What I’ve been making: bags

I’ve developed an obsession for making bags recently. I’m not sure why but I’m thinking a bag is something you can make for someone as a gift. I’ve been trying out a few different types and, who knows, come Christmas time everyone I know will be receiving a handmade bag.

First of all I made this small bag. The material and pattern came with the Cath Kidston book  Sew! so it was quite easy to put together apart from the rouleau buttonhole. The fabric supplied was way too small and the fabric too prone to fraying to make the rouleau successfully so I had to use a piece of ribbon instead. I’ve sewn quite a few things from the Cath Kidston sewing and patching books but I get the feeling the instructions haven’t been properly tested out. The same feeling you get with some cook books when you suspect no one has tested out the recipe.

cath kidston bag

After that I made this tote bag which is another Cath Kidston pattern. This is patchwork and lined and I made it from three well washed tea towels. I like the size of this bag and it’s worked out quite well.

patchwork tote bag

Then I made a shopper bag from some fabric I’d had lying around for ages. This is from Danielle Proud’s book House Proud: Hip Craft for the Modern Homemaker. This was straightforward to make and uses inverted French seams to keep the bag strong. I didn’t use her method of sewing the handles inside out and then turning them the right way out because when I did this it seemed to weaken and mangle the fabric. So I ended up folding, pressing and top stitching the handle strips. I ŵant to make lots more of these bags, they’re a practical size and easy to make. I’m going to make another one with French seams on the inside and I’ll probably line it too as a lot of the cotton fabrics I’d like to use don’t feel very durable on their own.

shopper bag

So I think I now have an idea of how I want to make my perfect bag. I’d love to use some really nice fabric but before I do I’ll make a test bag with an old duvet cover I have. That’s what I like about sewing, you can reuse fabrics. I’ve just made some decorative hearts from secondhand fabric and I’ll blog about those another time.


About Emily

Freelance writer and author. And eater of chocolate.
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