This fresh and fashionable hobo bag is so quick and easy to put together, it’s perfect for beginners. With a handy little print pocket on the front for quick access items and plenty of room inside for all your everyday needs, it is practical and comfortable on the shoulder, yet still entirely fun and playful. This cute and colourful design is sure to bring a smile to your face!
You will need
- Patterned print fabric (any weight) for the main bag: 40.5cm (16in) if your print is directional like mine; if not use 28cm (11in)
- 28cm (11in) solid coral fabric (any weight) for bag panels
- 5cm (2in) purple co-ordinating print for handle and pocket closure
- 40.5cm (16in) green lining fabric
- 55cm (22in) lightweight fusible fleece
- 3cm (11⁄4in) sturdy matching button
- Magnetic closure
Finished size : 50 x 43cm (20 x 17in) including handles
1). Trace all of the Happy Hobo Bag templates (see Pattern Pullout Sheet) onto tracing paper or template plastic, transferring all the markings and cutting them out around the traced lines.
2). From the main patterned print fabric, cut two 40.5 x 28cm (16 x 11in) panels for the main outer bag. Now trace the pocket template once onto the folded remaining fabric and cut out along the traced line to form two pieces.
3). From the solid coral fabric, cut two 40.5 x 28cm (16 x 11in) panels for the main outer bag.
4). From the purple fabric, cut two 38 x 5cm (15 x 2in) strips for the handle. Now cut two 16.5 x 2.5cm (61⁄2 x 1in) strips for the pocket closure.
5). From the green lining fabric, trace the main bag template twice and cut out along the traced lines.
6). From the lightweight fusible fleece, trace the main bag template twice and cut out along the traced lines. Cut out the rectangle at the centre top of each piece, following the dashed line marking on the template. Now cut one strip measuring 38 x 5cm (15 x 2in) for the handle. Trace the pocket template once and cut out along the traced lines.
1). Interface one of the pocket and one of the handle strip pieces with the matching lightweight fusible fleece pieces.
If you prefer a longer handled bag, simply adjust the lengths of your handle and fusible fleece strips to suit your preference.
5mm (1⁄4in) seam allowance included.
1). Place one of the patterned and one of the coral main bag panels on top of each other, right sides together. Sew them together along one 40.5cm (16in) edge. Press the seam open. Repeat with the remaining main bag panels to create a mirror image piece.
2). Ensuring that the line down the centre of the template is evenly placed on the seam of the panels, trace the main bag template onto both panels created in Step 1 and cut out along the traced lines. Interface both main bag pieces with matching lightweight fusible fleece. Now topstitch both edges of the seam down the bag front and back.
3). To create the pleats at the centre top of the bag front, fold the points marked with a star on the template inwards, so that they meet the centre seam at the bag top edge. Topstitch the pleats into place with a 4cm (11⁄2in) line of sewing (see Useful Stitches), as shown. Repeat for the bag back.
4). Sew the darts together (see Sewing Darts), as marked at the bottom of the bag front and back pieces.
5). Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the bag lining pieces.
6). Take the pocket closure strip, fold one short end in by approximately 5mm (1⁄4in) and press. Fold the strip in half, right side out, all the way along the length. Press the fold in place and reopen. Now fold the raw edges evenly into the centre fold and press again. Refold the entire strip to hide the raw edges, press then topstitch down the strip to secure.
7). Sew the darts into place on both of the pocket pieces (see Sewing Darts).
8). Place the pocket front and the closure strip on top of each other, right sides together, so that the raw edges meet at the centre top of the pocket. Tack (baste) into place (see Useful Stitches), as shown.
You could also substitute this fabric closure tie with a length of fine cord or trim – just make sure that it’s tough enough to endure the traffic and thin enough to be able to wrap behind a button.
9). Place the two pocket pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along all edges, leaving a 5cm (2in) gap in one side edge for turning, and ensuring that the loose end of the closure strip is not accidentally captured in your sewing. Snip the top pocket corners and turn right side out. Press and topstitch the pocket along the top edge with a double row of stitches.
10). Place the pocket onto the bag front, right side up, referring to the photo as a guide for placement. Topstitch the pocket into place, close to the edge along the side and bottom edges.
11). Sew the button approximately 1.5–2cm (1⁄2–3⁄4in) above the pocket top, tightly and securely as the closure strip will be tightly wound around it.
12). Place the bag front and back on top of each other, right sides together. Ensuring that the centre and dart seams meet, sew the bag pieces together all the way along the side and bottom curved edges only. Turn right side out. Repeat to sew together the two lining pieces, leaving a 22.5cm (9in) gap in the centre bottom edge for turning, but do not turn.
13). Keeping the main bag right side out and the lining bag right side in, place the main bag inside the lining bag. Tack the main bag and lining together all the way along the top curved edges only and sew into place. You will have a small remaining unsewn angled section at both bag top corners, which will be used to insert the handle. Do not turn right side out. Snip the seam allowance along the curved edge.
14). Place the two handle strips on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together, leaving one short end open for turning and turn right side out (see Turning Handles). Snip the sewn end off and press well. Referring to the photograph, topstitch the handle every 3mm (1⁄8in) along the length.
15). With the bag still remaining inside out, open and rearrange the raw edges at one of the unsewn open top corners, so that the main bag fabric is now on top of the lining fabric. Insert one end of the handle strip in through the turning gap of the lining and position it to meet the raw edge between the main bag and the lining. The raw edge of the handle strip should meet the raw edge of the fabric. Sew in place.
16). Take the remaining loose end of the handle strip and, again accessing through the gap in the lining, insert this into the other open top bag corner. Sew together in the same manner. Snip the corners and turn the bag right side out. Topstitch all the way along the top edge of the bag.
17). Insert the magnetic closure into the centre of the lining, approximately 1.5cm (1⁄2in) down from the top edge (see Inserting Magnetic Closures). Finally, slipstitch the opening in the lining closed.
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