So now the bag looks almost like a bag… just a few more seams…
The base or bottom of the purse is the next section. (Full size pattern can be downloaded here)
Cut out two fabric bases, one of the lining and the other of the outer fabric as shown in Photo2. (It is fine if they are both the same fabrics!)
To give the purse some structure – so it doesn’t just lie flat – the lining portion of the purse base will have a three layers.
Cut another base from an old (but clean) washcloth, an old towel, a small piece of batting or felt and another one from another piece of scrap fabric. This fabric will not show, so it does not have to coordinate at all. It does help if it is a light color – as a stitching line will be drawn on it.
Place the lining fabric on a table with the right side down. Place the filler on top of it and then the scrap fabric to make a “sandwich” as shown in Photo 3. I have used a scrap of white fabric and a piece of some left over batting for my sandwich.
Take the paper Base Pattern (NOT the fabrics!!) and cut off the seam allowances to create a template. Place the template on the top of the sandwich – on the scrap fabric and draw around it with a pencil or pen (the line will never show).
Pin the layers together. To secure the “sandwich”, sew the layers together halfway between the line and the edge of the fabric.
The lining base “sandwich” will be sewn to the bag lining – right sides together.
Photo 4 illustrates how to align the lining base “sandwich” to the purse lining. Important: The center of the wide sides of the base align with the side seams. Align and pin.
The centers of the narrow end of the base align with the centers of the purse pieces. Align and pin. It may help to refer to the pattern pieces which have marks indicating what lines up with what.
Then pin all the way around. From the base side, Photo 5 looks ready to be sewn.
However, from the top side, the fabric does not align with edges of the base. This can be seen in Photo 6.
That is because curves must be clipped (and later trimmed). Clipping is a series of small (from the edge to no more than 1/4″ deep) cuts made perpendicular to where the seam will be sewn. These help fit curved pieces together.
After clipping, the fabric edges align much better as shown in Photo 7.
Repin and sew lining base to lining along the line drawn on the scrap fabric – leaving about 4″ along one straight section unsewn. See Photos 8 and 9. If you do not leave the short section unsewn as shown in Photo 9, you will not be able to turn your purse right-side-out later.
As this seam will support all the weight of the purse (and everything in it!), it is best to reinforce the seam. Sew a second seam just outside the first seam as shown in Photo 10 – but be sure to leave the same opening unsewn.
Then trim the sewn sections of the seam. Trimming is to cut away about 1/4″ from the seam that you just sewed as shown in Photo 11. Curved seams will fit together – clipping and trimming help!
Now that you have mastered sewing a curved base to the purse pieces, use the same steps (except no sandwich), to sew the outer base to the outer bag fabric. Go ahead and use the base template to draw the stitching line on the wrong side of the purse base fabric – but use a pencil – a Sharpie or gel or ink pen may bleed through and be visible. This time, there is no need to leave an opening – so sew the seam all the way around!
When both bases are attached. The project will not resemble a purse. It will look more like a deflated balloon.
Reach hand through unsewn opening in the lining base seam. Grasp the outer bag base and turn the bag right side out as shown in Photo 12.
To secure the lining to the bottom of the bag, the lining base seam edge is sewn to the edges of the bag base seam.
Place the bag on its base on a table. Reach through the opening in the base and grasp the two base seams (the outer and the lining) on the opposite side.
Pull the two seams through the opening as shown in Photo 14. Only 3″ – 4″ of the seam need be pulled through the opening. The 3″ – 4″ section should include the purse side seams. Align the two side seams and pin.
Sew back and forth in the seam allowance for about 1″. This is just to keep the lining attached to the outer bag. It is a short seam called a “tack”. It will not show.
Repeat for the base seams on the opening side.
Handstitch the opening closed… That is the only handstitching in the entire project!
Now on to finishing the handles.
Lay handles flat – making sure not to twist them. It is one of the Great Mysteries of Sewing that two handles cut from the same pattern, sewn using the same seam allowance – will not be the same size!
But, in this case, that is good!
As visible in Photo 17, the blue green circle handle is wider than the large print handle.
Fold the ends of the wider handle to the inside, approximately 1/2″ and press with the iron.
Insert the narrower handle into the opening of the wider handle approximately 1″. Make sure the handles are not twisted and are straight. Pin.
Topstitch close to the edge of the wider handle and then continue topsitching as shown in Photo 20. The “rectangle” shape of the stitching gives a nice finished look – and reinforces the seam – because bags can get heavy!
Speaking of a finished look…. Your Bag is now Finished!
So, now you can make another one for a friend!
Or even better – show your friend how to make one!
Pingback: Boho Sling Bag Tutorial | The Destashification Project
just made one out of Christmas material. Thanks!
WHAT ARE THE MEASUREMENTS of the base units?! i’ll have figured it out on my own by the time you reply but for future folks it would be much less frustrating to successfully reach this part of the tut and then not be scared to wing the base measurements.. if they aren’t necessary can you please explain why/how thanks 🙂
The pattern for the bag base is linked to Part 1 of the Tutorial. It is full size and does not require any enlargement.
The link is near the top of Part 1 near the “Boho Bag Pattern Sketch” Photo. The link is in parentheses and reads “pattern for boho bag base”. I think I will reword it to be clearer, maybe “click here for pattern for boho bag base – no enlargement required”.
I hope this will help!
ok. so i accidentally made the wide end span what was supposed to be the short end of the purse. i did not cut an extra piece of fabric to make the outer base so i again had to wing it. maybe in the instructions you could clarify which picture belongs to which instruction also because it all gets so confusing where you start saying “base” and “scrap” and “pattern”, “filler”, “lining”….i can’t tell what to which you are referring!! oy!! and add a note to make sure that you make the wide end of the base span so it reaches from one side of the armstrap to the other. otherwise my purse turned out super cute and i will definitely try again now that i have learned from my errors! thanks for the tut 🙂
I am sorry you experienced frustration with this tutorial. But know that I really appreciate the feedback. It is difficult for me to write the instructions somewhere between “insufficient instructions” and “the instruction novel”.
The base pattern has markings to help avoid sewing the base in sideways. But after rereading the written instructions, I think they could be revised to emphasize the “what lines up to where” and will do so.
Thanks again for the feedback! I hope you enjoy the purse!
Thanks for sharing! I love to see ideas come together. Great tutorial.
This is a great project. I must admit I found the instructions a little too detailed in places, but I can see how difficult to write instructions that cater for the novice and the experienced sewer. The whole project is really very simple – but without your guidance I could very easily have skipped vital steps that might have made it unnecessarily complicated! My bag turned out brilliant. Thank you.
What a nice comment!
Thank you so much.
I followed the link over from the Sew, Mama, Sew forums. Thank you for putting together such a thorough tutorial. Looks like a great size for putting nappies and books in, I look forward to making it! 🙂
This looks detailed enough for me to follow – I’ve only sewn two tote bags so far, (just within the last week) and my mom asked for a bucket bag / boho bag style, and I love the step by step instructions included, as I will most likely need them. Looks great, hope mine turns out just as well.
Very nice, I think you did a very good job with your instructions. Writing the instructions is harder than making the bag :o)
It’s a very attractive bag, but despite your commendable step-by-step approach, my daughter and I are feeling a little defeated. We are unable to determine how to attach the base.
Thank you for posting this tutorial! My bag turned out awesome! All the best to you!
This was a great tutorial! I went to the saturday market in Portland OR this past weekend and saw all these cute bags that I just knew I could probably make…and with help from your tutorial I DID IT!!! Thank you sooo much!
Cute cute cute! I made one of these tonight, and have to thank you for taking the time to write the details down for us all. Your step by step instructions were very helpful, especially when dealing with the bag bottom and lining.
I made this bag over the weekend. It was a cinch (after finally- thoroughly- reading the base instructions, lol). I absolutely love it. I am going to make more!
Could you please tell me the total amount of fabric that is required for the bag. I am a bit confused. Also if one fabric is used for outside and a different one for the lining. Thank you very much.
Just finished a bag! Thanks so much for the careful instructions. I was a bit confused after the sandwich part, and did not realize how I was going sew the base to each end of the bag and then they would match when pulled inside out. The trick was to do all one step at the time. . It is a very nice tutorial. Love the image with your hand.
I love your bag and instructions, I am working on one now with upholstery fabric samples, I am piecing it like a patchwork. It is good of you to share. Thanks.
Girl, I just found this tutorial and I will be making one or three of these in the not too distant future. Thank you bushels for putting this together and sharing it with us. 🙂 Happy Spring, this bag just has Happy Spring all over it. 🙂
Just wanted to say thanks for the tutorial!! You have obviously put a great deal of time into creating it, and as a total beginner, I appreciate the detail!!
This is just what I have been looking for. Thanks. I will give this a go as I also have a bit of a stash issue!
I can’t seem to find the tutorial for the patchwork bag. I think its going to be great. But I was looking for the extra steps for a patchwork bag and couldn’t find them. I’m assuming you just make two pieces of patchwork for the outside and then follow the rest of the instructions to finish the bag.
Thanks for asking. I guess I need to include a quick link.
Here is the URL: https://destashification.com/2011/08/29/patchy-boho-sling-bag-tutorial/.
Hope your bag comes out nicely.
I love your tutorials , but is there a way to print them off without getting everyones feed back? takes a lot of paper & ink.
I tried to figure out how many pages they are, but I think printers will vary.
My suggestion is to try ‘Print Preview” and determine the pages desired, then “Print” – but not “Entire Document”. Click on the “Pages” button and specify pages 1-3 or 1-4, as desired for the tutorial.
Hope that helps.
I don’t have a printer so used your “sketching it out” method which worked great for the 4 panels as I have a grid lined cutting mat. After cutting the base pieces as rectangles, I just measured the circumfrence of the bottom of the purse and rounded the corners off to match that measurement…I guess that’s what you would call “winging it.” Even though there were a few spots where the bag was gathered a tiny bit to match the base size, it looks like I meant to do that! I was lucky enough to come across some 13×13 DETAILED quilt squares in one of the myriad boxes of junk people give me and it took me only 6 of them pieced together to make the outer bag and it looks like I put in WAY more work than I did! Took me about 4 hours. Your instructions were amazing!!! Even when I looked at a step and my brain started turning inside out, I eventually figured it out! You rock!
Sounds like your Stash has some treasures! Detailed quilt squares! I think I have Stash Envy!
Glad you were able to work through the instructions. I realize some steps are not intuitive. I keep thinking I will make a video of each step, but have yet to put it together!
Enjoy your bag!
I’m just about to finish my 2nd bag your tutorial is amazing thank you so much
Great tutorial! I used it loosely for a leather version! Here is a link to my version! https://www.facebook.com/leatherwingsBags/photos/pcb.684249798296809/684249161630206/?type=1&theater
This tutorial is fantastic! I had the pattern enlarged at an office store. I have experience with sewing, so when I wasn’t clear with the instructions, I laid the pieces out and things worked out well! I even added a toggle button and piece of ribbon to close the purse. Thank you so very much for posting so many pictures and providing instructions!
Just managed to use your tutorial to make a bag from an old boiled wool coat lined with a shower curtain thrilled with the result. Thank you
WOW! I am impressed with your re-use of the coat and sower curtain! I never would have thought of using boiled wool, but it sounds just right! Structured – but lightweight!
I just finished my bag and I love it.. I thought the directions were perfect. I added the pockets all the way around the bag for more organization and I am going to add a snap inside just to keep it closed. Thank you for sharing your pattern…
Reblogged this on gottagetagift and commented:
Part two of the groovy boho bag. Great detailed instructions.
LOVE your fabrics!!! Wow what a great tutorial you made. I love making tote bags, thanks for the help in advance.
Just finished making the bag. I made a couple of small errors- nothing visible. It turned out quite nice. I would like to have the instructions for future use- but can’t figure out how to print. Thanks so much. It was fun to make!
I am on the second bag following your tutorial. However, as the first bag was for me I fudged the base. However, now I am making one for a gift and I am struggling with your directions on how to put the base together. I love the pattern and once I figure this out I plan to make more.
Really love the look of this bag and think it would be perfect as a school bag for myself. I was just wondering if there is any way i could sew a zip onto it so that it would close at the top? It also needs to be quite sturdy so that the zip won’t rip out, because other bags i have tried have zips that just break after a while.
Thank you for your lovely comment.
I agree, putting a zipper in the bag would be a nice addition. I have spent some time pondering how best to accomplish just that.
At the same time, I didn’t want to make the construction too difficult. I will sit down and experiment with a zipper option – and hope to post video instructions later this summer.
Thank you so very much, a video would be great. Can’t wait!
Thanks so much for this tutorial! It’s my first attempt at making a purse and it turned out great! I used denim fabric, top stiched with denim thread, and closed with metal button. I am so surprised how beautiful it is! 🙂
Muchas gracias por publicarlos patrones de los bolsos.
Love this!! I plan on making one to carry my new puppy!!
I so appreciate the attention to detail you gave!!
I have been planning to make a bag but many of the steps would have been missed had I not pre-read your instructions. I love that you explained the terminology and the WHY & HOW, as well! Just reading both part one and part two gave me great confidence!
I absolutely loved this tutorial… you have gone to such trouble to provide details, pictures and even humour. thank you!!!!!!!!!
I saw someing similar to this bag for a small dog breed tote. Im going to try and use your tutorial to make my own, I will post a picture when I get it done. Thank you for the tutorial.
Thank you for the pattern of your Boho bag. I just down loaded the pattern and I can’t wait to get started. Thanks for the tutorial as well 🙂
Thank you for this post!!!!! So excited to make this next week eek!!!!!
I pinned this on Pinterest, and I have been meaning to make it! I love the style so much. I just have to go through my fabric stashes to figure out what goes best with what. Thanks for all of your hard work in making this tutorial. 🙂
Decided to try this today on my brand new 😊 Sewing machine. Just finished cutting it out and thought I would share. I got the idea of using rolled gift wrap paper which has a grid on it (not all do) and voila 1 inch graph paper!! My options were going to be to measure out the grid on newspaper or head to the store to buy some. Needless to say I was thrilled. Thanks for sharing your pattern.
What a great idea!
Thanks for sharing it!
Great tutorial! Thanks for the very clear and simple instructions and the pics😊. I am a newbie to sewing bags and I definitely will be trying this one.
Can’t thank you enough for the great tutorial. Just made my first for my daughter. We are going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween soon and she wanted a hobo bag/diaper bag to match her costume. Most likely will be making some as Xmas gifts….
Just wanted you to know, I just used tutorial and found it excellent, love the finished product. Thanks!
Thank you for the tutorial;the pictures helped emensly. It has become my go to bag!
Thank you for the detailed pattered, I’ve never made a bag with a base , if it wasn’t for your instructions and photos I wouldn’t of done it. Thank you
Excelente tutorial, aclaré muchas dudas. Gracias por compartir.