Here are my instructions for an easy to make zippered shoulder bag. If you are like me and need a bag that is big enough to carry your phone, iPad and purse, but small and light enough to carry around all day, this could be the perfect option.
You can easily change the colours of the fabric and number of zippered pockets to personalise your bag.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
- 3 Pieces of A3 paper for the template
- Ruler, Pencil
- Sewing Machine
- Fabric & Paper Scissors
- Cotton or Cotton/Polyester Fabric (you can choose any colour/s you would like. I used a patterned fabric for the front and a plain fabric for the inside and the back)
- 3 x 18cm Zips
- Quilt Batting (23cm x 26cm)
- Thread to match your fabric
- Webbing of your choice for the strap
Step 2: Pin Template Onto the Fabric
Pin the template onto the fabric you are going to use and cut out the fabric.
I find it helpful to label each piece of template so that I can remember which piece is which. (check out the measurements that I used, these could be changed to make the bag slightly bigger or smaller)
I made my template as wide as the zip I was using.
Step 3: Fold and Iron Sides
Collect your three front pieces.
Make a 1cm fold on the top and bottom edge of the middle piece. (two longest sides) and the top edge of the top and bottom piece. Iron in place.
Step 4: Pinning the Zips
Place the folded edges of the fabric along the zips and pin them in place.
For the front I used two zips, however you can add or take away zips as you desire.
Step 5: Sewing the Front Piece Together
Sew along all of the zippers using a zipper foot on the sewing machine. Stay close to the actual zipper.
When sewing my zips on I used the pattern of my fabric to determine where I was going to sew and to make sure I sewed in a straight line. The pattern also helped to hide the stitches.
Step 6: Beginning the Back
Collect your two back pieces.
Make a 1cm fold on the top edge of both pieces. Iron in place. (as for front)
Pin folded edges of back pieces onto the zipper, as shown above. (as for front)
Step 7: Sewing the Back Together
Sew the zipper onto the fabric using the zipper foot on the sewing machine.
Step 8: Pocket Template
For the pockets a different template is required.
Cut this template out of an A3 piece of paper, pin to fabric (I used the plain blue fabric) and cut them out.
Step 9: Making the Bottom Pocket
Fold top edges over 1 cm and iron. Place this pocket so that it completely covers the bottom zipper and pin in place. (If it does not cover the whole bottom, you may need to make the fold smaller) Using the zipper foot, sew along the fold on the top of the fabric.
Step 10: Adding the Strap
Place the front bag piece face up on table and pin the strap in the top corners, as shown in the diagram. Place the back piece face down on top of it.
Step 11: Cutting the Batting
Using the Inside Lining template (or the inside lining fabric) cut out the quilt batting. Place the quilt batting inside the two pieces of lining fabric, as shown in diagram.
Step 12: Adding the Batting
Place the inner lining (fabric and batting) on top of the back piece (as shown in diagram). Pin around the edges to keep in it place.
I also did some tacking to hold this all in place while sewing it together.
Step 13: Sewing It Together
Sew around the four edges of the bag, sewing all of the layers together. (I used to zipper foot. Be careful to avoid the metal zipper stoppers. Sewing over these will break your needle)
Once sewn, remove the tacking by pulling at the tip with the knot in it. Cut off corners, being careful not to cut the stitches.
Step 14: Turning It Inside Out
Open the zip on the front of the bag and turn the bag inside out by pulling the fabric through the open zip.