I am back with another project made in collaboration with Fabric Guys : a little step by step to teach you to make boxy bags.
Although in recent weeks my sewing has changed significantly, I wanted to keep up with some of my original sewing plans. From the moment I saw this cute owls canvas cotton I wanted it. As I wouldn’t really be wearing something made with owls, I’ve gone for the next best thing, and made some boxy bags.
Boxy Bag Tutorial
I made them in different sizes, and I can put all sorts of things into them from shoes to make-up items.
If you are not sure how to make one, I’ve put together a little tutorial for you to follow and make your own boxes. The tutorial and fabric requirements is for the big boxy bag in the picture above.
To make one of these boxes apart from the tools ( sewing machine, scissors, iron, pins, thread, etc) you also need:
- rectangles 36 cm x 30 cm: 2 main fabric, 2 lining fabric (I used leftover from other projects), 2 in fusible batting/fleece (make the bag sturdier and look more like a box) 2 in heavyweight interfacing (make the lining fabric stiffer and help the bag hold it’s
- 1 rectangle 8 cm x 20 cm (I forgot to add it in the picture) – it can be matched to the lining fabric or outer fabric.
- 1 zipper – for my bag I used a 41 cm long one. (36 cm +5 cm). A longer zipper will make life easier later)
If fusible batting/fleece is not available, you can skip this and use heavyweight interfacing instead, it’s just the bag won’t be cushy on the inside. Also, normal quilting batting can be used (quilt it to the exterior fabric before starting to make the bag).
Throughout the project I used a 1 cm seam allowance (if the zipper tape is not wide enough, you might need to adjust the seam allowance when inserting the zipper, this will not affect the finished bag).
Step 1: The first step is to fuse the interfacing and batting to the fabric. I prefer to pair the batting with the outside fabric and the interfacing with the lining fabric. Once this is completed you will end up with 4 large rectangles.
Step 2: Making the tabs – fold right sides together the small rectangle and sew along the longest side. Trim seam allowance, turn the little tube to the right side and press. Cut in half and put to the side.
Step 3: Position the zipper with the teeth facing the right side of the fabric like in the picture. If you are not too confident, you can baste the zipper to the fabric before continuing.
Step 4: Line one of the lining pieces with the right side of the main fabric and a zipper making sure the rectangles of fabric are sitting on top of each other, pin and sew. (If you are looking from above you would only see one rectangle)
Step 5: Turn to the right side press if needed and topstitch through all layers.
Repeat steps 3 to 5 for the other side of the zipper making sure all rectangles are lining up. You will end up with something that looks like in the picture below.
Step 6: Close the zip about half way into the bag and as close as you can get to the edge of the fabric put a couple of stitches to keep the zipper tapes close on the side you have to leave open. I secure the zip at both ends so that I can trim way the excess zipper tape before going forward.
Step 7: With right sides together, sew the outer fabric along the side opposite the zipper. Then mark on the lining a big enough space on the opposite edge to the one with the zipper. Depending on how big the bag is the gap needs to be bigger to allow for the bag to be turned to the right side. I left for my bag about 10-15 cm. Sew the seam from the side to the mark and then from the mark to the other side. Then press the seam open so it looks like in the picture below.
Step 8: Fold the bag so that the zipper seam and the opposite seam to the zipper are in the centre of the bag on both the main fabric and the lining. Then using the two little tabs you made in Step2 fold them in half and centre them in between the zipper teeth and the outer fabric with the raw edges facing the seam. It’s a bit tricky, but well worth it. It might be a good idea to baste them in place to keep them from moving out of place.
Step 9: Sew through all the layers (outer bag and lining).
Step 10: Turn the bag so that the right side of the lining is showing. Now you will realise if the gap you left in the lining is big enough to turn the bag inside out.
Step 11: Flatten the bag as much as you can and push out the points. Then using a ruler mark the corner. I used for my bag 5 cm in from the corner and a chalk pen so that I can erase the line later. If you want the bag to be deeper /shallower then draw your line further or closer to the corner. You will need to match the seam edges of in the middle of the corner to get a balanced bag.
Step 12: Stitch on top of the marked line. Remember to backstitch at both ends to secure the thread.
Repeat for all the corners. You will end up with the bag looking like in the picture below.
Now it’s up to you if you. But I found that by hand-sewing the corners to the lining the bags gets more structure and looks like a sturdy box.
Step 13: Hand sew the gap in the lining, using a slip stitch. If you don’t mind exposed stitches, you can close it up by running a row of stitches as close to the folded edge as possible.
Step 14: Turn the bag right side together and your are finished.
I made a few of these bags or different sizes and I can keep all sorts of things in them. They are a perfect got gifts for all your favourite people.
Disclaimer: I was sent the supplies free of charge in exchange for an honest post. The opinions in the post are my own and not influenced in any way by The Fabric Guys and/or the manufacturers.