Monday, August 26, 2013

Flea Market Bag

I found myself with a free morning one day last week so I decided to get a bit creative. I had pinned a bag a few days before that I had fallen in love with. You can see it here. Heather is a very crafty, talented woman. And the bag she designed is perfect to take to the flea market to hold all your treasures as you shop.

I rummaged through my fabric stash to find a cheery yellow print.

I found a pretty-in-pink Jane Austen fabric instead. But I really wanted yellow on the outside of the bag so I found a small piece of yellow and combined the two so I could use the pink fabric for the lining.
Love the font on the Jane Austen fabric.
I chose to make a bag about 18"x16". I wanted it longer than wider. I cut my burlap about 36"x17". The extra inch on the width is a seam allowance.

You can cut it to your own dimensions, depending on how big of a bag you want.
To make the cuff/lining piece, I sewed one edge of the yellow and pink fabric together and ironed open the seams. I laid out the burlap on the lining, with the edge of the burlap lined up on the center of the seam. I marked off the other end of the pink fabric, where the burlap ended, added an extra 0.5" for a seam allowance and cut.

I sewed the second piece of yellow to the pink lining and ironed open that seam. Now I had a piece of pink lining with a yellow piece attached at each end.
My yellow piece had to be trimmed, so I guessed about seven inches for the yellow outer cuff on the bag. I trimmed it to eight inches to allow for a little bit of overlap into the lining of the bag and to give me some fabric to hem.
I laid out the burlap to make sure it fit properly. Or at least close enough.

* If you only use one fabric for the outer cuff and lining, you can skip the steps where I pieced together the two colored pieces and matched the lining to the burlap. Instead, decide how big you want your cuff (ie. seven inches), add 0.5" for a hem, and then double it (because there are two sides to the bag!) and add that number to the length of your burlap piece. That's how big you want to cut your cuff/lining piece. So using my dimensions of 18"x16" bag, you would want to cut a piece of burlap 36"x17" (You add an inch to the width for a seam allowance - I use 0.5" seam allowance for burlap.) You would cut your lining/cuff fabric 51"x17" (36" + 7.5(2)" = 51")
Hem the edge of the cuff by folding the fabric 0.25" and then doing it again to give it a nice finished edge. That's where the 0.5" hem allowance comes into your fabric measurement. Pin it down and stitch.

Lay the burlap onto the fabric.
Fold the cuff over onto the burlap and pin it down. Make sure you pin the hemmed edge, which is the outside of your bag.

* The hemmed edge of the cuff is not sewed to the burlap.
Fold the fabric in half, right sides facing. Your lining should be on the outside of the bag. Make sure you match up the cuffs so they are even with each other. Using a 0.5" seam allowance, stitch up the sides of the bag with a straight seam. It may be overkill, but I also zigzag stitched the edges because I dIdn't want the burlap unraveling.
Flip the bag inside out and it's finished. Now you just need to make a strap.
To make the strap, I used the leftover pieces from when I trimmed the cuff/lining piece. I found a messenger bag and measured the strap on that to figure out how long to cut my handle. I cut a piece about 3" wide x the length I wanted the bag, plus 10" (5" for each end) to account for the ends I would need to attach it to the bag.

With right sides facing, stitch the long edges together and flip inside out.

Fold and tuck in the raw short edges and stitch closed.
Center the handle along the side seam. Pin it down and stitch along the top edge of the bag, attaching the handle to the bag.

Do the same for the other side.
The next part is a little tricky. And of course, I didn't take any pictures because I was busy trying to figure out how to attach the ends to the bag.

Working inside the bag, I lined up the end of the strap with the side seam and pinned it to the bag, being careful not to pin the outer cuff, only the lining and the burlap.

I slid the bag into the sewing machine with the cuff facing up. I pushed back the cuff to get it out from under the needle and, using my fingers to feel where the strap was pinned, I sewed back and forth, catching the end of the strap. The photo above shows you what it looks like from the inside of the bag. I did this on each side of the end of the strap.

Do the same for the other side.

When you are finished, trim your threads, remove from the sewing machine, and push the cuff back down. You won't see the sewing you just did to attach the handle. It will be hidden under the cuff!

Don't forget to trim all your threads.
Finished bag.

Love it.


  1. It's lovely, Cheryl. I just bookmarked a writing fabric like that the other day. This one: I was thinking about using it on my wing chair. Anyway, lovely bag. :) The cuff really adds to it too. I like that.

  2. I love that fabric, Val! And it would look oh-so-pretty on your lovely chair. I think I need to make one of those chairs!

  3. I still haven't decided on fabric for the actual back of the whole chair or for the arms. We'll see. I like the idea of using a writing-related fabric to keep it "me," but I don't know. I like the one I liked to above, but if I keep hesitating like this, it must not THRILL me--and I want to be thrilled. :) I also like this one on Ebay, but I wish the written items were letters or actual pages and not just postcards:$%28KGrHqUOKooFHnhQVE98BR7sGLs%28v!~~60_1.JPG

    We'll see.

  4. I think I like the postcard fabric better, Val. The roses would fit in beautifully with that chair. Just my two cents.

  5. Oh, I definitely like it better than the plain script. I just wish the written items were something other than postcards. The only other writing-related fabrics I've seen are Poe-ish ones with ravens and fountain pens, love letters, or alphabet-themed. I don't want the chair to get cutesy. I'm already redoing a couple of the patches since my last post on it for that reason. I have the fabric for the sides in the meantime, though, so I can work on it until I decide about the back and arms.