Oh so pretty, oh so pretty! Go and grab a cuppa, this is a long one.
I have been wanting a little project bag for my sock knitting (or any other little ongoing projects) and after searching the internet for drawstring bag patterns I didn't see anything that was exactly what I was looking for. The closest was a bag by SlippedStitch on Etsy which was gorgeous and I loved the handle idea but I think it had a round bottom and I wanted a flat bottom (don't we all!), also it was a 'made' bag and not a pattern. I also loved the fabric with socks on used on this one so I had to source that (it's called Goo Goo Socks, I found a FQ on ebay).
My requirements were: to have a drawstring, which is easy enough to do, I also wanted to have the lining fabric showing for about an inch at the top of the bag, I also thought reversible would be nice and pockets like I had in my crochet 'Lucy' bag were a must. I bet you can guess what I did, the post title is a giveaway really - I made it up myself.
Now, I don't profess to be a great seamstress and it took a whole evening of sitting on the sofa with a notebook, two sandwich bags (to represent lining and exterior fabric bags) and a length of paper to represent the handle for me to work out the mechanics of it. See, told you, I am no professional but I can work things out that may come easily to people who sew on a regular basis.
And as I spent all this time working it out I thought I may as well take photographs as I was making it so that other people who are seamstress-erly (obv. a real word!) challenged like me can just copy what I have done. It works, its pretty and it is oh so functional. I love it and I hope you do too.
Anyway, here is how I did it :)
- Exterior Fabric: 2 pieces cut to 10” x 9.5”
- Lining Fabric: 2 pieces cut to 11” x 9.5”
- Pocket Fabric: 1 piece cut to 8.5” x 9.5” (optional)
- 32” of 3mm cord (or you could use ribbon)
- 12” Soft Cotton/canvas webbing for strap (Optional)
- 1 x Toggle
- 1 x cord clamp for end of cord (optional)
All seams are ¼” unless otherwise stated.
How To Make the Bag (click the images to enlarge them)
Cut your fabric pieces to the sizes specified above. If you are using a fabric with a design that is ‘one way up’ then make sure you cut the pieces so that the design will be the right way when you put the pieces together.
Using the two pieces of fabric for the exterior of the bag place them right sides together.
Start at the end of one of the longer sides and sew down the long side and around the bag until you are 1.5” away from the top opening, backstitch for about 1” and break the thread. Leave a 1” opening, which will be used to thread the drawstring later, and sew up the remaining 0.5”, make sure to back stitch to strengthen the seam at the opening.
Fold the pocket fabric in half lengthways with right sides together and sew around the three open sides leaving a 2” gap. Turn the pocket the right way round by pulling it through the gap you left unsewn.
Iron the pocket flat making sure to iron the unsewn part into the seam, this will be secured as you sew the pocket to the lining.
Sew the pocket onto on of the lining pieces 2” from the bottom edge. I forgot to sew a line up the middle of my pocket so I have had to put a badge on it to keep it in place but you should sew one (or a few) lines vertically along the pocket to create a series of pockets, which will be better for storing notions and phones!
Take your pieces of lining fabric, place them right sides together as you did for the exterior bag and sew around the three edges leaving a 3” gap in the middle of the second side (bottom of bag) which will be used later for turning it the right way around (do some reverse stitches either side of this gap to strengthen it).
Box the bottom of both the exterior and lining bags as follows.
For each of the four bottom corners on your two bags: Fold the corner with the side and bottom seam touching to create a point and iron it flat.
Measure 1.5” from the point and draw a straight line. Stitch across this line and then cut the fabric ¼” away from the stitch line. Seal the edge with a zig-zag stitch.
Assemble the Bag
Turn the lining bag inside out and make sure the exterior bag is the right way round and then slip the exterior bag inside the lining bag. Line up the top edges.
Pin the bags together around the opening. If you want to have a handle (great for hanging off your wrist for hands free sock knitting!) fold the strap in half and put it between the bags, looped end down inside the bag, with the two ends protruding slightly out of the top (see picture above).
Sew around the top edge of the bag using a ¼” seam allowance and go over the strap two or three times for strength.
Pull the external bag through the hole you left in the bottom of the lining bag and put the bag the right way around lining up the bottom, flat corners of both bags. You will notice that because the lining fabric was longer than the exterior fabric you now have a great design feature; the lining is showing at the top of the bag! Iron the bag making sure to keep that lining fabric showing at the top :)
Sew up the seam in the bottom of the lining bag as neatly as you can.
Sew a line of stitching all the way around the bag above the opening for the cord, and then sew another line of stitching parallel to this just below the opening for the cord to create a channel for the cord to live in. Thread the cord into the channel using a bodkin or by attaching it to a safety pin.
Thread a toggle onto the cords and finish with a cord clamp or knot the ends of the cords and add beads to make it pretty :)
Enjoy your new project bag!