Thursday, 15 December 2011

How to make a simple bag

Hiya, I've been a bit naughty today, skiving off, watching tele on the computer. I had to watch last nights Super Scrimpers Christmas Edition. I must say I found it a bit boring, probably because I don't go in for all that mularkey, I actually started to nod off before it finished. I've just watched the second episode of the young Brits going to live with the Amish, now that's worth watching, very interesting. And the third programme was about two friends who packed in their jobs and opened a Real Burger bar, also very interesting. I like anything to do with business startups.

I would like to say thank you to Kate G, who has sent me a pressie. You may remember Kate gave me a bed for the night when I did the long walk, I also met her in Perth when I was on holiday. I wonder if I could open the pressie, or should I keep it for the 25th? I am hopeless at waiting, I usually give in :o) How lovely of her to think of me.

I knocked up this bag which is quite easy to make. The fabric has a rubbery backing on it, not sure what it is normally used for as I got it from the Scrapstore. Cut two pieces, about 17inches square, and round the bottom corners. You can make it any size you like, perhaps use an old bag as a pattern.

Then put four darts along the top edge, evenly spaced out, four inched long.

The top of the bag is gathered in.

Then using it as a pattern cut two pieces of plain fabric for the lining. Mine is actually black, cut from a bed sheet. At this stage I made a little pocket for a mobile phone, which I stitched onto it a few inches from the top. Machine the two pieces of lining together.

Then make the handles. Two strips four inches wide or five inches if you want wider handles, and 34 inches long.

Fold each one like this.

And machine along the edge.

Join the two pieces together inside out and turn the right way.

Put the lining inside and turn over the top edge, pin bag to lining. Insert the handles between the two layers, two inches from the edge, making sure that the handle seams match up and they are both the same length.

Machine around the top edge.

I did two rows which make the handles stronger.

A bag to chuck over your shoulder. I thought I had some black velcro to put along the top, but I haven't. Doesn't really need it if you hold your bag at the front of your body and not sling it round the back. You could put a zip in it if you want to make it secure. If you are going to put embelishments on it you need to do that before you sew it together.

Two I made earlier. They were on sale at the Arts Centre but I have taken my bags out of there because they don't get the footfall through the door.

You can use any bag as a template to make another, bigger, smaller, short handle long handle. Whatever you fancy really. Toodle pip.


  1. I'm just learning to sew, so tutorials are great. Thank you!
    Jane x

  2. Your new bag looks terrific. If you don't put a lining or if you put a rubbery type of lining in it, it can be used for a swimming bag. By the way, what do you mean when you say "they don't get the football through the door"? I've never heard that before. Do you mean that the bags haven't sold there?

  3. Joyful, I think she means they don't have traffic--what we would say in UD. Means that not enough people come and shop.

    Nice bags! I want to get back to my bag-making. You are making me itch to sew.

  4. I used to sew, used to make all my clothes when I was young, including my school uniform, but despite having a lovely sewing machine gathering dust, I've got out of the habit. However, seeing your lovely bags, I'm going to keep an eye open in charity shops for nice curtains, bedding etc that could be made into bags. You are an inspiration!

  5. I don't mind if you cannot wait to open it Ilona, it is just something for a laugh (hopefully!)

    I thought the Xmas Super Scrimpers was pretty rubbish, Xmas lunch for 8 for £50 :o I am feeding 11 and if I spend more than £30 I'd be surprised. There was nothing new at all, just common sense.

    Eldest son is moving out early next year so I am planning to use the room for craft so will get the old sewing machine out and try to follow your tutorial :0)

  6. Those 'Christmas lunch' people were pathetic weren't they? Why didn't they just not have so many courses. Seeing as you don't need all that meat, why not just have either turkey or beef etc?

    I haven't finished watching it but might have a go at the drinks, the whisky cream sounds nice, think I have a recipe in one of my food processer books similar, she spoke so fast. The vodka drink looked good too.

    Ilona, that velvety bag looks a treat!

  7. They were ridiculous, although the family that they help not be so stupid usually are. Like the doctor who earned over 100k a year and still went over budget by £3000 a month! GRRRRR!

    Seriously, £50 is a lot of money. Why would anyone need to waste £1400 for ONE WEEK?!?! I was watching with The Boyfriend and he was laughing at me yelling at the TV! :D

    I also thought the "how to use leftover turkey" bit was too long and also daft. Just buy what you need, then you don't have to eat turkey for a week afterwards!

    Sorry, rant over. I LOVE the bag Ilona! I'm just getting back into sewing again. I learned how at school but that was about 10 years ago now, haha! I'm just about to make a toy dog for The Boyfriend's niece - wish me luck! :D

  8. Hi Bryallen, That turkey thing was a bit long wasn't it, I didn't want to watch a cookery programme. I'm amazed that people don't know what to do with the carcase, I know and I don't even eat them. I was hoping for some new and innotive ideas, I like the bashing holes in tin cans. The blackberry liquer looked nice, but how much sugar did she put in, yikes !!!

    Hi Joyfull, Footfall not football, ha ha. PP is right, it's the amount of people who come through the door. Big shopping centres have electronic gadgets set in the wall at the entrance, to count how many people come through.

  9. I understood what footfall was but I have to ask Practical Parsimony, what is UD?
    I tried to watch Super Scrimpers but I'm in the wrong hemisphere. Curses, why did my ancestors come to America? :(

  10. Think there should be a 'like' button here!

  11. Good tutorial Ilona. Can you not sell your bags from your blogs or is that something that you wouldn't want to do? It a shame that they haven't sold.

    I watched that programme earlier today and I didn't think it was up to much either.

  12. Great tutorial Ilona, your bags are so lovely. i am a novice at sewing, lol, code for I stink at it. I have fun trying though.

  13. I find Superscrimpers a bit lightweight to be honest, I watch it for new ideas. The home made Irish whisky and the macaroon topped mince pies were two ideas I'll take from it. The rest I thought was poor. On another discussion board one of the families from the 1st series talked about how they were misrepresented for the purposes of the programme.

  14. Thank you Topher. It's true, people are misrepresented on this type of documentary programme. When you agree to take part you have to be prepared to take the flack when it is screened. The independant film companies who make them have to have a good pitch when they sell the idea to the TV company, then they have to deliver the goods whichever way they choose to do it, even if that means making people look silly.


Trolls will be deleted. Please include your name in your comment, or choose the 'Name' option and put your name or whatever you call yourself, in the box. Thank you.