How to make a pack a bag

Earlier this year, I was asked if I would like to do a blog post for a new website, Seams and Scissors.  I came up with this packable bag idea, and it was featured in early September.  I thought it was high time it also made an appearance on my own blog.

The idea for my pack away bag came from a really useful bag I was given as a present a few years ago, and I finally got around to trying to replicate it.  It is surprisingly easy, and and doesn’t require masses of equipment. These fold away bags are small enough to bung in your handbag, and very useful when I go to visit my family in Wales (where you have to pay for plastic bags). cocojude pack a bag tutorialIngredients

  • Cotton fabric (a nice, thick good quality one is recommended. I did try version one with thin cotton, and it was a bit of a nightmare. My bag is made from some very retro curtain fabric)
  • Cotton thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Sharp scissors for cutting fabric

Recipe

To make the main body of the bag

  1. Measure and cut a piece of fabric to 44cm by 70cm.
  2. Hem the top edge, fold in half width ways and sew around the bottom and open side. Zig zag the edges for a tidy finish. bag finished edge
  3. To make the straps, cut out two strips of fabric, each measuring 60cm by 9cm.
  4. Fold in half length ways, right sides together, and sew down the length. Turn the right way out and iron flat.
  5. Turn the bag inside out, and sew the straps securely into place, by sewing backwards and forwards a few times.  Make sure they are evenly spaced! sew strap into place

To make the mini pack bag

  1. Cut out two rectangles of fabric – one measuring 13cm by 16cm, and the other one 13cm by 22cm. Hem the top edge of both rectangles. pinned mini bag
  2. Lay the bigger rectangle right side up on your workspace. Fold the hemmed edge to make a 5cm flap.  mini bag ready to sew
  3. Right sides together, lay the smaller rectangle on top. 
  4. Pin everything into place and then sew around both edges and the bottom. Zig zag the edges for neatness. finished mini bag

Assembling the pack a bag

  1. Turn both the big bag and the mini bag inside out. Stitch the bottom of mini bag to the bottom of the big bag. sew mini bag into place
  2. Ta da! Your bag is now finished! To pack it away, all you need to do is stuff the big bag into the mini pack bag. completed bag
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Tshirt yarn bag

Ta da!  My tshirt yarn bag has been finished, what do you think? tshirt yarn bagAs you can see, I ended up using ALOT of tshirts, I got about 3 UK treble rows out of each tshirt.  The bag is quite roomy though – the perfect size for a beach bag.  To finish it off, I added one of my last ceramic buttons, this one has a screw pattern on it.  The handle was made from the hemmed edges of the tshirts, which I plaited together, and knotted into place at on the sides of the bag. button fastener on tshirt yarn bagI have a plan to make a smaller purse, and I will be posting a tutorial.  However, I have just had my nails shellac-ed and I don’t want to damage them, and tshirt yarn crochet is very rough on your nails!