Fat Quarter Bag {Tutorial}

My mom can sew anything from a wedding dress to a cabbage patch doll.  Unfortunately, I did not inherit her sewing talent.

Despite my lack of sewing skills, I somehow managed to convince my new husband of just six months that I could make curtains for our apartment and baby clothes for our future children if I only had a sewing machine.  My gift on our first Christmas as husband and wife was a brand new Kenmore sewing machine.  

That was 7 years ago.

In those seven years, I have made one shepherd's costume for our little boy who was supposed to be in a Sunday School Christmas play.  Things didn't go as planned that day and it turns out all my hard work was for not.

When I noticed these Fat Quarter Bags on Pinterest, I decided it was time to dust off the sewing machine and give it another try.  My husband didn't bother to hide his surprise.

It took me three tries to get those handles on correctly, but what a sense of accomplishment when I finally got it right!  They will fit perfectly in the Operation Christmas Child boxes that I am working on this year.

Since I thought the original directions were written for a more experienced seamstress, I put together a tutorial for beginners:

7/8 - 1 1/2 in. wide ribbon
2 fat quarters {one main color, one contrasting color - makes 2}

 1.  Cut fat quarters in half so that you have four pieces that are approx. 11" x 18".  Take one main color and one contrasting color and put right sides together.

2.  Cut two pieces of ribbon 16" long.  Place one ribbon in between fabric on an 11" side.  Pin ribbon 2" from edges as shown.

3.  Match up the edges of the two fabrics and pin the 11" side together. 

Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the opposite 11" side and sew a 1/4" seam on both 11" sides.  {I used 1/2" seams so that the salvage edge would be hidden}.

4.  Open the seams and iron them down.  Match the seams up so that they are in the center between the two fabric pieces and pin together.  Pin the edges along both 18" sides.

Sew the 18" edges together leaving a 3"opening on one side of the lining fabric.

5.  Turn fabric right-side out through opening and topstitch opening closed.

6.  Put lining fabric inside main fabric and admire your new bag!

See the original pattern at Make and Takes for ideas on adding finishing touches such as topstitching around the top of the bag, and giving your bag a "boxy" look.


Lisa @ Flour Me With Love said...

This is really cute and it looks simple too. Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

Connie said...

Hi Vanessa: I'm Connie at http://hotflashncraftn.blogspot.com/, your new GF friend. I would love it if you stop by and be mine.
Your little bags are adorable.
Thanks for sharing.

hannahw said...

Cute bag! I came here by way of Too Cute Tuesday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/04/bell-bottom-baby.html

Jenn said...

This is super cute and actually looks like something I can handle. :) My mom just bestowed a sewing machine upon me (and I don't sew)...at least without her supervision ;) But there's a first time for everything! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and if you'd like, you can come on over to The Purposeful Mom on Thursday and link this up to Thrifty Thursday!

Heather Graham said...

This is so cute - and looks so easy! I have a little girl, and you can never have enough bags... you have to take the house with you when you leave!! Can't wait to try to make one...

Would love for you to share with my readers at my linky party!


Vanessa said...

Hi Jenn, This pattern really is pretty simple and now that I've completed three bags, I've gotten a lot faster and it really doesn't take that much time to do. Since mastering this project, I think I may have caught the sewing bug and am looking for my next {easy} sewing project!

Blessed Beyond a Doubt said...

Love it! Pinning it!

Vanessa said...

Thank you!

Six Sisters said...

These are so cute! We are so glad that you linked up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We hope you’ll be back soon! -The Sisters

AsSnugAsABug said...

oooohhh, I love it!

Jenny@daysofchalkandchocolate said...

Adorable! I love fat quarters because you can get such pretty patterns but never know exactly what to do with them!

Vanessa said...

Jenny, I also noticed a really cute pattern for fat quarter pillowcase dresses: http://www.modabakeshop.com/2011/03/fat-quarter-pillowcase-dress.html

This would have been my next project if I had a little girl. :)

Shannon said...

These are cute, I think my daughter would love something like this!


Vanessa said...

Hi, Shannon! If you do make a bag for your daughter, I would love to see it...everything you make turns out so beautiful!

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

These are really cute! I'm not much of a sewing girl,but I might be able to handle this!

Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

I think this is an awesome project for Operation Christmas Child boxes. These could be for girls of any age. It's also a great way for sewers to use up their scrap stash. Not that I need to do that or anything :)

Thanks for linking up to Finished Friday.

Bridget said...

Oh these are lovely! thank you for sharing & the great tutorial :)

Alison @ Oopsey Daisy said...

This project is PERFECT for a sewing novice like me!! Love this tutorial. Your steps are so easy to follow! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

Anna @ Feminine Adventures said...

"He didn't bother to hide his surprise." Haha! Love that. My husband bought me a guitar for my birthday and it's been a very similar scenario. I *thought* it would be much easier to pick up that it has proved to be and now I'm almost embarrassed to practice. Haha.

Those bags are adorable! Way to go--and thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday!

Vanessa said...

Anna, I've tried guitar too and it is definitely harder than it looks! Thankfully this whim didn't need an investment since my husband was my teacher and we already owned the guitar. :)

I think my husband is very glad that the sewing machine is getting some use though and now that I've finished this project, I'm excited to start my next project.

Thanks for visiting!

Jen @ de Jong Dream House said...

what a cute idea! I'm just learning how to sew, too. My first project was unpaper towels. I figured I can't mess up rags too badly, right? (you can see how they turned out here: http://housewifehowtos.com/linkage/link-party-2/here-comes-spring-and-how-to-tuesday-link-party/). My next project was making curtains out of bedsheets, and this morning I just finished my first quilt. I think the bug has bit!

Vanessa M. said...

Wow, congrats on finishing your first quilt! It sounds like you have been a lot more ambitious than I have! :)

Anonymous said...

If you leave an opening in the one of the tops between the handles it makes it easier to close once done as I like to use a decorative stitch across the top of the bag and this also closes the opening at the same time