I designed this sweet layered shoulder bag with young girls or ‘tweens’ in mind, and it just makes me wish that I were a little girl all over again! I know that my own daughter is wishing for one this Christmas. The layers can be made up with fabrics in any colours, patterns and textures to match the latest trends – a must for fashion-conscious tweens!. Just imagine this cute bag teamed up with a matching outfit using fabrics from your little girl’s favourite collection – simply adorable!
You will need
- 40cm (153⁄4in) grey basic print fabric for bag top, bottom and lining
- 10cm (4in) aqua floral print fabric for top ruffle
- 25cm (10in) pink spot print fabric for second ruffle and handles
- 18cm (7in) aqua and grey stripe print fabric for third ruffle and ring loop
- 30cm (12in) lightweight fusible fleece
- 85cm (33in) aqua lace or other matching trim
- Four 4cm (11⁄2in) oblong rings
- 4cm (11⁄2in) self-covering button or similar
- Erasable marking pencil
Finished size : 32 x 34cm (121⁄2 x 131⁄2in) including handles
- Trace the Luscious Layered Bag templates (see Pattern Pullout Sheet) onto tracing paper or template plastic, transferring all the markings and cutting them out around the traced lines.
- From the grey basic print fabric, trace the main bag top template twice, the main bag bottom template twice and the lining templates twice onto the fabric, and cut out along the traced lines.
- From the aqua floral print fabric, cut one strip measuring 9 x 81cm (31⁄2 x 32in).
- From the pink spot print fabric, cut one strip measuring 14 x 81cm (51⁄2 x 32in) and four strips measuring 5 x 40cm (2 x 16in) for the handles.
- From the aqua and grey print fabric, cut one strip measuring 16.5 x 81cm (61⁄2 x 32in) and eight strips each measuring 7.5 x 5cm (3 x 2in) for the ring closures.
- From the lightweight fusible fleece, trace the main bag top template twice and the main bag bottom template twice onto the fleece, and cut out along the traced lines. Now cut two strips measuring 5 x 40cm (2 x 153⁄4in) for the handles.
- Cover the self-covering button with remaining pink spot print fabric, interfaced with fleece, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Take the two main bag top pieces, two main bag bottom pieces and two of the handle strips and interface these with the fusible fleece pieces of the same size.
- Mark a 1.5cm (1⁄2in) diagonal grid onto the bag top pieces using an erasable marking pencil. Using a dark grey thread, machine quilt these lines into place on the bag top pieces.
5mm (1⁄4in) seam allowance included.
1). Place the two bag top pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along the two side edges only.
2). Place the two main bag bottom pieces on top of each other with right sides together. Sew together along the side and bottom edges only. Follow the box corners technique (see Box Corners), sewing across where the triangle measures 4cm (11⁄2in), and turn right sides out.
3). Take the aqua floral ruffle strip, fold under one long 81cm (32in) edge by approximately 1cm (3⁄8in) and press in place. Fold the folded edge under again by approximately 1.5cm (1⁄2in) to create a neat hem edge and press well again.
4). Lay the aqua floral ruffle strip right side up on your work surface. Position the length of aqua lace under and along the bottom folded hem edge of the ruffle strip so that they overlap by approximately 5mm (1⁄4in). Pin in place then topstitch the hem 3mm (1⁄8in) and 5mm (1⁄4in) from the folded edge (see Useful Stitches), capturing the lace in position at the same time. Trim the excess ends of the lace.
5). Repeat Step 3 with the pink spot ruffle strip. Pin in place and then topstitch the hem 3mm (1⁄8in) and 5mm (1⁄4in) from the folded edge.
6). Lay the aqua and grey ruffle strip right side up on your work surface. Position the pink ruffle strip right side up on top of this, so that the top raw 81cm (32in) edges meet. Now place the aqua lace trimmed strip on top of this in the same way, as shown. Sew the three layers together, close to the top raw edge.
7). Fold the ruffle sandwich in half, right sides together, from one side edge to the other so that all of the raw ruffle edges meet neatly. Pin and sew together along this side raw edge. Press the seam open and then turn right side out.
8). Hem the bottom edge of the striped ruffle layer by folding under by approximately 1cm (3⁄8in) and pressing in place. Fold this folded edge under again by approximately 1.5cm (1⁄2in) to create a neat hem edge and press well again. Pin in place and then topstitch the hem 3mm (1⁄8in) and 5mm (1⁄4in) from the folded edge.
9). Hand sew small-to-medium running stitches all the way around the top raw edge of the ruffle loop. Pull and gather the running stitches evenly along the edge until the diameter of the top ruffle edge measures the same as the diameter of the bag bottom opening. Secure well with a knot.
10). Take the bag bottom, right sides out, and fit the ruffles on top so that the top gathered edge of the ruffle loop meets the top raw edge of the bag bottom. The seam in the ruffle loop should be positioned at the centre back of the bag bottom. Machine tack (baste) the top raw edges in place (see Useful Stitches).
11). Place two of the aqua and grey stripe ring closure strips on top of each other, right sides together, and sew together along both 7.5cm (3in) edges. Turn and press then topstitch the two 7.5cm (3in) sewn edges. Thread the ring closure strip through an oblong ring and fold onto itself to create a loop, enclosing the ring, as shown in the photograph. Tack the ends in place to secure. Repeat to create three more ring loops.
12). Take the bag bottom (with ruffles) and position two of the ring loops, right sides together, onto the bag front, over the ruffles, so that the raw edge of the loop meets the raw edge of the ruffles. The loops should be approximately 4cm (11⁄2in) in from the bag sides, as shown. Machine tack in place. Repeat on the bag back.
To avoid fraying of the top edge when gathering, first neaten the raw edge with a zigzag or overlocking stitch.
13). Take the bag top and, keeping it inside out, fit it top side first over the bag bottom layers. The bottom raw edge of the bag top should now be right sides together with the top raw edge of the bag bottom. The ruffles and ring loops will lie sandwiched in-between. Pin securely in place, then sew all of the layers together all the way around the bag, taking care due to the thickness of the fabric.
14). Turn the bag top right side out so that it forms the top of the bag. Position the ring loops facing upwards and press in place. Topstitch the bag top 3mm (1⁄8in) from the seam, capturing the ring loops in the sewing to keep them facing upwards.
15). Place the two bag lining pieces on top of each other with right sides together. Sew the lining pieces together along the side and bottom edges only, leaving a 12.5cm (5in) gap along the centre of the bottom edge for turning. Follow the box corners technique (see Box Corners), sewing across where the triangle measures 4cm (11⁄2in).
16). Keeping the main bag right side out and the lining bag right side in, place the main bag inside the lining bag. Pin carefully and evenly and then sew all the way around the top of the bag opening. Turn the bag right side out through the gap in the bottom of the lining and push the lining inside the main bag. Press and then topstitch all the way around the top bag edge.
17). Take one handle strip with fleece and one without fleece and place these on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along all four edges, leaving a 5cm (2in) gap in one long edge for turning. Snip the corners, turn right side out (see Turning Handles) and press well. Sew along all four edges of the handle with a double row of topstitching. Take the ends of the handle and insert these into both of the oblong rings at the front of the bag. Fold the ends under to enclose the rings by approximately 2cm (3⁄4in) and topstitch the ends in place. Repeat to make the handle for the back of the bag.
18). Sew the covered button into the desired position at the centre top of the bag front, accessing this through the gap in the lining. The button is purely for decorative purposes. Finally, ladder stitch the turning gap closed (see Useful Stitches).
If you have difficulty finding oblong handle rings, do not worry. Any rings will work for the bag, as long as they are at least 4cm (11⁄2in) in diameter.
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