Thursday, 6 October 2011

Autumn Colours

This pattern allows for some small outer pockets for mobile phones, keys etc. The faux leather is easy to clean. I added velvet ribbon to the canvas webbing handles to make them a little prettier. I was using nylon webbing handles, which come in an amazing range of colors, but have found that nylon handles slide off your shoulder when you have covered shoulders; and irritate your skin in Summer when you do not! So cotton webbing is a better choice.

Want to give it a try?
Here's how...

Cut your bag outer (red faux leather in this case) - you need 2 rectangles - size is up to you.
A trick here is to cut a rectangle out of newspaper & test the size against your body, increase or decrease each side until it is just right for you, then use this as a template, remembering to add a (sewing) seam allowance to each edge. I leave 1.5cms on sides & bottom & 4cm at the top to allow for the fold over.

Then cut 2 rectangles of lining the same size (green spot in my photos)
The pockets at the base are the same width as the bag, but only as tall as you wish them to be. The taller they are the less likely things are to fall out of them, but not too deep that it is hard to get your hand to the bottom.
You need a main fabric (apple fabric) as well as a lining fabric for this pocket.

If you wish to add a pocket to the inside, I would recommend using the same fabric as the outer pocket. If adding a pocket - stitch it in the lining now, remembering to leave enough of a gap from the top seam for the fold over. Should you wish to add a zipped inner pocket - have a look at


I added quite thick interfacing to the base pocket piece to match the stiffness to the faux leather.

Putting it together:-

1. Sew the (outer) pocket lining to pocket fabric (apples) at top seam only & iron flat. You can top stitch if you would like to
2. Layer one pocket piece (apple fabric) on top of one of the bag outer pieces as it will sit on the completed bag. Pin in place
Do the same for the other one
3. Place these right sides together & stitch both sides as well as the base
4. For the next step, please see Fig. 8 & Fig. 9 :
This link takes you to Lisa's tutorial - Lisa is the owner of U Handbag, has written a couple of great books on making bags & is the go-to-guru. She is wonderful as she is so generous with her patterns, explaining exactly what you need to do to make a product just as great as the one she made. Not many are as generous!

Add the handles to the bag outer now IF you want them on the outside as I have them. The other option is to add them between the 2 layers as you close up the top seam. If you wish to do it that way, then do not add the straps now. You will then add the straps as per tutorial 1 - zipped bag.

Now follow exactly the same steps to stitch up the lining.
Work out where you need the magnetic popper and add that into the lining. Remember to reinforce the fabric with interfacing where you will add the popper.

Place the lining inside the main bag as it will sit in finished bag. Fold over each about 3cm at the top, ensuring you keep a straight line. You can iron in a marked fold if you need help keeping straight, or rule a line with water erasable marking pen to keep straight.

Add your straps between the 2 layers IF you are doing it that way.

Either way, now simply top stitch the whole way around the top, matching up the inner & main bag perfectly, and ensuring you do not catch the handles in this if you stitched them on the outside of the bag (as I did).

Your bag is complete!!

** There is generally always more than one way to complete each project, same here. If you have trouble keeping the last seam exact, you can rather leave the base of the lining with an opening in it, while still adding the corner seams as per 4. above.
You would then place the lining & main bag right sides together with the lining on the outside. Stitch them together at the top seam. Then pull the lining inside, using the opening & stitch that opening closed last by hand.

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