Sometimes it's nice to just have a light weight bag that is secure against you when you are out and about and really just need your essentials. Wallet, phone, tissues, passport or whatever. I have small children and I usually carry a big tote and its nice to just have a small bag that I can tuck inside a bigger bag and just grab it and go. It is very convenient when I am out shopping, running quick errands or traveling with the family.
Its very quick to put together and you can customize it to fit your needs, dress it up or dress it down, whatever you want. It won't cost a fortune to put together.
3 - fabric strips, 9 inches by 45 inches, the width of fabric (WOF) usually around 45 inches,
1 - piece of low loft quilt batting, 9 inches by 22 inches,
1- piece of low loft quilt batting, 2 inches by 45 inches,
1- button or bag closure of your choice (follow the manufacturer instructions for your choice)
Sewing machine, Iron and Ironing Board, hand sewing needle and coordinating thread(not pictured, but any will do)
Something round, bowl or small plate will work
Blue Painters tape, it does not leave an adhesive residue on the fabric or needles
Seam Ripper, just in case
Step 1: Cut Your Pieces
Fold one strip of fabric in half and cut 2, 9 inch by 22 inch pieces
Fold one strip in half and cut 1 piece 4 inches by the length of the fabric (approx. 45 inches)
Inside pocket - Cut 1 piece 12 inches by 7 inches.
Outside pocket - Cut 1 piece 12 inches by 5 inches
* pockets are totally optional, I like them so I am including them.
Step 2: Create the Small Pieces
To make the pockets:
Fold the inside pocket fabric in half, right sides facing each other to make a 7 inch by 6 inch rectangle, the folded edge is the top.
Fold the outside pocket fabric in half, right sides facing each other to make a 5 inch by 6 inch rectangle, the folded edge is the top.
Using the sewing machine, stitch 1/4 inch from the edge around the three sides of each pocket leaving a small opening at the bottom for turning. Clip the corners, being careful not to cut into the stitches. The clipping will help the corners lay flat and square.
Turn the pockets right side out, adjust the corners and iron flat. Stitch 1/4 inch across the folded top, this is to stabilize the pocket top. The opening at the bottom will still be there, its ok, it will be closed when the pocket is attached to the bag. The pockets are complete. Set aside.
To make the strap:
Fold the 4 inch long strip in half with right sides facing out to make a 2 inch strip and press with iron to make a really good crease. Then open up the strip and fold in one edge to the crease and press with the iron to make a really good crease being careful not to iron out the center crease, you are going to need that in a minute, then fold the other edge in to the crease and press with the iron. Now open your strip and place the 2 inch wide strip of batting down the center of the 4 inch strip and fold the outer edges in. then fold the 2 outside edges together, pressing and pinning as you go to create a 1 inch strip.
Using the sewing machine, stitch 1/8 from the edge to close the strip and then stitch 1/8 inch along the folded edge to create a nice flat strip for the bag strap. Trim the ends to make a nice flat edge and then fold them up 1/2 inch, press and stitch in place. The strap is complete, Set aside.
Step 3: Create the Bag Body
To create the bag body, layer the 2 bag body pieces together, right sides facing each other and then lay the batting piece on top. Smooth it all out nice and flat and pin together. Place something round near the corners at one end and trace around it to create the rounded edge. This line will be your outer edge.
I recommend using a scrap starter piece of fabric so the edges do not bunch up when you begin sewing. Using the sewing machine, stitch 1/4 inch from the edges and from the lines you drew at the one end, leaving a small opening for turning. Then clip your corners and trim the rounded edge with the pinking sheers being careful not to cut into the stitches. This will help the edges to flatten nicely when turned.
Turn the bag right side out, adjust the corners and all edges then iron nice and flat. Turn the opening in 1/4 inch and hand sew too close. Press it flat with the iron.
Add the fold lines. Measure 8 1/2 inches up from the flat end and mark a line across with the blue painters tape. Measure 8 1/2 inches up from the stitch line and mark another line across with blue painters tape. The fold lines help the bag to fold nice and flat and help to keep its shape. When the bag is folded it should be a 8 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch square.
Step 4: Attaching the Small Pieces to the Bag
Attach the outside items first. Start with the strap then add the pocket.
Measure in 1 inch from the outer edge and 1 1/2 inches down from the top fold line. Pin in place then stitch about 1/8 from the strap edge in a 1 inch square with an X in the middle. Make sure your strap is flat the way you want it and not accidentally wonky before stitching.
Then measure 1 1/2 inches up from the bottom fold line and place the 6 inch by 5 inch outside pocket on that measurement and between the straps. Pin in place and stitch in place around 3 sides leaving the top open.
Turn over the bag body and attach the inside pocket.
Measure up from the bottom fold line 1 inch and in from the outer edges 1 inch and center the pocket. Stitch 1/8 inch from the edge around 3 sides being careful not to stitch your strap, make sure it is out of the way. Add some small stitches at an angle at the top corners, this will help keep your pockets from tearing.
Adding the button and buttonhole.
*If you are using an alternative closure, just follow the manufacturers instructions for placement and attaching.
First thing I do is figure out where I want the button to be. I place it on the flap and put a piece of painters tape at the top and bottom. Then I find my center and put a piece of tape on each side of the center leaving enough room for the stitches that will hold the button on. Usually a 1/2 inch or less depending on the size of your button. I draw a line down the center and add about 1/8 to the end going up. This is to allow room for the button to slide in/out comfortably.
To make the button hole, I straight stitch just off of the edge of the line on both sides then I run a narrow satin stitch along the straight stitches being careful not to cross the center line as this would close the button hole at each end I add a few very wide satin stitches. (I normally practice on a scrap piece before actually stitching on the finished bag.) Once the button hole is finished, use the seam ripper to open the button hole and finish the opening carefully with the scissors. Make sure the button fits through the hole.
Fold the bag the way so it appears closed. Lay the button over the button hole where it should be when attached. Stick an ink pen or marker through the center holes on the button going through the button hole to make a mark where the button needs to be attached on the other side. Open everything up, place the button over the mark and using the blue painters tape, attach the button to the fabric. Lower the feed dogs on the sewing machine, and using an open toe foot, place your button under the foot. lower the foot and set the zig zag stitch wide enough to get through the button holes and change the stitch length to zero. Hold the button/fabric securely and slowly stitch it in place. Be careful not to hit the button. If in doubt, attach the button by hand.
Step 5: Create the Bag
To create the bag, stitch 1/4 inch along the flat edge, this is the bag opening. Fold the bag from the bottom fold line and pin together leaving the rounded edge flap open. Tuck the strap into the outside pocket so it is out of the way. Starting on one side, stitch 1/4 inch along the side, backstitching at the point where the bag opening and flap meet, and continue with the 1/4 inch stitch all the way around, making sure to backstitch where the flap meets the bag opening on the other side and continue stitching until you get to the bottom on the other side. Do not stitch across the bottom of the bag. Iron the bag edges so they are nice and flat. Close the flap and iron the flap so it has a nice crease.
Ta-dah! The lightweight cross body bag is now complete!
This is an entry in the
Sew Tough Challenge