I resorted to the old fashion method of laying the trace on the fabric, drawing the outline on the fabric with chalk and cutting it out etc etc.
After a few hours of such hard work tracing and cutting, I figured I’d take some shortcuts to make it easier. Having figured out how to make a purse/tote bag within a few hours (from scratch), I figured I’d upload a tutorial in case someone else wanted to try it – might help another beginner like me make something you or someone will actually use! Hope the tutorial makes sense…this is the first time Im trying one. Feel free to leave comments/suggestions.
Items required (size of fabric etc is based on the size of the bag you want to make. The number here is the size of fabric I bought for my bag, which turned out to be big enough to carry books and other school stuff in, or use as a diaper bag – great baby shower gift idea! ) :
- Fabric (1.25 yards)
- Interfacing (2 3/8 =2.375 yds)
- Lining (1/2 yd)
- Sewing machine
- Magnet buttons/ Velcro
Note: All pieces of fabric are attached to the interfacing. If you have fusible interfacing, you can iron it in to the wrong side of the fabric. I went ahead and sewed my fabric (wrong side) and interfacing.
Usually, for purses, most people sew the fabric (with interfacing) according to the pattern, and sew the lining separately. In that case, joining the lining to the fabric is the final step. However, the lining material I had was thin and flimsy, so I sewed it in with the interfacing and fabric right off. This also made things much easier for me later, since I didnt have to join a “lining” purse with the fabric purse.
- fabric-2 , interfacing-2, lining-2 for the front and back
- fabric-2, interfacing-1 for flap
- fabric-1, interfacing-1, lining-1 for side
- lining – 1 for rectangular pouch
- lining-1 for smaller pouch
- fabric-2, interfacing-1 for strap
Legend: a=length of one edge of front or back
3a = length of the side
The pieces you need
1. Sew the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric and the lining to the interfacing for the front and back
Layers of fabric + interfacing + lining
Front and back fabric sewed with interfacing and lining
2. Do the same for the side, which is a rectangle whose length = sum of the 3 sides of the front/back
The front and back with the side
3. Sew the wrong sides of the flap fabric to the interfacing. The flap is slightly larger than the front and back
The flap is red, the front of the bag is grey for comparison in size
4. Cut a rectangular piece of lining and a slightly rounded square and sew it to the inside of the back piece. I did this manually so I could sew the pockets to the lining and the interfacing without the seams showing on the right side of the fabric.
pockets sewn into the lining of the back piece
5. Cut out two strips of fabric and one of interfacing for the strap
two strips of fabric and one of interfacing
6. Sew the edges in and sew the above three pieces together, wrong sides of the fabric to the interfacing
sewing the strap fabric and interfacing
7. Sew the strap to the two ends of the rectangular side piece
strap sewn to the ends of the side
8. Sew the flap to the lining side of the back (on the same side as the pockets)
flap sewed to the lining side of the back with the pockets. Edges of the flap are sewn in to seal them
9. Sew the side to the back, lining sides facing out, like this:
the "back" sewn to the side with the insides facing out
10. sew the other edge of the “side” to the front. The lining facing out same as above.
the front attached to the side
11. Make sure all open edges are folded in and sewn. The inside out bag will look like this:
the purse inside out front side
purse inside out back side
12. Turn the bag right side out
bag right side out
This is how the bag looks inside
looking into the open bag
Annndddd the bag is done!
My new bag hanging on my closet door 🙂
You can always add velcro or magnet buttons to the flap. I didnt because the flap is so big, I didnt figure anything would fall out…but depending on what I end up using this for, I might add a way to close the flap after all…
Hope you liked this simple sewing project!
Until I find something new and noteworthy then! 🙂