Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bohemian Bag Tutorial

After lots of travel this past month, I am ready to sit down and share a sewing tutorial. This one is for a fun and funky drawstring pouch. I call it a Bohemian bag because of its disregard for conventional patchwork rules and practices.

The idea for this bag was born several months ago when my sister sent me instructions on how to make a cloth portfolio using diagonal strips of fabric. The original portfolio was designed by Karen Montgomery and published in the Spring 2008 edition of Quilts and More. I really loved the crazy strips so I decided to apply the technique to a pattern I learned from Ayumi at the Pink Penguin.

Would you like to give it a try?

Cut out ten 3 x 10 rectangles, and then cut the assorted rectangles into uneven strips. (I used shades of red, black and white.)

Arrange the strips as desired, and then sew them together to make two pieced rectangles.

The seam allowance should be about 1/4" throughout the process, with one exception. (See instructions below for adding the casing.)

Press seams open, and trim to make two 9 x 10 pieced rectangles.

You have just completed the two tops for your bag. It’s starting to look pretty cool, eh?

Sew the two right sides together, and then cut the bottom two corners.

Turn the bag right-side out, and voila! You have completed the exterior!

Now it’s time to make the casing for the cords.

Cut out two pieces of fabric, measuring 9.5 x 2.5. Fold the edges 1/4", and press. Fold 1/4" again, and press.

Fold the pieces in middle, wrong sides together and press. (Are you tired of pressing yet? :P)

Sew the two casings onto the top part of the bag. (Sew very close to the edges.)

Now let’s make the lining.

Cut out two 9 x 10 rectangles.

Sew right sides together, leaving an opening in the bottom.

Cut the two bottom corners, just like you did with the outer bag.

Place the lining inside the outer bag, right sides together.

Sew the top edge so that the lining is attached to the outer bag.

Turn the bag right side out through the lining opening.

Press the top edge of the bag, and machine or hand-stitch lining closed.

Prepare two 30" long cords. (I like to use twisted cord; it just seems to add a nice touch.)

Thread one cord through casing and knot ends together.

Thread the second cord from a different casing opening, and again, knot ends together.

Now your Bohemian Bag is complete! Yeah!

Many thanks to designers Ayumi Mills and Karen Montgomery.  Thanks too to the folks of Quilts and More for their great website and publication.

One of these bags is listed in my shop. Come on by!

Click here to see some alternative expressions of this pattern.