Every year we kick off the festive season by offering our wonderful sewing community a weekly ‘gift’ on our blog. We have some wonderful treats lined up, starting with this beginner-friendly bag tutorial with you.
This is the perfect handbag for the upcoming festivities; it’s smart, practical and the perfect way to use your offcuts. Read on for the full instructions, we hope you enjoy sewing (and using!) this fab handmade handbag.
Let’s get sewing…
14’’ x 20’’ (35 x 50 cm) for the outer fabric
14’’ x 20’’ (35 x 50 cm) for the lining
7’’ (15 cm) of 3/4’’ wide ribbon
2 x 3/4’’ (2 cm) wide D-rings
1 tuck lock closure
30’’ (80 cm) chain (this is for a short strap but you can use a longer piece if preferred).
Cutting the fabric
Please note: This bag is designed to use a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance. All values below include the seam allowance.
Cut 1 rectangle of 11’’ x 18’’ (28 cm x 46 cm) in the outer fabric.
Cut 1 rectangle of 11’’ x 18’’ (28 cm x 46 cm) in the lining.
Cut 2 x 2 3/8’’ (6 cm) long strips of ribbon.
Preparing the bag loops
Insert one strip of the ribbon in the D-ring and fold it wrong sides together. Pin in place and hold it in place by sewing at 3/16’’ (5 mm). Press.
Repeat for the other bag loop.
Sewing the outer bag
Fold the outer fabric right sides together. On the short sides, insert the loops in between the 2 layers of fabric. The raw edges of the ribbon should be aligned with the raw edges of the outer bag. Place them 3’’ (7 cm) from the top. Pin in place and sew the sides at 3/8’’ (1 cm). Leave the top of the bag open. Turn right side out and press.
Sewing the lining
Fold the lining right sides together. Pin the side seams in place and sew them at 3/8’’ (1 cm). IMPORTANT: On one of the sides, leave a 3’’ (8 cm) opening near the folded end, as seen in the image below. Press.
Assembling the bag
Insert the outer bag inside the lining in order to have them right sides together. Match up the seams and pin in place all around the top of the bag. Sew all around at 3/8’’ (1 cm).
Use the opening left in the side seam of the lining to turn the bag right side out. Press all seams thoroughly. Close the opening by hand using an invisible stitch.
Place the top of the buckle on the centre of the top of the flap. Place the second piece of the buckle on the body of the bag matching up to the top of the buckle. Stitch in place by hand. Attach the chain to the D-rings.
And you’re done! In just a few short steps you’ve sewn a gorgeous bag to see you through the party season and beyond.
If you’re looking for inspiration for sewing your festive wardrobe, check out I AM Festive, our collection of sewing patterns that we have put together for the ultimate handmade Christmas.