Finishing Lesson: Lined Bag

This is how I finish a small lined bag. I'm doing a shape that uses a pattern to cut pieces. If you wish to finish a square piece and add a drawstring at the top, I highly recommend using Dani's Lined Bag instructions. Same concept, slightly different construction :)

Ok, what you need:

Next, you need to create a pattern to cut your pieces. I usually find something around the house to give me the right curve or shape. This small glass bowl gave me the perfect radius for the bottom of the bag.

Trace the outline on a piece of paper. Don't forget to add a seam allowance! I usually leave 3/8" beyond my stitched edge.

Once you have your pattern cut out, place your stitched piece over it. If you've used black fabric, you may need to hold it over a light to see the outline. If you aren't happy with the shape, rework it. It's a *lot* easier to do that now before the fabric is cut!

Trim as needed. Figure out the overall dimensions.

Why the dimension? I usually cut a strip of fabric that is as wide as the finished bag is tall. Then I can fold it like a "Z" (with the back of the fabric on the top) to be absolutely sure I cut the correct orientation of pieces. Granted, for this symmetrical bag, that isn't as important, but it's still a good trick.

You need to cut three pieces based on the pattern. One to back the stitched piece and two to make the lining. One piece should be reversed along the center line (left to right). Then cut your stitched piece, being careful to place the stitching at your preferred location (it doesn't *have* to be centered - that's up to you!). Be sure to leave a seam allowance regardless of where you place the pattern on the stitching!!

Place one lining piece and the stitched piece, right sides together and sew the sides and bottom together. Not the top!

I usually reverse stitch at the top to reinforce the seam. It's going to get some work....

It's a pocket!

Now for the lining. Put your two remaining lining pieces right sides together and sew leaving a 1-2" opening at the bottom of the lining. That will allow you to turn your bag right side out once you put it together. (If you forget, don't panic. Keep following the instructions and I'll note what to do slightly differently. No seam ripping needed!)

See the opening?

Trim your seam allowance to 1/4" and clip any curves or sharp corners to help the seam stay neat.

Now, turn your lining right side out and slip it inside the stitched piece/lining pocket. You should have RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with the two "pockets."

Time to break out the pins. First, cut a piece of ribbon or cording for the "handle" of your bag. Match up your seams and tops at the edges of your pockets and layer the end of your ribbon or cording between the lining and stitched piece. You want the END of the ribbon to stick up out of the bag. Pin in place, opening up your seam allowance with the pin. Repeat on the other side. Stuff the rest of the ribbon down between the lining and the stitched piece.

See the ribbon stuffed in there? It should be between the RIGHT SIDES of the lining and stitched piece.

Time to sew around the top. See the ribbon ends sticking out? That's right!

NOTE: IF YOU FORGOT THE OPENING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LINING.....leave one in the center back of the top stitching.

Now the fun - remember that opening you left? Turn the bag right side out thru that hole! Your ribbon should come out as well.

You should have something like this. The opening I used to turn is on the left (the bottom of the lining). Give your bag a good pressing at this point. Mine is usually pretty wrinkled after turning!

Time to sew up that hole. I just topstitch it on the machine, turning the seam allowance under. If you had to leave an opening around the top, you'll need to either handstitch the opening closed or topstitch all the way around the top.

Tuck in the lining and give it a good press around the top for a nice crisp finish.

Congratulations! You've finished a nice lined bag :)

This stitched piece is the center motif of a Dinky Dye freebie stitched in Stranded by the Sea (Kelp) threads on white jobelan.