Saturday, May 7, 2011

Craft Project: A Reversible Bag

Today's DIY post is actually my mom's mother's days gift!  I hope she likes it. :)

There are lots of tutorials out there for simple bags like this.  I found the most clear instructions in this tutorial by Very Purple Person.  So if my instructions aren't clear, just go look at hers.

I began by making a pattern.  I just traced one of my own reusable shopping bags and then edited it a little (made the strap longer and the body shorter).  It was just easier for me to visualize what the finished product was going to look like that way!  I didn't have any paper large enough, so I traced onto cardboard, made my changes, cut it out, then traced the cardboard pattern onto the fabric.  It worked pretty well, although the cardboard was kind of hard to cut.  For future pattern making, I think I'll try to find some butcher's paper or something.

You'll need two yards of fabric (1 yard each of two fabrics).  I chose to make one side patterned, one side solid.  That way mom can have a fun, bold bag and a more toned down bag in one. :)  Note that you'll be able to see the "inside" fabric along the strap of the bag, so make sure you pick two fabrics that look good together.  Place your pattern on the fold of your fabric and cut out four pieces (two in each color).  Darts are optional, but I think they help give the bag a nicer looking shape.  If you have good scissors, you can do what I did and just lay all four pieces together and cut the darts out at once.
Then sew in your darts, right sides together, on all four pieces.
Sew both of the matching pieces of fabric together, rights sides together, around the bottom edge of the bag (where I drew the dotted line).
And you will end up with two bags that look like this:

Turn one of these bags right side out and put it inside the other.  Make sure everything is lined up then pin the outside bag to the inside bag.
Sew the outside bag to the inside bag along the edge of the straps, but only about half way up.
Then you have to turn everything right side out through the opening in one of the straps.  It is tricky, but don't worry - it will work!  When you're finished, it should look something like this:
Sew the ends of the matching straps together.
Then press the edges of your straps under and pin.
Top stitch them together.

I ironed the body of the bag so that it would look nice.  And that's it!  You now have a nifty reversible bag!

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