Handbag DIY Tutorial

Fabric handbags are reusable and biodegradable, helping to reduce waste and pollution. Make this DIY handbag and swap out those plastic bags and do Mother Earth a favor.
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easy hand bag sewing tutorial

If you are making yourself a handbag, why not make it reversible? Reversible means something that can be turned the other way round and still look as good or better than the other side and function the same way. This is such a bag – you can turn the bag inside out to match your outfit or as you fancy.

For me, the scenario is like – when you get ink marks and other inevitable stains inside, you turn the bag inside out for a completely new bag. So for the effort of one DIY handbag, you get two. Win-Win

Fabric for the hand bag

You can use Vinyl or pleather or any hard-wearing tightly woven fabric or heavily interfaced prettily printed cotton. I would interface the fabric (outer fabric and the lining) for a nice looking bag.(In my opinion a fabric bag is as good as its interfacing and the pretty bag-hardware you add to it).

Check out these posts on the best bag making fabrics and the bag making materials and hardware you may want to add to this bag.

How to sew the Handbag

Step 1. Cut out the pattern pieces

You need to cut the below pattern twice from two types of fabric – 2 for the inside and 2 for the outside.

One set of fabric (of the inner and outer fabric) has to be cut the normal way. Marking right on top of the face of the fabric- cut one inside and one outside fabric this way.

diy handbag-pattern

One set of fabric has to be cut differently. Keep the wrong side of the fabric up. Mark the pattern in reverse.

diy handbag-pattern
sewing a handbag

You will now be having 2 sets of pattern for the inner fabric and outer fabric.

Step 2. Join the pieces.

The side F-L of one piece should be joined to the lower side of G-D -which is M-D.

sewing a handbag

Keep them right sides together and stitch the edges with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Now join the other edges together to form the bag body.

 sew a handbag

Do the same with the inner bag fabric pattern pieces.You now have two bag body pieces.

 handbag making tutorial

Do press the seam allowance open at all times.

Step 3 Join the bag bodies

Keep the bags right-sides together – I have inserted right-side out inner bag body inside the wrong side out outer bag body.

Stitch the two bag bodies along the top edges. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 

keep the bags outer bag and innerbag rightsides together and stitch the top edge together
Keep the 2 bags ( outer bag and innerbag) rightsides together and stitch the top edge together

Clip the seam allowance everywhere that you could, especially the tip of the V shape (carefully)- the bag will turn out ugly otherwise.

Turn the bag inside out.

Step 4 Now close the bag bottom edge from the inside. 

sew a handbag bottom edges seperately
Sew a handbag bottom edges (that of outer bag and inner bag) seperately

You will need to top stitch the inner bag bottom edge after turning the edges to the inside. 

handbag sewing tutorial

Note : To avoid this top stitching which is not the best way to finish a bag bottom, you could leave some space unstitched at the top edge sewing at step 5 and get the bottom edge out through this and stitch from the inside. 

Step 5 Cut out the bag handles.

You also need to cut handles – 2 from inside fabric and 2 from outside fabric. Cut the handles longer according to your preference. The 14 inch makes a short handle.

diy handbag-pattern

You can mark the stitching lines some 1/4 inch to the inside. You cut the interfacing pieces with the pattern first, and then adhered this to the bag fabric back side and then cut it out. Or attach the interfacing to the bag fabric and then mark pattern and then cut.


You have 4 handle pieces.

 handbag sewing tutorial

Step 6 Make bag handle

Keep the inner fabric and outer fabric right sides together.

 handbag diy

Stitch along the marked stitching line (1/4 inch seam allowance) Leave 2 inch space unstitched for turning your handle inside out.

make a handbag yourself

Turn the handles inside out. Turn the un-stitched edge to the inside. You will have to top stitch the handles – this will stabilize the handle and close the gap.

 handbag sewing

Step 7 Join the handles. 

make a handbag

Pin the handles to the bag and stitch in place. You can use rivets to attach the handles or just make an x stitching. 

making a hand bag
sewing a handbag

When you turn the bag, tada, another bag.

easy hand bag making
reversible handbag sewing tutorial

Related posts : Learn to Create a Flat-Bottom Shopping Bag ; Step by step guide: Grocery bags

If you like the idea of reversible clothing to go with your new handbag, checkout this tutorial to Sew a reversible skirt

diy reversible skirt

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

1 thought on “Handbag DIY Tutorial”

  1. Hey dear, Thanks a lot for sharing such great top-notch stuff. My suggestion for the beginner is to make up your own rules. I am a big believer in trusting one’s intelligence. Some things you read in a sewing book or pattern directions — how to insert a zipper, say — may sound unnecessarily complicated. Don’t be afraid to try it your way. The people who wrote those directions are just people. Maybe there’s a more straightforward method, and YOU are the person who will have discovered it. If it doesn’t work, you’ll have learned something. You have nothing to lose provided you’re not experimenting on your nearly-finished garment made of $75/yd.

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