October 19, 2009

A new tutorial, at last ...

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I'd been planning on this tutorial for quite a while, but somehow never came to it... But here it is at last!

Some of you might remember my linen shopping bag with my signature leather squares from a wile ago. You also might remember how I said I found an elegant way to line the bag and piece things together with no more seams than needed. No cutting and sewing of the handles separately with this bag!

It's quite possible it's been described elsewhere (and better) already. In that case I apologize. I didn't check, I didn't Google it - I just wanted to find out on my own. More than the sewing as such, I like to find out how things are made, how I can put things together in a simple, yet effective way. Sewing is a mental process to me. It's all about techniques, and seeing through whatever I try to make. That probably explains why I don't like to make the exact same thing twice. Also, I like things to be as minimal as possible. Whatever can be left out I leave out. So, I actually felt quite pleased with myself when I figured this one out.

But enough bla-bla - here, at last, finally, a little how-to for lining that bag, keeping it all in one piece...


You'll need:

- two types of fabric, one for the outer bag (in my case oatmeal colored linen - what else...?) and one for the lining
- thread, pins, safety pin...
- sewing machine
- iron


1. Pattern




This is a sketch of the upper part of the bag - just to give you an idea. Feel free to use it. Just print it with 0 margins to its full size and add a rectangular to obtain the full size bag pattern. Alternatively, you could trace a bag you already have (which is actually what I did to obtain this one).

2. Cutting the fabric

Cut out the pattern twice from each fabric, so you obtain four identical pieces.

3. Take one of each fabric and pin the handles together, right sides facing. Sew the curved parts, but leaving the handles open at the very top (so you sew the two side curves and the middle U-curve).
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4. Make small cuts around the curved edges, perpendicularly to the seam. This will result in a smooth curved edge when turning the fabric.

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5. Attach a safety pin to the top of one of the handles an turn it inside out by sliding the pin inwards.

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Next, with an iron press flat, shaping the handle.

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6. Using the safety pin again, insert the handle you just turned and pressed flat into the other handle making sure outer fabric is facing outer fabric, and lining is facing lining, like shown in the pictures, and pull it all the way up, through the handle, and out again.

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7. Secure by stitching back and forth a couple of times.

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Remove the safety pin and pull the handle out again. It should look like this.

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With the iron, now press the other side as well. You'll get something which looks like this:

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8. Repeat with the other set of fabric and lining.

9. Fold open each set and put both sets on top of each other, right sides facing and lining facing lining, outer fabric facing outer fabric. Stitch the side and bottom seams together now, but leaving a small opening in the lining somewhere to turn inside out. Sorry, I have no pictures of this part - I knew I forgot something... But I'm sure you can figure this one out!

10. Turn the bag inside out through the opening you left, shape and iron flat all seams. Close the opening in the lining... and done!

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As you can tell from the picture, I finished my bag slightly differently than described in steps 9 and 10, in adding a rectangular (leather) bottom and making the bag slightly wider. The description does correspond however to the bag in my earlier post.
In terms of bag shape and size the possibilities are of course endless.
All I wanted to show with this tutorial, is how to line a bag in a very simple way. I hope I made myself somewhat clear. If not, let me know!

So now, I'm the happy owner of a new shopping bag, which matches last winter's boots perfectly.
I'm ready for the new season!


This post is dedicated to my grandmother. She was incredibly good at sewing and never sent me to the store without a shopping bag...


Please note, this tutorials is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form without permission. Thanks for understanding!

23 comments:

nicole/brussels said...

mooi uitgelegd en uitgewerkt, een elegante tas, en ergens ken ik de stof van de voering. precies ooit eens gezien!

hanamik said...

I'm really confused at step 5. So is the bottom of the bag not sewn and that's why you are pulling the handle inwards with the safety pin? After that, it's just very unclear to me. I love the bag you've made but maybe it's just me, I need more visual/written instructions to follow.

Pascale said...

@ hanamik: Side seams will be stitched only at the very end (steps 9 and 10), so yes, you need to pull one handle inwards - basically you're turning one of the handles - and next you insert that same handle in the other one ( and such that lining faces lining and outer fabric faces outer fabric). You pull it all the way up to the very top of that handle, where you sew them together. Next, when you pull it out again, you'll obtain what's shown under 7.
It's actually comparable with the way you would proceed when assembling pants, where you insert one leg in the other (right sides facing) in order to stitch the legs together at the center...
I hope this helps... if not let me know!

Salihan said...

I'm so glad I came to your site via Whip Up. I love the bag you've made and I'm going to go explore more of your site now. Thanks for the tutorial! -me@salihan.com

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I'm so glad you posted this, I love this bag! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

britt said...

thanks for the tutorial. i love when creative types like you take time to show everyone how to create wonderful things.

Karen said...

Good ol' whip up got me to your site.
Linen.. bag ... technique/process ... simplicity. Yes! Thanks.

Jaana said...

Me too: came over from good old Whip up.
Great tutorial for a bag that surte will become one of my all time favorites - when ready ;-D
Thanks so much!

cindy said...

you just make the most wonderful things. i love the modern design, especially with those signature squares. thank you for taking the time to create the tutorial, too.

Anna said...

thanks for the tutorial, your bag is wonderful!

blue moss said...

love this one...and would love to make it :)

Clementine's Shoes said...

Thanks for sharing! Always handy to find a good tutorial for useful(and sometimes confusing to figure out yourself) techniques!

Elsa said...

I do love this bag ... the simplicity of it is wonderful!

Rinkesh said...

Its Pleasure to read your blog.The above articles is very impressive, and I really enjoyed reading your blog and points that you expressed. I love to come back on a regular basis,post more on the subject.
Thanks for sharing...keep writing!!!
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Kathrin said...

Thank you very much for this tutorial, especially for the step how to put the handles together.
Before I lost a lot of blood, sweat and tears doing this.
Greetings from germany
Kathrin

bigcountry collection said...

thanks for this tutorial - i made one! and, of course, linked back to you. http://bigcountrycollection.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-bag.html

yun yunus said...

love d tut...thank you.

Ginny said...

What a great tutorial - it combines my loves of shopping, sewing, and being green! I like it so much, I included it on my blog... http://darlingadventures.com/?p=635
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have an IPad now and remembered seeing your ruffled version---so have just downloaded the directions. Also, have some linen and will make your shopping bag. Love your creations!!! Marian

zetamier said...

Thank you for the tutorial. It was my first attempt making a bag & it took me two hours to complete it following your instructions. I figured out how to close the bottom of the bag by pinning (close) on outer fabric & pin on lining fabric but leaving a hole to pull the whole bag out. Then I sew accordingly & finally, I closed "the hole" with a hidden stitches. Thanks again for your simple instructions. Love it!

Shahrul Niza said...

Hi Pascale, I'm so lucky to have found your blog. I totally LOVE your DIY bags tutorials!!!. You make the funkiest and the most stylish bags ever!. I'm going to try make some of them :). WIsh me luck & thanks so much for sharing!. HUGS.

Natasha said...

I can't for the life of me figuer out step 9. Can some one give me some directions on that. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I too just can not figure out the turning inside out phase of this pattern ,is it necessary to stitch the lining up separately ? Fantastic pattern having no seams makes for such a lovely bag ,thank you ,and any more details would be fantastic ,Thank you.

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