I’ve seen so many new sewers on-line worry about patterns – remember they are just another tool!!
So, I thought I would invite you to come along with me and I will show you how I went about making the bag – without a pattern.
Now we need to trim our curves!! (and no exercise or diet required!!!)
When you sew a curved seam you need to do one of the following to ensure that your seam ‘sits right’.
For an outer curve like we have just done, you need to snip little triangles from the seam allowance . I have done it on the paper so you can see what I mean. Be careful not to snip through the stitching but don’t worry if you do – just go and sew again in a little more.
If, on the other hand, you sew an inner curve, you snip into the stitching as I have shown on the paper.
Turn the outer bag to the right side and ‘roll’ the seam between your fingers and thumbs to get the nice round shape.
Oh my goodness!! where is the moisturiser?????? :/
I then pressed the seams ‘open’ (just to make it easier to join)
Then we simply slide the inner bag (wrong side out) into the outer bag (right side out)
Then, taking care to match the side seams, pin the two together
Put that aside now while we cut the top border and the handle.
Take the other half of the A4 sheet of paper and fold it in half lengthways so you have a long strip. Cut along the crease. Take one piece and fold it in half, then in half again, and again. Open it up and you have 8 segments. Cut it off at 5 – so you have a piece 5 long and one 3 long. Screw the 3 one up and trash it! Keep the other long piece till later.
With the 5 piece you are going to use it to cut 2 pieces for the band. Fold your fabric so that the short end of the paper is on the fold and cut – do this 2 times. If you only have a short piece of fabric, of course you can cut 4 pieces – just remember to leave a seam allowance on both ends. See how understanding and forgiving this sewing stuff is!!!!
Take a strip and, with right sides together, stitch to join so that it now forms a circle. Now do the same with the other strip. Press the seams open.
(If you have 4 pieces you are going to join 2, right sides together at both ends!!)
Using the seam as one side seam, press your band to crease the other end. Now put the crease and the seam together and press both ends to crease. You have now divided it into 4. You can mark the edge of the creases with a pencil or cut a small slit to mark it.
Do the same with your bag.
We do this so that when we gather the bag to fit the band, we will have an even spread of gathers!
So let’s keep working…..
Take your bag that you have pinned together and use a gathering stitch (the largest stitch), sew around the bag – be careful of the pins (you can sew right over them if you pin them like I have – just go carefully till you see how it goes) and stop short of where you started – don’t oversew. Don’t start or end with a double stitch and don’t cut the threads off short.
Now do another row the same about 3mm away from the first (no-one’s watching so you don’t have to measure!!).
Take a thread from each row at the starting point and tie them together – you don’t need to remember your Girl Guide knots – just so they are secured.
From the end of both rows,take a thread (make sure you get both top threads OR both bobbin threads or they will lock) and pull them while sliding the fabric to form gathers with your other hand – carefully!
(If you don’t know your own strength and happen to break a thread, don’t panic! Just pull it out – it’s easy with such a big stitch. Then resew and tie off)
Take one of your border pieces and starting with matching the side seams, right side to right side, pin at each side and at the halfway slits/marks. Now ease the gathers to fit.
Sew around the top – careful with the pins ( but now you know to just sew on over them 😉 Press the border up away from the bag.
Now with your last piece of paper, cut a piece of fabric at about 3 times that length (no-one is watching so it doesn’t matter if its a bit shorter or longer!!)- if you have to join, take care to match the design, especially if you have used stripes!!
Take a piece of string/cord and lay it along the strip on the right side. Fold the strip in half , and with the cord in the middle, stitch along the short end and then down the long end, making sure that you catch the cord in the short end.
Now pull the string through to turn the strip right side out. Snip the cord off. Roll between your fingers and press.
Cut a piece of plastic tubing the length of your strip of paper. Thread it into the tube and gather it on. Stitch across each end to secure it to the plastic – do this carefully!!!!
Now pin the handle to each of the side seams and take the other border piece and pin, matching the slits/marks and seams. Sew carefully over the plastic and right around the bag.
Turn the border to the inside, roll seam between your fingers and press. Pin the edge and top stitch around.(top stitch is where we stitch fairly close to the edge about 2 or 3 mm)
I hope you enjoyed making this little bag with me and that it encourages you to ‘have a go’ more with your own sewing. It is meant to be fun so enjoy!!!
I would love your comments and if you make a bag, please send a photo to share! You might even like to tell me what you would like to do next………
Until next time
You make it look easy,great job on your tutorial.Step by step with great photos. xx
Thanks Jules!! xx
Michelle T says
Looks great. Will give it a go. Thanks
Thanks Michelle and good luck! Send a photo please 🙂
Sometimes we get so caught up with patterns.This is how our mothers used to do it.
Showing my 52 years here.
Thanks ‘you young thing you’!! I must admit this is how I love to do it too!
Great tutorial 🙂 Found you via the blogging library.
Thanks Cassandra – I’m so glad you found me – welcome!
Mrs. Lucky says
This is just a great tutorial and thanks for the very-practical-sounding tip for turning a narrow fabric tube inside out. I shall try it!
Thank you Mrs Lucky! I hope it works for you!! 🙂
Thank you Kristy! 🙂
Hello Nanny… from another Nanny :0) I chose to have that as my grandmother name when our first grandchild was born, and I am really glad I did. I have “met” lots of other lovely Nanny’s now too. I just love your little bag, and it is a great tutorial.. you have me inspired to try to make 2 this weekend for my little granddaughters, who are 5 and 3. My blog is called http://www.country-blossoms.blogspot.com and I live in South Australia. Hugs from me to you xx
Hi Sue and welcome!! Thank you so much for taking the time to send me such a lovely message. I wish you luck with the bags and would love to see some photos when you are done. I will be over to visit your blog soon – thanks again!! xx
Heather @ The Beating Hearth says
I love that you did this all without a pattern! Great job and great tutorial!
Thank you Heather! It was a lot of fun! 🙂
Danni Baird says
I cannot sew, but I think you make it look so easy! This is a really cute bag! Thank you for linking it up to the Inspiration Cafe!
Thanks Danni! You could always come and join me at Let’s Sew!! 😉
Amy Ellis says
What a cute reversible bag. I can kind-of sew, and I really appreciate the sewing tips you included. They’re very helpful for us kind-ofs 🙂 Stopping by from Inspiration Cafe, by the way
You are most welcome Amy! You are welcome to visit anytime – Let’s Sew tutorials have all been written for beginners! 🙂
Pam @Threading My Way says
What an adorable, little girl’s bag, Margie and a comprehensive and easy to follow tutorial. The gathered handle is such a great idea.
Thank you Pam! It was a fun project and I know it has been off to many ‘parties’ to hold those precious things – I happened to be there one day when Millie came out ready to ‘party’ and it was full of her ‘jewellery’ and a cardigan!! I was able to convince her to leave the jewellery at home with me. LOL
Pam @Threading My Way says
Isn’t it great when you know the things you make are loved and well used.
I’ve featured your adorable bag today, Margie…
Thank you so much Pam – I can’t wait to tell Millie! 🙂
That’s a very cute bag, Nanny!! 🙂 I also liked the way you designed the handle. Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you Preeti! Thanks for coming by! 🙂