I wanted a light summer bag that would go with some of my summer outfits, yet still be big enough to carry my purse, phone, keys and a book or an iPad mini. This pleated fun and feminine bag with a vintage touch looks great and doesn’t take long to make.
You can imagine wear it with a flirty summer dress. The long strap means you can wear it across your body if you want and there is a pocket on the inside so you can easily find your phone or put in your mini tablet/iPad.
- 90cm quilt weight cotton
- Coordinating thread
- 90cm of 56cm medium weight fusible interfacing
- Magnetic snap fastening (I didn’t use on but you may want to have the bag close at the top)
- Cut a piece of thinish cardboard 4 ½” wide by approximately 10″ long
You can download the Mad Men Pattern here: mad men bag (registration required, but product is free). Printout the PDF and stick together as indicated.
Cut out each individual pattern piece, then cutout your pattern pieces appropriately.
Step 1: Cut
Using the pattern pieces
- Exterior top front – cut 1
- Exterior bottom front – cut 1
- Lining/ Exterior back – cut 3
Measure and cut out
- Strap – 5in by 44 in – cut 1
- Pocket – 5 in by 10 in – cut 2
From interfacing cut
- Lining/ Exterior back – cut 2
Step 2: Mark The Front Pleats
Working on the right side mark the pleat – I recommend using a removable marker such as a tailor’s tack or heat-solvable pen. Fold the pleat towards the centre of the bag. Pin. Press the pleats, then baste the pleats in place.
Step Three: Interfacing
Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of two of the lining/exterior back pieces following the manufacturer’s instructions. For best results, let the interfacing sit untouched until it has completely cooled.
Step Four: Front Pieces
Pin the bottom front and top front pieces together, aligning the sides. Stitch then press seam allowances towards the top.
Top-stitch the top panel approximately 1/4in from the seam.
Step Five: Join Front and Back Exteriors
Pin the pleated front to the exterior back piece together, right sides facing together. Ensure that the raw edges are aligned. Stitch down one side, across the bottom and up the other side, leaving the top open.
Notch the corner curves then press open the seam allowances. Turn the bag right side out and press.
Step Six: Strap
Press both long edges of the strap over by approximately ½”. The pressed raw edges should be towards the wrong side of the fabric.
Then press the strap in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together, so the pressed over raw edges are contained within the fold. Fold the short ends raw edges into the folded area and press. Some people also like to pin along the edges to hold it all in place. Topstitch close to the edge along each side of the strap.
Step Seven: Attach the Strap
Pin the strap ends to the right side of the exterior bag at the strap locations. Make sure the strap is not twisted. Sew the strap on using an X shape.
Step Eight: Make the Pocket
Pin the pocket pieces right sides together and stitch along three edges. Turn the pocket right side out, make sure to push the corners out with either a chop stick or turning tool. Fold the raw edges 1/2″ to the wrong side and press. Edge stitch close. Centre the pocket on the right side of one of the interfaced lining pieces.
Stitch close to edge down one side, across the bottom and up the other side. Make sure that the start and finish end stitches are reinforced with either a triangle or diamond stitch pattern.
Step Nine: Make the Lining
If using the magnetic snaps, centre the snap pieces on each side approximately 2in from the top edge. Attach following the manufacturers instructions.
Pin the two lining pieces together, right sides facing. Stitch the sides and bottom together and press the seams open.
Step Ten: Assemble the Bag
Insert the exterior bag into the lining with the right sides of the exterior bag facing the right sides of the lining. Make sure the strap is tucked into the sandwich. Align the side seams and top raw edges.
Stitch around the top edge leaving about 5in open. Notch the curves then turn the bag right side out. Tuck the raw edges of the opening into the opening and press. Press all around the top edge. Topstitch all around the top edge.
Step Eleven: Finishing Details
I like to make sure the strap is well attached so I always sew a box around each of the X stitching where the strap is attached.
The bag is now finished!