i sewed my first bag

all. by. myself. (insert freakout here)


i am a little excited to share this with you.

one of the gifts my mom gave me for Christmas, was a Hobby Lobby giftcard. i was beyond excited when i opened it! so while we were visiting we (of course!) went and i picked out some sweet stuff-this fabric you see included. i didn't really know how to do it, but i wanted to sew a big church bag. for putting a quiet book  for Bronx and all my Sunday items in-separate from the diaper bag i am always lugging around :)

i don't really love reading instructions, and i get too "gung-ho" when i want to do a project right now. so one day in January (yes, i'm that behind in posting this cool project) i busted this out and just dived in.

if your interested in following along, here's the process that i went through:
(but beware, i am not the greatest at writing them, and this process might be confusing-so if you're trying to follow me, read through them COMPLETELY first, then start!)

step 1: pick the fabric. i used duck fabric(a canvas type feel) because i wanted it more heavy-duty.

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and as you can already see from the finished project above, i ended up not even using the cute teal/blue checkered fabric. that's saved for another project now. (and ps-the solid grey/my inside lining, i got from JoAnn's)

step 2: turn the fabric print side in (so they are facing each other) and sew together sides. leave the two edges unsewn.


step 3: cut handles

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i wanted mine thick so i made them about 3'' across (so 6'' if you're measuring without it folded in half).

step 4: sew handles 

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remember to sew JUST down the side, with the pattern facing each other-if there is a pattern, and it makes a difference. turn right-side-out.

step 5: sew handles to bag


if you look close, you'll see that i have NOT sewn the edges of my bag together. i simply flipped it over and eyed where i wanted the handles to lay. then i sewed them to the grey duct, keeping the floral fabric away. you'll also see that i folded and ironed down about 1'' on the tops of the bag. (see below pic)

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this way when i finish and sew across the top, the handles with appear to "vanish" within the bag.

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you'll also see that i sewed 2 more lines down the straps for added strength. (see, i am not the best at instructions-ha ha. this is all over the place!)

let me also insert here that this was an all day project. it wasn't just a "oh-let-me-bust-this-out-in-like-an-hour" kind of project. ha. the time frame may have had something to this little munchkin wanting some of my time :) .....

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back to business.

step 6: sew an inside pocket

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really this should be before step 1. you will save yourself a ton of headache if you just decide if you want pockets or not, at the beginning. as you can see (above), it's not the easiest thing in the world to sew on a teeeeny tiny sewing machine (or any really) with a whole bunch of fabric.it's basically torture trying to maneuver the fabric so you don't sew over the front. ahhhh but i lived. and i learned.

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aaaand i did it! yessss. inside pocket=done.

step 7 and 8: sew sides of bag, and sew top of bag (sorry i don't have a pics of this) 

but up until now, i have just been working with the long body of my bag (so the 2 pieces of fabric that i sewed together in step 1). i  folded it in half (print side facing each other again), and sewed up the two sides. then i sewed on the outside of each top(where the handles connected).

step 9: make a more sturdy base for your bag

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i had to call my mom for this because i wasn't sure how. once she explained it to me, and i did it, i realize it was super easy.


keep your bag inside-out and take one corner. make it a triangle(above left pic). sew across. the deeper in-or closer to your bag's top-the shorter the bag becomes, and the wider the base becomes. i made mine about 3''.

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flip right-side-out and ta da! and you have your bag......but i thought it was too plain. 

after sleeping on it, i went and grabbed some clear vinyl at Walmart the next morning(it was like 97cents for 1/4 piece!) and decided to make a cool outside pocket. with a lable that i could change out to my liking.

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again, remember to do this FIRST...if you so choose to have an outside pocket. ha ha....it would have been loads easier :)

*tip for sewing with vinyl= HERE <<this was a lifesaver you guys!


i cut "the FULLER's" using my silhouette. 
"the" = century gothic font. 
"FULLER's"=sybil green font.

bag finished=roughly 15"x15" sitting flat(which is funny because it totally looks like a rectangle to me, not a square. but i just measured it so...!).

even though i had some bumps along the way, i had a blast making this and am excited to do another!(who knows for what....?) but i'm sure it will go 100% smoother next time! glad you followed along!

*what's the hardest project  you've ever worked on?

*your funnest?

8 comments

  1. Love the bag! Found you through pintrest on your nail stamp post. What is duct fabric?? I searched joanns and couldn't find anything.. does it have another name? so want to make this!

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    1. oh my gosh i just went back and looked and corrected it-it's not duct, is DUCK fabric! haha, sorry! i hadn't heard of it either until my mom pointed it out when we were at Hobby Lobby, then at JoAnn's when i was looking for a solid grey, i found it under a tag/sign that said "duck fabric".

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  2. Cute Bag!! you're gettin all sorts of crafty i love it! I also really like your outfit in those pics...you look super comfy. : )

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    1. ha thanks Scarlet-those leggings are my comfy ones!

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  3. Replies
    1. do it! and then text me a pic :)

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  4. Thanks! I found it :) One other question though... how much fabric did you use for the bag. I am so making this bag this weekend! Love your blog.

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    1. okay let me remember....got it! i bought 1/2 a yard of both the outside(printed) and the inside lining(grey). there was extra which was great because as you can see i used it for the straps and inside pocket! and i just used a random scrap of fabric i had laying around for the outside pocket. (and ps my bag finished is roughly 15"x15"-sitting flat)

      i'm so excited you're gonna make one!

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