What you need:
- Fabric. The bag I’m making will end up being 4” wide by 5.75” tall. Accounting for seam allowances (.5” on both sides and 1.25” on the front and back top pieces) and the fact that the bottom of the bag will be on the fold, my pattern will end up being 14” by 5”. If you choose to make your bag in a different size, your pattern should still look likethis
- a safety pin or wide eye needle
- a ruler
- scissors and/or a rotary blade
- cord, ribbon, or 1/2” cotton twill tape
- a lighter
- sewing machine and thread
what you do:
step 1. Fold your fabric in half and cut to be 5 inches wide and 7 inches long (14 inches when you unfold the fabric). 2 inches below the top opening clip 1/4 of an inch into the fabric. That is your notch.
Step 2. Now bring your future bag over to the sewing machine. We are going to french seam the sides for a clean finished look. So, with right sides facing out, stitch 1/8th of an inch from the edge making sure to stop at the notch mark 2 inches below to the top. Back stitch to lock your stitches. Repeat on the other side. Clip the threads and any frayed fabric bits that could potentially show.
Step 3. Turn fabric inside out and push corners out with the end of your scissors. Now finger press the fabric so that the inside seam is right at the edge. Stitch ¼ of an inch from the edge stopping at the notch again. Back stitch, trim, and repeat on the other side.
Step 4. In the 2 inch upper section fold the unsewn sides inward ¼ of an inch, which your notches should allow you to do perfectly. (you can either finger press or actually iron the pieces to keep them in place). Sew 1/8th of an inch from the edge trying to match up to the ¼ inch side seam on the bottom section. Stop at the notch, back stitch, and trim. Repeat on the other 3 sides. *Make sure not to sew the two sides together other wise you won’t be able to thread the cord through.*
Step 5. Fold the top down ¼ of an inch and then fold in half matching the edge to the notch. Stitch down 1/8th of an inch from the edge hiding the raw fabric inside. Back stitch a couple times on both sides for safety and trim. Repeat on the other side. (Because I’m using thin cord I like to stitch another row ½ of an inch above the row you just sewed, again back stitch a few times for safety.) Now, turn your bag right side out.
Step 6. Measure your cord to be 4 times the width of your bag plus 15 inches. Then cut in half. With your wide eye needle or safety pin, thread the cord through from left to right. Making sure to leave the end hanging out at the left, thread the cord back through from right to left. And tie a slip knot at the ends. Now repeat, but this time thread your cord from right to left initially and then back around from left to right.
Step 7. Now for the fun part! If you are using a nylon cord like I did, trim the excess cord after the knot, and with your lighter melt the ends together for a nice secure finish!
CONGRATS. You’re all done. Cinch that bag closed and listen to your success! And please check back for the next DIY: the needlepoint brooch pin.