Learn to Sew a Cross Body Bag
Sewing bags is my favorite project to make. I just love all the different things you can do in bag making. They can be either complex or simple or it is completely up to you. There are so many different things you can do to make your bag special and one of a kind. For this project I chose a simple cross body bag design with a nice lemony print to make it truly one of a kind and perfect for me. You can choose any print that suits you but I love lemons and this matches a skirt that I made recently so it is just perfect.
I chose a lemony print and some twill and Kona cotton solids to create my bag that I purchased online from JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores but you could head to Hobby Lobby, Fabric.com or onlinefabricstore.net to get the perfect fabric for your cross body bag. I also used some basic bag making hardware and some strapping to complete the look. This post 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: Learn to Sew a Cross Body Bag
- 1/4 yd print fabric
- 1/2 yd outer solid fabric
- 1 yd lining fabric
- 1 yd Fusible fleece like Pellon TP971F
- 1/4 yd lightweight woven interfacing like Pellon SF-101
- 2 1″ D-Rings (I chose triangle rings for fun)
- 2 1″ swivel clips
- 1 10″ zipper
- 1 8″ zipper
- 80″ of 1″ cotton strapping
Step 1: Cut your Fabrics
- 1 outer print, outer solid and 2 lining pieces that measure 14″ x 12 1/4″
- 1 Lining piece that measures 9 1/8″ x 10 3/4″ for zipper pocket
- 2 Lining pieces that measure 10 3/4″ x 11 1/2″
- 1 outer solid piece that measures 14″ x 14 1/2″
- 2 Pieces of fusible fleece that measure 13 3/4″ x 11 7/8″
- 1 Piece of SF-101 that measures 14″ x 7 1/4″
- 2 pieces of SF-101 that measure 10″ x 5 3/8″
Step 2: Fuse the fleece to your cross body bag
Fuse a 13 3/4″ x 11 7/8″ piece of fleece to the outer print piece leaving 3/8″ seam allowance at the top. Use a hot Iron and follow the manufacturers instructions. Fuse the second fleece piece to the corresponding outer solid piece also leaving the 3/8″ seam allowance at the top.
Step 3: Measure and cut the body of your bag
Find the center of the outer solid piece by folding it in half and marking it. Measure 5 7/8″ on either side of the center mark and make another mark. Measure a second mark on the side from the top down 10 1/2″ on both sides. Draw a straight line from the top mark to the side mark you just drew. Next, measure up from the bottom marks toward the top 1 1/2″ and draw a line. Draw another line from the top of that line to the side mark on both sides. Cut both the outer print and outer solid piece along those lines as shown. Cut the corresponding lining pieces to match. You should have four pieces shaped exactly the same.
Step 4: Create the outer Pocket
Fuse the SF-101 to the large outer solid piece at the bottom using a hot iron and following the manufacturers instructions. Fold over the remaining fabric and press. Place the rectangle on the right side of the outer solid piece you just cut. Cut the excess of the rectangle off to match the outer solid piece. Top stitch along the top folded edge of the pocket piece. Place the pocket piece on the right side of the outer solid piece and stitch down the center to divide the pocket. Top stitch all the way around the pocket to secure to the outer solid piece.
Step 5: Add the zipper pocket
To add the zipper pocket take the pocket lining piece and place it 4 3/8″ down from the top of the outer print fabric in the center and pin. Measure down 7/8″ from the top of the lining piece and draw a rectangle that measures 8″ x 3/8″ centered on the lining piece. Stitch around that box. Place a line in the center of the box with a triangle at each end. Cut out the line and the triangles. Do not cut through the stitching. Push the fabric through the opening you just created and press. Place the 8″ zipper behind the opening and stitch the zipper. Turn to the wrong side and fold up the pocket piece. Stitch around the raw edges to create the pocket.
Step 6: Add the handles and D-Rings
Cut two pieces of strapping that measure 12 1/2″ each. Fold under the raw edges. Place the handles on the outside of the outer print piece and the outer solid piece. Find the center and measure 2″ on either side and center and place the handle. The bottom folded edge should be 2″ from the top pf the outer pieces. Cut two pieces of strapping that measure 2″ each. Insert the strapping through the rings. Measure down 4 3/8″ from the top of the solid colored outer piece and make a mark. Place the rings on those marks so that they are facing inwards. Stitch.
Step 7: Create the lining pockets
Take the two lining pieces that measure 10 3/4″ x 11 1/2″ and fold them in half right sides together. Fuse the SF-101 to one side of each piece leaving a seam allowance on either side and the bottom. Stitch along the sides and the bottom using a 3/8″ seam allowance leaving an opening on the bottom for turning. Clip the corners. Turn right sides out and press. Top stitch along both folded edges.
Step 8: Add the lining pockets
Measure down 5 1/8″ from the top of each main lining piece and place the two pocket pieces and pin. Stitch along the sides and bottom of one of the pocket pieces enclosing the opening at the bottom. For the second pocket piece stitch along the sides and bottom and down the center to divide the pocket.
Step 9: add the top zipper
Place the 10″ zipper wrong sides down on the solid outer piece. Place one of the lining pieces right sides down on the zipper and outer piece so you have created a zipper sandwich and the fabric pieces are right sides together. Pin and stitch the through all layers. Flip the piece so it is right sides out. Place the other side of the zipper so that the wrong side is facing the right side of the other lining piece. Lay the outer print piece wrong side down on top of the zipper so that there is another zipper sandwich. Stitch. Top stitch both sides of the zipper to secure the lining.
Step 10: Finish the bag
Place the lining pieces right sides together and the outer pieces right sides together and stitch along the sides and the bottom of each leaving an opening on the bottom of the lining for turning. Make sure that the zipper is open or you will not be able to turn the bag.
Step 11: Box the Corners
Pinch the bottom and the sides together where the holes are creating a straight line. Stitch along the line using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Do this for the outer bag and the lining bag. Turn the bag right sides out. Stitch the opening in the lining closed using ladder stitch or your machine. Push the lining into he bag.
Step 12: Add the cross body bag strap
Place the ends of the remaining strap through the swivel clips and fold over and stitch. Clip the swivel clips to the rings and fold over the top. You have now completed your cross body bag.
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