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!