Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sling bag tutorial

This is for all of the awesome Craftsters. Its my first tute and I went a little nuts with the pictures. I love making these bags, because I don’t have to use much interfacing. They are supposed to be big and floppy. I do like a little structure so I use some heavier fabric for either the main fabric or the lining. In this case, I’m using a mod print quilting weight cotton for the main (outside) fabric and a striped canvas for the lining.

1. First you cut like crazy.

Cut a long strip of each the main fabric and lining for the strap. 6x38 inches

Cut 2 large squares out of both the main fabric and the lining for the body of the bag. 18x18 inches

Cut a rectangle of the lining for an interior pocket. 8x16 inches

Fuse interfacing to the pocket piece!



Here is everything.

2. Here is where it gets interesting…

We are going to shape our bag. Take all four of your big squares and stack them up. (Outside fabric with wrong sides together and then lining fabric with outsides together.)


Fold the whole thing in half.
Measure 3 inches in from the fold and make a mark.
Measure 12 inches up from the bottom right corner and make a mark.
Connect the dots! Draw a curve from one mark to the other.


Now cut that curve out.

Open the whole thing and you should have four pieces that look like this.

We are going to do the same thing to the strap by giving it some shape.
Put your two strap pieces wrong sides together.
Fold in half lengthwise AND THEN widthwise.

Measure in 1.5 inches from the center fold and make a mark.

Draw a line from that point to the bottom corner. Cut that piece out.

Open the whole thing up and you have two gigantic bowtie pieces.


3. You mean we get to sew now?!!

Put the straps right sides together and sew the outside lengths together. Leave the top and bottom open. Then you turn the darn thing inside out and I hate this part!

Press flat and topstitch close to the edge along the sides.

Put the strap off to the side and grab the pocket piece and one of the big lining pieces.
Fold the pocket piece in half with right sides together.


Sew around the pocket, but leave about 2 or 3 inches for turning.

Turn it inside out pop out the corners and press it flat.
Get the lining piece away from the cat.

Center the pocket on the lining piece; pin it down and stitch around the sides… you will catch the turning opening when you stitch it down.


4. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Put the main body fabric right sides together and stitch along the sides.
Do the same with the lining.


Flip the lining right side out with the seams now in the middle.
Keep the main fabric inside out with the seams now in the middle.
Put the lining inside of the main fabric and pin around one of the curves.
Sew around that curve.
Do the same thing on the other side.
You will leave two openings for the straps.


  1. Straps!

Feed the ends of the straps up through the bottom of the bag and up through the holes we left. Make sure not to twist it and that the lining of the strap matches the lining of the bag. Pin them in and stitch them down really well.


  1. Finishing.

Turn the whole thing inside out and match the center seams together. Pin and sew the bottoms closed, but make sure to leave an opening in the lining for turning.


Turn it right side out… we’re almost there!

Sew the lining closed either by machine or by hand if you want it to be completely reversible. ( I always put my tag in this seam.)

Flip the lining inside of the bag.
Pin and topstitch around the curves.


Here's the finished deal!
Inside out!
Please let me know if I don't make sense on something. That was hard work. Time for chocolate.

10 comments:

spirals said...

amazing! you cleared this right up. i have been wanting to make a bag like this forever... but was kinda feeling alittle clueless about it... i think i might have a project fo tomorrow!

Alison and Jesse said...

This is a great tute.
Especially for your first!!
Also I L-O-V-E the cat action.

~Alison
PS
saw this on craftster

stephblue said...

Thanks! My cat Scottie thinks she is pretty crafty too. I have three cats and they all love to help!

Tatjana said...

Hey there!
I got here from a link on Craftster, but now, for the life of me, I can't find your original post.
But...I wanted to say thank you for posting this tutorial. I made this bag last night! It came out just perfect, your tutorial was great and this bag took very little time. I love instant gratification projects sometimes! :)
I may post a picture on craftster and I'll link to your blog if I do.
~Tatjana (The Platypus Project)

candipooh said...

Thank you for this, It is JUST what I was looking for. I found a link at the crafters site.

Half the fat said...

Awesome tute! I am a novice level sewer and I got this done with NO issues!!! Looks fab, DH said it look "professional"!!!

Joanna said...

i love this tut. But i was wondering if you kne whow to make a bag that has the same slings as this but its like a hmm... its like a round bag thingy without edges.. really cool bag. oh do you know what i mean?

SHN Handmade said...

This is the best sling bag tute ever. So easy to follow! I just made one for my massage therapist as a gift for all of her hard work.

ilyani said...

oh love this!
might want to try making my own bag when i have time soon! ^^

Tammy said...

I needed to make some bags as a gift and remembered making this one a long time ago. This time around the bags are for rising 4th grade girls and needed to be a bit smaller than what is shown here. Thought I would share my measurments. 4 squares, 14", 2 straps 4"X32". When making the curve in the bag, I measured 2" from fold and 10" from the bottm. When giving shape to the strap, I used 3/4" instead.
They worked up great and can't wait for the girls to see them :)