Alright finally I am writing my first blog post on something that I LOVE to do. Fashion. Designing it, Creating it, and seeing the final product. This is a first for me taking pictures of my process. Usually I am in my own little world and I do not have to explain to anyone how I did it. But I am giving it a shot. Today I will be showing you how I created my lovely 2 fabric over the shoulder purse. (Well really there are three fabrics and I made 15 of them…but that doesn’t role off the tongue as well.) Yup I made 15 of these things. Why you ask? Because I sold them at the San Telmo Plaza and Fair on the weekends for 4 weeks in a row. And 15 just happened to be how many I could make with the yard of fabric I bought. Hopefully people are in love with them as much as I am.
First I will let you know what you need.
- Two outside panels of material measuring 15″ Wide and 13″ Tall.
- Two inside lining material measuring 15″ Wide by 13″ Tall.
- One fabric of choice for pocket (If wanted) measuring at least 5″ by 5″.
- 15″ zipper
- 2 metal halfmoons.
- 2 metal clasps
- 1 chain (Mine is 1 Meter or just under a yard.)
- Sewing Machine (Duh.)
Step 1: Cut everything out.
Time to choose which fabrics you want for your outside panels. These need to be sturdy fabrics so the bag does not break easily. I chose a faux leather for the bottom and an awesome (if a say so) sportswear canvas for the top. I bought a yard of each but you do not need this much at all.
Grab your bottom fabric, lay it on the table, and start measuring out a perfect rectangle of 15″ Length by 5″ Height. Mark your fabric with chalk or something that will not leave a permanent stain. *This measurement includes seam allowance of .5″ on the sides and bottom, and .25″ on the top. Cut out two pieces.
Grab your top fabric and measure out a rectangle of 15″ Length by 8″ Height. *This measurement includes seam allowance of .5″ on the sides and top, and .25″ on the Bottom. Cut out two pieces. Set Aside.
Next grab your lining fabric. I used this cool dino-print lighter weight sports wear canvas.
Cut out two lining pieces 15″ Length by 13″ Height. Also cut out a pocket the size you want. In the pic above I tried to make a pocket out of the faux leather but found that it was too thick and stretchy, resulting in a puckered ugly fabric. Do not fail like I did. Use a fabric that is about the same thickness as the lining. Center and sew on three sides, leaving top open. Put aside.
Step 2: Combining two front pieces.
Sorry but I do not have a picture of this process, just the end-result (above,) but I will explain. Grab your lighter weight fabric and place is face up with the end you want attached to the other fabric facing North. Above you can see that the side with nothing sewn on is going to be the top of the purse. Then grab your second fabric and place it on top- face down. Align top edges and sew together at a quarter inch. Press open and iron. (If using faux leather like me, do not iron because it will melt. Only iron the canvas side.) After that you will add a top stitch to keep the piece flat. Top stitch will be on the canvas side right on the edge where the two are combined. In pic above the top stitch is on the strip of black right before it meets the blue. Make sure that when doing this, the seam on the back is folded towards that canvas side so it is caught in the top stitch. Put aside.
Step 3: Preparing the zipper.
Grab your 15″ zipper, your 2 half moons and your 2 strips of strong material. Slide the strips through the moons and place the top of the loop about 3/4″ in from both ends of zipper. (A little over is okay.) Then you will sew the strips onto the zipper a little under a 1/2″ in. Do not go over 1/2″ because you will see them in the finished product- which is not pretty. I sewed them on by hand, looping 4-5 times to make sure they were securely fastened. If your zipper is plastic you can do this with a machine.
Step 4: Sewing on the zipper.
Grab one of your front pieces and place it face up. Then lay the zipper face down onto the top edge and pin.
Grab a lining piece and lay it face down, so that the zipper is now sandwiched. Pin into place and sew as close to zipper teeth as you can. Once sewn flip of the lining so it touches the back of the front piece and the zipper shows. You will notice that now the edge of the zipper tape has a clean finish.
Now we repeat. Grab the second front piece and place it face up on the table. Then place the zipper face down on the top edge and pin in place.
Grab your second piece of lining and place it face down onto the zipper. The two un-sewed pieces are now sandwiching the zipper and other two pieces. Sew again as close to the zipper as you can.
Step 5: Sewing the panels together.
Once done sewing, open up the panels to see your results (check to see if zipper looks correct. This is what it should look like. Iron down the pieces by the zipper to flatten. When doing so, from underneath pull the lining away from zipper, so that it is against the sew line with no bubbles. Turn around and iron other side for good measure. Once done you will sew a top stitch on both sides, on top of the canvas closest to the zipper, including the lining in the back. This way the lining or the front will never get caught in the zipper when opening and closing.
Flip over so you are looking at the lining side. If some of the lining hangs off the sides, trim so they are just inside the front, like picture above.
Now you need to place bag so the two front pieces are touching and the two lining pieces are touching. Have both face to face so you see the outside, with the zipper in the middle like above. Have the zipper opened half way. Start pinning around the bag, being aware that when pining the two front pieces together, that where the two fabrics are sewn together, they match up. You are going to sew around the whole bag leaving about a 3” gab on one of the sides of the lining. Sew at ½” all around. When sewing over the zipper make sure the teeth are pressed in towards the lining and the tape is out toward the front. You can look at this blog if this part is confusing.
Step 6: Creating the corners.
Now we are going to create the depth in the corners. Focus on any of the 4 corners and clip the corner so that there is not much fabric between the stich. Like making a paper boat, pinch both sides of the fabric, pull apart, and flatten. With your fingers feel the seams and try to match them up parallel as best you can. Once you found the correct spot pin so they do not move. From the tip measure down on each side 1.5” (or more if you want a larger base) and draw a line connecting the two points. 1.5” made my base 3” wide. Sew on top of this line and then clip the excess fabric (or leave but make sure it is folded inwards later on. Repeat with all four corners. Since I know this is confusing I recommend watching this YouTube video. After looking at tons of videos on YouTube I decided two things. One this is the best because its short and to the point. (The rest just go on and on.) And second -I should just make my own damn video. Future project.
Once all four corners are done your bag should look like this.
Step 7: Pulling through.
Now is the exciting/scary part. Seeing if everything worked. Here you are going to place your hand inside of that 3” gap that you did not sew close, and start to pull the bag through. This process turns it inside out (or really the correct side out.) Once everything is looking good make sure that your corners are pointy and completely pressed out. Now we are going to sew that last little hole closed.
You can either sew it with the machine as close to the edge as you can like I did, or for a nicer touch you can invisible stitch. Push lining back in bag and woohoo! You are almost done. You should be very proud of what you have so far. I bet it looks great.
Step 8: Final touches.
Now time to add the strap. I used chain and weaved some spare fabric that I had laying around the house, which happened to match very well.
The fabric I had was chiffon, and if you weave it through without making it a spaghetti strap then it is going to frill and look bad. Since I didn’t have enough patience to create 15 spaghetti straps for these chains, I actually coated them in ModPodge, let them dry, and then weaved them through. End result = satisfied.
After I was done weaving I added the hooks to the end, and attached them to the bag. Last but not least I added some frill to the end of the zipper for easier pull as well as more detail.
15 Times of doing all that…and I have my finished bags!!
Hope you had as fun making your bag as I did. Comment on my blog if you have any suggestions or just want to show me how it turned out.
Kind of blurry but selling them at the fair was a fun experience. Look how cute our stand was.