I wanted to share with you this DIY Tutorial that Ive just put together. Its a simple pattern that I came up with a few years ago and make from time to time with off cuts of nice fabric. Great for pressies for friends and I have sold many on Etsy as Make up Bags.
It’s an easy make, and with practise, can be made super quick in 15 minutes. Plus they can be customised to however you like.
Its a basic fold over clutch bag with a lining. I like to use pretty florals or vintage fabrics in contesting shades. The bow is optional.. if you didn’t want a bow, you can sew all sorts of things on the front, like fringing, buttons or flowers.
2 x different fabric lenghs of cotton or linen
(one for outside and one for lining)
1 x fabric for the bow
Usual sewing equipment, sewing machine, scissors, pins, pattern paper, neddle and thread.
Little Tip: Did you know that wrapping paper, makes really good pattern paper?
Making the Pattern
Okay lets get started, mark out the pattern on the pattern paper. The two bottom sections are the bag, and the top the lid of the bag.
I have already included a seam allowence so no need to add extra, unless of course you wanted it bigger.
Once you have picked out what fabrics to use for your bag, get cutting. (you want the grain of the fabric running lengh direction of the pattern.)
Cut two pieces for each of the different fabrics, lining and main bag.
For each layer place right side facing up, and pin the bottom half to the top of the lid.
Sew 1cm from the side each side.
Turn the bag the right way out, and iron the seams flat.
To sew to two parts together, Lay one piece down and place the other on top, front to front. Line up the two lips of the bag, and pin, making sure you go from corner to corner and that they match even.
Now for the bit thats a little hard to explain, you need the lids of the bags right sides together, (see photo below, the part I am holding) take your time matching them up and pinning in place, sew neatly around, all the sides, BUT LEAVE A 2″ GAP to turn the bag the right way around again!
Trim any excess fabric, making the seams neat and turn back the right way, pulling through the gap that you left, and pushing the lining in place. This is the best bit! you get to see what your bag looks like! Iron again to make it neat and lovely looking.
Now is time to top stitch. Top stitching will give a really neat and prosessional finish. It will also close up the gap you left in the side of the top. So first where you left a gap, tuck end fabrics inside and pin so that it is level with the rest of the bag, and sort out any stray threads or fabric.
So, start sewing where you pinned the gap shut, lay the presser foot close to the edge of the fabirc as possiable but make sure you are sewing both layers of fabric, and continue all around the lid of the bag. Top stitch the top of the bag too.
Congratulations the bag is done, now for the bow!
Cut out the fabric for the bow, I use roughly the same size as the lid of the bag, plus add a bit extra for seam allowences. If you want a larger bow, then add more length. As for fabric, here I have used a silver metallic lame. stiffer heavier fabrics are good, like the bag at the top of the page, or can be a nice touch to use the same pattern as the lining.
So for the bow, sew back to back, and leave one side open. Turn the right way around. Pin the side left open shut, tucking in the ends,
and top stitch all the way around. ( see photo, bottom right) Use a small off cut of fabric to make a strip, making a seam each side.
Concertina the bow and wrap the strip around the middle, hand sewing in place at the back.
Now all you need to do is to hand attach the bow to the bag. I sew at the corners of the bow to the bag, but you could just join at the middle. And your done! Now what pretty things to put in….