September 14, 2010

Time for a new tutorial...

denim bag

I found some spare time to finally write down the tutorial I promised last week. The bag has been used extensively lately, and I must say it's one of my favorites (didn't I say that of every single one of my bags?).

 It's sturdy, carries quite a bit and yet it still looks elegant, if I may say so myself. And it's so simple to make. Ready?!


Here is what you need:
- enough denim, canvas, or any other heavy-weight fabric you have at hand to cut two 54cm x 52cm pieces from - the given dimensions include seam allowances for side seams and bottom seam (note: since I wanted to make use of the denim's nice selvedge (Yes, Cindy, you got that right - that was of course on purpose!!), I cut two separate pieces.  You could of course take one long strand and fold the fabric in half - do not forget to adjust for the seam allowances in that case and to add some at the top as well.
- two 65cm x 6cm straps of leather
- an awl
- heavy duty thread and a ditto needle
- scissors
- large paper clips
- sewing machine
- iron

denim bag tutorial

Instructions

1. Cut the fabric as shown in picture 2.
2. Bottom and side seams using the half French seam: on the sewing machine, sew the bottom seam closed on the right (!) side of the fabric, taking into account a 2cm (3/4'') seam allowance(picture 3).
Cut away half of the seam allowance on one of the pieces as shown in picture 4. Press the seam open. Fold the longer seam allowance over the shorter, tucking inside the shorter end and secure with pins (picture 5.). Now, sew into place ( picture 6). Repeat with both of the side seams.

3. Boxed corners using a French seam: on the right side (!) of the bag,  fold the bag such that bottom seam and side seam align perfectly on top of each other. Pin and next sew together (on the right side!) (picture 7.). Press. Next turn the bag inside out, fold and tuck the first seam inside layers. Sew on machine making sure to use a slightly bigger seam allowance than in the previous step. The result should look as show in picture 9.

Note: for a good description of the different types of French seams and felled seams, check out Annekata's tutorial here.

4. Handles: I got the idea for the handles from the Japanese sewing book Making Leather Bags Lesson 1,2 by Umami Yoshimi Ezura - a gem really, that I recommend to anyone loving nice, simple and yet elegant bags.
At both ends of each strip of leather, make little wholes using an awl (picture 11), making sure the distance between wholes is equal and left and right on each side match perfectly. These wholes will help you sewing the handles to the bag more easily. If your leather is thin enough you could omit this step. Next, mark on your fabric where the handles should come (picture 12). Now, pinch your leather strip between the fabric, folding the leather strip in two (I ironed the fold of the leather handles - before you do this try on a little piece first to see how your leather responds to heat). Adjust such that the previously made wholes coincide perfectly. Secure with a large paper clip (picture 13). Sew into place with a heavy-duty needle and some heavy duty thread, using small stitches and going through the earlier made wholes. (I did every stitch twice to make sure the handles are tightly sewn to the bag.). And done!

As usually, if you have questions about this project just let me know! I'd be happy to help. Also, if you made something using a tutorial found on this blog or if you got inspired by something you found here, make sure to post your pictures here.

Good luck!

As with all tutorials found on this blog, please note this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form without permission. Thanks for understanding!

30 comments:

mon ami said...

once again you amaze me!

thanks for sharing the tutorial but for now I will just drool at your amazingness

xo

Katie Bright said...

Yay, I was hoping you would share your secrets to that adorable bag! Hoping I can find the time to make one...

Anonymous said...

That bag's absolutely gorgeous! Could you tell please, what kind of leather have you chosen for the handles?
Thanks,
Bori

Anna said...

beautiful, and thank you for the tutorial, hope I can find some leather around here. :)

Pascale said...

About the leather: I used a not so thick natural leather(1mm), which worked out fine as the handles are folded which increases their sturdiness anyway.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I'm in love! Your bags are so beautiful and elegant! Thanks so much for the how-to, I'll be linking.

lisette said...

What a great bag! I love it!

Holly said...

I usually don't care for denim bags, but I LOVE this one. The only thing stopping me from making it is the leather, I have no idea where to buy real leather, or what is a good price online. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

feathermar said...

Completely beautiful! I love love love it!

Off The Peg said...

Great bag. Thanks for sharing

Holly said...

I made two! Posted pictures in the flickr group.

Jeroen said...

Hi
I just came across to your blog and it is very much impressive me could you please clear me one thing what kind of leather have you chosen for the handles.Leder Reisetasche.Thanks a lot for sharing this.

elise said...

Hello,

Thank you for this lovely tutorial. The bag you made is completely chic and the moment I saw it my head was screaming I want one too,lol. When I noticed it was a tutorial ...Bliss ! Thanks so much for being so generous.
Best,
Elise x

Dina said...

I wish I were on better terms with my sewing machine! This bag is so unique!

Katie said...

I have a few questions and once i start this project I'm sure I'll have more. What is a ditto needle and is there a way to copy your pattern? I'm pretty new to this and don't want to waste money on stupid mistakes. Thanks
mknield(at)gmail(dot)com

slightfashionobsession said...

this is an amazing diy!
if only my sewing machine wasn't designed for only thin materials
love your blog though
x
slightfashionobsession

Anonymous said...

hi,
thanks for the tutorial, I made the bag as a gift and really like how it turned out, the leather handles and the way to attach it are my favorite, but great combo.
put some pics in flickr under "Slowly Made", just opened the account,so let me know if you cant see them and Ill send them to you directly.

cheers,

Mariana

marianareinoso@gmail.com

SawoKecik said...

like it .... thanks for sharing

Diana said...

I love how simple and sturdy this looks! I hope you don't mind but I posted your denim bag tutorial on my blog...

http://www.deeindesign.com/blog/2011/08/bags-totes/

Cheers :)

Katie said...

Thank you so much! The pictures really helped me to learn the french seam and the half french seam. I'm teaching myself how to sew, and with the help of your tutorial I made a tote bag that I love. Cheers!

Jen Conlon said...

Great tutorial! You've been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

Grab a brag button!

Of Many Things and Nothing said...

Bonjour,

I am so glad I found this tutorial, this bag looks like a great Christmas gift! Could you please tell me where do you buy your fabrics (like the cuir anses for example?)

Many thanks in advance!

Kelei-DesignPuddle said...

Great bag! Im a beginner at sewing so this is on my "way in the future" project list. Thanks for sharing.

www.designpuddle.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I love new things to make this is an amazing bag I definitely will make one for all my stuff.

Luxury In A Gift said...

Nice tutorial. Keep posting more

hiba said...

thank you...loved it...

Elke dag zaterdag said...

Thank you for this tutorial, this bag is amazing. You can see the bad I've made here: http://elkedagzaterdag.blogspot.nl/2013/10/buy-nothing-new-maand-2.html

jmb said...

I also must say thank you and that I love this bag and your blog. I notice you had a few other projects made from leather and a few people asked about what kind and where to buy leather. Just about a month ago I started working with leather myself. Living in San Francisco I am lucky to have S H Frank & company ( a leather store that I can walk to ) and..... I just went up to Napa to go to the Hide House ( hidehouse.com ). The Hide House is the greatest leather store west of the mississippi and perhaps east of it as well. check out the website and if you have any questions just call them, they are the nicest people in the world.
ps. their prices are unbeatable!!!!!

Mary Jo said...

Love the bag! I really want to get started on one. Like others, I'm looking for material for the handles. Did you order yours online? If so, can you provide the source? Thanks so much!

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