I am completely addicted to sewing bags! I have tried my hand at many handbag patterns and thought it was about time to write my own! I’d like to introduce you to the Naughty Secretary Bag! I’m not really sure how I arrived at this name…it just popped into my head, lol. At a generous 15″ x 14″ size, this bag totes around books, a laptop, whatever!
|Bag made using Joel Dewberry ‘Ginseng’ fabric|
This sewing pattern is intended for a confident beginner or intermediate sewer. There are a lot of steps, but everything is do-able! I would be happy to answer any questions along the way, via a comment or in my Flickr group! I hope you like it, please let me know what you think, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll want to sew it for yourself!
- 1 yard of fabric for the exterior
- 1 yard of fabric for the accents, straps, and false bottom
- 1 yard of fabric for the lining
- 2 yards of Pellon Shape-Flex (fusible woven interfacing) if you are using a decor-weight as your main fabric, -OR- 4 yards of Pellon Shape-Flex if you are using quilt-weight cotton as your main fabric
-1/4 yard of fusible fleece
- half inch magnetic snap
- piece of cardboard approximately 15″ x 15″ (cardboard boxes work great!)
Helpful hints: If you have never used fusible interfacing before, you can find it at your local fabric store. My Joann Fabrics stocks the interfacing near the cutting counter, and you want to look for the bolts with the lilac-colored labels…those are the fusible ones.
If you are more experienced at sewing bags, you might want to substitute in 1/2 yard of Pellon Peltex fusible interfacing for the Exterior fabric portions of the bag. This will make a bag that can stand up on its own. Use the Peltex on the Exterior Main Panels and Exterior Side Panels only. I am not a fan of using fusible fleece for the outside of bags, because it tends to make them look crinkly.
STEP 1 ~ CUT OUT THE PATTERN PIECES
1a. Using the attached .pdf file, print out the pattern pieces for:
-Top Side Panel
1b. Tape the Side Panel pieces together at the dotted line to form one piece. This will be your Side Panel pattern piece.
STEP 2 ~ CUT OUT YOUR FABRIC
From the Exterior Fabric
2a. Cut 2 pieces each 14-1/2″ tall x 16″ wide. These will be your Exterior Main Panels.
2b. Using the Side Panel pattern piece, cut 2 pieces on the fold. These will be your Exterior Side Panels.
2c. Cut 2 pieces 4″ tall x 15″ wide. These will be your False Bottom Panels.
From the Lining Fabric
2d. Cut 2 pieces each 14-1/2″ tall x 16″ wide. These will be your Lining Main Panels.
2e. Using the Side Panel pattern piece, cut 2 pieces on the fold. These will be your Lining Side Panels.
2f. Cut 1 piece 5″ tall x 16″ wide. This will be your Lining Bottom Panel.
From the Accent Fabric
2g. Fold your fabric selvage to selvage (the finished edges of your fabric). Cut off the printed selvage. Cut a straight line 6″ away from the selvage. Repeat twice. This will leave you with 3 strips that are 6″ wide by approximately 44″ long. The strips will become the Handles.
2h. Cut out the Top Band pattern piece on the fold. Repeat until you have 4 pieces.
2i. Using the Side Accent pattern piece, cut 4 pieces on the fold.
2j. Using the Top Side Panel piece, cut 4 pieces on the fold.
2k. Cut 1 piece measuring 5″ tall x 16″ wide. This will be your Exterior Bottom Panel.
For the Pockets
2l. With your leftover fabric, cut 2 pieces each measuring 10″ tall by 16″ long. These will be made into pockets on one side.
From the Fusible Woven Interfacing
2m. Repeat steps 2a. and 2b. and 2k.
If you are using decor-weight/cotton canvas fabric as your exterior, cut 2 pieces each for 2a. and 2b and 2k. Using the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse 1 piece onto the wrong side of each exterior fabric piece.
If you are using quilt-weight cotton as your exterior, cut 4 pieces each for 2a. and 2b and 2k. Using the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse 2 pieces onto the wrong side of each exterior fabric piece.
2n. Repeat steps 2d. and 2e, and 2f. Fuse 1 pieces onto the wrong side of each fabric piece.
2o. Repeat step 2i, for a total of 2 Top Band pieces. Fuse 1 piece onto the wrong side of each Top Band fabric.
2p. Repeat step 2j. Cut 8 pieces total and fuse 2 pieces per Side Accent.
From the Fusible Fleece
2q. Cut 2 strips measuring 1-3/8″ x 52″. Set aside.
2r. Cut 4 squares measuring approximately 1.5″ x 1.5″. These will be used later to enforce the snap (if you used Pellon Peltex for your bag, complete this step with the Peltex instead).
2s. Repeat step 2i. for a total of 2 pieces. Fuse these per manufacturer instructions, to the wrong side of 2 of the Top Band pieces.
Helpful Hint: Several readers suggested using plastic quilting template in place of the cardboard (in case it gets wet). I use cardboard as a thrifty option, but the plastic template will work just as well!
4a. Take 1 Exterior Side Panel piece and 1 Top Side Panel piece. Place the Top Side Panel at the top of the Exterior Side Panel (the short edge), right sides together. Sew across that edge. Press the seam toward the Top Side Panel. On the right side of the Top Side Panel, topstitch 1/4″ away from the bottom of the Top Side Panel.
5a. Take 1 Exterior Main Panel and 1 Top Band piece (with the woven interfacing fused to it). The 16″ edges of the Exterior Main Panel will be at the top and bottom. With the Exterior Main Panel facing you, place the Top Band piece face down on top of it. The “prong” on each side of the Top Band should be even with the top of the Exterior Main Panel. Pin.
5e. Take your 3 Handle pieces. Cut 1 of them in half. This will give you 2 long strips and 2 short strips. With right sides together, sew 1 long strip to 1 short strip. Press seam open. Repeat for the remaining pieces. This will leave you with 2 new Handle pieces.
5f. Take 1 Handle piece and fold it down the center, length-wise. Press. Open the fold. Take the bottom half and fold it up to the crease. Press. Then take the top half and fold it up to the crease. Press. This will give your Handle 3 creases equal distance from each other.
5g. Using 1 of the fleece strips that you cut earlier, slide it into one half of the strap. Fold the handle in half down the original center crease. This will leave you with a 1.5″ handle. Press. Repeat for the other Handle piece. Topstitch 1/4″ away from each long edge. Next trim each Handle – they should be 52″ long.
5g. Make a vertical line, with a fabric marker, on your Exterior Main Panel, 4″ away from the left edge. Make another vertical line 4″ away from the right edge. Pin 1 Handle to the inside of the left line, beginning at the raw edge of the Exterior Main Panel. Bring the other end of the Handle and start pinning to the inside of the right line. Make sure the Handle is not twisted. The middle of the Handle should continue over the top of the Exterior Main Panel.
5h. Topstitch along the left and right side of the handle, this time 1/8″ from the edge of the Handle. Start from the bottom of the Exterior Main Panel and STOP when you reach the middle of the Top Band (This is really important!! If you sew all the way to the end, you won’t be able to get your Handle inside when you sew the exterior and lining of the bag together). Repeat with the other side of the Handle.
5i. Repeat steps 5e.-5h. for the other Exterior Main Panel.
6a. Take 1 Exterior Main Panel and 1 Exterior Side Panel. The Exterior Main Panel should be facing you. Place the Exterior Side Panel face down on the right side of the Exterior Main Panel. The side edges should be even. Also take care to match the seams from the accent pieces so they will line up after you have sewn them. Pin along the side edge. Sew and backstitch at each end. Press seam open.
7a. Pick up both of your pocket pieces. With right sides together, pin along one long edge. Sew. Press seam open. Flip so that both right sides are facing out. Press again. Topstitch the finished edge, 1/4″ away.
7b. Place the pocket so that the unfinished long edge is flush with the raw edge of the bottom of one of the Interior Main Panels. The right side of the Interior Main Panel should be facing you. Pin the bottom and the sides. Sew a basting stitch 1/4″ away from the edge, starting at the short end on the right side. Pivot at the corner, sew along the long unfinished edge, then sew up the remaining short edge. Fold the assembled Interior Main Panel in half lengthwise, making a crease in the center. Topstitch down this crease, which will divide your pocket into 2 compartments (it is helpful to sew starting at the bottom of the pocket, to avoid puckers).
7c. Repeat steps 5a.-5d. using your lining fabrics (you will be using the Top Panel pieces with the fleece fused to them).
8a. Repeat step 4a. using your lining fabrics until both Interior Side Panels are assembled.STEP 9 ~ ASSEMBLE THE INTERIOR OF THE BAG
9a. Repeat steps 6a.-6f. When you get to step 6d., make sure you leave a 4″ opening on one of the long edges. This opening is so that you will be able to turn your bag in a later step (important!!!). Leave interior wrong side out.STEP 10 ~ PUT IN THE MAGNETIC SNAP
10a. Take the small squares of fusible fleece that you cut earlier. With the prongs of 1 end of the snap in the middle of the fleece, mark the prong placement with a fabric marker or chalk. Cut small slits at the marks. Repeat for all of the squares.
10b. Place 2 squares of fleece and one half of the magnetic snap, with the washer, in front of you. Slide the prongs of the snap through both pieces of fleece, to make sure that the slits are big enough. Repeat for the remaining 2 squares of fleece and the other half of the magnetic snap.
10c. Now take your bag interior. Fold it in half and mark the halfway spot on both the front and back of the bag. Measure down from the center 2″, and make another mark. At this second mark, take the other half of the snap and mark the prong placement. Cut small slits at the marks. Repeat so there are slits in both the front and in the back of the bag.
Helpful Hint: I like to put a little dab of Fray Check on the fabric where I’ve cut the slits (optional).
10d. Put one set of fleece/snap through the right side of the front of the bag. Put the 2 squares of fleece on the wrong side of the bag. Slide the washer on the prongs, and put pressure on the prongs to make them lie flat, away from each other. Repeat for the other fleece/snap and the right side of the back of the bag.
11a. Place the exterior of the bag (still right side out) inside of the bag lining (which is still wrong side out). They should be right sides together. Make sure the handles are pushed down in between the exterior and the lining, so that you don’t sew through them.
11b. Pin along the top edge. Sew along the entire top edge of the bag (making sure not to sew through the handles), backstitching at each end.
11c. Pull the exterior of the bag out through the lining. Topstitch or slip-stitch the opening in your lining closed. Press.
Helpful Hint: You may want to topstitch the top of the bag after it is assembled, about 1/4″ from the top edge. This gives it a crisp, professional look.
AND YOU’RE DONE!! CONGRATULATIONS!
|Bag by Kim! Blogged here: http://gogokim.blogspot.com/2011/06/sewing-to-get-excited-about.html|
I hope you will want to sew this bag up for yourself! Please let me know if there are any details that I’ve missed, or any mistakes I can fix on this pattern to make it easier to use.
The fine print: This pattern is intended for personal use. Please do not take any of my wording or instructions. I don’t mind if you make the bags to sell on Etsy or at craft fairs. I’d love it if you linked back to my tutorial! Thanks!