MAKING A HANDBAG WITH A ZIP, SIDE POCKET AND BASE
Cut out the following pieces:-
B= front & back of bag – I have cut these 35cm x 27cm for this bag.
You can adjust size to suit you
**TIP: Make a template in paper & attach string handles to test size!! Add seam allowance to finished template to get cutting size of pattern pieces.
Your seam will take up: 3cm at the top, 1.5cm at the bottom and 1cm each side. So in total you will lose about 2cm from the width & 4.5cm from the depth. You can use this to decide how big / small you would like your finished bag.
A = inside strip (you will add your pocket/s here) – same width as your bag – about 10cm high
E= front & back of lining of bag. Cut same width as main fabric, but 8cm less on height as piece A will join to this.
F= Base of bag – cut 1x in lining & 1 x in leather (C). This is ½ the width of the front & back of your bag (piece B) squared
D= pocket – make this as big / small as you like. Consider what you will want to keep in this. You must be able to get your hand into this pocket easily to retrieve whatever you have kept in it!
1 x smaller endless zip cut to size of top of pocket (+ a bit extra so you don’t have to sew near the head of the zip)
You can watch my simple tutorial video on YouTube to see how to use endless zips
1 x CHUNKY zip a bit smaller than the width of your bag. These zips are always open ended zips – just how they are made. But I have discovered you can buy a bigger zip, cut it to size & melt the end with a hot iron (if teeth are plastic) resulting in the perfect length zip – with a closed end! Be sure to clean off your iron immediately on a scrap of fabric. Use wire cutters to trim off end – not sewing scissors!!
Now to start sewing…
**I have removed the zip placement details here, as I discovered a better way to add the zips. Please see my post here for how.
Now you will join the piece you have just made to the inner front (E) with the large zip between the 2 layers
Lay piece A (with pocket) on floor face up. Lay zip on top
Lay inner front on top of this face down
Stitch through all three layers (zipper foot) – leave a gap between fabric edge & zip edge (about 2 fingers width)
In the picture you can see one side already sewn, now you will add the other inner – back E & other A piece to the other side of the zip. Make a sandwich of the 3 again with zip in the middle of the sandwich.
Here you can see the zip laid down with A placed on top (face down) – zip lay as in previous picture – face up
The inner E is placed under these – face up
Once you have stitched this seam – if you open the zip – it should look like the above photo. Note the inners run the same way (the hippos are on their feet).
Now stitch up the side seams
This is the bottom of the piece you have just worked with – note the pins in ½ way between the 2 seams on either side – the base is still open – DO NOT stitch this closed – you add the base piece F here.
Place pin in ½ way each side of F
Match up one pin with one side seam – pin in place. Take to machine & start stitching with straight stitch from this point ENSURING each pin lines up with a pin / side seam. If they do not you may have to trim your base piece F a bit – this would be because you have not kept exact side seams so your inner is slightly narrower than it would have been.
Once stitched up – it will look like this.
Now stitch up side seams of front & back of main fabric of bag, ensuring each is the right way up. You can add in a tag here
Compare the top of your inner with the seams of your bag – sew them to match. You can see the pencil line I made on my inner as the bag was narrower. I then adjusted the side seam of my inner to match the bag outer piece.
THIS IS NB as when you join these 2 seams they need to be EXACTLY the same.
Now mark your leather base in ½ on all sides & place pins in ½ way between seams on either side of bag
Match up & sew as you did for other base.
IF you do not have leather – you can use the same fabric as your bag outer / a denim.
You can also use Iron-on Vinyl to make the fabric waterproof - and easier to stitch than leather!
Now fold the top over of your inner & your bag. Pin each in place. Place the inner nside the bag & line up the side seams. Now pin them together – ensuring they match up exactly.
Place your handles (whichever sort you choose) & then stitch the two together, including the handles in as a sandwich. Stitch back & forward over each handle. ENSURE you place the handles exactly the same distance from a side seam.
Your bag is done!!