Friday, January 30, 2015

Helens FG Red Bag Tutorial

This is for you Jill, I hope you can follow my attempt at a bag tutorial. All Measurements are in inches and seam allowance is included. I should say that I winged this bag and my measurements were only scribbled on bits of paper so I do hope it all goes together for you without too much effort. All measurement are on the pictures of my cut out templates which I have now made ready for my next bag maybe lol... I find this helps rather than a bunch of measurements.

Aprox. 1.4 m ...112 cm wide Lining
             1.6m....112cm  Bag
I strongly recommend you take the templates with you when buying the fabric so you can choose contrasting fabric for pockets and also if you pick a fabric with a pattern you will need extra.

Handles 2 3/4 x 28 "
Button loop 3/4" x 8" optional
Drawstring casing about 22" x 2 1/2 " this length can be adjusted to suit.
  ok I just remembered that I Cut a piece across the width of the fabric for my pockets and lining that way I saved on fabric by not needing another section for the pieces to fit.  You should find that you will get a main pocket and  a side section on a folded piece of fabric cut across the width,that will then give you the 4 pieces needed.


Lining plus red fabric
                       15 1/4 x 17 1/4"....
                         6 1/2 x 17 1/4 "
                       15 1/4 x 6 1/2"     Lining plus red fabric for base


sashing strips x 4

Pockets base sashing 
15 1/4 x 6 1/2 " base     
15 1/4 x 12 3/4" front pocket
  6 1/2 x 12 3/4" side pockets     
  1 1/2 x 12 3/4" sashing strips    


                                        overall view


Join all sections including wadding, (I used iron on wadding medium weight). Then add the red sashing strips over the joins by top stitching  them in place , sew the final seam to make a tube and add the final sashing strip. (sashing strips are optional optional.)


Make the lining into a tube also, then with right sides together sew the two sections at the top edge. Turn right side out, press, pin and top stitch the top edge only.

Next make the red bag section in the same way omitting the sashing.

 Place the pockets inside the main bag section and stitch in the centre of each sashing strip. this will form pockets for you. see picture below. Also I added a fairly large running stitch at the base to hold the pocket section and bag section together to make it easier to sew in the base section.

Add wadding to base and join to bag.

I found it easier to pin and sew the long sections ( front and back) to the base first. Next sew the side section to the base also only sew to an 1/4" of edge on all 4 edges of the base, this makes for a neater finish and aids in turning the bag right side out.

Turn bag right side out and admire your work. Phew....getting there.....

 Next make your lining in the same manner as the bag, but leave a small opening on one of the side seams so that you can pull the bag through later.
With right sides together and matching seams place the bag inside the lining, pin and stitch the top edge. Turn the bag carefully through the opening on the side in the lining. Turn in the seam allowance along the opening and stitch it closed.

Fold the lining to the inside over the top edge of the bag, pin through all layers and top stitch to create a bound edge,

It's about now you can add some press studs to your pockets if you didn't add loops which I didn't. 
I added two to each large pocket spaced evenly.

With right sides together place 2 handle pieces and a piece of wadding and stitch along both sides. Pull through to the right side and press. Make one more.

Place handle 3" from corner seam (Red Sashing seam) and 2 1/2 " down from top stitched edge of bag. repeat for the other handle. I just sew a big X to secure handles at the base.

Make your casing anyway you choose. I joined my pieces together, then turned right side out and closed the edges .
Position the casing around the bag 3 3/8 " from the upper edge covering the handles. Top stitch around the casing close to the upper edges and lower edges through all layers.

Thread a chord into the casing around the bag, entering and emerging through the same place. Repeat with the other chord at the opposite end.

 Woo..........Hooooo ......The End.

Thank you for your interest and please let me know if there is something you don't understand.

Happy stitching............


  1. Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I'll certainly be making one of these. I've been really missing you, hope we can catch up soon

  2. Thank you for the fabulous tutorial

  3. Wow Helen this bag is awesome ,think I need to make this one too,lol,Thankyou so much for the tutorial xx

  4. Oh this is so lovely of you Helen! Your instructions seem beautifully clear (only skimmed so far- got a headache threatening), I really love your bag, so thank you for the chance to make one ourselves :)


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