- Remove the selvage edges from the fat quarters so cutting mistakes aren’t made.
- Teach the new sewist how to combine rulers for wider cuts.
- If possible, select the “half speed” option on the sewing machine as that may help in maintaining seam allowance.
- You may wish to have your sewist use a walking foot.
- If any of the fabrics are directional, please plan ahead when cutting.
- Finally, be sure to pin well on those steps that call for pinning!
Please read through all instructions before beginning. Seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise stated. All instructions are given in good faith as a free tutorial.
(Note: I have also made the bag using Soft & Stable if you want a firmer bag.)
Main (Outer) fabric:
- From the main outer fabric, cut a 9” strip on the long side, so you will have a strip that is 9” x 21”.
- From that strip, cut two pieces 10 ½” wide, yielding two rectangles that are 9” by 10 ½”.
- From the remainder of the fat quarter, cut two 4 ½” strips on the long side, so you will have two strips that are 4 ½” by 21”. These will be joined to form a long strap.
- From the lining fabric, cut a 12” strip on the long side, so you will have a strip that is 12” by 21”.
- From that strip, cut two pieces 10 ½” wide, yielding two rectangles that are 12” by 10 ½”.
- From the outer trim fabric, cut two rectangles that are 3 ½” by 10 ½”.
- From the fusible fleece, cut 2 rectangles that are 10” by 11 ½”.
- Sew the trim pieces to the top of both outer pieces. Press to the darker fabric.
- Iron the fusible fleece rectangles to the wrong side of the outer pieces per the instructions on the fusible fleece wrapper.
- Pin the outer pieces (which now have fusible fleece on the wrong side) right sides together.
- Sew along both sides and the bottom. Do not sew across the top. Back stitch at all starting and stopping points.
- Pin the interior lining pieces right sides together.
- On this step only, use a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Sew down both of the sides (the 12” sides). Sew across the bottom, leaving a 4” gap in the middle. Backstitch at all starting and stopping points.
- You may now return to a ¼” seam allowance.
- Put the two 4 ½” by 21” handle pieces right sides together and sew along one short edge to create a long shoulder strap. Press this short seam flat.
- Press the shoulder strap in half lengthwise to create a crease.
- Open up and press both edges half way toward the middle crease.
- Then press in half again. This should yield a strap that is approximately 1 ½” wide.
- Pin the strap and top stitch along both edges as close to the edge as possible. If you are working with a beginning sewist, assist in finding a “sweet spot” on the sewing machine foot to achieve this scant edge.
- **Note: at this point you may shorten the strap if this bag is for a young child. Shorten as desired. The original design will create a bag that rests just above the hip for a teenager or adult.
- Turn out the outer bag piece.
- Pin the long strap to the outer bag piece as shown below. Make sure the strap isn’t twisted.
- Gather the strap up and insert the outer bag piece and handle into the lining bag piece. Tuck the outer bag piece down into the lining bag piece until the tops meet. The outer bag piece and lining bag piece will have right sides facing each other.
- Pin well all the way around the top.
- On this step, use a half inch seam allowance and sew all the way around the top of the bag.
- Turn the bag out through the 4” gap in the bottom of the lining piece. Push out all corners.
- Sew a very scant seam (1/8”) to close the hole in the lining. Tuck the lining back inside and again push out all corners.
- Carefully sew a very scant seam (1/8”) around the top of the entire bag to keep the lining in place.
- Adorn with a button or other embellishment if desired!
I would love to see your bag! Please post your creation on Instagram at this hashtag: #easyfatquartershoulderbag
If you make the bag for personal use or to sell, please give credit and tag or link back to my blog and my Instagram account (@taunjalynn). I appreciate it!