Spring Handbag Tutorial and Pattern

Hello, hello. First of all thanks for the visits, the mails, the stumbling upon, the RT and generous Facebooking :>

Secondly, I would like to announce the winner of the handbag I am giving away to celebrate Sky Turtle’s anniversary: it’s dear Kitten 🙂 Hope she likes:> ( I used a random generator to pick the lucky comment – if you have better ways, tell me how you do it – it’s my first time:)

Thirdly, I would like to announce the surprise I was promising. Tutututu! And that’s my first ever downloadable pattern and the complete step by step tutorial that shows you how to sew the Planning World Domination Handbag

So yep, just click here to download the Planning World Domination bag pattern. It prints on A4 normal printer paper and it’s ready to be cut. You can use it freely as long as you’re sewing for you or for your friends. If you’re going to sell bags made with this pattern, I’d appreciate an email.

It’s my first pattern, so there’s plenty of room to improve, i know. Tell me what you think – even if you think it sucks -ouch! – in the end it will help me make better patterns:)

Okay, now on to the tutorial!

1. First you cut the bottom. Fold your fabric once to cut two pieces for the bottom. Then fold it again and put the straight edge of the pattern on the fold.

2. Cut leaving a 2 cm seam allowance.

3. For the lining bend the corner marked with a blue dotted line and cut a slightly smaller shape. You’re doing this because the front is going to have a pleat and you don’t want your lining to be bigger than the outside and look like somebody’s stomach. (Too much? Sorry : )

4. This is what you should have by now: 2 part lining bottoms

and two parts outside fabric bottoms. (Guess who’s going to get visitors looking for “bottoms outside” on her blog now?)

5. Good. Now we’re going to make the pleat in the front. To do that first we mark the center of the piece. Then we fold over it 2cm of fabric from both sides. (It’s easier to figure out from the pics).

Fold one and secure it with a pin.

Fold the second and secure with a pin again.

At this point you want to lose the pins and secure your fold with thread. Then you can forget about it for a while.

In case you want pockets, now’s the time. My model has two zipper closed inner pockets, but you can add as many as you want. You don’t even have to add the zipper. I love Sew Mama Sew’s zippered pocket tutorial.

6. The straps. Cut two 16/45 cm fabric straps from the outer fabric. Fold them in two, then fold the margins in and press.

7. Now cut the strap flaps from the other pattern page, leaving a 2 cm sewing allowance. You will need four pieces.

8. Sew on the left and right side and at the curved top. Leave the smallest sides unsewn, but tuck in the fabric and press. Here you will sew in the straps.

9. We’re now going to sew the zipper in. Lay your outside fabric bottom, good face up. Then lay one of the strap flaps, raw unsewn part of the piece up.

Then lay the zipper, teeth down.

And add the one of the lining bottom parts, good side kissing the zipper.

Pin and sew. You want to sew on the outside of the zipper – the side that’s the closest to the edge. Repeat with the other side.

10. Now separate the two bottoms, the lining and the good side, pin and sew all around, leaving a 10 cm opening in one of the lining parts. Take care not to sew the straps inside.

11. Turn inside out and stitch the opening.

You now have your own bag ready to plan world domination, your next trip or whatever you prefer to plan 🙂

Hope you like and let me know how I can improve this tutorial and pattern. (And yeah, sorry for the nauseating image sizes and shapes  – one more thing to improve next time:)

  • Alicia

    Thanks a lot for sharing this tutorial and pattern! It is a fabulous bag and also has zipper!!!!!!

    • Sky

      Actually it has three, if you count the pockets 🙂
      Thanks for commenting, it encourages me to do more (and better:)

  • Great Tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to make it. The fabric of that bag is great. Oh, and happy anniversary.

    • Sky

      Thank you for your kind words:> The fabric is from Ikea.

    • Sky

      I am planning (and excited) to go to this fabric shop near Arc de Triomph you told me about – in August it was closed: )

  • Ina

    Glad you like it, Alicia. Thanks for the comment!

  • Thanks a bunch you wonderful tortuga. I will be more than proud to wear it!

  • Zoe

    This is super cute! How much fabric does it require?

    • Sky

      Glad you like it! I had a 120/60 cm piece 47/23 inches to start with and I guess I can make a wallet or two of what’s left.

  • marie-claude

    I love the design ! Thanks for sharing it with us.
    I cannot wait for next week-end and having a go at it !

    • Sky

      I am so happy you like it! And would love to see how your version looks.

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  • oh. nu stiam ca esti romanca. am sa te urmaresc mai des de acum:)

    super tutorialul. eu tocmai mi-am cumparat o masina de cusut chiar daca nu mai pusesem mana pe una pana acum 😀 si caut tutoriale cat mai simple ca sa ma apuc de cusut. iar al tau mi s-a parut foarte bine facut si usor de inteles.

    • Sky

      Si mie imi place colectia ta de proiecte. Am adaugat blogul tau in reader. 🙂
      E usor cu masina de cusut, ai sa vezi. Iar daca ai vreo intrebare sau nevoie de ajutor trimite-mi un mail:)

      • aveam prea multe link-uri ratacite si am zis sa le pun toate pe un site si cand am nevoie de ceva sa fie mai usor de gasit. sper sa ii ajute si pe altii 🙂

        da, nu mi se pare asa de greu de folosit, insa o am de ceva timp si nu am reusit sa ma apuc serios de ceva. mai greu cu taiatul materialelor cred:D si mai ales ca nu prea stiu cum sa aleg materialele in functie de ceea ce vreau sa fac.
        mersi frumos pentru ajutor, daca am vreo intrebare cu mare drag am sa te intreb

  • Beautiful bag! Where did you get the world map fabric from the original post? I am in looooove with it.

    • Sky

      Hello Trisha,

      The fabric is made in Spain and I bought it in a fabric shop in Barcelona, where I live. Unfortunately they don’t have a functional website nor they deliver.

    • Sky

      Eventually, if you want I can buy it for you and ship it.

      • That is very nice of you, but I think for now I will just sit over here and drool over yours. Either that or try to make some that is similar on Spoonflower.

        • Sky

          hehe 🙂

  • I just found your great tutorial – thanks so much for sharing! I’ve just added your link to my Purses, Totes and Handbags Listings at http://www.linda-matthews.com/free-purse-patterns-and-tutorials/by-date/#sep2010

    • Sky

      Great collection of tutorials, Linda. And thanks for adding mine: )

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  • Dl

    Love it. I’m a beginner so might be beyond me but def on the to do list.

    • Sky

      So glad 🙂 I say try it. If you have any questions just mail me or tweet me!

  • Debbie Jennings

    I love this bag! Can’t wait to get the fabric and notions to make me one! Thank you so much for putting this easy to read Tutorial up as well as the pattern!

    • Sky

      Thanks for your kind words, Debbie.
      I do hope it’s useful!

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  • What a great pattern. The oversized sachel look is so popular in this area. This would be a wonderful project to match a favorite outfit. Thankyou from a fellow tweeter(SilentSound49)

    • Sky

      I’m so glad you like it! And I sent you a tweet 🙂

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  • Melissa

    I love the tutorial…Just one question. The zipper when you install it is face UP towards you, right? And is sewn at the top? I don’t know why that confuses me so…! Love the bag!

    • Sky

      You sandwich the zipper between the fabrics like this: lay you outer fabric good side up; place the zipper face down (you will sew the top part, above the teeth of the zipper not below); the place the lining, good side down. Pin and sew?

      Does it make sense?

      Glad you like it, would love to see your version!

      • Melissa

        Thank you for the quick response! I guess when I read this:

        “Then lay the zipper, teeth up.” I thought the zipper would face UP and I sewed it in the wrong way, which explains why I was so confused. I will be sure to post a picture when I finish!

  • Sky

    Oooh, right. I changed it now to – teeth up – wasn’t very clear.
    Thank you for the feedback and the question!

    • Melissa

      Okay-possibly one more kind of silly question. How high up do you sew around each of the sides of the liner and outer? Up and over the zipper area?

      • Sky

        As close as you can to the teeth.

        So you’ll have

        ___________ outer edge of the fabric
        ——————- seam
        =========== zipper

      • Sky

        Does that answer your question?

      • Melissa

        I just did that part…I meant around the outside parts of the bag to close them up. Do you start at one end and sew alllll the way around the lining and outer in one swoop and go over the zipper as well? (obviously leaving that 10cm space in the liner to turn the bag out). Sorry for spamming your comments with all this!

      • Sky

        Ah, ok, I didn’t understand. Yep, all the way, and you leave the 10 cm. That’s how i do it.
        You’re not spamming, I am here if you have more questions or if I answer the wrong things :>

        Are you sewing it right now?

      • Melissa

        I am! You’re so quick with your replies! I love it! I’m so excited to finish this bag!

      • Sky

        That is so awesome 🙂
        Can’t wait to see how it looks like!

    • Melissa

      Here it is!

      Finally done!

      • Sky

        argh! can’t see it, flickr tells me the page is private

      • Melissa

        That was my fault…I posted the wrong link!

        This should work!:

      • Melissa

        Well maybe not! I blogged about it though! Haha so this definitely should work!


  • Hola guapa, una pregunta, ¿cuanto tiempo se tarda en crear un bolso de esos?

    • Sky

      Hola 😀

      La primera una hora y media, dos horas, depende de tus “skills”, pero la segunda menos.

  • fantástico tutorial. ¡cuánto trabajo detrás! gracias.
    lo pruebo en cuanto termine lo que tengo ahora entre manos 🙂

    • Sky

      Me alegro de que te guste : >
      Seria genial ver tu version! :>

  • Sky

    Aaaw! It’s great! Thanks so much for the link and for making it :>
    I added your blog to my reader, looking forward to your next sewing adventures 🙂

  • Hola!
    Que bolso fantástico!
    Muchas gracias por el tut, esta mañana lo hice (todavia sin fotos) y salió perfecto.
    Estás de acuerdo, si hago algunos de estos bolsos para vender en una feria (cerca de Berlin, Alemania)?
    Hasta pronto,
    Susana (Susuko)

    • Sky

      Hola Susuko,
      Estoy muy contenta que tu bolso salio perfecto 🙂
      Si, puedes usar el patron para vender tus bolsos; gracias por preguntarme.
      Gracias por tus comentarios y suerte en la feria – me encantaria ver fotos 🙂

  • This is a very nice pattern. I have just cut out all the parts and wondered: how long is the zipper? Is it one of these endless ones?
    Thanks for the great work

    • Sky


      A 30 cm zipper should do just fine. I would sew it and cut from it before turning the bag inside out. Whatever other questions you might have, I’m here 🙂
      Good luck with the sewing and I would love to see your version!

  • Muchas gracias! Todavia no hice fotos, te cuento cuando las tenga.

    • Sky

      Uuu, fo-tos, fo-tos 🙂