Friday, April 16, 2010

Bag Tutorial

A friend from church is having a baby soon and I'm going to her shower Monday.  I got a gift but thought it was kind of boring so got thinking of what I can make for the Mom to be.  I remember from watching her other children in nursery, she's like me and not a big diaper bag person.  I noticed there were many times she just sent the child in with a diaper and that's it.  So I thought, maybe I'll make her a cute bag for her baby.  This is her 6th baby, she has a daughter, 4 boys and now is having a girl again.  So it would be fun to make this real girlish :)

I suggest reading through all this first before attempting it, helps to visualize it first :)  If you have questions,, be sure to email me or FB me, I'd love to help, if I can! 

So, I'll use her bag as our lesson.  
First,,, cut some squares in 4 inch squares.  You will 28 squares in all.  They don't have to follow a pattern but for this bag, I chose just 2 fabrics to work with.  I've done many of these bags with all different square patterns.  It's very versatile.

Next, begin sewing your squares together.  I sew them in long, continuous pieces.  I don't cut the threads and start again with each set. Be sure to just back stitch the beginning and ending of each square.  Saves on time and thread.  

Start sewing them in rows of 4.  You'll need 6 rows of 4 in all.   Three rows of 4 for the front and 3 rows of 4 for the back. 

Next, cut 2 squares in half and sew one of each piece to one set of blocks sewn together.  This is the bottom piece of your bag.  I will have sewn a 4 inch pink to a 4 inch green and a 1/2  pink to the 4 inch square and vise versa. 

You sew the bottom to the square, matching the seems.  

Sew the front and back together, connected by the bottom strip (the piece with the 1/2 pieces on the ends).  
Iron the bag so all the seems are smooth.  Use this as your pattern.  Cut a piece of batting and a piece of fabric, which will be your lining.  

After you've used your bag as your pattern,, you'll begin to sew the bag together.  Sew up the side seems.  You will end up with a hole like this.  Stretch that out and squeeze it together.  You may pin it, if that helps.  

Sew that hole shut.  Do this on both sides.  This creates the bottom of the bag.  

Here is the outer bag done... look how pretty you can make bags and so easy too!

On this bag, I made pockets.  I put them on the inside on the lining piece.  I wanted Mom to be able to hold her things too, if she needed or other baby items too.  
I took a piece of matching fabric, folded it in half and pressed under the bottom edges.  I stitched the bottom edges down and then vertically to form pockets.  I sewed them a few times to make them rather stable. 

Here are the pockets on both sides of the liner.  

Now, I laid the liner on the batting, wrong sides on the batting.  I closed it (right sides together) and stitched it just as I did the outer part of the bag.  

Here are the two finished pieces.  I stick the liner and batting pieces right inside of the outer bag part.  I do a basting stitch on the top to hold them together. 

I cut a 3 inch wide strip of fabric and ironed it in half.  Then I folded each edge in about 1/4 inch to make a nice finished bias type piece.  I iron under the ends to have a nice finished end.  I pin the "tape" over the edge of the bag.  Then I stitch it in place.  I did a pretty leaf type stitch :)

I cut 2  3inch wide pieces for handles.  I made these about 20 inches long.  I ironed them just as I did the bias type pieces.  I added a piece of batting in the middle  for alittle more substance.  I sewed them shut and added two more rows of stitching.  So there are a total of 3 rows of stitching on the handles,, on the each edge and one in the middle.

I stitched them into the insides of the bag.  Wala,, it's done!!!!  
I've made lots of these and sold them at craft fairs too.  This is also the same type bag I did to match my Easter skirt.  
I wanted to make one more fun thing, so I stitched a tag with the baby's name.  Her name is going to be "Jacqueline".  I made a flower and added that to the tag.  I love it!!! 

I had so much fun making this bag.  I made it during 3 mornings of school with the boys,, helps keep the sanity while listening to reading and checking math between rows of squares :)


  1. Wow...this is SO cute and such a sweet idea!!

  2. Just finished a modified version of your bag for Mom...for Mother's Day. :) Thank you for doing the calculating, so I could just get right to work--spectacular tutorial!!!