DIY : Really useful bag

I always find myself needing a little bag to keep things together and tidy. This DIY for a really useful bag can be scaled to fit whatever you need to keep safe and is lined too, so its nice to look at as well as being practical! I’ve used this pattern loads of times, including to store our wedding jenga game. I’ve just made another one to keep Sprout’s photo game together.

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To make your very own bag you will need outer fabric, lining, poppers and your sewing machine. I also used my cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter to cut out my materials. For the lining I like to use felt to give the bag a bit of structure but you could use another cotton if you preferred. You can make your bag any size you like, it will need to be a long strip in shape, which when folded up is long enough to form the pocket of your bag and the flap too, plus seam allowances. My fabric and lining measured approximately 20 x 56cm and this resulted in a bag that measures 18 x 22cm.

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The first step is to put your outer fabric and lining right sides together and stitch along the short edge. Turn the fabric right side out, press the top edge you stitched and then top stitch.

Next is the magic bit, where you fold your fabric in a clever way and then once stitched it will become a beautifully lined and useful bag! The easiest way to explain this magic fold is to think of an ‘M’ shape and take a look at the photo below. Your top stitched edge goes in the middle of your ‘M’ shape and then you fold up your fabric and lining either side to meet each other, so that their right sides are facing and lined up. The fabric and lining will be longer than your top stitched edge because this is your flap to close the bag.

Once you are happy with the positioning of your fabric, pin all the way around, leaving a space on the shortest edge to turn the bag inside out. When I leave a space for turning I use different coloured pins so I remember to stop! Start at the bottom folded edge of your bag, sew up one side and along the top to your pin markers, stop and then start again the other side.

Once you have finished all the stitching, trim the corners like in the photo below so you will have lovely pointy corners once you turn it out!

Turn your lovely bag the right way out, through the hole you left. Use a knitting needle or something pointy to gently push out the corners. Lightly press your bag and slip stitch the opening closed.

Now all you need to do is add your fastenings. I love using my popper set, which is so easy to use.

One finished smart bag to keep something special safe! What will you use yours for?

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