I love this basic handbag with cellphone pocket. It is a nice handbag making project for the beginner handbag maker. This bag is nice because of the zippered cellphone pocket in the front of the handbag. It is so convenient. The zippered pocket is a simple installation even for the beginner sewist. This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through just how to install it. Beginners are always afraid of zippers but this one is short and sweet. There is nothing to fear here. If you want to start handbag making this is a good way to step up your game just a little bit. If you would like more handbag projects check out my eBook of 30 handbag projects taken from the blog.
I used a large black and white polkadot print for the exterior of my handbag with a bright pink lining for fun. I believe I got both of these fabrics from JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores. Of course you could head to Hobby Lobby, Fabric.com, or onlinefabricstore.net to get the perfect fabric for your project. This project contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
What you will Need: How to Make a Basic Handbag with Cellphone Pocket
- 1/2 yd outer fabric and lining fabric
- 1/2 yd fusible fleece like Pellon 987F
- Scrap of medium – heavy weight interfacing
- 1 magnetic snap
- 1 6″ zipper
- 2 pieces of 1 1/4″ webbing that measures 13 3/4″
Step 1: Cut Your Fabrics
Cut 1 outer, 1 fleece and two lining pieces that measure 13″ x 11 1/2″. Cut one outer piece and lining piece that measures 6 5/8″ x 11 1/2″. Then cut one outer and fleece piece that measure 6 5/8″ x 2 3/4″ and one outer and fleece that measure 6 5/8″ x 9 1/8″. Cut 4 outer pieces that measure 1 1/8″ x 1″ for zipper tabs. Finally, cut one lining piece that measures 6 5/8″ x 13 3/8″ for the zipper pocket and one that measures 7 1/2″ x 11 3/4″ for the slip pocket.
Step 2: Fuse the Fleece
Fuse the fleece to all outer pieces on the wrong side and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 3: Add the Zipper Tabs
Place the zipper tabs right sides together sandwiching the zipper at each end. Stitch along each end of the zipper using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Open up the tabs and press.
Step 4: Add the Zipper
Take the 6 5/8″ x 2 3/4″ and the 6 5/8″ x 9 1/8″ pieces of outer fabric and the 6 5/8″ x 13 3/8″ lining piece and place them on your work surface. Lay your 6 5/8″ x 9 1/8″ outer piece right sides up. Place the zipper right sides down at the top of the fabric piece. Lay the lining piece right sides down onto the zipper making a zipper sandwich. Using a zipper foot stitch the three layers together. Turn the fabric right sides out and topstitch along the zipper. Fold up the lining piece so that it meets the other side of the zipper. Place the small outer piece right sides down on the zipper creating a separate zipper sandwich. Stitch through all three layers. Open the outer piece right sides out and topstitch along the zipper.
Step 5: Add the Other Half of the Zipper Piece
Take the 6 5/8″ x 11 1/2″ piece and place it right sides together with the zipper piece you just created. Stitch the pieces together using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Topstitch along the seam to secure.
Step 6: Create the Handles
Take the webbing and find the center. Mark with a pin. Mark 3″ on each side of the pin and mark again with another pin. Fold the webbing in half and top stitch from pin to pin, a total of 6″.
Step 7: Add the Handles
Measure 2 3/8″ from each side and mark. Place the ends of the handles on those marks and pin. Stitch the handles in place.
Step 8: Stitch the Outer Bag
Place the two outer pieces right sides together and stitch the sides and bottom together using a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Step 9: Box the Corners
Press the bottom seam together with the side seam and flatten to a point. Measure down until the flattened part is 3 1/8″ across and draw a line. Stitch across the line. Repeat for the other side. Trim off the excess fabric from the corners. Turn the bag right sides out.
Step 10: Create the Lining Pocket
Take the 7 1/2″ x 11 3/4″ and fold it in half. Stitch along the sides and partially on the bottom using a 3/8″ seam allowance. You want to leave an opening on the bottom to turn the pocket piece right sides out. Turn the pocket right sides out and press. Top stitch along the fold.
Step 11: Add the Lining Pocket
Find the center of the pocket and one of the lining pieces. Place the pocket piece in the center of the lining piece and stitch along the sides and bottom making sure to close the opening you used to turn the pocket.
Step 12: Add the Magnetic Snap
Find the center of the lining pieces. Measure down 1 1/2″ from the top in the center and add one half of the snap on one piece of lining and the other half of the snap on the other piece of lining. Use some interfacing to back the snaps for support.
Step 13: Create the Lining
Place the two lining pieces right sides together and stitch the sides and bottom using a 3/8″ seam allowance but leaving an opening on the bottom for turning. Box the corners in the same way that you did for the outer bag. You should have an outer bag and a lining bag.
Step 14: Place the Two Bags Together
Place the outer bag inside the lining bag so that they are right sides together. Match the side seams. Stitch all the way around the top using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Turn the bag right sides out through the opening in the lining. Stitch the opening closed using ladder stitch.
Step 10: Finish the Bag
Push the lining into the outer bag and press. Topstitch all around the top of the bag. You have now finished your basic handbag with cellphone pocket.
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