Last year I had seen a lot of cute bags on Pinterest and in a couple shops that I frequent. I wanted something that was large enough to take shopping with me that could hold my phone, wallet and still have plenty of room for those must haves but I just did not want to spend the money on something that I would have to be careful with. I wanted something that could take a beating, get thrown into the wash and go again but I also wanted it to be cute. This is what I came up with:
I used some material in my stash. I used a left-over cotton canvas I had used to make a slip cover with many years ago but I think I could also use a drop cloth or really anything you have. Either way it was not an expensive piece of fabric. I had gotten it for $1 a yard when my Walmart used to sell fabric. For the lining I used a piece of cotton muslin I had in my stash. I'm not the only one who holds onto fabric scraps "just in case", am I?
I used a piece of paper to cut a square pattern (approx 17" x 17") that would become the sides and lining of the bag. With the pattern I cut two pieces of the canvas and two pieces of the lining material.
I then folded the pattern in half and used it to cut two strips of canvas one and a half times the original length. (approx 8 1/2" x 25 1/2")
Inside the bag I need a couple pockets to keep my "stuffs". I cut another piece of paper to determine how big I needed it. I folded it here and there and came up with what I thought would work best. I cut two pieces of lining material; approximately 10" x 8". In these pictures my pattern was 5" x 8" and I cut it on the fold line so it was double thickness.
Finally, I figured how long I wanted the strap to be by measuring where I wanted the bag to hang on me. I wanted it low on my hip when I wear it cross-body. I cut my fabric to about 40" x 3".
Time to sew! First, fold and iron 1/2 inch in on either side of the length of strap piece. Fold in half and iron flat. Now sew length closed close to the open edge. I used the pressure foot as my allowance guide. This gives you a stitch line that is visible. I could have sewn it and turned it inside out then pressed it so that stitching did not show but the fabric is thicker and I did not relish the idea of trying to turn out a strip of fabric 40" long!
Next, I worked on the pockets. Fold the pieces in half so they now measure 5" x 8", right sides together.(It doesn't matter with muslin.) Iron flat. Sew with 1/2 inch seam allowance leaving a 2" opening. Clip corners. Turn inside out and iron flat. When sewn onto lining the hole will be at the bottom of the pocket and closed up with top stitching.
Place pockets on the right sides of lining, approximately 1/3 down from the top. Pin pockets in place. Top stitch close to edges (again using edge of pressure foot as seam allowance guide), leaving the top opened. Make sure to back stitch when starting and stopping. On one pocket I then sewed down the middle making two smaller side-by-side pockets that are now out 3" x 5.
Place muslin pieces, pocket sides together. Sew sides and bottom, Iron seams open. Set aside.
And here is where I dropped the ball in the photo area. Just read the directions carefully if you want to try this. Sorry.
The longer strips of canvas (8 1/2 x 25 1/2) will be the ruffles for the bag. With the canvas I wanted a raw edge that would fray a bit so I did not turn this under and give them a finished edge. I did top stitch the bottom of the ruffle about 5/8" from edge. This will keep it from unraveling too much in the laundry.
Do this step with both ruffles. At this point I purposely unraveled some threads to make the edges look frayed. Next, sew along the top of the ruffle using an extra long stitch. Pull the bottom thread to gather your ruffle so that the finished ruffle measures the width of the bag; in my case 17". Do the same on the 2nd ruffle.
Grab one canvas square and place your ruffles. The bottom ruffle I placed even with the bottom edge (my bottom ruffle will hang slightly below bottom of bag when finished) and pinned it in place.Reset your stitch back to normal. Pin across the top of the ruffle and sew in place from the right side leaving about a 5/8" edge for fraying later. (I sewed two rows side by side at the top of each ruffle.) Place your 2nd ruffle overlapping the first by 2" or so. Pin in place and sew.
Grab 2nd piece of canvas and right sides together. Be sure to catch the sides of your ruffles into the seam but making sure to keep the rest of the ruffle gathered toward center and out of the way of seams. Pin in place along sides and bottom. Sew with 5/8" seam allowance. Trim corners. Iron seams open
Now it gets tricky and this is usually where I mess up. Leave canvas inside out. Pin the strap to the inside of bag. Sew in place at 5/8". REMOVE PINS. (from experience, you do not want to forget this move.) Leave the strap inside the bag.
Place lining, turned right-side out into canvas, which is still inside out. This will leave the two right-sides (canvas and lining) touching. Pin in place. Sew around top of bag leaving a 4" opening. Turn right-side out and press flat. Top stitch around top of bag.
On my bag I added a flower. I used some scrap canvas and some material from an old sweater and made a "flower". I cut a length of fabric approximately 3feet by 2". I baste-stitched one edge and I used the stitch to gather the material as in the ruffles. I rolled the gathered cloth onto itself in a spiral, stitching it in place as I rolled. I hot-glued, then stitched for extra measure a pin to the back so that I can remove it before washing.
It is perfect for what I wanted! I love it and have used it many times in shopping. Also great for a trip to the beach, farmers market, ect. I made another for one of my girls but used a light weight cotton and muslin and made it a little smaller for her, 15 x15". I also doubled the width of each ruffle for a little more frill. She did not want a big flower on hers. What!?!?!
This is my bag a year later. It has been washed several times and still looks great. This weekend it will be used for the thing it was intended as we head to the Brimfield Antique Show. The ladies from Vintage Thymes and Vintage Bazaar have booths there and I will be sure to find them and there are plenty of new friends to make along the way! If you are headed there tell the ladies you heard about them here! Happy sewing, treasure hunting, or what ever you planned for this weekend!
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