Colorful coordinates come together to create two versions of a fun summer bag.

Updated: February 17, 2017

What You Need:

  • 9/7-inch-square pieces of assorted green and turquoise prints for pieced inset
  • 1/8 yard of solid lime green for covered cording
  • 1/3 yard of mottled turquoise for bag body and strap
  • 5/8 yard of blue floral for lining
  • 5/8 yard of 22-inch-wide heavyweight fusible interfacing
  • 1-1/4 yards of 1/8-inch-diameter cotton cording
  • 5 inches of 1/8-inch-diameter green elastic cord
  • 7/8-inch-diameter button

Finished bag: 12 x 8-1/2 x 3 inches (without strap) Quantities are for 44/45-inch-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Select the Fabrics

The following instructions are to make the turquoise/lime green bag. To make the pink/orange bag, use the instructions given, but substitute mottled pink for mottled turquoise, solid orange for solid lime green, pink and orange prints for the green and turquoise prints, and pink floral for blue floral.

Fusible interfacing comes in a variety of weights. For bag making, look for the heaviest weight, designed for home decorating or craft uses. If you want more body, consider using two layers of interfacing.

Cut the Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows.

  • From assorted green and turquoise prints, cut: 20 1-1/2 x 6-inch strips
  • From solid lime green, cut: 1 1-1/2 x 42-inch strip
  • From mottled turquoise, cut: 1 3-1/2 x 35-inch strip 2 5-1/2 x 20-1/2-inch rectangles
  • From blue floral, cut: 1 3-1/2 x 35-inch strip 1 15-1/2 x 20-1/2-inch rectangle
  • From heavyweight fusible interfacing, cut: 1 15-1/2 x 20-1/2-inch rectangle 2 2-7/8 x 22-inch strips

Assemble the Bag Body

  1. Referring to the Bag Body Assembly Diagram, lay out the 20 assorted print 1-1/2 x 6-inch strips.
  2. Sew together the strips; press the seam allowances in one direction. Trim the pieced strips to measure 5-1/2 x 20-1/2-inches to make the pieced inset.
  3. Cover the cording with the solid lime green 1-1/2 x 42-inch strip. Trim the covered cording seam allowance to 1/4 inch. Cut the cording to make two 20-1/2-inch-long pieces.

  • Aligning the raw edges, baste the cording pieces to the long edges of the pieced inset (see Diagram 1); use a zipper foot to stitch close to the cording.
  • Join the mottled turquoise 5-1/2 x 20-1/2-inch rectangles to the piped long edges of the pieced inset (see the Bag Body Assembly Diagram). Use a zipper foot to stitch just inside the previous stitching line and as close to the cording as possible. Press the seam allowances toward the pieced inset. The pieced rectangle should measure 15-1/2 x 20-1/2 inches, including the seam allowances.
  • Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing 15-1/2 x 20-1/2-inch rectangle to the wrong side of the Step 5 pieced rectangle.
  • Fold the interfaced, pieced rectangle in half to create a 15-1/2 x 10-1/4-inch rectangle. Sew the two side seams (see Diagram 2). At the bottom of each side seam, clip the seam allowance just to the stitching line so you can press the seam allowances open.
  • To shape a flat bottom for the bag, center the side seam line against the bag bottom, creating a flattened triangle. Referring to Diagram 3, measure and mark on the seam allowance 1-1/2 inches from the point of the triangle. Draw a 3-inch-long line across the triangle, and sew on the drawn line. Trim the excess fabric. Repeat at the remaining bottom corner to make the bag body. Turn the bag body right side out.
  • Assemble and Add the Strap

    1. Abut the short edges of the two 2-7/8 x 22-inch interfacing strips and zigzag-stitch them. Trim the pieced strips to measure 2-7/8 x 35 inches to make the strap interfacing.
    2. Center the strap interfacing on the wrong side of the mottled turquoise 3-1/2 x 35-inch strip; fuse. Layer the fused mottled turquoise strip with the blue floral 3-1/2 x 35-inch strip (see Diagram 4). Sew together the strips' long edges. Turn right side out and press flat; topstitch 1/4 inch from the long edges to make the strap.
    3. Referring to Diagram 5, pin one end of the strap to the bag body, centering the width across one side seam. Baste 1/4 inch from the raw edges. Repeat with the remaining strap end.

    Assemble the Lining

    1. Fold the blue floral

    15-1/2 x 20-1/2-inch rectangle in half to form a 15-1/2 x 10-1/4-inch rectangle. Sew the side seams, leaving a 6-inch opening in one seam for turning. At the bottom of each side seam, clip the seam allowance just to the stitching line so you can press the seam allowances open.

  • Shape a flat bottom for the lining as in Assemble the Bag Body. Leave the lining wrong side out.
  • Assemble the Bag

    1. Knot each end of the 5-inch-long elastic cord. Bend the cord into a U shape and center it on the right side of the bag back with the knotted ends 1 inch apart (see Diagram 6); baste.
    2. Insert the bag body inside the bag lining with right sides together; the strap and elastic loop should be between the bag and lining. Align raw edges and seams. Stitch together the top raw edges of the bag body and lining, backstitching over the strap ends and the elastic loop ends for reinforcement.
    3. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Note: This can be tricky because the bag body is backed with heavyweight interfacing; first pull out the straps, then carefully work the bag body out through the opening.
    4. Pull the lining out of the bag and stitch the opening closed. Insert the lining back into the bag and press the top edge, rolling the seam allowances toward the lining and being careful not to touch the iron to the elastic cord. Topstitch 1/4 inch from the folded edge, leaving the elastic loop free.

  • Pull the elastic loop to the front and mark the desired button location. Sew the button to the bag front to complete the bag.
  • Designer: Linda Turner Griepentrog