Practical classic holdall

Practical classic holdall

A vintage favourite gets a modern makeover. This holdall is the perfect storage spot for your works in progress!


You’ll need

  • 4 wooden hangers
  • 3 x 46cm lengths of 12mm dowel
  • 6 screws
  • screwdriver
  • drill with 4mm wooden bit
  • 46cm x 94cm heavy-duty fabric
  • matching sewing thread
Click here to download the gusset pattern

To make

  1. Cut fabric 46cm x 69cm for main pattern piece. Mark centres on long edges. Use pattern piece from enlarged diagram to cut two gussets, placing the pattern with straight side on the fold of doubled material. Pin a gusset into place, matching x on gusset with marked centre. Machine stitch using a 6mm seam. Clip curved seams and press. Fold over 5cm on long edges of main piece, turn in raw edges and hem at this point, leaving sides open so that the dowels can be inserted. Cut 2 strips measuring 3cm x 23cm, or use contrast bias binding. Fold in half WS together along the long edge. Open and fold raw edges into fold line. Press. Pin strip over raw edge of the gusset as a binding, folding in at edges to neaten. Sew. This adds strength to the bag.
  2. Drill a 4mm hole into the centre of each end of all three dowels. Straighten wire hooks and remove them
    from hangers.
  3. Drill a hole through each hanger 6cm from the end. Drill additional holes through each hanger 10cm away from the other end – to create the crossed bottom of the frame.
  4. Attach one dowel as a top rail between the two hangers with the screw inserted through the top holes, and tighten screws. Attach a second top rail between the two remaining hangers in the same way. The two halves of the frame are now complete. Place the two halves together, crossing the hangers in such a way that the bottom holes in the hanger ends coincide.
  5. Attach dowel for lower rail with screws inserted through both these holes at both ends and tighten.
  6. When bag is complete, remove screws at one end of both top rails and slide bag onto rails. Replace screws.

Tip: Canvas and shweshwe are ideal for this project.


Magazine issue date: September, 2016