Friday, October 30, 2009

Box Bag Tutorial

Box Bag Tutorial Modifications
Recently, I made a boxbag using the tutorial at While I like it, there are some things that I wanted to change. The first is that I wanted all of the seams to be hidden, so that meant that the lining and exterior had to be made separately. The second thing is that I plan to use these bags to carry small knitting projects which means that they have to be long enough to hold my 7-8" dpns.The black bag with vintage tattoo images is the one I made following the original tutorial. The tie dye one is made using these modifications. I used a 1/2" seam allowance everywhere except for the zipper and opening on the lining, which is approximately 1/4".
1/4 yd exterior fabric
1/4 yd lining fabric
(or 3 fat quarters)
2/3 yd mid to heavy weight fusible interfacing (I used mid weight because I want to be able to just throw it into my purse or other bags and not worry about the bag showing permanent creases when it gets squished)
zipper to coordinate or contrast at least 16" in length, mine was 22" I had it on hand and I prefer to use a longer zipper and cut it off

Step 1:
Cut a 16" x 22" piece from the exterior fabric, lining, and interfacing. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior fabric. And cut a piece that is 5" x 17" for the handle, your choice if you want to use the exterior fabric, lining fabric or another fabric, I used lining fabric for both bags that I have made.

Step 2:
Fold the strap piece in half lengthwise and press a crease into it.
Open the piece back out. Fold the long raw edges in to meet the middle crease.
Fold in half again along the original crease and press flat. Topstitch along both edges, this time I did 2 lines of sewing along both edges.
Step 3:
Pin the zipper tape to the short sides of the bag right sides together and using a zipper foot sew the zipper in. Press a crease into the tube (placing the zipper along one edge) this way when you open it back into a tube the crease and the zipper can be laid out and matched along the center
of the bag.

Step 4:
Press a 1/4" hem along the short edges of the lining fabricFold the lining fabric in half right sides together (so that the short edges meet) and press, making a crease. Then bring both short edges in almost to the crease line, leaving a gap approximately the size of the zipper.

Step 5:
Sew along both of the open ends on both the lining and exterior pieces, leaving the zipper partway open on the exterior piece. (the wrong sides should be facing you and the sewing machine) Yes, you do sew across the zipper teeth, in fact reinforce the stitching over the zipper tape by sewing back and forth across it a few times.

Trim the ends of the zipper that extend past the edges of the fabric.

Step 6:
Cut a square of fabric that measures 3" from each corner of the lining and bag fabric. This will allow you to easily box the corners of the bag.
Step 7:
With rightsides together, fold the cut edges together to form a triangle shape with the tops cut off, they won't match perfectly, just make the corners nice and it will turn out well. Your seam will be running along the center, perpendicular to the cut edge. ( There is a picture of this on the exterior fabric a few images down from here) I used my serger just so that I wouldn't need to trim the seams. If you don't have a serger, don't worry about it, just use your sewing machine and trim the seams to about 1/4" or so.

This is what the lining will look like when you are looking at the wrong sides after its sewn together.

This is what your cut off triangles should look like when you fold them to meet.
You will do step exactly as written for all 4 corners on the lining and for the 2 corners at the bottom of the zipper tape of the exterior fabric. The top to corners will need the handle to be fed through from the exterior. You will want to extend the handles in a couple of inches to make sure that it is sewn in securely, if you are sewing on a regular sewing machine, I would recommend reinforcing the stitching across the handles by sewing back and forth a few times.

Bags are finished with the exception of not being sewn to each other, you could use the exterior bag as is, but there will be interfacing showing and raw edges.

Step 8:
Turn exterior bag so that the right side is showing and the wrong side of the lining should still be showing. Now for the persnickity part of all of this... carefully pin the lining into the bag with the wrong sides together.
Starting at one edge of one side of the zipper sew either by hand or machine, I avoid hand sewing when ever it is possible. You may need to adjust the placement of the lining while you sew. MAKE SURE THAT THE LINING DOES NOT GET TOO CLOSE TO THE ZIPPER TEETH.
TADA!!! It's Finished!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the toot. I can't wait to try it out.