This weekender bag is a versatile make for the experienced sewer. Use heavy duty canvas, upholstery fabric or even mock leather (with the recommended machine needles) for sturdy construction.
You will need
- 0.5 x 140cm wide main patterned fabric
- 0.5m x 110cm wide plain fabric
- 0.5 x 110cm wide black vinyl
- 1m x 110cm wide poly cotton for lining
- 1.5m iron-on Vilene
- 1.2m x 1cm diameter rope cut into two (seal the ends using cold glue)
- 4 jeans buttons
- 4 x D-rings
- strong matching thread for main bag
- matching thread for lining
- 80cm zip
- eyelet punch
- 1 bottle fabric stiffener
- rough paintbrush
- tapestry needle
NOTE All seams are 1cm
To make the weekender bag
- Cut out fabric according to templates and diagrams on the website.
- Iron on the Vilene and neaten the edges of each pattern piece to prevent fraying.
- Cut pieces of vinyl measuring the width of the zip x 4cm. Fold these in half over both ends of the zip.
- With right sides facing, pin the bag top strip along the zip and sew. Repeat for other side of zip (the vinyl should be enclosed in the seam). With right sides facing, pin lower side to top strip over zip and sew. Repeat for other side of zip.
- With right sides facing, pin the lower fronts to the main bag fronts and sew. Press so that the seam faces up (you can topstitch this seam to hold in position). Fold carefully in half to find the centre of the bag top and mark the centre with a pin. Repeat for other side.
- Cut out four pieces of vinyl measuring 2cm x 5cm. Fold in half around the silver D-rings and pin to the bag front with ends meeting the raw edges and the D-rings lying flat on the right side in the position shown on the template.
- Mark the centre of the top zip strip with a pin. With right sides facing, match from the centre out towards the edges on both sides and sew carefully matching raw edges and stopping 1cm from the edge at the end of the seams. Repeat for the other side.
- With right sides facing, pin the bag base in place and sew. Sew in all loose threads. Turn bag right side out.
- Fold over 1cm on one side of each bag top and sew. With right sides facing, pin the bag tops to the bag sides matching the raw edges and sew. Repeat for the other side.
- Fold the bag top strips in half and mark the centre point with a pin. Fold the bag front in half across and mark the centre with a pin. With right sides facing, match up the centres and pin. Starting from the centre sew carefully, stopping 1cm from the edge. Repeat from the centre to the other side. Repeat for bag back.
- Pin the base in place and sew carefully in place. Sew in all loose threads.
- Insert the lining into the bag with wrong sides facing. Using a sewing needle and making large stitches, tack the lining to the bag at the front and back join to the bag top. Then using a hem stitch, sew the hemmed edge carefully to the other side of the zip seam. Sew in all loose threads.
- With wrong sides facing, fold the vinyl handles lengthwise and sew 3mm in from the edge. Thread a long piece of the black thread through the ends of the rope and through a tapestry needle, and pull through the vinyl handles.
- Using the eyelet punch, make holes in the centre of the doubled vinyl, about 0.5cm from the end. Thread the end through the D-ring to measure distance between the holes and punch another hole. Push the jean button through the hole with the button facing outwards when the handle is up. Using a hammer or pliers, push the nail into the back of the button. Repeat for all handle joins.
- Fill the bag with cloths or plastic bags to make sure the bag is nicely shaped. Using a rough paint brush, brush the fabric stiffener onto the outside of the bag and hang overnight to dry.
MAKING YOUR OWN FABRIC STRAPS
This is the most economical solution for handles for your bags, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz things up a bit. With a few shiny metal accessories, we can make our fabric straps look really professional! Metal accessories like this can really add an edge to your bags. A simple bag design can be made to really stand out with a few artfully placed metal rings, or shoulder strap hooks.
Download the templates
See our other homemade bags:
Magazine issue date: Jan, 2015