Thursday, 5 February 2009

...Berry bag tutorial

I was more than a little surprised to see all the lovely comments about my Berry bag - Thank you all so much!! The 'In the bag' challenge was a fab idea!! Can't wait to see what's next at PTI as they celebrate their second Birthday!!

Here is the tutorial for the berry bag - hope it is clear enough, it's been a long day and it's way past my bedtime!!Lol!! Hopefully if you click on the pic it'll get bigger.

Step 1 Cut 2 pieces of fabric, The band is 2 inches by 16.5 inches and the body is 16.5 inches by 8.25 inches - these are the outside of your bag. You may also like to cut the lining fabric at this time - 16.5 inches by 9.25 inches. Set the lining aside.

Step 2 Stamp your pattern - I chose to do berries on the body fabric and a sentiment and heart along the centre of the band. I used PTI Palette inks and heat set with the iron. Please chose your band decoration and ribbon carefully - for example, broader ribbon would have obstructed the sentiment on my bag.

Step 3 Take a piece of co-ordinating ribbon, and lay it along the bottom edge of the band, trim to the same length as the band. - I used Ripe Avocado saddle stitch, also PTI.

Step 4 Carefully flip over the band and ribbon and lay them right sides together on top of the body fabric. - make sure all edges are lined up - you might like to pin the fabric layers together at this step.

Step 5 Sew the three layers together using a quarter inch seam allowance. Fold open the fabric and press - I pressed my ribbon towards the band fabric at this point. Lay another length of ribbon along the top edge of the band to make another ribbon border.

Step 6 Cut a 10 inch length of ribbon for the hanging loop and fold it in half. Lay the raw edges together a quarter inch in from the Left hand side on top of the ribbon border. See photo for position. It's a good idea to pin here. Lay the lining fabric on top of the ribbon border - making sure all raw edges are aligned. Sew together using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Step 7 Open out the fabric and press. I pressed so that the ribbon turned towards the sentiment on the band. I wanted the sadlestitch ribbon detail as a border for the sentiments. I found that the ribbon behaved well and lay flat.

Step 8 fold the fabric in half so that the sides meet - align the raw edges and make sure the hanging loop is tucked away inside away from the edge.

Steps 9 - 10 Sew down the edge - again with a quarter inch seam allowance. Sew also along the open edge of the stamped fabric body. Leave the lining fabric open at the end. Your bag should look like pic 10 now.

Step 11 Put your hand up into the bag and ease the bag shape open, try to make the bag a slightly square shape - you will find that the corners turn into two triangular 'flaps' - see pic 11.

Step 12 Stitch across the flaps to give your bag that square bottom base, see pic 12 for help.

Step 13 Turn the bag right side out and admire your square posterior!!

Step 14 Go to the two remaining raw edges at the end of the lining fabric section and fold them in on themselves, fold them back by around a quarter of an inch, press with the iron to help keep them in place. Stitch the lining closed now.

At this point you can choose to just stuff the lining down into the patterned fabric section and that's your bag finished (you will find the lining a little full if you do this - but it helps the bag stand up), or do the little footery corner trick that I did so's your bag has a square lining as well as a square base - call me ultra fussy!!

Step 15 Poke the corners of the lining in on themselves and pinch the fabric together to create a new opening. See pic 15 for help, and see the tip below. This is a little footery but worth it. You want push the corner in far enough so that the 'square' you are making in the lining fabric is roughly the same as the one in the patterned fabric. Sew across the new opening and repeat with the other corner. Now when you push the lining down into the bag the square base will be nice and neat inside and out!!

TIP - if you poke the corners in too far, you will find that the lining falls short of the base - I prefer to poke the corners in a little less than I think I need to - I would prefer the lining being a tad baggy on the inside rather than find that when I fill the bag the outside is rumpled at the bottom.

Step 16 Now - take a photo of your lovely bag and try not to let anyone mess up the shot!! Lol - have fun.

Please note - I used pre-washed calico cotton fabric and I offer these instructions in good faith, this is exactly what I did. You may get different results with other types of fabric. Please use the seam allowances I have given - this makes a huge difference and also be scrupulously careful about measuring your fabric. I'm drawing your attention to this because with stitching projects there are so many variables that I can't be responsible for. Good luck.


  1. OH MY WORD!!! Even with such an amazing tutorial I could never make this bag. I absolutely love it. You are very talented!

  2. Well your bag is just perfectly amazing! Thanks so much for putting together this tutorial :)

  3. This bag looks so cute and soft. You are rapidly taking over blog land with your gorgeous posts.

  4. Absolutely love the little hand in the last frame!

  5. Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial, too!

  6. Thank you so much, i'm going to give it a try.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  7. Awesome tutorial and with pics too - thank you.

  8. Girl, you are awesome---I do not know how you have time to do all this, plus be a mom---you are superwoman!

  9. Oh, Claire! This bag is absolutely delightful! You did an amazing job with this challenge!

  10. I love your Blog and everything you do. Thanks so much for sharing all your talent with us.

  11. It' a very nice and cute bag, thanks for the tutorial.
    I admire your work.

  12. what a great work!!! thank you!

    my roommate bought a panda bag!
    She is just THRILLED with it and can’t put it down.


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