Wednesday 10 October 2012

How to Make a Bag

OK, not how to make *any* bag, but here are instructions for how to make my slouch bag or a variation of it.

I'm writing these instructions for me, to cut down on the scraps of paper floating around the sewing room, but feel free to use them if you want :-)  I apologise for the style of instructions, I find it very difficult to write coheriently but briefly!

Requirements to make reversible slouch bag (one fabric is referred to as the lining, but the bag will be reversible):
  • 2 x half metre of fabric.  I use two fairly stiff fabrics and no stabiliser, if one or both fabrics are soft, then also add at least one layer of stabilising stuff
  • 1m of 1.5" wide webbing (or 6 inch x width of fabric) for straps
  • 2 D rings (optional)
Fold one fabric in half width ways and again in half length ways.  Cut scoop out from the selvedge edge so it looks like a folded vest top

 Repeat with the second fabric, using the first as a pattern piece so they are the same.

Do you want a pocket?  
You can use the waste from 
the scoop to add a pocket
 to the inside, or the outside,
 or both.  Add pockets now.

Take the two fabric pieces, and pin the lining 'necks' to the outer 'necks', right sides together. 

(Do you want a flap or some sort of tie to allow you to close the bag? Prepare them now, from scraps.  The flap or ties need to been placed between the fabric, sandwiched so you can only see the very edge, and stitched in place as the neck is stitched -add a loop of elastic or a keyring attachment to the flap and then place a suitable button so the bag can be closed?)

Stitch the necks.

Now you are going to stitch both bags closed along the sides, all apart from a 5inch gap in one side of the least favourite fabric (the lining)

Now create two straps from with the webbing or the extra length of fabric:   

Take the 6"xWOF piece-  (fold in half length ways, press.  Then open and fold the raw edges in to the fold, press and fold again.  Open up the ends, fold under the short edge, and re-fold along the long edge, pin  at regular intervals.  Now stitch along both edges to finish the strap.)

There are 2 unstitched openings at the top of the bag, sort of where the shoulders would be if it were a vest top.  Open these so there is one fabric either side of the opening.  The strap needs to be placed so it is mostly inside the bag (between the two fabrics), with just a raw edge peeping out through this opening.

The opening can be reduced if it is much bigger than the strap, or the strap can be pleated it it is bigger then the opening.

 If a boxed bottom is required, create that now. [see this link for how to create one], I used a 2 inches) repeat 4 times, once for each corner

Now turn everything through the hole you left in the lining.  Top stitch around the 'neck',  stitch down the end of one of the straps to secure the two D rings (optional), and slip stitch the opening closed.

The straps can be adjusted either by knotting, or by adjusting the strap through the D rings.



  1. I seem to be collecting tutorials, so thanks for sharing this one Benta!

  2. I should try this. I've never made a bag.....

  3. Great Tut, Benta. I will have to try it one day.

  4. Great tutorial, Benta! Thank you and your bags are beautiful! x Teje

  5. Brilliant little tutorial. Thank you Benta!

  6. Thanks for the tutorial now I know where the instructions are when I am making it :-)

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this. I need to make some bags...

  8. Great tute. Really clear. One day I shall make a bag :)


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