Shoulder Bag Pattern – All Machine Sewn

Shoulder bag pattern

Shoulder bag pattern

I like my shoulder bag pattern – it’s going to be really useful when I’m travelling.  The only hand sewing I used was for the fastener.  The shoulder bag has two compartments and a long strap to go on the shoulder or across the body.  The body of the bag measures about 9″ wide by 8″ high and it is fully lined.

Cutting requirements for the shoulder bag pattern

Blue fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric, one 2″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Gold fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Wadding:  one rectangle 8″ by 9″, one rectangle 8″ by 20″

Fastener:  I used a pressed stud with a button for decoration.




Mark curves at one end

Mark curves at one end

Layer the fabrics

Lay the two strips of fabric with right sides together.  Make a mark at 8″ intervals along the length of the fabrics.  Mark curves in one end using a plate or something similar.  Cut along the curves.

You should now have one end straight and one end curved.

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay the first (8″) rectangle of wadding on the straight end of the fabrics – to the right in the photo.  Place the second (20″) rectangle at the curved end.  One end of the larger wadding should be in line with the third 8″ marker while the other end should overlap the curved end.  You will have a 16″ gap with no wadding, only fabric.

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve on the wadding to match the curve in the fabrics.

Press strip in half along the length

Press strip in half along the length

Make the shoulder bag strap

Fold the 2″ blue strip of fabric along the middle lengthways.  Press.  Fold under a 1/4″ hem along one raw edge and press.

Top stitch on both sides

Top stitch on both sides

Usually I try and fold under the two raw edges at the same time, but I realised that it made much more sense to press one edge under first.  Then it’s much more easy to fold the other edge under to match the one that’s already pressed.

Top stitch 1/4″ in from the edge to hold the layers together.  Top stitch again 1/4″ from the other edge.  This gives extra strength to the strap and also looks neater.

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Add the strap to the shoulder bag

Working at the curved end of the fabrics, fold back the wadding and the blue fabric.  Place one end of the strap on each side, making sure that the strap isn’t twisted.  Lay them so that they are on the fourth 8″ marker, making them about 8″ from the curved end.

Now tuck the rest of the strap down between the blue and gold fabrics (away from the edges) and fold the blue fabric and wadding back into place.

In the past I have always hand sewn the strap in place after I’ve finished the rest of the bag.  It was never very neat, so sewing the strap to the bag during the construction was one of the things that I wanted to achieve.  Luckily it worked!

Sew the layers together

Clip the curve

Clip the curve

Beginning somewhere in the middle, sew a seam about 1/4″ from the edge all round the fabrics.  This secures the three layers together.  Leave a gap of about 6″ so that you can turn the project right side out.  I usually leave this somewhere in the middle where there is no wadding – it makes it more easy to turn the project out.

Trim the seam allowance and clip in towards the stitching around the curve.  This gives a more even curve for the front of the shoulder bag.

Turn the shoulder bag right side out through the gap.  Pin the edges to make sure that the seam lies along the edge and press.  At this stage turn under small hems across the gap.  Top stitch all round the edge of the bag.  This closes the gap so there’s no hand sewing required there – another stage that I could never manage neatly.

Form the first pouch

Form the first pouch

Fold the sections of the shoulder bag pattern

Begin at the straight end of the bag.  Pull the end of the bag up to the second 8″ marker, so that the fold is at the first 8″ marker.  You may need to put pins in to re mark the sections if like me you had made your original marks on the wrong side of the fabric.  This forms the first compartment of the bag.

Make the second compartment

Make the second compartment

Now take the top of that first compartment (both layers) and pull it up to the fourth 8″ marker – about 8″ from the curved end.  This forms the second compartment behind the first one.  The top of the compartments should now be level with the strap.

Sew the sides of the compartments

Embroidery for the sides

Embroidery for the sides

I have always found sewing the sides of the compartments together a pain because there was too much fabric for me to be able to use my machine.  That’s why I designed this shoulder bag pattern so that there is wadding at the front and the back of the bag, but none in the two layers between.  I bet you were wondering why there was that area with no wadding on the fabric!

Because of the reduced thickness, I was able to use my machine to sew the sides together and I used one of the embroidery stitches.  I used a stem stitch which turned out really well.

Button just for show

Button just for show

That’s pretty much it now.  For a fastening I used a pressed stud to secure the front flap of the bag.  Then I added a button on the front of the flap just for show.  I’m sure that you will be far more creative in your embellishments.

Modelling the bag

Modelling the bag

I am ridiculously pleased with my should bag pattern.  It took no time to make because it was all machine sewn.  It’s sturdy and practical.  I think that it will be great for when I’m travelling – I can keep my passport and tickets secure by my body.  Or I could make several and match them to outfits.

Here’s the video:

Sherlock Holmes statue

Sherlock Holmes statue

I was in London last week and I was reminded of how much history there is around every corner.  I needed to walk to Baker Street station and outside there was a lovely big statue of Sherlock Holmes.  All the shops and pubs in the area seemed to be named after him as well.

MCC

MCC

On the way there, just round the corner from Marylebone station, I happened upon a square which was the original home of the Marylebone cricket club – now known as the MCC.  There were various plaques around the square detailing the history.  Both my sons play cricket so it was fascinating to see this cricketing history.

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Comments

  1. Cynthia Ash says:

    I love this bag Rose, it’s one I shall enjoy making and using.

  2. Bev E Austin says:

    This bag is awesome Rose, I can’t wait to make it. Thank you so very much for the pattern. GOD BLESS

  3. PAMELA BRUCE says:

    tHANK YOU Rose the bag looks lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    Pamela

  4. Carole Yoxall says:

    Really love this bag Rose,it would also be great for supermarket shopping, leaving your hands free to shop and personal belongings safe. A really useful bag .Enjoy your weekend xxx

    • Thanks, Carole. That’s a great idea. I feel that things like passport and money are close to me and safe while still having the use of both hands.

  5. Kath Eardley.Moray,Scotland says:

    Lovely bag Rose.Thankyou.

  6. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Love the bag loks easy enough the way you explained it. Will have to try it after the holiday.
    Love the stature of Holmes. You always take us on a nice adventure.
    Have a good weekend and Happy Quilting.
    Sandra

  7. judith pope says:

    Rose, I love your shoulder bag. I will make one as soon as I have time.
    As a ‘cricket tragic’, it was interesting to see the original home of the MCC. I am an Aussie and all the talk is of the upcoming Ashes. I so hope England wins as I really dislike our team.!!!

  8. Hi Rose, I like your bag – it’s very pretty and I’m betting that many of your followers will making them for Christmas.

    Lucky you visiting Norway. I’ve been to 12 European countries but never to any of the Scandinavian countries. I’ll be looking forward to seeing all the photos you took.

    I stopped working on the Sunbonnet Sue baby quilt but will be trying hard now to get it finished by Christmas.

    • Hi Claire. I had a feeling that Oslo might be the first place that I visited which you hadn’t already visited before me! It was very cold, very expensive and very interesting. You are going to be so relieved when Sunbonnet Sue is finished, aren’t you!

  9. It’s a lovely bag Rose and your idea to make one to compliment some outfits is great. It does look simple to make and it is always good if lots of hand sewing can be avoided. Many thanks, Jess

  10. Hi Rose, I had forgotten what fun it is to make a bag with your favourite fabrics. Can’t wait to make myself one for the Spring. They are so handy. A “Christmas” fabric bag would also be fun. Best wishes Ann

  11. Thank you for this neat bag pattern and your detailed instructions. I always enjoy my computer-chair travel with photos of your personal adventures! Thank you, Rose.

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