Here's a little inspiration for you directly from me! How to make my Project Bags!
Basic sewing rules apply...you ought to iron your seams, but I usually don't for my project bags. I know, I'm bad...just like how I don't knit swatches. But I always clip my threads! Keep things nice and tidy!
What you need:
- 1 yard of cotton fabric
- 1 yard macrame cord or ribbon
- Seam ripper
- Safety pin
- Fray Check
- Rotary Cutter (optional)
- Rotary Cutter Mat (optional)
- Straight ruler
1. To start off, lay out your fabric, but keep it folded on one edge. Cut the long side to be 34" and the short side to be 15".
I try to use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut the fabric, but I have also taken the route of just measuring and ripping the fabric. Either way works.
2. Next, with right sides together, pin and sew a 5/8" seam up the long side of your fabric.
3. After you have sewn your long seam, fold the fabric in half, so that the 15" ends meet. You should have a 17"x15" square of fabric. Pin the corners together so everything is even. Sew a 1/4" seam along the 15" bottom fold.
So, now you have a bottom to your bag!
4. At this point, you are able to turn your bag inside out so that both the outside and inside of the bag have the right side of the fabric facing outward.
Also, this is the step where you need to decide which side will be the outside of your fabric. If you have a definite direction the pattern on your fabric goes, you will want to have that side on the inside of the bag for now while you are finishing it. For example, on this particular fabric, I chose the side with the most right side up grey foxes to be the outside. I then turned the bag inside out so the wrong side/inside was on the outside.
5. With the wrong/inside on the outside of your bag, match and pin the unfinished edges together, seam to seam, edge to edge. Sew 1/4" along the edge.
You can see the seam is between the two pins here.
6. Time to hem the top. Fold over the edge 1/4" on the stitch line and pin.
7. Sew a zig-zag stitch over the fold at 1/4".
8. Fold the edge over 1" and pin. Sew a straight stitch over the edge. I tried to keep the bottom of the hem against the left side of the foot.
9. Tada! You have made your bag! Turn the bag inside out again.
This is what the outside top of your bag should look like.
10. At the top of the side seam of the bag, do a little reinforcing.
This is so that when you are pulling your bag closed later, the entire seam doesn't rip.
11. Below your reinforced stitch, use a seam ripper to cut the threads at the seam.
12. With your cord or ribbon, take the safety pin and put it through the end of your cord or ribbon. Start threading it through the top hem of your bag.
This part is a little tricky and is usually the part that I have the most difficulty with. Sometimes it's hard to get the safety pin out the other side once you have threaded the cord all the way around. Basically, you just have to keep working with it until it eventually comes out. Also, I've found that the thicker the fabric you use, the more difficult it is to pull the cord through.
13. Once you have threaded the cord or ribbon through all the way, remove the safety pin and knot the ends together.
14. One end will look a little rattier than the other due to it being pulled on by the safety pin. Go ahead and clip the ends so that they're even and look nice.
15. Put the Fray Check on the cut ends so that...the ends don't fray! Let the Fray Check dry before using your bag.
I'm playing around with adding a clip to the edge so that you might clip the bag onto something else while you're working, or it you were working on something on the go. Stay tuned!
I hope this tutorial was clear and helpful. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment or contact me. Also, I would love to see your bags when you make them! Enjoy!