Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not a Rocket Science Bag

Just an easy way to use fun new fabric....and to be distracted from other endeavors.  Canvas is your foundation!  

Cut a piece of canvas 40" wide by 20" long.  Make sure it is flat and "squared" (I know it's a rectangle).

Arrange 5-6 fun fabrics in an order that is pleasing. It is helpful to have a darker fabric at the bottom of the bag (for dirt's sake).  If you want to use a fabric only once, divide the number of fabrics into the 20 inches and add another inch to each cut (for the 1/2" seam allowances) and cut the width of the fabric.  For example, 6 fabrics yields six cuts of 3.33 inches plus 1" seam allowance (which we rounded up to 4 1/2 inches.)  We wanted to use less of our whitest fabric and more of our cutest fabric, so we cut one 2 1/2" and the other 6".  We recut the last two strips as we approached the bottom of the bag.  You could always vary the size of every strip in any way you would like as long as the total adds up to cover the bag with seam allowances.  In this case 26 inches.

With a 1/2" seam allowance, sew the wrong side of the first fun fabric strip to the 40" top edge of the canvas.  Press the seam open and then fold the fun fabric to the right side.  This is the top of you bag.
Place the next strip of fabric, right sides together, matching the raw edges.  Sew with the 1/2" seam allowance.  Flip the fabric and press the seam down.  

Continue adding the strips until they are even with the edge (bottom of the bag).

"Square" up the rectangle, trimming to the shortest width.
We are going to make a french seam for the side seam of the bag.  Sew the 20" side seam with a 1/4" seam allowance with WRONG sides together matching the fabric strips as closely as possible.  Now turn the bag with the right sides together and sew that side seam again with 1/2" seam allowance.  The bag should be canvas side out.  With the french seam at one side press the back flat.  You will use the press mark as a landmark when you seam the bag bottom.
For the bag bottom, stitch from side seam to pressed fold.  Press the seam.  Pull the corners out, matching the bottom seam allowance with the side seam on the corner and on the fold.  Measure 3" from the point of the triangle you have formed, draw a line perpendicular, sew and trim to 1/2".  Turn right side out.
Cut 2 strips of webbing 26 inches long.  You can use fray check on the ends to keep them from unraveling.  If they are 100% polyester you can burn the edges to prevent fraying. Mark the top center of your bag with a pin.  Place the webbing 2 1/2" on either side of the pin and extended down over the bag 1 1/2 ".  Pin in place.  Stitch with a reinforced box stitch, as shown.

TA DA!!!!!


  1. Great instructions for a project that I was wanting to make---can't have too many bags. I found my sewing table today, now I need to get my machine out of the box. It could happen soon!


  2. I had the tree fabric in my hand a few different times today but I couldn't think of a good use for it. This bag is really cute!

  3. Wow! This is brilliant. For a new sewer bags with multiple pieces are scary but this is so simple, lookout bags here I come. Hi from Australia.


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