I've been dying to make a bag with bamboo handles for a long time. I don't really care if they aren't trendy or in style, I just kinda like them and I wanted one. I love the light feel of the bamboo rings in my hands, I love that handmade, "basket-ish" look, and best of all, I love how EASY and FAST they are to make.
|Bag #1 made out of Ty Pennington's Decor Fabric|
I made my first one, with wrong dimensions, out of Ty Pennington decor fabric and it was a bit thick in the gathered areas, but keeps it's shape very well. The second bag, with the dimensions worked out, is made from a modern Moda print quilting cotton, and it turned out rather nice. Note: If I were to use home decor fabric again, I would cut the exterior fabric at least 1.5 cm or 1 inch longer from top to bottom so that I would have a bit more fabric to wrap around the handles. Also, a thimble is necessary to do a small bit of hand sewing through decor fabric.
|Bag#2 is made of Quilting Cotton, and a bit easier to work with.|
|Makes a great knitting bag!|
Ok, enough silliness, on with the tutorial:
- 1 Pair of 7 inch (18cm) Bamboo Purse Handles
(found on ebay, Etsy or your local knitting or craft store.)
- 2 x 13 inches (33 cm) piping cord, ribbon or 1/4" (5 mm) elastic
- 1 Yard (1 meter) of Quilting cotton for Exterior
- 1 Yard (1 meter) of Quilting cotton for Lining.
- One 8" x 10" (20cm x 25cm) scrap of fusible Interfacing for Pocket
(pocket optional, interfacing optional)
Let's get started:
1) Make the pocket: Fuse your 10"x8" piece of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your pocket piece. If you don't have any, don't fret - it's just there to create some extra sturdiness. Fold your pocket in half, right sides together so you have a piece that it is now 8" x 5 ". Sew around the 3 open sides, leaving a 2.5" gap for turning. See diagram.
Stitch down one side, across bottom (stitching down opening used for turning) and up other side, leaving the folded edge open. Remember to backstitch! I like to use a bar tack to make my pocket openings secure.
2) Attach Lining to Exterior: Place lining on top of Exterior fabric, right sides together. Pull side edges of exterior fabric in to meet side edges of lining. With the lining centered from top to bottom, pin along left and right sides and sew a 3/8" (1 cm) seam up both sides. The lining will extend from both the top and bottom ends 2 5/8" (6.5 cm). The Exterior fabric is wider than the lining, so it will be gathered up a bit in the middle. See picture!
|Stitch on red lines, click to enlarge.|
With right sides out, and fabric making a tube shape, center the lining on top of the exterior fabric. Press. You should have about 7/8" or 2 cm of the exterior fabric sticking out on the left and right sides. These will form the casing in which you will insert your elactic, ribbon, or piping cord for the sides. See picture:
|Center lining over Exterior and press|
3) Make cording (or elastic) casings: Stitch along seam between lining and exterior fabric from very top to very bottom edges. Remember to backstich. Stitch "in the ditch" or just beside. Also stitch down the top and bottom raw edges of your lining piece 3/8" or 1 cm from the edge. Do not stitch across the casings you have just created on the left and right sides, but stop and start at your seam lines. See pictures!
|Stitch up sides and across top edge of lining.|
|Red Lines are stitching lines. Click to zoom!|
5) Hem Top and Bottom: Turn over a 3/8" or 1 cm hem on top and bottom. Press. Stitch this down about 1/8" or 3mm next to the folded edge. If you are really industrious, you could finish that raw edge, but it's not that necessary. These areas at the top and bottom create the casings that will fold over the bamboo handles.
6) Mark Casing for hand sewing: This is a very handy trick to help meet your edges evenly - I love it!! With quilters chalk, or an erasable marker or pen, you will mark across the edge where you will hand stitch the handle casing edge to the lining. Yes, I said hand stitch. Don't panic, it's really fast and easy!!
Fold the top casing down so the top edge meets the sewing line on the lining. Pin or clip in place. Mark every few inches across the seam. Remove pins.
7) Sew Handle Casing: Wrapping the casing edge around your bag handle, meet the folded edge to the seam line and whip stitch to secure. Pin a few inches at a time, meeting your chalk/pen lines together. Make sure you are sewing into the seam allowance only, and not through to the bag front, like I did! (Sew folded edge to seam allowance)
|The red marks are a stitching guide, don't sew like that!|
|Sew like this!|
And that's it! Wasn't that too easy? I love these Great Granny Bags! I need to make another....
If you have found this tutorial helpful in the slightest way, please follow my blog by either GFC, Blog-lovin, Email or signing up for my Newsletter on the right side bar. And... please share your finished bags with me in the Emmaline Bags Flickr Group. I love to see your finished Emmaline inspired projects!