All your favorite fabric scraps are screaming to be sewn into a super cute tiny tote! This free tiny bag pattern is so fun to make. And because it's so small, it's really fast to sew too. I'm thinking that tiny bags are going to be THE Christmas present from me this year. It could also be a little purse because it's just the right size for a phone, keys, and a few cards (even a small wallet if you want).
One side of the bag has a pocket and the other side doesn't - at least that's the way mine are. If you want to add pockets to both sides - go ahead!
There are two pockets on the inside two to help organize your keys and cards.
I sewed both of my Tiny Bags using the new Caravan collection designed by Elizabeth Grubaugh for Blend Fabrics. I love the folksy prints with woodland animals, skateboards, umbrellas, flowers, and tiny houses!
Are you ready to make a Tiny Bag? Let's get started!
Tiny Bag Pattern
Finished size: Approximately 5 1/2'' tall X 8'' wide (not including the handles).
Fat quarter friendly!
You will need:
- 1 FQ or less cotton fabric for the exterior
- 1 FQ or less cotton fabric for the lining
- other pieces of fabric for the exterior pocket and handles if you choose to not use the fat quarters mentioned above (see below for dimensions)
- 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 fine too.
- 7'' x 18'' of Soft and Stable interfacing from ByAnnie. Or fusible fleece if you can't find Soft and Stable.
- Fabric chalk or fabric marking pen
From the exterior fabric, cut:
- 2 rectangles 7'' x 9''
From the exterior pocket fabric, cut:
- 1 rectangle 11'' x 9''
From the strap fabric, cut:
- 2 strips 4'' x 21''
- 1 strip 2'' x 9'' (for binding the exterior pocket)
From the lining fabric, cut:
- 2 rectangles 7'' x 9''
- 1 rectangle 11'' x 9'' (the interior pockets)
From the Soft and Stable (or fusible fleece) interfacing, cut:
- 2 rectangles 7'' x 9''
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.
Make 2 handle pieces. Set aside.
Make the Pockets
1. Fold the two 11'' x 9'' pocket pieces in half with wrong sides facing and the 9'' edges together. Press.
2. Press one long edge of the 2'' x 9'' pocket binding piece to the wrong side by 3/8''.
3. Topstitch along the folded edge of the interior (lining) pocket piece, 1/8'' from the edge.
4. Bind the folded edge of the exterior pocket piece: place the long raw edge of the binding piece along the top (folded) edge of the exterior pocket. Stitch in place with a 3/8'' seam allowance.
Flip the binding around to the other side of the pocket and tuck the folded edge under. Topstitch close to the folded edge.
This is what the two pocket pieces look like.
Assemble the Bag Pieces.
1. Place each 7'' x 9'' exterior piece on top of a matching piece of Soft and Stable and baste in place around the edges (1/4'' from the edge). A walking foot may be helpful for this step if you have one.
If you are using fusible fleece, fuse to the backs of the exterior pieces instead.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Stitch the other handle piece to the other bag exterior piece.
5. Lay the exterior pocket over one of the exterior side pieces with the bottom edges aligned. Baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it to the bag side.
6. 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.
7. To attach the interior pocket piece:
- Lay the interior pocket over one of the lining pieces with the bottom edges aligned.
- Baste around the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it to the lining piece.
- Fold the pocket in half and finger press to find the center. Stitch down the center of the pocket piece to divide it into two pockets.
- 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.
8. Mark 1 1/2'' squares at the bottom corners of all 4 exterior and lining pieces. Cut out the 1 1/2'' squares at the corners.
Attach the Zipper and Finish the Tiny Bag.
1. Lay an exterior side piece right side up. Place one edge of the zipper along the top, right side down. Place a lining piece on top, right side down, with the top edge aligned. Pin or clip the edges together at the top.
2. Sew along the top edge with a 1/4'' seam allowance. Use a zipper foot if available.
3. Fold the tiny bag exterior and lining pieces wrong sides together and press the edges carefully away from the zipper. Topstitch along the bag exterior, 1/8'' from the edge.
4. Lay the remaining exterior piece right side up and place the zipper on top with the zipper face down and the unsewn edge of the zipper aligned at the top.
Then place the remaining lining piece on top with the lining right side down and the top edges aligned. Pin or clip the top edges together.
Sew along the top edge with a 1/4'' seam allowance.
Then fold the side exterior and lining pieces wrong sides together and topstitch the other side.
5. Re-fold the bag pieces, placing the bag exterior sides right sides together and the bag lining pieces right sides together.
Stitch across the bottom edge of the bag exterior with a 3/8'' seam allowance.
Stitch the bottom of the lining, leaving an opening about 4'' wide. This means that you will only sew for about an inch on either side of the opening.
6. Pin or clip the side edges of the bag together. Make sure that the zipper tapes are folded toward the bag lining.
Stitch the sides of the bag with a 3/8'' seam allowance.
7. Press the seams open as much as possible. Flatten the side and bottom edges together (matching the seams) and stitch across the edge with a 3/8'' seam allowance to make boxed corners. Sew all 4 boxed corners (2 exterior and 2 lining).
8. Trim the extra zipper tape 1/4'' from the stitching and trim the rest of the seams 1/8''-1/4'' from the stitching to reduce bulk in the seams. Do not trim the bottom edge of the lining where there is an opening.
9. Turn the tiny bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Tuck the raw edges of the opening to the inside and hand or machine stitch the opening closed.
Tuck the lining inside the bag.
Done! I would love it if you tagged your Tiny Bags on social media with #sewcanshe so I can find them and see. Or upload a picture in our next Show Off Saturday post!
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