Tag Archives: bag

Folded Folding Bag

8 Sep

Soon I’m going to have too many bags, when I don’t even use a bag most of the time to begin with. But who can resist a bag like this?

I had bought this faux leather from a local fabric shop that was perfect for this bag. And just so the bag wasn’t too brown, I added a column of my favorite purple stripe fabric for some color on each side and as the binding for the opening.

Folding Bag

With the long strap over the shoulder and bag flipped to the front, you see the top of the bag folded over with the short straps hanging down.

Folding Bag

Flip it to the back and you have the quick draw zippered pocket.

Folding Bag - outside pocket

Unflip it and you can carry it with the short, matching purple straps. The added height is especially convenient if you happen to have a lot of stuff you need to stuff in there or just something long.

Folding Bag

The fold plus the zippered top adds a lot of security.

Folding Bag - zipper top

Lots of space and two pockets on the inside make it perfect to fit all your day-to-day necessities.

Folding Bag - inside

The loops for the long strap give the bag some flexibility, allowing me to just latch on a long strap from a store-bought bag until I decide to make another strap.

Folding Bag - strap latch


Webbed for Sure

7 Apr

I felt motivated one weekend and made two bags. This is Bag #2.

Bag #2

I was inspired by an etsy shop I saw: Rachel Elise. Pretty bags. I really like the flaps with the angled color highlights she uses and the design elements in the extra webbing and closure.

To make this, I upcycled pants for the main fabric and decided to “embrace” the seams. So I stuck one seam straight along the front of the bag, and the other a bit crookedly along the back of the bag.

Bag #2 - Front

The bag uses a clasp, which is connected to the decorative webbing along the flap, to keep your items safe. It works well for security and looks great.

Bag #2 - Clasp

The bag isn’t too big, more on the small side, perfect for a book, wallet, phone, and a few other small items.

Bag #2 - Inside

There is one inside pocket for small items, and a loop for keys.

Bag #2 - Inside pocket

One thing I wanted to add was an easy to access back pocket. Since the front clasp is quite secure, this zippered back pocket is for things you want more easily accessible, like your phone.

Bag #2 - Back pocket

Since one size does not always fit all, I used some extra webbing to make a nice long adjustable strap ideal for crossbody, over the shoulder comfort.

Bag #2 - Adjustable strap

My sister-in-law’s birthday is coming up, so I’ll be giving this to her.
Happy birthday, sister-in-law!

Bag #2

Toted, Tried, and True

10 Dec

Although I enjoy the holidays, every year, I dread having to think of gifts. And each year, it seems like the number of gifts multiply so it gets harder and harder.

So I’m thankful that two years ago, my aunt flat out told me she wanted a handmade tote bag. And for the past two years, I’ve made her bags: 2011 and 2012.

Here we go for 2013:

Tote Bag

Although she usually likes all black, I am forcing some fun, bold colors on her, in addition to the basic grey.

Tote BagThe bag has an outer pocket on both sides, perfect for storing some papers or other flatter items.

Tote Bag - Outside Pockets

My aunt will especially love the zipper on this bag. Since she is very protective of her belongings in public.

Tote Bag - Main Compartment

The main compartment is huge. I stuffed a magazine, tissue box (Costco-sized), and a shirt, and there’s room for much more. Plus the zipper opening is extra wide allowing easy access, and the material connecting the zipper allows for some width and/or height when there’s a lot in the bag.

Tote Bag - Main Compartment

Inside there’s two small pockets–good for a wallet and phone, or other small items. And, there’s a loop for keys.

Tote Bag - Inside Pockets

And on the other side, there’s a larger zippered pocket to keep miscellaneous items secure.

Tote Bag - Inside Pockets

It’s gonna be hard to top this bag next Christmas.

Tote Bag

Tote Bag

Two Shoulders are Better than One

20 Aug

I have one really nice leather bag that I usually use for work. I also use it when I go on interviews, and when I have important events where I need to look nicer. Most females have many of these bags. I do not.

Since I take the subway instead of driving to work now, its impractical to carry multiple bags, so everything I need gets stuffed into one bag. Sometimes, when I zip my nice leather bag, I get scared it will rip.

Thankfully, I have other, bigger bags. Like this Timbuk2 Scrunchie tote-like bag, which fits all of my stuff perfectly.

Work bag

But my problem is that I hate carrying heavy bags on just one shoulder. I feel uneven, and it isn’t comfortable. I’d much rather use a cross-body bag (messenger bag-like strap) or even better, a backpack. But a backpack looks very messy for work.

So I made this bag into a convertible backpack for work. It’s a perfect convertible bag because it has lots of loops, letting me preserve my bag without stitching into it.

Work Bag - loops

Work Bag - loops

I thought this would be an extremely cheap project, but it ended up costing a little more than I expected. I bought 1.5″ black webbing at $3/yard (I used approximately 2 yards), two adjustable buckles at $1.50/each, two spring-loaded rectangular metal rings at $1/each, and two sets of swivel hooks from REI at $0.43/pair (bought them a long time ago since it was a great deal!), as well as a large metal key ring that I already had at home.

Convertible Bag - Supplies

I put my two rectangular metal rings and metal key ring in place.

Tote Backpack - Rectangle Rings

Tote Backpack - Circle Ring

I made two straps approximately 1 yard each. This measurement will vary a lot depending on the bag and where it is being hooked on the bag. I also made my straps much longer than I needed so I’d be able to use the straps for other things.

For each strap, I fed one end through the buckle, the swivel hook, and back through the buckle. I sewed the very end of that strap by folding the strap over about .25″ and sewing straight lines and zig zag stitching to make sure it doesn’t fray.

Tote Backpack - Strap

Tote Backpack - Strap

For the other end of the strap, I fed it through a swivel hook to get the strap to loop around it, and sewed it down with straight lines and a zig zag stitch again.

Tote Backpack - Strap

I repeated the process for the other strap. Then I hooked ’em in, and carried my stuff in comfort!

And, when I get a block away from my office, I can swing my bag back down and its a perfectly acceptable non-backpack, tote bag for work. I can even detach the straps when I don’t plan on carrying it like a backpack.

Tote Backpack

Tote Backpack

Gift Set

6 Feb

When I was younger, I remember one of my aunts mailed me a present for my birthday one year. Since I didn’t get many packages in the mail, it was really exciting.

It was one of the best presents I remember receiving — a lunchbox full of candy! I loved it.

Gift set - wallet and pouch

My younger cousin’s birthday was this past week and I didn’t have a brilliant gift idea like a lunchbox full of candy, so I decided to make her something – a matching wallet and pouch.

Gift set - wallet, front

She’s turning 11, so that seems about the right age where you might start needing a wallet, I think.

Gift set - wallet, open

You know, a place to hold your money and Cold Stone Creamery gift cards.

My cousin is into fashion, and I think animal prints are “in,” and the yellow adds a nice contrast.

Gift set - wallet, back

I hope to post a tutorial for how I made the wallet soon, fixing some of the things I could’ve done a bit more polished.

Gift set - pouch

With fashion comes makeup, so a little pouch to hold all her stuff is perfect.

Gift set - pouch

I made the pouch using Noodlehead’s tutorial for the open wide zippered pouch.

Gift set - pouch, open

She won’t have a bunch of vitamins in it like me. She’s young. I’m old.

Gift set - pouch and wallet

I think the matching wallet and pouch look great together, and hope she’ll be excited about it, like I was for the candy.

Gift set - wallet and pouch

Sadly, she won’t get that $20 I stuck in the wallet for the photos. Sorry, cuz.

Bags for All

2 Feb

In our closet at home, we have a big box filled with all of our bags/luggage. I can’t stand having to get a bag out. As I pull more and more bags out looking for the one I want, the closet starts feeling hotter and the walls start closing in. And, lately, it’s gotten worse since we somehow keep getting more and more bags… So what’s one more?


This bag is simple to make and great to fit all your junk. I made one for myself and two as presents (one for my aunt, who I previously made this zippered tote bag for, and one for my sister-in-law).

The bags have a large main compartment, two outer velcro pockets and one large zippered inner pocket.


Let’s make one together!

Here’s what you need:

2 pieces main bag outer fabric – follow downloadable pattern
2 pieces main bag liner fabric – follow downloadable pattern
2 pieces outer pocket outer fabric – 7″ x 10.5″
2 pieces outer pocket liner fabric – 7″ x 10.5″
1 piece inner pocket any fabric – 11″ x 13″
1 zipper – 13″ or longer
2 pieces of velcro – 1.5″
magnetic snaps

1. Cut your pattern pieces.

Here’s the downloadable pattern (eight pages): BagPageAll. Pattern pages were created assuming a 1/2 inch margin around each page (to account for printers). And should fit together according to the following image. (The circles within the bag outline are there just to help guide how the pages fit together.)

Bag pattern

2. Make the outer pockets.

For each pocket, place one outer pocket outer fabric and one outer pocket liner fabric piece fronts together. Sew along two short and one long edges. Turn inside out, push out corners, iron. For the remaining open long edge, fold in and iron. Top stitch along that edge. This will be the open edge of the pocket.

Bag outer pocket

Take one piece of your velcro and sew in place on the pocket. Lay out your main bag piece (outer fabric), line up the pocket in the center and sew into place using a double overcast stitch. (See stitch guide if needed.) With your pocket firmly sewed onto the outer fabric piece, mark the spot for the other side of the velcro on your outer fabric piece and sew it into place.

Outer Pocket

Repeat process for other outer pocket.

3. Make the inner zipper pocket.

I recommend looking at a different tutorial on how to make an inner zipper pocket because they will explain it much better than me. (Here’s a good one from Sew, Mama, Sew!) But the basic idea is to make a cut into the main bag (liner fabric) piece, like this: The main, long cut should measure 12″ and be situated where you want the opening of your inner pocket to be (near the top of the bag).

Bag inner zipper cut pattern

Iron the flaps back so the hole is open.

Hole to fit in the zipper for inner pocket

If your zipper is too long, sew perpendicular across the zipper several times to make it shorter.

Sewing the zipper shorter for inner pocket

Fit the zipper into the hole you cut. Sew the zipper into place.

Lay the liner piece with the zipper front side down (so back of zipper is facing up), and place you inner pocket piece (any fabric) so it is situated over the zipper and in the place where you want the pocket. Sew into place.

Since I made a fairly large pocket, I sewed a vertical line in the middle of the pocket so the pocket is somewhat divided to hold your stuff easier. Here’s how the back will look:

Zipper inner pocket back fabric

Here’s how the front will look: (from a different bag I was making)

Bag inner zipper pocket

4. Sew your darts.

On the pdf pattern, the bottom of the bag has two diagonal lines, these are the darts. Mark the darts on the back of your fabrics. From the bottom of the dart (edge of the bag), measure out 3/4 inch on each side, and connect that mark with the top of the dart (towards the middle of the bag). You should now have a triangle shape (the short side is the edge of your bag). You will create a fold with this triangle as a guide — fold the middle up and sew along the edges of the triangle.

Bag dart

Repeat for the back sides of each of the other three main bag pieces (outer and liner fabrics).

These darts will help give the bag some shape instead of just a flat bag.

5. Sew the top halves.

Take one main bag piece (outer fabric) and one main bag piece (liner fabric). Lay them on top of each other, front sides facing each other. Pin into place. Sew along the edges of the top half of the bag — this includes the middle edge (the inner “U”) and the two edges along the handle, which stop when they reach the sharp turns, which start the main compartment of the bag. At the ends of the handles, do not go to the very end, stop sewing about 2 inches away from the ends – this will make it easier to fit the handles together later. Once  you are finished, turn it right side out, and iron.

Top half of bag sewn together

Repeat for the other two main bag pieces (one outer, one liner).

6. Sew the bottom halves.

You now have two pieces of your bag. From those two pieces, the bottom halves should be free. Line up the bottom halves of the outer fabrics so their fronts are facing each other. Pin. Sew along the entire edge of the bottom half.

Outer fabric sewn together

Readjust your bag so the two main bag liner pieces are lined up together, fronts facing each other. Pin. Sew along the entire edge, leaving a 4-5 inch gap along the bottom of the bag.

Liner and outer pieces sewn together

Using this gap/hole, turn your bag right side out so it is in its proper position.

Bag turned right side out

7. Attach your magnetic clasp for the bag’s opening closure according to the directions on your packaging. I used these magnetic snaps.

8. Connect the edge of the bag handles together.

I did this by top stitching along the edges of one end of the handle, tapering it towards the end, so the very end of the handle is skinnier than the regular width.

Bag handle tapered

Then, I inserted this tapered edge between fabric of the connecting end. I folded in the rough edges, and sewed a few lines to keep it in place.

Bag handles sewn together

Repeat with other handle.

9. Hand sew the gap/hole closed that was left in the liner.

10. To polish it off, top stitch along the top half of the bag (similar to step #5, the top half includes the middle edge (the inner “U”) and the two edges along the handle, which stops when it reaches the sharp turn, which starts the main compartment of the bag).

Top stitching the top half of the bag

11. Done!

Completed bag

Finished bag

Finished bag - inside

Finished bag - outside bottom


12 Oct

I watched the entire season of Girls on HBO in just three days.

My husband watched some of the episodes with me, and things that I thought were hilarious, he didn’t blink an eye at, but instead looked at me in bewilderment.

One of the scenes I especially enjoyed was in Episode 3 (“All Adventurous Women Do”), where Shoshanna and Hannah are watching a dating show called Baggage. Each of the contestants air their small, medium and large baggage (i.e. “she spends $1k on her weave a month” or “she plans her wedding after the first date”), and are eliminated by the suitor based on their baggage.

Shoshanna and Hannah share their baggage. Watch the clip.

What would be in your baggage?

I made my husband play with me as we listed our own baggage and each others’ baggage. Either a really fun or really fight-provoking game…

And here it is:

My Baggage:

From My P.O.V. From His P.O.V.
Small Unknowledgeable re: news. Needs attention whenever I am doing something.
Medium Tomboy. Doing a favor has to be accompanied with an immediate quid-pro-quo.
Large Stubborn. She hates being told when she does something wrong – will fight over it.

His Baggage:

From My P.O.V. From His P.O.V.
Small Momma’s boy. Wastes time doing things (i.e. Craigslist/Wikipedia) when supposed to be doing other stuff.
Medium Always makes it sound like he is right, even when he has no clue. Often construed as arrogance. Yells at the tv / Beats himself up about his driving / Sounds arrogant when isn’t trying to be.
Large Takes forever to get ready / is never on time. Mamma’s boy.

Pictures are of a bag I recently made for myself — I kept it small-ish to limit the amount of “baggage” I carry with me.