I've never done a tutorial online. In a blog. How many pictures should there be? Will I be able to describe in words clear directions? So here goes nothin':
This cute bag is made from a table place mat. I bought this one at a thrift shop for a buck. You'll also need a plastic zipper- any size is fine as long as it will at least fit across the short side of the place mat. See? Mine's much longer- no problem. And 20" of strapping. That's it. Pretty simple.
Unzip zipper and pin onto the place mat with right sides up. (Both the zipper and the place mat is right side up.) Any where along the zipper is fine. I usually space mine somewhere in the middle.The plastic zip coil should be showing along the edge of the place mat.
I usually stitch along the top stitch sewn seam of the place mat. It is very close to the zip, but will still be out of the way.
Next, sew the second side of the zipper. Make sure that the place mat is centered on the zipper so that the zipper tab meets at the same place on both sides of the place mat.
When the bag is folded in half, right sides out, it looks like this: But we're going to turn it inside out for the rest of the sewing. I forgot to take a picture of it, but now is the time to open the zipper halfway. (Or else the zipper tab will be cut off your bag!)
This is a tab and I put them on either end of the bag to help with pulling the zipper opened and closed. (I made my own strapping by cutting a 20"x 4" piece of fabric, folding it in on itself and stitching 1/8" from either side. This tab is 1" x 4", folded in half.)
I fold the place mat in half with the zipper centered down the middle. Tuck tab with raw edges running along the outside edge of bag and under the end of the zipper and back of bag and stitch along the side- being sure to catch the tab. I use a 3/8" seam allowance. Repeat on the second side- MAKE SURE YOUR ZIPPER IS AT LEAST HALF WAY OPEN!! Otherwise you won't be able to turn it right side out. Seam rippers do exist, so all is not lost if you forget and sew it up tight.
Trim excess zipper off from the top and bottom of the bag.
At this point, you have a perfectly serviceable bag, but I like mine to stand up. This is what is called a box bag.
This is the hardest part to describe. Leaving the bag inside out, match an end seam up with the fold on the sides of the bag. It will make the bag come to a point. Draw a line 1.5" across the point and sew on that line. This is what makes the square corners of the bag. I slide a strap the width of my place mat into these corners of one side and when it's all sewed up- tada. Your bag has a handle. This is called a "Box bag" and you can youtube to get a step by step tutorial video. They just tend to be a little long and I like to keep things as simple as possible. But sometimes you need to see it being done to get a grasp of the concept.
|handle on end|
This is what the bag looks like when it is finished- but not turned right side out. See how there are no raw edges? The lined place mat makes a lined bag.
I use mine for hand sewing projects. My grandson keeps his quiet time toys for church in it. My daughter in law stores her make up in one. They're just a nice size and a really quick project- about 30 minutes. Probably less.