Wednesday, 31 October 2007


This is my first tutorial so I hope you find it useful and easy!!

This is the finished bag. It has two shoulder straps, magnetic snap closure, it's lined and decorated with a vintage brooch.

Ok here goes:

(I leave 1/2inch seam allowance which is included in these measurements)
1. You need furnishing fabric -cut 2 pieces 13 inches (33 cm) wide at the bottom, 11 inches (28cm) wide at the top and 103/4 inches (27cm) high. Sides - 10 3/4inches (27 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9cm) wide. You need lining fabric (I used cotton) cut the same. You need furnishing fabric cut for the handles - 26 inches (66cm) long and 3 inches (8cm) wide.
2. Apply firm iron on vilene to the wrong side of the front back and sides of the bag fabric.
(You can get firm vilene here.)

3. Place the front and back of the bag right sides together and stitch along the bottom edge.
Press the bottom seam flat. Cut a second piece of firm vilene 13 inches long and 31/2 inches
wide and press it onto the bottom of the bag covering the seam.

4. Mark the centre position longways on both the side pieces and match them to the centre of
the bag. With right sides together stitch them to the bag body leaving about 1/2 inch at each

You should now have something like this:
5. Snip all layers up to the stitching lines and then stitch all 4 side seams. Turn to the right side.

6. Repeat all of the above for the lining fabric. You should now have two identical shapes in outer and lining fabric. Turn 1/2 inch hem around the top of the lining fabric and stitch close to the fold. Iron a piece of firm vilene on the wrong sides in the middle where the magnetic snap closures are going to go. Attach snap closures. (You can get these from u-handbag)

You should now have something like this:

7. Fold the handle pieces in half longways and press. Open up the handle and fold the edges in
to the centre ironed fold. Fold the two outer edges together. You should now have both raw
edges inside and a handle of about 1 inch wide. Stitch along the open side.

8. There are a number of ways to do this next bit but this is how I did it! First turn a 1/2 hem
around the top of the bag. Work out where you want your handles to be. I do this by putting
a pin longways into the centre point of the top of the bag both front and back. I then measure
an equal distance on either side of the pin and mark it. Line up your handle ends with the
mark and stitch on the inside of the bag.

9. We're nearly finished now :-) Take the lining and place it into the bag outer. Make sure you
have the wrong sides together.

Work the lining so that the side seams match up. Pin the lining into place ensuring that it entirely covers the bottoms of the handles. Stitch around the top of the bag very close to the top of both layers.
Press the bag and your done!
Note: There are some options that I haven't used in this tutorial that you may want to take advantage of. When you've got your lining cut out you might want to add an interior pocket before sewing the lining together. Before you sew the lining in you might want to make the base sturdier by adding a piece of bottom grid and protect the outside of the bottom with bag feet. (Both of these are available from u-handbag as above.)

Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think.


Barbara said...

I found you via u handbag. What a great tutorial and the bag is gorgeous. I was thinking of making a bag with some red curtain weight velvet I have and I wonder if your pattern would work for that. I love to use old brooches and buttons as decoration on bags. Thank you.

Patty Swatzell said...

I found you through Wendy's Treasures emails I get. Glad I did as I love handbags! Your tutorial looks easy to follow. I have several old drapery books I plan to mix fabrics and give your handbag a try. Look like they will whip up pretty faast. I'd like to use magnetic closures. Hope they hold good.

Patty Swatzell said...

I'm sorry that was Embroidery Treasures by Serena! Too late at night!

Deborah said...

Love your tutorial and can't wait to try this out. Your photos make each step easier to follow, and I am totally a visual person. So now - on to the fabrics and let's see what I can do. I'll e-mail you back once I get the bag made and let you know what I think of your step-by-step tutorial. Thanks so much!

Minky Magic said...

Thanks for sharing this, I've just got a whole load of furnishing sample fabric which I think this would be perfect for. Can't wait to get started! Will let you know how it goes!

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

Anonymous said...

new to sewing and need a little better explanation of how side pieces are attached. Love the bag and am anxious to see finished product. Thanks, Ann


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