- 15.5 inch by 19 inch piece of woven for the body of the bag
- 4″ x 44″ (full width) of coordinating woven for handles/trim
- marking pen is really handy for this ;)
Step #1 – After cutting the above pieces. Take your strip for the trim/handles fold in half long ways and IRON. Then unfold and fold both raw edges into the center and iron! Pic here:
Step #2 – Cut this strip into 2 pieces. One measuring 18 inches long for the trim, then whatever you have left (should be about 26 inches) will be the straps
Step #3 – Now I like to do french seams for the purse bottom since we arent lining this bag. With french seams I sew on the RIGHT sides of the fabric using a 1/8″ seam allowance, turn my material with RIGHT sides TOGETHER and sew on the WRONG side using a 1/4″ seam allowance to enclose the raw edges as seen here:
Step #4 Now we RUFFLE the top edges of the bottom of the bag! Here is what I do on my machine: Turn your tension dial all the way up *mine goes to 9* and make your stitch length as long as it will go *mine goes to 5* The using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch along the top raw edge. I hold my finger behind the foot like so and then release every 3-4 inches sewn. You can also pleat the top, use a ruffler foot, or even stitch then pull the threads to gather like many patterns tell you too ;)
Step #5- Set that piece aside and pick up your long STRAP piece. Stitch 1/8″ along both edges to finish the strap
Step #6 – Set that aside and grab your “TRIM” piece. Open the ends and match them like shown below and sew 1/4″ away from edge. I did farther in so I didnt include that selvage edge you see ;)
Now with your seam in the center, use your marking pen to put marks at the “half way” marks on both ends. These will be where we line up the straps and the side seams of the bottom of the bag!!!
Step #7 – Line up each end of your strap *making sure you dont twist it* with the marking pen marks you made. Open your “trim” piece and fold the end of your strap into the inside of your trim piece and baste into place like so:
Step #8 – Keeping your trim piece open line up the side seam of the main bag piece with the mark you made as well. Tuck all the raw edges and stitching you made to ruffle the bag piece well into the trim piece and fold the trim piece closed:
Step #9 – With your trim piece securely folded over all the ruffled raw edges of the bag piece, sew along the edge like so. Make sure your strap is folded up and out of the way as seen above in the picture. Tuck the edges in as you go. When you get a few inches away from the other strap, be sure to line up the side seam with your strap & mark.
Step #10 – Now with the straps folded up, Topstitch along the trims top edge:
Step #11 – OPTIONAL You are done at this point unless, like me you want to add a little more shape to the bag. Here is the bag BEFORE SHAPING:
Here is what I did to square the bottom a little. Iron the corners of your bag piece FLAT. Then open the ironed corner and match the side seam with the ironed line made at the bottom. Measure in with your ruler 1.5″ from the tip and sew this line!
I then folded up the “triangle odd piece and tacked it to the side seam allowance. DONT SEW THE BAG just along the seams ;) You could also cut the piece off and zig zag the edges but I wanted to keep the inside clean!
Here is the results with my 9 year old!