Sew up a beautiful little bag that’s just the right size for your phone and wallet! This easy to sew little tote has quilted sides - just like your favorite designer bags and wallets.
There is a large pocket on the outside plus small pockets on the inside.
This new pattern is a mashup between my free Tiny Bag Pattern and my (also free) Designer Zipper Bag Video Series. So if you take a peek at the Tiny Bag Pattern you’ll see that I’ve borrowed the bag dimensions from that pattern and used the quilted fabric techniques in the Designer Zipper Bag videos.
It’s the perfect combination!
Since we’re doing designer quilting techniques, I cut into my designer Tula Pink fabrics - yay! But I was missing one coordinating fabric for the straps. The Caligraphy print from the Sweet Caroline collection that I curated with QT Fabrics was perfect. You can find it here.
Are you ready to sew a Designer Style TIny Bag? Let’s get sewing!
You will need:
1 rectangle of exterior fabric 13 1/2’’ x 19’’
1 rectangle of lining fabric 13 1/2’’ x 19’’
1 rectangle of foam interfacing (such as ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable)
thread to match both the exterior and lining (for quilting)
1/8 yard fabric for the straps and pocket bindings
1 zipper, 9'' long or longer (measuring between the stoppers). Note: I used a handbag zipper - it's wider than a usual nylon zipper with a big pull. A regular nylon zipper would work ok.
Fabric chalk or fabric marking pen
Prepare the Quilted Fabric + Stabilizer Piece:
Using the technique shown in the video above, baste the rectangles of exterior and lining fabric to the foam stabilizer, one side at a time.
Then quilt your fabric + stablizer piece, as shown in the video above.
From the quilted piece, cut:
2 rectangles 7’’ tall x 9’’ wide (for the bag sides)
2 rectangles 5 1/2’’ tall x 9’’ wide (for the pockets)
Note: the quilted piece is 1/2’’ bigger than you need on all sides so you can trim nice even rectangles. Baste around the edges to seal them as shown in this video.
From the fabric for your straps and pocket bindings, cut:
2 strips 4’’ x 21’’ (bag straps)
2 strips 2’’ x 9’’ (for the bindings)
Bind the Pocket Pieces:
1. Press one long edge of the 2'' x 9'' pocket binding pieces to the wrong side by 3/8''.
2. Place the long raw edge of a binding piece along the top edge of a pocket piece. Stitch in place with a 3/8'' seam allowance.
3. Flip the binding around to the other side of the pocket and tuck the folded edge under. Topstitch close to the folded edge.
Repeat for the other pocket piece.
Make the Handle Straps:
1. Fold the 4'' x 21'' strips in half lengthwise, press. Open and fold the long edges to the center and press. Fold in half lengthwise again and press.
2. Topstitch along both long edges of the handle strip, 1/8'' from the edge.
Tip: using a walking foot helps keep your strap straight and even.
Make 2 handle pieces. Set aside.
Attach one Handle and the Exterior Pocket:
1. Using chalk or a fabric marker, draw a line across both of the handle piece 5 1/2'' from the ends. Draw 4 lines total, two on each piece, 5 1/2'' from each end, on the same side of the handle.
2. Pin a handle piece to an exterior piece as seen above, with the chalk lines facing upward so you can see them. The handle edges are 2 1/4'' from the side edges of the exterior piece.
3. Stitch the handle in place, sewing over the topstitching: first sew up from the bottom. When you reach the marked line that is 5 1/2'' from the end - sew across it. Then sew back down the other side of the strap to the bottom of the piece. Repeat on the other side of the handle.
4. Lay one of the pocket pieces over the strap sewn on the exterior side piece with the bottom edges aligned. Baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it to the bag side - 1/8’’ from the edges. (I flipped my exterior pocket over to show the lining fabric for more interest.)
5. Using the chalk or fabric pen, draw a line across the bottom of the pocket, 1 1/2'' from the bottom. Topstitch along the line - this is to prevent items from slipping to the bottom of the pocket and getting lost.
Set this side of the bag aside for now.
Attach the Interior Pocket and the other Handle:
The handle and interior pocket on the other side of the tiny bag are attached in the same way, except that I sewed the interior pocket on first. Then when I attach the handle on the other side, my sewing will divide the pocket into 3 little sections - just the right size for business cards or a debit card, lipstick, or a small pen.
If you would rather not have your interior pocket divided, then attach the strap first and then the interior pocket.
1. Pin and baste the interior pocket to the lining side of the remaining bag piece. Baste around the sides and bottom 1/8’’ from the edge, just like step 4 above.
2. Flip the piece over and attach the strap to the exterior side in the same way that you attached the strap in steps 2 and 3 above.
3. Using the chalk or fabric pen, draw a line across the bottom of the exterior, 1 1/2'' from the bottom. Topstitch along the line - this is to prevent items from slipping to the bottom of the pocket and getting lost.
Tip: The rest of the Tiny Bag assembly is just like the Designer Zipper Bag video series - starting with Lesson 2.1 and going to the end, so I’m going to refer to the videos a lot going forward.
Attach and Topstitch the Zipper:
1. Prepare your zipper by cutting it to 8’’ long (no stoppers) and then sewing thread stoppers as seen in video lesson 2.1.
2. Attach the zipper to one side of the bag. Trim the seam allowance under the zipper, and topstitch the bag - as seen in video lesson 2.2.
Make sure to keep the handles out of the way.
3. Attach the zipper to the other side of the bag. Trim the seam allowance under the zipper, and topstitch the bag - as seen in video lesson 2.3.
4. Cut 1 1/2’’ squares from all 4 of the bottom corners as seen in video lesson 3.1.
Tip: since they were so thick, I cut each corner separately instead of 2 at a time like I did in the video.
5. Sew the sides and bottom edges of the bag with a 1/4’’ seam allowance, as seen in video lesson 3.2.
6. Bind the seams as seen in video lesson 3.3.
7. Box the corners at the bottom and the zipper ends as seen in video lesson 3.4
8. Bind the last of the seams as seen in video lesson 3.5.
Turn your little bag right side out and you are done!
I hope you love your designer style Tiny Bag as much as I love mine! Take a picture and show me by tagging @sewcanshe on Instagram.