First and foremost, I am a sewer. It is a huge part of my identity. I love to create clothing and accessories out of things I imagine. That is where the Auntie Kerrie’s Collection came in. It gave me the opportunity to create a line of funky and fun children’s clothing line. But I wasn’t always a designer. As a matter of fact, it was small projects like these that I started out doing. They are great for beginning sewers. I don’t think that you can ever have too many tote bags. They are great for taking lunch to the park or picking up books at the library. All you need are a few scrap pieces of fabric and you have a handy new accessory. So let’s get cracking. Here is Mama Kerrie’s tutorial on how to make a Book Bag.
Book Bag Tutorial
So this is one of the first things I ever learned how to make back when I was a kid. These little book bags are incredibly simple to make and they are super cute! They are reversible, so you have two bags in one! How great is that? You can adjust the six to fit your needs.
-1/2 yard Printed Fabric for exterior & straps
-3/4 yard Coordinated Print Fabric for trim & lining
We’ll begin by cutting all of the pieces needed for this project.
From the ½ yard of fabric, cut:
2 – 12” x 12” squares
2 – 2 ½” x 20” strips
From the ¾ yard of fabric, cut:
2 – 5” x 12” rectangles
2 – 12” x 16” rectangles
Now we’re ready to begin! We’ll start with your two 12” squares and two 5” x 12” rectangles. Place one square right side up on your workspace. Match one rectangular piece with top edge of your square, right sides together. Match up your raw edges and then pin them in place. Repeat these steps with your other two pieces.
Machine stitch your pieces together using a 1/2 “ seam allowance.
Press your seams open on both exterior panels.
Now place your exterior panels right sides together. Make sure you match up your raw edges. Pin them in place.
Machine stitch around the two sides and the bottom of your exterior panels. Leave your top edge open.
Clip the bottom corners at an angle. Then turn the piece right side out. And set it aside.
For the lining, place your two 12” x 16” pieces right sides together. Pin them in place.
Machine stitch around the two sides and the bottom of your exterior panels. Leave your top edge open. Clip the bottom corners at an angle. And set it aside.
Now we’re going to assemble the straps for your book bag. Fold your straps in half lengthwise with right sides together. Press them with an iron.
Next fold the raw edges of your straps inward a ¼” and press with your iron.
Machine stitch around all four sides of your straps.
They should look like this when you have finished:
Now we’re going to attach your straps to the exterior of the bag. Mark 2” in from the side seams of the bag on both sides. At these 2” marks, pin your straps to the exterior of the bag. Match up the raw edges. Make sure that your straps aren’t twisted before you pin them in place.
With right sides together, slip your exterior piece inside of your lining piece. Match up your side seams and straps. Then pin them in places.
Beginning on the inside of one set of straps, machine stitch around the top edge of your bag. Backstitch at each side seam, strap, and at both ends. Leave an opening 3” wide so you can turn your bag right side out.
Almost finished! Turn your bag right side out through the opening.
Next, push the lining inside the exterior of the bag. Then press the top edge flat.
Machine stitch around the top edge of your bag. This will seal your opening and finish your bag. Guess what, we’re finished! Now you have a fantastic little book bag to take to the library.