Tartan fabric, 60cm x 100cmCoordinating cotton, 60cm x 100cmBlue velvet, 7cm x 48cmRic rac, wide, mint, 50cmBag handles, leather, brown, 50cmBuckle, mother of pearlZip, beige, open-endedInterfacing, fusible, 8cm x 80cmThread, embroidery, brownPinking shears
30cm x 45cm
Sew a handbag
1 Download the templates above and print. Cut out two bag pieces on the fold and two gussets from tartan fabric. Try to match up the pattern so that the back and the front are the same. Cut the same pieces from coordinating cotton to make the lining.
2 Trim a 7cm x 48cm strip of blue velvet fabric. Fold over 1cm on both long sides and tack. Thread a mother of pearl buckle through 50cm of mint ric rac and, making sure that it’s central, pin it across the centre of the velvet strip. Hand sew in place using small stitches. Pin the velvet strip across the widest part of the bag front and hand sew using whip stitch. Remove the tacking stitches.
3 Fold over the straight edge at the bag’s top by 2cm and press to form a crease. Topstitch across the folded edge. Press. Repeat for the other side of the bag.
4 Adjust the zip to size by sewing securely across the teeth until it’s 23cm long. Leave a tail of 3cm and cut the remainder off with pinking shears. Open up the zip and gently press the tape flat, taking care not to melt the teeth.
5 Position the bag front, right side up, and open up the seam allowance at the top. Place one side of the zip on top, aligning the teeth with the edge of the seam allowance. Sew into place, stitching through the seam allowance only and keeping as close to the teeth as possible. Pin the other side of the zip to the back of the bag and attach in the same way. With right sides facing, pin and stitch the ends of the bag together, either side of the zip.
6 Pin the sides of the bag together and machine stitch from the top to the start of the gusset, as indicated on the pattern. With right sides facing, pin and stitch the two short sides of the gusset pieces together. Pin the resulting strip to the front and back of the bag with right sides facing, then machine stitch into place. Press all the seams open.
7 Using six strands of brown embroidery thread, sew bag handles to the front and back of the bag. Join the lining gusset pieces and attach to the front and back as for the main bag. Press open the seams, then press down a 2cm hem at the top of the bag. Push the lining into the main bag, pin just beneath the zip and sew into place with whip stitch.