YOU WILL NEED:
- Sewing machine
- Two contrasting fabrics in a sturdy weave, 1 meter each. Furnishing fabric is ideal (but don't get thermal-backed because you can't wash it). I got this floral print and textured stripe for NZ$3/m each. There's enough width to make at least two bags.
- Braid, lace, or ribbon trim (good quality trims are expensive, so grab what you need when it's on special)
- Coordinating thread
- Paper scissors and fabric scissors
- Writing stick
- Ruler for making paper pattern
- Paper for pattern
- Dressmaker pins
- Measuring tape/stick for working with fabric
- Make a paper pattern. The example bag measures 41cm wide, 39cm deep. Remember to add seam allowance to this. The fold at the top of this picture will form the base of the bag and doesn't need seam allowance.
- Cut two pieces on fold, one of Fabric A and one of Fabric B.
- Cut four handles, two of Fabric A and two of Fabric B.
1. With right sides together, stitch the two side seams of Fabric A (which we will call Bag A). Starting 11cm from the base, leave a gap of 7cm on one side. This is where the ends of your braid or ribbon trim will tuck inside, and it will allow you to turn the bag outside-out when finished. Backstitch where you stop and start the side seams so that the stitches hold during movement of fabric.
2. Measuring up from the base of the bag, pin braid or ribbon to bag and top stitch. Be extra careful that your measurements match where the two ends meet at the side seam.
SEAMSTRESS TIP: I use a wooden clipboard as a pinning base. No more pinning fabric layers together by mistake!
This bag has a gussetted base which gives it a lovely shape. Here's how it's done.
3. Flatten one bottom corner into a perfect peak. I use the gridlines on the vinyl table cover plus a measure stick to help me be sure I have it at a 90 degree angle. Setting 5cm on the measure stick, fold up the corner so the tip meets the side seam and the depth of the triangle is 5cm. Pin, checking that the tip still meets the side seam and you still have a 5cm depth.
4. Stitch close to bottom edge, checking that you've secured all layers. Stitch again. Trim fabric close to stitching (the triangle is now surplus to requirements).
Repeat the gusset on the other side.
Repeat these steps for Bag B.
5. Decide whether Bag A or Bag B is going to be your main outside fabric. Complete the side seam on this one, leaving just the inside bag with an opening.
6. Press the side seams of Bags A and B.
- To make the handles, match a strip of Fabric 1 and a strip of Fabric 2, right sides together, and stitch the two long edges. Turn inside out. Repeat for other handle. Press, and top stitch if desired.
- The spacing of the handles is imporant for balance. I've set mine 10cm in from the side, which is a quarter of the bag width.
- With raw edges even, stitch handles to top edge of outside bag with a 15mm seam.
- Pin handle loops to bag. Right side to right side, pin Bag A to Bag B, raw edges even, side seams matching. Stitch with 15mm seam.
- Turn bags rightside-out, slot them one inside the other, and top stitch the top edge at 7mm.
- Pin the gap in the side seam and hand stitch with invisible stitches.