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
In this article I will cover:
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).
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.
One set of fabric has to be cut differently. Keep the wrong side of the fabric up. Mark the pattern in reverse.
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.
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.
Do the same with the inner bag fabric pattern pieces.You now have two bag body pieces.
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.
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.
You will need to top stitch the inner bag bottom edge after turning the edges to the inside.
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.
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.
Step 6 Make bag handle
Keep the inner fabric and outer fabric right sides together.
Stitch along the marked stitching line (1/4 inch seam allowance) Leave 2 inch space unstitched for turning your handle inside out.
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.
Step 7 Join the handles.
Pin the handles to the bag and stitch in place. You can use rivets to attach the handles or just make an x stitching.
When you turn the bag, tada, another bag.
If you like the idea of reversible clothing to go with your new handbag, checkout this tutorial to Sew a reversible skirt