I'm starting to find that I don't like to purchase ready made items anymore. Perhaps it's a blogger thing, but there's certainly a lot of enjoyment to be had, and a lot of money to be saved, by getting the sewing machine out of the cupboard (I will have a sewing room one day) and setting to work.
My eldest child was in need of a carry all for his technology and so we decided to have a try at making a simple satchel that was not only sturdy but stylish as well. I was told in no uncertain terms that if it looked anything like a "ladybag" it would not be used...ever! Floral was definitely out of the question.
Approx 50cm of denim
Approx 50cm of cotton fabric for lining (I used cotton Ikat)
Cotton thread to match
Oblong bag rings
Zip (if adding a zip pocket)
Denim needle for sewing machine
Cut fabric to desired size. Our final product measured 33cm wide by 25cm high so I cut the denim piece approx 35cm wide by 70cm long. The 70 cm allows for the front and back of the satchel as well as the front flap. I then cut the Ikat cotton lining appoximately 32cm wide and 69cm long so that it would sit comfortably inside the denim casing.
Fold and sew a 1cm seam around the edge of the denim (or desired outer fabric) and then repeat for the lining.
Using the denim outer fabric and with right sides facing, fold up approx 23cm of fabric from the shorter edge,sew side seams and turn right side out, as pictured.
We chose to add pockets to the lining of our satchel and to do this we cut the fabric to the size desired (we decided to have our pockets hold pens, iPod and have a zippered pocket for change and transport cards. For and easy zip pocket tutorial try Sew Mama Sew )
Once pockets are sewn in place, and with right sides facing, fold lining as per outer casing and sew side seams. Turn right side out.
To attach straps, pin in place and sew. I oversewed these a few times to ensure the strap would not come loose. We used a pair of oblong rings from the bag making section of our local craft shops, which don't add any functionality to the satchel, but add a little bit of detail (although thankfully in this case, not in a "ladybag" way!)
In this photo you can also see a part of the snap fastener. In the bag section of the satchel (as opposed to the flap) put the fasteners in place so that they will line up with the flap and follow instructions on the packet for securing correctly.
Turn outer casing inside out and place inside lining as shown. Pin entire bag in place, including flap (but do not sew flap at this stage) Sew around the bag opening. Close satchel and line up the snap fasteners on the main body of the satchel with the lining of the flap. Attach snap fasteners as per manufacturers instructions. Sew flap lining to outing casing.
The final product. I think you'll agree it's not "Ladybag" at all.
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