Friday, November 7, 2014

How to Make a Multipurpose Bag

Multi Purpose Bags

Every women loves to have an organized purse. It just makes life easier when you don't have to go searching for something you need and can't find it. It's even more frustrating when you know you put it in your purse, and you have to take everything out just to find it. Well today, I'm going to show how you can make a simple multi purpose bag. These bags are great for cosmetics, wallets, personal accessories, shop cards, etc. Soon, you'll find that having one of these bags in your purse is just not enough. In addition, it won't be long before you will be making them for friends, relatives and gift giving. And with Christmas just around the corner, what better gift to give and easy on the budget than these multipurpose bags that were handmade by you. So let's get started.

Materials needed:

Outside bag-->1/4 yard of main fabric (natural fibers work best) 
Inside bag -->1/4 yard of fabric for inside lining 
Fusible interfacing-- >1/4 yard, medium weight 
Three 7" zippers
ScotchGuard for Fabrics (optional)

Finished size: 8" X 6" with 1/2" seams

1. Cut from the main fabric 2 rectangles 9" X 5" and 2 rectangles 9" X 2"

2. Cut the interfacing the same dimensions as stated above.

3. Cut 4 fabric pieces for the lining 9" X 7" and 2 rectangles 9" X 5" and 2 rectangles 9" X 2"

4. Match the interfacing pieces with the main fabric pieces.

5. Fuse the interfacing  (according to manufacturer's directions) to the wrong side of the main fabric.

6. Match a 5" X  9" and a 2'" x 9" lining pieces with the fused fabric. Spray the adhesive to the interfacing and lay the wrong side of the lining to the interfacing. (Optional: may baste pieces together around the edges.)

7. Place the wrong side of the zipper to the wrong side of the 9" X 5" main fabric. (Make sure the zipper opens up from left to right.)

8. Pin zipper and sew into place. Repeat with other 9"X 5" piece.

9.  Iron the seam down and away from the zipper.


Attaching the main fabric 9" X 2" to the main fabric 


10. Again, place the wrong side of the zipper to the wrong side of the 9" X 2" main fabric. Repeat steps 7 and 8. Trim sides, if needed.

Front and back sides


11. Place the wrong side of a 9" X 7" lining piece to the wrong side of the outside bag. Baste all the edges together. Repeat with the other side. This forms a nice outside pocket.

12.  Pin the right sides together of the 3rd zipper and the outside bag. (Zipper should open from left to right.) Baste into place.

13. Pin the right side of  another 9" X 7" fabric lining piece to the right side of the outside bag so the zipper is sandwiched between the fabrics. Sew into place. Remove basting.

14.  Repeat steps 12 and 13 for the other side of bag.


Outside of the bag before sewn together

Inside of the bag before sewn together


15. Iron all the seams down and away from zipper.

16. Open center zipper so you can turn the bag right sides out later. (This is a very important step in the completion of the bag.)

17. With the right sides of the lining together and the right sides of the main fabric together, pin fabric, matching the zipper ends together. Leave a 3"- 4" opening at the bottom of the lining fabric.

Sew around the edges with 1/2" seams, leaving a 3"- 4" opening between the double pins


18. Start at the one end of the opening and sew around the edges close enough to the zipper ends so there isn't much of a gap. Continuing sew around to the other end.  Trim and clip corners.

Pull the lining away from the outside of the bag


19. Turn right side out. This might be difficult at first, but with a little patience and effort, it will turn and get easier as more material is pulled out. Make sure to pull out the corners.

20. Once it turned right side out, pull the lining away from the outside of the bag. Stitch the opening close. 


Closed opening

21. Insert the lining into the bag. Iron bag to get out any wrinkles.

22. May spray with ScotchGuard for Fabrics to protect it against stains and dirt.


Finished and ready to be used for whatever you need.

Here's the finished bag and doesn't it look great?! And if you don't know how to sew and would like to learn, these bags would be a great first time sewing project. They are fast and simple. However, I recognize that some people don't feel comfortable with a sewing machine. So I will be putting these in my shop  at purseonality.etsy.com under the cosmetic bag section for those who may want to purchase one of the multi purpose bags instead of sewing one. Have a great day and happy sewing.