Sunday, 21 June 2009

Yum, it's a Bow Bag tutorial!





Fabric seems to breed at my house (doesn't really help that I can't stop buying it!) Every time I make something I always have loads of fabric left over so I designed this bag to use up some of the larger scraps. You can never have too many bags, right? The top has a drawstring so it can expand when you need it to, but draw it up for security (and cuteness) My original has a pocket inside but because of the drawstring it hangs open so I don't use it much. I changed the design slightly to add elastic to the pocket and now it works much better!

*All the pictures should be clickable to enlarge them, might make it easier to see what's going on!*
1: I wanted the bag to be able to hold files/paper etc. so I use an A4 (10" x 8") sheet of paper as a template.

2: Use a dinner plate to draw a curve around one corner (you can adjust the size of the curve by choosing smaller or bigger circular things)

3: Cut the curve. This is the basic template, the straight edge on the right is the fold line.

4: Cut 1 (back) piece with the long edge of the template on the fold and two half (front) pieces. Add extra seam allowance to these two pieces on the long edge. Cut two pieces on the fold for the lining (I recycled a pair of jeans)
5: Pin the two half front pieces face together and place a mark 2 inches from the top, then another 1 inch below that. This will be the opening for the drawstring casing. Sew up front pieces along the long edge, leaving the 1 inch marked area open.

6: Open out the front piece and press the seam. Topstitch the front seam open.
7: With right sides facing, sew front piece to back piece.

8: Cut a piece for the pocket approximately 6x6 inches.

9: Fold and press the edges. Press the top edge deep enough to encase the elastic and sew this edge.

10: Thread elastic through casing using a safety pin, gather and secure at both ends.
11: Sew the pocket to one of the lining pieces, approx 3" from the top.

12: Sew the two lining pieces together, leaving a 3" opening in the base.

13: Place the lining inside the outer, right sides together. Pin and sew.

14: This bit's a bit tricky, but hold on in there :) Invert the bag by pulling all the fabric through the hole in the lining then sew up the hole. This always looks like it isn't going to work, and then it magically becomes a bag, you'll see ;)
15: Press the bag (again!) and topstitch around the top of the bag, as close to the edge as possible.
16: Measure from the top of the bag to the opening of the ribbon casing. Mark where the casing needs to be at each side of pocket and sew around the whole bag, like tram-lines (avoiding the pocket, don't want to sew that baby shut!)
17: Measure across your body to determine the length of the handle and cut two strips of fabric as long as you need (plus 1/2" seam allowance) by 2" wide.
18: Place two handle pieces right sides facing and sew together. Sew a point on one end of the handle, and half the point on the other (this will make life easier later) and trim the seams.
19: Use a knitting needle to turn the handle the right side out (Keep going, nearly done...)


20: Press the handle flat.
21: This is where you'll be glad you half sewed the second point! Push the excess fabric inside to form the second point and press.

22: Topstitch the handle all around, as close to the edge as possible.


23: Line up the handle with the outer side seam of the bag and stitch across, following the topstitching on the bag. The handle should overlap the edge of the bag an inch or so, for decorative effect.
24: Sew a decorative vintage button to the pointed bit.
25: Tie your ribbon to a crochet hook and thread through casing.
26: Gather the top of the bag slightly and tie a bow.

Your bag is finished! Phew, that was a lot of steps, and it doesn't take as long as it looks - I made four Bow Bags yesterday :) The green bag is a gift for a friend's birthday tomorrow, it is made from a piece of vintage Liberty fabric I've had for ages but never had the guts to start cutting!

Here are some more completed bow bags made by readers for inspiration - let me know if you make one and I'll add it to the gallery!
Beccy




38 comments:

  1. great bag! great tutorial!

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  2. What an awesome bag!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-sew-a-roomy-bow-bag/2009/06/24/
    --Anne

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  3. thanks for the turorial. What fun! can't wait to try it

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  4. Thanks everybody!
    If you do decide to make one, send me a picture and I'll publish it on wipster. I'd love to see the results!

    Beccy :)

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  5. I got right on this tutorial and I love the results. Thanks for providing such great instructions for such a sweet and practical bag. I posted the results on Craftster. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=310979.0

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  6. I have listed your wonderful tutorial in http://diybaglover.blogspot.com/
    Hope u dont mind :)

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  7. Poppy, great choice of fabric for your bag, I love it!

    DIY Bag Lover, your site is such a fantastic resource, I'm honoured, thankyou! I'm going to add you to my linky linkies :)

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  8. Oh that is awesome. I am going to sew one up tonight.

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  9. this will be my first project, i was wondering how much fabric will i need for the bag, plus the handle.

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  10. Hi anonymous - you should need less than half a yard of each fabric, but I made my first one from a large upholstery scrap and jeans legs!

    The bag plus handle can be cut from a piece of fabric 14" by 42". The bag template is A4, approx 12" high x 8 1/2 wide" and you need 4 of these, plus 2" along the length of the fabric for the handle, and this needs to be around 42" long to reach your hip.

    You can modify the proportions to fit any large scraps you have by folding your paper template to fit the scrap.

    I hope that helps, and I'd love to see your finished bag!

    Beccy :)

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  11. This is a great tutorial I like so much because you put in here different things all time, actually my daughter is learning some techniques from here.

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  12. I just finished this bag using vintage fabric. It came out great, it's adorable!

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  13. Hi again, I think step #5 answers my previous question. I think I was getting the pocket & the purse section confused. Although, I was wondering about the photo "pin front pieces and sew", is there an extra circle of fabric in the upper right? Thanks, Amy

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  14. I think my previous question didn't post...sorry. I was asking about the casing; I wasn't sure where the opening should be. I also mentioned that I love this project and plan to make several as gifts. If they turn out well I will send pix. Thanks for the great site!

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  15. Hi Amy! Did you get sorted? The pictures all enlarge if you click on them (I think I'll add that to the post!) "pin front pieces and sew" just has an enlarged section in the corner, not an extra piece. The opening for the casing should be smack bang in the front, where your seam is. Does that help? If you need any help, you can email me bexybeck(at)yahoo(dot)com :)

    Thankyou! I'm glad you love the project and it would be great to see pictures of the bags you make!

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  16. Thanks Beccy! I think I'm good to go. Just to clarify, though, about the ribbon casing: does it only have one opening, i.e.: both ends of ribbon come out of one opening? I have only sewed casings with two openings before. Thanks again, Amy in California

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  17. Hi Amy! Yes, there is only one opening for the ribbon casing, right in the front seam of the bag. Because the opening is a vertical slit the bow is wide enough to stay in front and not slide round the casing. Does that make sense? It's 11pm and I'm in sleepy incomprehensible grammar mode! :)

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  18. Hi Everyone! I love this pattern, but am quite confused by steps 12 and 13. I am an avid sewer, and I thought I would figure it out as I went along, but for some reason I'm not introverting it correctly and my seems turn up on the outside. I don't know if I'm sewing it together through step 12 incorrectly, or if I just can't wrap my mind around how to do it. Any help would be so appreciated!

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  19. Hi Cassadee,
    I'm sorry if it's not very clear :) You need to put the lining into the bag, but the bag must be inside out and the lining must be inside out. So the lining should have its right side facing out, and the bag should have its right side facing in. The right sides should be touching with the lining inside the bag. When you sew them together and pull everything through the hole in the lining they will both be right-side out. Then you push the lining into the bag and you're done!

    This bit is hard because it's counter-intuitive and seems wrong when you're doing it but trust me, it will work :)

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  20. Thank you for the clarification. I think I just needed it said to me another way. I get it now! Thank you so much!

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  21. I am now on my third bag! Thank you Beccy! I will send pix soon (need hubbie to help...LOL)
    @Cassadee: I also got confused the first time with steps 12 and 13. Beccy, I think the directions don't mention to sew the outside purse sections together first before putting the lining and outside section together. Once I realized to do that first, I was good.

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  22. Hi Amy - Sorry! I think it needs a bit of a re-write because I've confuseled some of you! :)

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  23. P.s. Looking forward to seeing your bags!

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  24. Hi Beccy,
    Just wanted to check that you got the e-mail with pix I sent a couple of days ago. Thanks, Amy

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  25. Thanks so much for this bag tutorial. Loved it. Only my 2nd project in 30+ years. My daughter is going to love it. You made it so easy. Just a few kinks in my learning curve, but I am on my way to a new hobby.

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  26. You havevery informative Blog here so I have saved it and will surely come to visit regularly and get few useful resources :)

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  27. Thank you for this great information, you write very well which i like very much. I am really impressed by your post.

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  28. Thanks for this - you have inspired me and restored my confidence after a week of disasters :-D

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  29. Im not sure I understand step 6. What am I topstitching together? Sorry Im new to sewing.

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  30. Hi The Babe. Later on, you'll be threading a ribbon through the casing (the 1 inch opening you left in the front seam is the opening of the casing). To make it easier, you need to topstitch. This means you need to open out the seam at the back and press it flat, then sew the back of the seam to the front piece by sewing through the two layers. When you come to thread the ribbon through, the seam won't flap up and get in the way.

    Does that make sense? Sorry, it's hard to explain! But don't apologise, there are no daft questions - we've all been new to something :)

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  31. ok after reading that a few times lol I think that makes sense. Im sure it will become clearer as I am making it. I am going to get started on it here momentarily. Wish me luck! If it turns out I will send you a pic and post it on my blog too. I just adore this purse!

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  32. I did it!!! Thank you! I will send you a pic tomorrow.

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  33. Wrll done Babe! I think with most patterns it makes a lot more sense when you have the fabric in front of you :)

    Looking forward to seeing a picture!

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  34. I sent it to you. Hope it made it. I also posted it on my Blog here http://thebabeshop.com/blog/2011/11/05/check-out-this-cute-bow-bag/ This is such a wonderful tutorial! Thank you again for sharing it.

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  35. What are the requirements of fabric, supplies, etc to make this bag? I am fairly new at sewing so is there any dimensions/yards of fabric that I need to purchase?

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  36. Is it possible for you to do a video tutorial? I'm super duper new to sewing, so the steps and the pictures aren't making sense to me

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  37. Hello anonymous! Sorry, I just don't have the time to make a video tutorial. If you get stuck you can email me at bexybeck(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll get back to you asap.

    Let me know how you get on :)

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  38. Beautiful purses and a wonderful tutorial on making handmade purses. Thank you!!

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