Tutorials

I’ve made bags before but this one is probably my favorite!  The fabric is French ticking that I ordered years ago and was to afraid to cut!  I finally worked up the courage and wanted to write it all down before I forgot the directions I used.  I have included lots of pictures too!  I am a very visual person and if the directions are lacking in a pattern, as long as I can there is a picture I can figure it out!  Here is a picture of my finished French bag!

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I love it and use it all the time!! The lining and handles are American Jane fabric while the trim on the picket is Mochi Dots Linen all from Moda.

To begin you will need to cut:

2 panels of the outer fabric-18.5 X 13.5

2 panels of Pellon Fusible Fleece 987-18.5 X 13.5 (this is for the outer fabric)

2 panels of lining fabric fabric-18.5 X 13.5 inches

2 panels of Pellon 931-18.5 X 13.5 inches (this is for the lining)

2 pieces 5.5 X 1.5 inches for pocket (this is using 2 different fabrics)

2 pieces 1.5 X 8.5 inches (for second fabric in pocket)

2 pieces of fabric 6.5 X 41 inches for handles

2 interfacing 6.5 X 41 inches ( I used Pellon 911 F because I wanted a heavier handle that would “scrunch” up the more I used my bag!)

2 interfacing 6 X 35 inches Pellon 911 F (I doubled my interfacing again to make a stiff handle.  You can choose to do this or not, either way, it works out great!)

4 pieces of fabric for seam covers on handles ( I used the same fabric as my handles) 6 X 2.5 inches

4 pieces of Shape Flex 101 Fusible for seam covers on handles 5.5 X 2.5 inches

Let’s get started!  First, fuse your interfacing (Fusible Fleece 987)  to your outer pieces of fabric and set aside.  Next, fuse your interfacing (Pellon 931) to your 2 lining pieces.  Now, let’s prepare the pockets.  I used 2 different fabrics on pocket.  You can do this one use one piece, whichever works for you.  If using 2 different pieces of fabric, cut the fabric as described above.  Attach the 1.5 inch strip to the top of both of your pocket piece.  Sew pieces, rights sides together, leaving an opening at the bottom of the pocket.  Turn the pocket inside out and gently push out the corners to square the pocket off. Topstitch this seam.

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When you add the pocket to the lining, measure in from the sides of the lining fabric 5.25 inches and 3.5 inches from the bottom of the bag.  This should place your pocket in the middle of your lining piece.  Sew pocket in place onto the lining piece using a 1/8 inch seam,  making sure you tuck in the opening at the bottom where you turned your pocket inside out.

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Ok, now we are ready to assemble the bag.  Lay the outer pieces of your bag together, right sides together. Sew down the sides of the bag and across the bottom.  Do not sew across the top of the bag.  Now, do the exact same for the lining but leave a 5 inch opening on the bottom so you can later turn the lining inside out later.

To box the corners of the bag, match the seams together forming a “V” shape on each end as in the picture below, making sure the seams meet up with each other.

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I measured so I would have a 3 inch seam across the corner.

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Then draw a line that you will sew your seam on.

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Cut off the corners leaving a half inch from the drawn line.  Do this for the outer bag as well as your lining.  This is what it will look like when these steps are complete.

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Turn the lining right side out through the opening you left in the bottom.  Leave the bag so that when you put the lining into the bag the right sides are together.  Match the side seams, pin around the top of the bag making sure the edges match. Sew around the top of the bag.  When complete, turn the bag inside out by pulling the bag through the opening  you left in your lining.  You should now have the bag.  I used a denim/jeans needle to topstitch around the top of the bag due to the thickness.

Let’s make the handles and the handle seam covers (or tabs).

You have already cut these pieces:

2 pieces of fabric 6.5 X 41 inches

2 interfacing 6.5 X 41 inches ( I used Pellon 911 F because I wanted a heavier handle that would “scrunch” up the more I used my bag!)

2 interfacing 6 X 35 Pellon 911 F (I doubled my interfacing again to make a stiff handle.  You can choose to do this or not, either way, it works out great!)

4 pieces of fabric ( I used the same fabric as my handles) 6 X 2.5

4 pieces of Shape Flex 101 Fusible 5.5 X 2.5

Now fuse the interfacing for the bag handles to the wrong side of one of the handles.  Center the second interfacing on top of the already fused on interfacing so you have about a 1/4 inch on each side.  This will make it easier to fold the handle in and sew later.  Turn in 1/4 inch and again press. Once the fusing is set, fold the handles down the middle, long sides together.  Fold the end in so no raw edge is showing.

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Sew the long sides together.  I sewed 2 seams on each side of each handle for a more finished look.  Now take your handle covers or “tabs”.

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Again, fuse the interfacing to each tab.  Fold the long edges in until they meed in the middle and  press.  With the right sides together, sew the 2 short edges together and turn the covers inside out.  You can topstitch these if you choose.

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Set these and your handles aside and add your grommets.  Here is a nice link I followed as well as my pictures if you are a visual person, like myself.  Also, the grommets from Dritz come with a template and directions,  just remember if you have put a pocket in the lining, you want to make sure you are not placing the grommet over your pocket. This is where the rule of measure twice and cut once really comes into play!!

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Once you have the grommets snapped in place you are ready to insert the handles.  Take one handle cover and place it over the handle.  Then take the handle and place (from the front of your bag) through the grommet.  Make sure the handle cover is up about 5 inches from the top of your bag.  (Once finished you will want to slide the handle cover down and cover the seam you have on your handle.)  Fold the raw edge of the handle up to meet the back of the handle at 1 inch above your bag.  Pin in place.  Making sure not to twist your handle do the same for the other grommet that is on the same side.  In other words, I would put the handle through the grommets on the above pictured bag first, then flip the bag over and do the other side.

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Once you are happy with the handle length, sew your handles in place and then slide your handle overs down over the seam.  If you want a nice solid bottom to your bag, cut a piece of cardboard approximately 3 X 12 inches and a piece of fabric 7.5 x 13.5 and make a sleeve for the cardboard.  Don’t forget to sew your lining opening you used to turn your bag inside out and place the cardboard covered sleeve in your bag!

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I hope you have enjoyed the bag making tutorial!  I have enjoyed putting it together.  I hope the directions and visuals are easy to follow but I am human so if I made a mistake please let me know.

Cheers!

nj