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You can put whatever you want in it: your travel information, your shoes, a travel undergarment or bikini bag, a makeup tote, a snack bag for your children, a small toy storage compartment, a storage bag for your teas at work, a lunch bag-let your imagination run wild.
Its multi-tasking ability ensures that this bag is also a welcome gift for a friend. The uses vary so greatly that anyone will love it. This beginner’s sewing project is easy-so you can make one for each of your friends!
Step 1: Choose your fabric. I have three fabrics I worked with: the patterned fabric, the solid bottom fabric (lighter blue) and a solid interior lining fabric (darker blue). You can use one color fabric if you wish, but you will have to alter the pattern accordingly.
Step 2: Cut out your fabric. You can easily alter the size of your pattern based on what you wish to store in the bags. For my bag, I needed:
- 2 pieces cut at 14 inches long and 7 inches wide using the patterned fabric
- 1 piece cut at 14 inches long and 4.5 inches wide using the lighter blue fabric
- 1 piece cut at 14 inches long and 11.5 inches wide using the darker blue fabric if you wish to add a liner to the inside
- One 8 inch long regular white zipper. If you are unfamiliar with sewing in zippers, you can also use buttons or snaps to keep the bag closed, but the zipper will be your best option for keeping everything inside.
Step 3: Pin the two pieces of patterned fabric to the solid fabric along the 14 inch end with the good sides of the fabric together. You should have the light blue fabric in the middle with one piece of patterned fabric on each side. Sew along the pinned edges.
Step 4: If you are not adding a liner, you will now sew the zipper to the top of the bag. Turn the fabric so the patterned side is facing to the inside. Pin the zipper in place at the top of the patterned fabric. Fold the fabric in slightly as you sew, so there are no rough edges of fabric exposed.
If you are adding a liner to your bag, pin the zipper in place at the top with both the patterned fabric and the liner fabric attached to it. Sew along the zipper’s edge, making sure to tuck in the fabric edges as you sew, so there are no rough edges of fabric exposed on the exterior of the bag. At this point, the good side of the patterned fabric should still be facing to the inside.
Sew along the entire top of each side of the zipper, being careful not to sew the entire bag together through all layers of fabric. If you are not installing a liner, you should be sewing through one side of zipper and one piece of fabric. If you are installing a liner, you should be sewing through one side of zipper and two pieces of fabric.
Step 3: Unzip the zipper. Pin the remaining two edges of the bag together (two pieces of fabric if you are not sewing an interior liner or four pieces of fabric if you are sewing an interior liner). Sew along the pinned edges until the only opening that remains is where the zipper is.
Step 4: Turn your bag right side out through the open zipper. You should now have a zippered bag that is a great gift for your friends and family!
Other notes: if you want to use this bag as a lunch tote or for snacks for your children, you may wish to use a fabric that is easily washable on the inside. You can simply turn the bag inside out and wipe clean any spills. Remember that depending on the intended use of the bag, you can stitch a message or an image to the exterior piece of fabric: ‘bikini bag,’ a name, an image of undergarments on a drying line, etc.
Fill with teas, hot cocoa, a good book, a gift card, nail polish and more for each of your friends!
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