For years I used to carry this navy blue bag to all kinds of places, and my family called it the bottomless bag (a reference to Hermione’s handbag in the Harry Potter series). According to them, all kinds of things emerged from it at the right moment. Anything they want, need, or ought to have used to be there – tissues, cold medicine, masks, a small throw, toilet spray, sanitizers, snacks, drinks …….spare shoes, and even an umbrella.
And now that it is worn out and much-used and almost as old as the dinosaurs, I need another one of the same kind. I do not need it as much as I did back then when kids were small, but a carry-all bag can still be useful.
What to do, but to make another one – that too, with my moto intact – as easy as possible.
The pattern for this carry-all bag consists of just 2 pieces of faux leather fabric or any other thick fabric and a bag bottom piece of the same material and matching lining pieces, and 2 bag handles.
First and foremost some tips for sewing faux leather.
If your sewing machine is the normal home sewing machine, and you are using faux leather, some of the seams may be difficult, especially if the faux leather is thick (it normally is). You may need a machine with good clearance under the sewing machine presser feet. Especially when edgestitching over 4 layers of this material. I am using an industrial sewing machine(check out this post on why you may want to buy an industrial sewing machine)
And the normal presser feet may refuse to move or get stuck, dragging one of the layers faster than the other creating puckers and overall frustrations. You will have to use a teflon presser foot, for smooth stitching. As for the needle , use a leather or heavy-duty needle, such as a size 90/14 or 100/16.
Make a Carry All Bag with faux leather (Sewing tutorial)
Cut out the bag pieces
You need 2 pieces for the outside and 2 pieces for the lining.
Cut out bag bottom
Cut one from the outer fabric and one from the lining.
Cut out bag strap pieces
Cut out 2 bag strap pieces.
Sew the outer pieces
Keep the outer pieces rightsides to the inside and sew them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Sew the lining
Keep the lining pieces rightsides to the inside and sew them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
You have two tubes
The outer tube and the lining tube. Keep the outer tube rightside out. Keep the lining tube wrong side out. At this point you can sew on either side of the seam – it looks nice and makes the seam stronger. You will have to ensure that the seam allowance is open on the back as you stitch from the front.
Insert the outer bag inside the lining bag.
Insert the outer bag right side out, inside the lining bag wrong side out.
Sew the tubes together
Sew them together at one edge, with a 1/4 inch allowance.
Turn them rightside out.
The seam is in the middle
Bring the lining to the inside
Turn the lining to the inside. Tuck it all in.
After making sure that the lining is all inside the outer tube, stitch the top edge from the from, keeping it very close to the edge.
The bag bottom
The bag tube has to be stitched to the bag bottom.
Use clips to keep them together
As you cannot pin faux leather, you will have to use small binder clips to keep the seams together as you sew.
Finish the sewing of the bag bottom
You may have to turn the bag out as you sew the bottom.
Finish the inside seam
You also will have to finish the inside-seam with binding if you do not like the raw edges inside.
Prepare the bag handles
Press the handle fabrics to the inside by the middle and then 1/4 inch to the inside from the edges – make 2 straps like this.
Sew the edges of the strap
Sew along the edge, 1/4 inches from the edge all around the folded strap. Checkout this post on sewing bag handles.
Sew the handles to the bag
Make reinforced stitches to ensure that handles will stay put, even when you have millions of things inside your bag. I do not much like the X stitch you usually make, but it is going to reinforce your handle stitches.
So what do you carry in your bag?