February 20, 2013

Triangular bag :: a tutorial

Triangle bag :: a tutorial

You can't look past the Martin Margiela triangle bags on the net lately. I had seen this type of bags before, pre-Margiela, I mean, and a lot cheaper too. I liked the minimalism - they reminded me of Japanese bag folding, furoshiki. The ingenuity is striking - a good example of how to optimize under constraints (this is the economist in me speaking) or translated in sewing terms: how to make the largest bag possible given only a small piece of fabric.

Triangle bag :: a tutorial

Anyway, as I was trying to figure out how to make one of these, I found out you can do so in a couple of different ways (I figured out at least 3 different methods). It all boils down to basic geometry, combining shapes in one way or another. I made several and I find the method described below to be the easiest one. All it takes is a rectangular piece of fabric, some folding and basic sewing skills. And if you prepare your fabric by hemming it all the way around, you can make this bag in under 15 minutes. As fast, almost, as furoshiki folding, except that this one's permanent.

What you need:

Note: this bag can be finished in many different ways. I won't go into detail here, but you could add lining, pockets, add a longer strap, finish it off with boxed corners, etc. Just know that when you add something you'll need more fabric.

- a rectangular piece of fabric, where the length of the fabric equals three times the width. To give you an idea of the dimensions: a 50 cm x 150 cm piece of fabric results in a 65-70 cm wide bag (which is really big!) depending on how you finish the seams.
- sewing machine, thread, pins
- Iron

Triangle bag :: a tutorial


1. Hem the fabric all the way around.
2. Place the fabric in front of you, right side facing up, and start folding as shown in the pictures.
3. Pin the fabric together where it says 'sew' on the picture. Flip over and repeat on the other side.
4. Sew together both seams on the machine. Turn inside out. Press.
5. Handle: Join the tips by overlapping them and sew into place.
A nice detail: before joining the tips I slipped on a piece of leather - a detail I was really proud of. It's only while looking at the Margiela pictures, right now, as I was writing, that I noticed they did the exact same thing...

That's all there is to it! I hope you like this bag as much as I do...



As with all of my tutorials, please note, this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form. Thanks for understanding!

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.
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