Introduction: Indie Pillow Bag

About: I'm not a zombie
This is an instructable on how to make an Indie pillow bag/ mandolin case.

This is an awesome bag to have filled with an emergency pair of clothes and a blanket, in case your car breaks down, or just in case you want to spend the night somewhere out of the blue.  You'll be prepared and do it in style.

This a really unique bag - if you are going to a sleep over, just stick in a change of clothes or anything you don't mind laying on and it doubles as a pillow.  

If you like this instructable - rate it :) and if there is something you need me to clarify, just message me and I'll elaborate.  :)

I specifically made this as a gig bag for my mandolin, so that's the dimensions that I will have up, but you can change the sizes to fit your style.

Talk about multi-functional :)

Step 1: Supplies

To begin here is a list of things you need to make your Indie Pillow bag/ Mandolin bag

-some sort of material that you will use for the outside (I used a decorative scarf I found at Goodwill and it cost me $1)

- a second material for the inside of the bag ( used jo-ann remnants $2)

- sewing machine and a needle and thread (sewing the whole thing by hand TAKES FOREVER! would not recommend)

- safety pins or regular pins

- Poly -fil (a big bag costs about 3 dollars)

- Scissors

- measuring tape

- Exacto Knife

Step 2: Size and Cut

First you will need to cut your outside fabric

The dimensions for my cut out was  the length 32 inches, and the base 14 inches 32 24 14

You will need to cut out two 32 by 14 inch pieces ( or the sizing of your choice)

32 by 14 inches will make a longer skinny bag ( to fit say, a mandolin :) )  and if you want a shorter bag i would suggest making the length shorter and widening the base a little.

Next you will need to cut out the inner fabric (or the part you will use to create the pillow) i did not make the pillow go all the way to the top for my mandolin bag, but i would recommend having the inner fabric go all the way up under the scrunch band at the top.  This way it will not stick out after you have sewed the bag and will be less work in the long run.

Having said that - the dimensions I used in the picture are 24 by 14, but i would suggest seeing picture 3 and looking at the tag to see where the fabric should go. 

it should be long enough to fit right under the top of the folded rim - so about 30 by 14 in my approximation.

for the fold, measure 4-6 inches from the top of your outer fabric and fold it in half.  I would recommend pinning it down.

The last pieces that you will need to cut out are straps for your bag.  i cut a 28 inch strap and a 64 inch  strap.  the 64 inch strap was was about 8 inches thick, and the 28 inch strap was about 3 inches wide.  I used the 28 inch strap to go around the top of the bag and the 64 inch strap to be the back pack straps.  In the end i think i cut off about 6 inches to make the straps shorter.  but it's totally preference. 

Step 3: Make Your Life Easy

If you have a sewing machine, now would be the time to sew your inner fabric and your outer fabric together. 

You don't have to worry about sewing the whole bag together yet - but it will make your life easier in the long run if you sew both halves of your bag.


Next you will can look at pictures 2 and 3 to see where you will need to make holes to put your bag straps. 

Just mark where the holes are going to go and then move on to the next step.

Step 4: Cutting Strap Holes

For this part you need to know that at the top you will be cutting your holes only two inches down from the top, not through both sides of the folded material.  Once you have decided where you want the holes at the top, only cut through the layer that will be shown on the outside.

(see picture 4 if you are confused)

For the bottom holes however, you will be cutting through both layers.

After you have cut out the holes in the top and the bottom, you will want to sew around the holes (you should do this to the top holes even though it is pointless, just to make it more uniform)

After you sew the bottom holes together, both you inner and outer fabric should be connected.

See picture three.

Step 5: Padding the Bag

Now that you have sewed the holes, and hopefully took my advice in step three - it is time to pad your bag.

For the bag I made, i made sections on the back , but left the front flat.  I did this half because i was lazy and sewing by hand, but also because i wanted the outside to be smooth.

Therefore you will lean both ways, and can possibly make your own variations on sectioning when you make your bag.

On the back of the bag i started buy putting enough poly-fil in to make it puffy but not overly stiff.  then I sewed straight down the bag lengthwise.  I did this 4 times till I reached the top of the inner fabric.  If you followed my advice to make the inner fabric longer, you will probably have a couple more.

Then for the front i stuffed an equal amount of poly -fil through the bags front and then sewed lengthwise across the top

After you are finished with all of this it's time to start making putting your bag together.

Step 6: Sewing Together Your Bag

Time to sew together your bag.

What you want to do is pin your bag together inside out as shown in the picture.  then you will sew all along the edges of the bag.

Step 7: Scrunchy Top

Time to sew up the top.

To make this easier, you could lace the 28 inch strap around the inside of the bad and through the holes at the top of the bag.

Pin them up to the top so it doesn't get sewn in when you fold down the top.

After you fold down the top, sew along the bottom bottom edge around the entire top of the bag.

When you are done go ahead and flip your bag right side out.

Step 8: Putting on the Straps and Extras

At the top where you fed the 28 inch strap out the top hole, tie one side of the long strap to the end of the short strap.

Adjust the straps to be the right length, and then sew the other end of the short strap to the remaining end of the long strap (folded to the same width as the short strap).

I added a little heart to the bottom of the back and I called it a "Pick Pocket" because I put my pick there.

I would also like to note that the scarf i used had tassels on the bottom, so to keep them on the outside, i pinned them to the outside, so when i sewed my bad together they would be on the outside.

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