Saturday, November 6, 2010

Boxy Bag Pattern & Tutorial

If you like the the boxy moose bag that I've made & wanting to make one yourself, here is the tutorial.

(* add 1/2" seam allowance to the pattern)
Rectangle Front
Draw a rectangle measuring 28cm X 30cm. Make a curve at each four corners of the rectangle. I used a 3"  diameter baking soda lid to make the curve:) Once you've drawn the curvy rectangle, add 1/2" seam allowance to the pattern.
The rest of the measurements will be in inches.

Draw the gusset pattern based on the given measurement above. You will need a 17" zipper for closure.

Rectangle pattern (28cm X 30cm)
- cut 2X front fabric pieces
- cut 2X lightweight fusible interfacing
- cut 2X batting
*(add 1/2" seam allowance)

- cut 2X lining fabric
- cut 2X lightweight fusible interfacing
- cut pocket pieces to your liking (optional)
*(add 1/2" seam allowance)

Gusset pattern
- cut 1X front fabric for bottom gusset (26" X 4")
- cut 1X lining fabric for bottom gusset
- cut 1X thick fusible interfacing
 *(add 1/2" seam allowance)

- cut 2X front fabric for top gusset (17" X 2")
- cut 2X lining fabric for top gusset
- cut 2X thick interfacing for top gusset
*(add 1/2" seam allowance)

- cut 2X, 1 1/2" X 44" fabric strips
- cut 2X, 43" long piping cord.

Bag handle
- cut 2X, 3cm X 52cm webbing
* you can lengthen or shorten the handle to your liking. A handle that is less than 3cm in width is comfortable to rest on your shoulder. Use cotton webbing instead of nylon or sew a strap using fabric.

- cut 2X, 3cm wide cotton webbing (just enough to cover the ends of zipper or for strap handle)
- cut 2X, 3cm X 4" cotton webbing (to cover side gusset & zipper)

Basically you're going to have 4 basic rectangle pieces after pressing the interfacing together with the fabric.
Sew batting to the front fabrics. I only use lightweight interfacing for the front fabric to the bag that I've made.
If you want the bag to be sturdy & hold it's shape, do add batting. Thick interfacing would make the pieces harder to sew but you can use it if you like. Make sure you use the right size needle before sewing.


1. Sew top gusset pieces & lining pieces to the zipper. Start sewing after the s.a (seam allowance) line and end it before the s.a line. Sew it this way because you're going to sew the front fabric and the lining fabric separately. Both front and lining fabrics are only connected by the sewn zipper part.

The zipper part looks like this....

2. Before you join top & bottom gusset together, sew tab on both ends of the zipper. Now you can sew together top & bottom gusset. Sew front gusset first, then sew gusset lining.
Sew the 3cm X 4" cotton webbing to end of top zipper opening, covering the tab. Just like the picture above. Make sure you sew the webbing to the front gusset only.

Here's the sewn gusset lining.

3. Sew piping cord around the perimeter of the front fabric pieces.
Learn how to attach piping here. (

4. Once you've joined the gusset pieces together, fold it like an envelope, right side up. Just like the illustration given.

5. Place the rectangle front fabric, right side down on the folded gusset. Pin in place. Baste fabric pieces together. Sew all the way around with sewing machine.
Make sure you sew handles to front fabric first before sewing gusset & front pieces together.

Front & gusset pieces sewn together. 

6. Open the zipper a bit. Sew the second front fabric piece to the other side of the gusset the same way as step no.4.

7. Sew inside rectangle lining to gusset lining.

The sewn pieces looks like this..........

8. Sew the last front lining piece to gusset lining & make sure you leave 3" opening for turning.

9. Turn the fabric right side out through the 3" opening.

10. Lastly, sew shut the opening with a slip stitch.

The inside lining looks like this.......

11. Turn the bag right side out & you're done! 


That's all for now. I hope you get the tutorial & if you have any questions & having problem making the bag, just let me know. 

Have fun sewing or whatever you're doing this weekend :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Repurpose Long Sleeve Into A Bag (Part 3)

Introducing the new Moose bag.

Making this bag was really an adventure. It's my 1st time encounter on boxy/ travelers type bag. Honestly it's not that easy to sew. I broke 1 needle and my pin cushion is now adorned with misshapen pins :o Every single piece had to be slip stitched together before sewing it on the sewing machine. I only added thick interfacing to the gusset. Maybe next time I'm gonna add batting & thick interfacing to the front part too to make it more sturdy. Yes, I'm gonna make more of this type of bag. I'm embracing my fears....:P

When it's done I feel like I've accomplished something. I"VE MADE IT! Yeay :)
Here's some more pics of the bag...

I hope this little project of mine can inspire you people out there to repurpose, reuse & recycle. Just to show that you can make something beautiful & useful out of something that might end up in the dump site.

Have a nice day :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Repurpose Long Sleeve Into A Bag (Part 2)

After the stencil work, I want to add piping to the bag but I don't have any piping cord.:( What to do? Go to the nearest notion shop & buy one or reuse some piping cord from old pillows? 
Lucky me! I found an old pillow with piping cord with the exact needed length to sew on the bag. 

But before you get to the happy ever after part, you have to go through this battle of tearing the pieces apart to get the precious piping cord. Once the piping cord is in you hand, you can *smile* & say out loud "I've made it!" :P ( Sorry for making this sound so hard, actually it's not! Maybe I need a cuppa coffee.)

For the piping strips, I'm using muslin. The strips is 4cm wide with enough lengths to sew along the border line. You can learn how to sew & attach your piping here at sew4home.

Here's the sewn piping on both parts of the fabric. It's not that hard to sew but sewing corners makes me nervous still.

Then I sew the handles. I used a blue stripe nylon webbing with 50cm in length on both sides of the fabric pieces.( I would usually add an extra 1" for seam allowance on both ends of strap.)

Pockets are sewn on both sides of the lining. I used bed sheet & some pieces of the long sleeve to make the pockets. 1 big pocket & 2 small pockets that can fit hand phone, wallet & note book.

Here comes the not so easy part of attaching the whole pieces together. There are many ways to sew this kind of boxy bag. Some would sew the outer & lining fabrics separately & attach them together by sewing on the zipper. Others would just serge the fabric corners minus any lining. But I just sew it my way. Every time I'm in doubt  & not sure which part to sew first, I would always write it down on my note book. So here's the don't have to take a note, just do it you way :)

The zipper, gusset & lining pieces are sewn the same way as sewing a pencil case. Top gusset is 17" in length & bottom gusset is 26" in length. I sew cotton  webbing on both ends of the zipper.

Here's the lining side of the gusset. See...only the front gusset, zipper & lining gusset are sewn together. The bottom lining gusset is sewn together with top lining gusset. The top front gusset & bottom front gusset are sewn together. Both front & lining are only connected on the zipper part. Now the gusset is done.

Next, I attached the front piece of the bag to the front gusset. Sew a running stitch to hold the pieces together.

Then I sew the parts on sewing machine being extra careful along the corners. The bag is taking shape now. Before I attach the second front piece, I open the zipper a bit  so I can easily turn it right side out later. After sewing the second piece together clip the corners. I didn't do that on this bag but it's necessary to help ease around the corners.

The lining piece is sewn to the gusset lining.

When you turn it right side out, the first sewn lining piece looks like this.

This is the second last step. The second lining piece is sewn together with gusset lining & I left 3" opening for turning.

See the opening....

Turn it right side out through the opening.

Finally, sew shut the opening with a slip stitch. Hurray! I'm done.

This is the inside lining & pockets. But where's the finished look of the bag?

Coming soon in part 3......:)
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