How to make the perfect bag.
Begin by rifling through your fabric stash. Throw fabrics together, experiment, make a mess. You will be surprised by what goes together. Some old scrap of yard sale fabric might just go perfectly with that $12/yard Kaffe Fasset print you’ve been saving for the perfect project.
Plan out the bag. Take notes on how it will be used, what size it should be, what specific things it will carry, the order in which to piece it together, and how cool you will be carrying it around to all awesome places you go.
Guesstimate how big you want the bag to be. Take notes of these “measurements”. Imprecise, but it works for me! (Most of the time.)
Begin cutting. Also start sewing. Oops, wait. Don’t forget the interfacing. And wouldn’t it be cool to add a pocket to the lining? Dang, I cut that piece the wrong way. Start over? NO! Design feature!
Wear your bag proudly. Don’t EVER tell anyone about all the mistakes you made. They’ll never know.
Remember all that fabric you tossed around is Step 1? You must remember to clean it off the bed before your husband gets home because he’ll just throw it on the floor when he tries to lay down after a long day at work and then you’ll be mad that he threw your fabric stash all over the floor and it’s really hard to get him to compliment you on your fantastic sewing skillz if he just had to wade through the fabric stash that he didn’t even really know existed…. Point is, hide the stash before the hub gets home.
Make another bag, for practice really does make perfect. Or, at least, better.
Now I know I didn’t really tell you how to make a bag. But it’s not hard! For the bag pictured above, I used a front and back panel of the same size, then connected them with a gusset for depth. The flap and the strap were both added at the end. The lining and the pockets are just additions to the basic shape and easy to do once you get the hang of it.
For the bags pictures below, I used an even easier method. Take a long rectangle of fabric, fold it in half lengthwise and sew up the sides. To add depth and create a flat bottom, sew a short corner seam on each side that is perpendicular to the side seam. Again, pockets and linings are just additional steps added to the basic shape.
This little tote was originally for Maggie, but I liked it so much that I decided to use it as a sock bag.
The green lining is my favorite part.
Jerry got a lunch bag to take to school.
I tried really hard not to make it dorky.
Now go make yourself a tote! The thing that helps me the most is the planning step. Before I even cut a lick of fabric, I take notes about what order I’m going to sew things in. Especially when I go all renegade without a pattern, it helps me keep my thoughts in order, and helps me not to forget anything. Like straps. And interfacing! Do you know how much better your bags will be if you add interfacing? It’s true. Try it!