If you've been following since way back in June (pretty much the beginning of my blogging days), you may remember this post. If you read it then you see that this bag was completely inspired by Dana's bag over at MADE. I fell in love with it, and did my best to come up with my own version.
Somehow this bag became my most requested tutorial. I always told anyone who asked, that I didn't feel comfortable writing up a tutorial for a bag that wasn't my own inspiration. But I'm one of those people that has a hard time saying no. And so I finally had the idea to send Dana an email asking her permission to create a tutorial for my look-a-like bag. Dana, being the awesome lady that she is, said to go for it! And so, long story short this tutorial has been months in the making, and is finally here!
I really do love this bag. It's one of those that you can just throw anything in. Beach bag, diaper bag, school bag, overnight bag...all of those and more. Mine is perfect for toteing around campus, stuffed with books and binders.
This tutorial is broken into two parts. This one will you show you how to construct the outer bag portion. I'll link to the coordinating tutorial (that shows you how to add a zippered lining) at the bottom. The materials called for our assuming that you are using both tutorials to construct your bag.
Assume 1/4" seam allowances.
Fabric- I would recommend using an upholstery weight fabric for at least the straps of this bag. The black fabric that I've used is upholstery cotton. The gray, outer portion of this bag is linen found at Joann.
2/3 yard of the main, outer fabric (gray linen in my case)
1 2/3 yard of the contrasting fabric (black upholstery fabric)
Smaller Zipper(s) for interior pockets (optional)
One 24" Zipper
Cut fabric as shown below:
Casing/Outer Bag Construction:
The smallest rectangle of your contrasting fabric will be used as the casing. Press about 1/2" down along all sides of both casings.
Sew in place the short ends of the casing.
Position the casing onto one of your outer bag pieces as shown below (Right side of outer bag to wrong side of casing) and pin in place.
Sew only the bottom, long side of the casing to the outer bag.
You don't want to sew either of the short ends or the top of the casing just yet. Leave it pinned in place as shown:
Repeat with other casing and other outer bag piece.
Now take both outer bag pieces and pin with right sides together. Sew as shown below:
Notice how the casing is not caught up in the seam. That's how you want it at all four ends so that, later, the drawstring can be pulled through.
Hem the opening of the bag.
You should have cut four 31" x 2.5" rectangles to use as your straps. Pair the straps and lay them right sides together. Pin in place.
Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance as shown. The gap is left so that the strap can later be turned right side out.
Snip out the extra fabric at all four corners.
Use a (not too sharp) instrument to turn the strap right side out. I like to use the eraser of a pencil.
It's going to look a little wonky at first..
but give it a good press with the iron and it'll come together
Topstitch all the way around the straps. This will make them look more professional and close that gap up as well.
This is why we didn't sew the top of the casing earlier. We want the straps to go underneath our casing. The straps should dip down about a 1/2" below the top of the casing.
Position and pin straps as shown below:
Sew as shown:
The lonngg skinny rectangles are going to be the drawstrings for the bag. Take them and fold them in half hot dog style. Pin in place.
Sew as shown below leaving a 4" gap somewhere along one of the long sides so that it can be turned right side out. The angled seam at the short ends gives you a nice little point, if you're into that.
Turn right side out, press, and top-stitch both drawstrings, just as you did with the straps.
Now pull the strings through the casing. You can use a large safety pin to help feed it through if needed.
And just cinch it up!
You're halfway there. Actually, more than halfway there! Follow this tutorial to add a zippered lining to your bag. You don't have to but, it's going to add so much more stability and practicality to it. Well worth the effort.
I hope you enjoy! Give me a shout if you have any questions (:
Oh and if this looks a little intense for you but you still love the bag, keep an eye out for the bag I made in this tutorial to be listed in my shop. I just need to add the lining!