Instructables
Picture of Sew a Hobo-Bag
intro-1.jpg
intro-2.jpg
I needed a bag that would hold a lot of stuff and be completely hands-free to wear, so this is what I came up with.  I made the cream bag the night before a festival.  My friend wanted a variation of the bag so she and her boyfriend could carry their snake around, so I made the green bag and documented it for all of you.  :)

This bag seriously holds a ton of stuff.

If anything isn't clear, please ask.  :)

Step 1: Materials and Supplies

You will need fabric for the shell (the outside of the bag) and the lining, and the strap.  Actual yardage will vary depending on your size.  Either the lining or the shell material (or both if you like) should be a heavier fabric, to support all your stuff.  Both of the bags I made are lined in a heavy duck cloth.  The cream fabric is muslin, which makes the bag softer and slouchier, and the green fabric is a bottomweight, which makes the bag stiffer and hold its shape more.  Whichever fabrics you choose, they should not be knits or other stretchy fabrics.

- For the template, you will need a piece of cardstock or construction paper about the size of your back.  Tape two pieces together if you need to.
- For the body of the bag, you will need about half a yard each of the shell and lining materials, from 45" cloth.
- For the strap: Measure from your right hip, over your left shoulder, and back down to your right hip, and add 12 inches.  This is the length of strap material you will need.  The width is 6 inches.  Yes, you have to buy a lot of fabric and will have a lot left over, but Jo-Ann's has coupons every week so it won't be too expensive.
- Notions: thread to match lining and shell; depending on which closure style you choose you will need two D rings or two buttons and some elastic cord.
- The usual miscellaneous things: pen, scissors, pins, etc.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
greatpanda1 year ago
Nice bag! BTW, here's a couple of less tedious ways to invert long tubes with closed ends: thread a piece of wire with a loop on the end, and put a needle all the way through the cloth and loop together. Then you can pull the wire out and the tube inverts itself. Or, if you thought of it ahead of time, sew a cord in the middle and sew it to the end of the tube. Just pull the cord and trim!
linrodann (author)  greatpanda1 year ago
Great idea; that would have made things easier. Thanks!

I really love the unusual shape of this bag! I can see that it would hold a ton. Looks handy for bike-riding. Could you put a zipper in for closure? I invariably end up dumping my bag all over if it doesn't zip closed. And the snake escapes, too - ha ha! I think I'd like using D-rings on the strap so it would lay flat against my body, instead of having a big bow or knot - most of the length of the strap would need to be coming up from the hip area, with the D-rings on the top, on a shorter piece. But that's just my preference - if I make it, I'll post pics. I think I'd also like a little pocket sewn onto the lining inside the part that goes against your back, to fit a cell phone, kindle, or a little pad & pen. Thanks for the great inspiration!

linrodann (author)  buildandsewandstuff16 days ago

Great ideas! I'd love to see photos if/when you make it. :)

This is a fantastic pattern; easy, simple, and clear. I have been wanting to make this kind of bag, thank you! I will probably put in a zipper, though.

linrodann (author)  AmandaPerlOR16 days ago
Glad you like it! :D A zipper is a great idea (I find zippers intimidating but I should probably get over that. :P).
Can you please give me measurements for the triangle shape? I can't quite get the right shape.
linrodann (author)  pyromaniac1234567898 months ago

Sure thing! The triangle piece is cut from another rectangle piece (12.5 inches tall, 10 inches wide, curved corners). The top of the diagonal line is just below where the side starts to curve (11 inches tall on that side), and the bottom of the diagonal line is just above where the side starts to curve (2 inches tall on that side). After sketching that line, I cut half an inch to the outside for seam allowance.

Those are my measurements, but don't worry if yours isn't exact; there is no real "right way". I just made it up as I went along, so my shape isn't necessarily better than another shape. :)

Good luck!

TheCommander9 months ago

This is great, I think I'm in love

wyrdwoman11 months ago
I was very pleased with your bag. I was in an accident and am left with residual pain, left shoulder and neck, so wearing any bag or back pack is uncomfortable. This could adapt well for either side. I was given a very expensive bag similar and it worked brilliantly but has worn in many areas (zipper closure - last gasp). It was functional but not pretty I am going to find the most garish fabric and trim as is my style. I think I will add a few pockets to the lining to keep myself organized. I have some great antique buttons that would be best showcased on your wonderful bag.Thanx so much.
linrodann (author)  wyrdwoman11 months ago
I am glad you found it helpful. :) Best of luck on your bag!
BizosGirl1 year ago
I am in the process of making this bag and I'm having issues with connecting the back piece to the triangular piece.. When I sewed the bag together and turned it inside out I notices that it still had both rounded edges on the top.. I can't seem to figure out how to fix it...
linrodann (author)  BizosGirl1 year ago
It's hard for me to imagine what you're doing without seeing photos, but the back piece and triangular piece don't attach to each other directly; they each attach to opposite long edges of the skinny rectangle, so that it is between them.

I hope that helps. If not, it would be very helpful if you could show me a photo of your pieces so I have a better idea of what the problem is. :)
lhelton11 year ago
I just wanted to post my experience on this project. :) I absolutely LOVE the idea of it! :) I had made a template with cardstock, and somehow it came up missing. The closest alternative I could find, instead of making another one, was using a storage box lid! :) This is PERFECT for tracing! :) I almost have mine finished, so I'll try to add some pictures when I get it done. :)
linrodann (author)  lhelton11 year ago
Can't wait to see your pictures. :)
Wasagi1 year ago
Ahh, I love the look and size of this bag. I've been wanting a snug bag for my back when I don't need my full backpack, but their closures have been less than appealing. This on the other hand looks both functional and great!
How's the button closure holding up thusfar?
linrodann (author)  Wasagi1 year ago
Thanks! I haven't put it through the ringer so I can't vouch for its toughness, but I expect it to hold up well. And of course, it is easy to remove without damaging the fabric if necessary.
hyookami1 year ago
GOD, ¡¡This is Awesome!! I love both kinds of Closures. What about adding an stabilizing strap in case you need to Run?
linrodann (author)  hyookami1 year ago
Thank you! I have run and jumped with it on with no problems. I suppose if you wanted to be extra sure you could add another strap perpendicular to the first, that goes around the other side of your body and attaches to the first strap in the center of your chest.
PitStoP1 year ago
That's cool.. But did the snake like it? haha =) Nice job btw.
linrodann (author)  PitStoP1 year ago
I don't think they've used it yet, but she probably will. She likes snuggling in warm places and being near people. Thank you. :)
You know I was thinking on getting a camera bag and I was just now thinking when looking at this again that this with a little padding and a few pockets will make a nice DSLR camera bag. Great when climbing a rock wall to get a few nice pics from above! ;) I think I will make one sometime soon.
linrodann (author)  PitStoP1 year ago
Yeah, the nice thing about it is that it's snug against your back, so it doesn't move or flop around at all. If you do make one, I'd love to see it.
Yeah, just what I was thinking this way. This way it be safe and secure plus comfortable on my back . If I do make it, I will sure show it to you.
ushuaia1 year ago
Did you say "snake"??
linrodann (author)  ushuaia1 year ago
Yes, their snake is very friendly and enjoys traveling around with them. They wanted a nicer carrying-bag for her.
Very cute bag! And it looks pretty easy to put it all together!
linrodann (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago
Thank you! It is much easier if you aren't making it at the last minute at two in the morning. :P
I love it! Did you sew yours by hand?
linrodann (author)  Jessie Marie1 year ago
Thank you! Only the buttons were by hand, everything else by machine. Well, on the cream bag I whip-stitched it up the side by hand, but the stitching started to pull out so I topstitched it with the machine to secure it. You could do the whole thing by hand, but I don't recommend it. :P