Project Bag Tutorial

I've had a bit of a craze lately of making project bags. They are a quick and satisfying sewing hit, and they are also really useful to keep small crochet and knitting projects in, especially things like socks which is my other obsession at the moment!
So I thought I would show you here my method of making the bags.


You will need fabric for the outer bag and also for the lining. You will also need some fusible fleece (I got mine from here) and a 12" or longer zip.
Use 1/4" seam allowance throughout.

Cut outer fabric and fusible fleece 20" x 13"
Cut lining fabric 19.5" x 13"

Fuse fleece to outer fabric following manufacturers instructions (it usually says this on the selvedge of the fleece)

Fold lining in half so the 2 shorter edges are together and at the folded edge cut away 2 1/4" x 2" squares in the corners as in the 2nd and 3rd photo above. With the bits you have cut away, press them in half lengthwise and then open out and bring each long edge to the centre crease line and press again. Fold in half and press - as in last picture above. This is the binding that is used for the zip ends.
Cut the corner squares from the outer fabric in the same way.

*****NOTE for fabric that has a one-way print*****
If the fabric you are using has a one-way printed design like the sheep print above, cut 2 pieces for the outer bag 10 1/4" x 13" and seam the 2 longer sides together so that the bottom of the print is at the seam on both pieces (like above) Otherwise you would have upside-down sheep on one side of your bag!! This piece should now measure 20" x 13".
Fuse the fleece to this joined piece and then continue as instructions.

Enclose ends of zips with the little bits of binding you have made from the lining fabric. You need to make the zip length 12" from end to end so you will need to trim the zip down a bit.
With the zip closed I start at the 'pull' end and trim about 1/4" off and sew the binding to that end. Then I measure and cut the zip to 12" and sew the binding to the other end. You can see the bits I have cut off the zip in the picture above.
Sew a 2" length of binding to use as the little side tab.

With right side of zip to right side of outer bag, sew together at top edges, centralising zip so it's 1/2" in from either end. As I like the zip to show on the bag (and choose contrasting coloured zips) I sew 1/4" in from edge of zip (not right up to the teeth).

Again with rights sides facing, sew top edges of lining to zip following the same stitch line of the outer bag.
 At this stage make sure you leave the zip open.

Next sew your side seams. On one side insert the 2" bit of binding (fold binding in half) near to the zip on the outer bag.

Mark the folded bottom edge at the corners of both the outer bag and the lining. I do a tiny snip but you can mark it with a pin or a fabric pen.

Bring the side seam to match the mark you have made and sew across the corner as above. Do this on both corners of the outer bag and also one corner of the lining.

Turn the bag so the right side is facing out, through the un-stitched lining corner. At this corner fold in the seam allowance to the inside and stitch to close near the edge as above.

Give the bag a little press and enjoy!

I hope you have found this tutorial clear and easy to follow. Any problems email me on

Happy sewing!

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