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Make an Embellished, Denim Fold-Over Bag

The Bohemian Fold-over Bag. The applique embellishment is stitched-down quilting-fabric circles.
The Bohemian Fold-over Bag. The applique embellishment is stitched-down quilting-fabric circles.

The Bohemian Fold-over Bag. The applique embellishment is stitched-down quilting-fabric circles.

Photo: Sloan Howard

The Fold-over Bag by Cheryl Kuczek of Paradiso Designs (Paradiso Designs.com) is a top-handled shopper, or a folded messenger bag with long strap. The design is simple and classic, so you can use unique materials to create different looks from the same pattern. The completed bag is a very roomy 22 inches long and 18 inches wide. There is about 3 inches depth at the bottom boxed corners. The zipper/fold line is set 8 inches below the bag's top edge.

The Luxe version is shown in SewStylish Fall 2012, made with chromed mock croc with black faux leather trim. It has a strap and handles supported by soft plastic tubing. We've got another version for you: The Bohemian take on this design is made in durable denim with a raw-edged appliqué embellishment. The flat strap and handles are red ostrich faux leather trim with topstitching.

 

With a few exceptions, the techniques to make the different bag versions are the same. In this online tutorial, we'll take you through the whole Fold-over Bag how-to process, with particular materials and methods here and there for creating the Bohemian version.

Download the pattern for this bag

Bohemian Bag shopping list:

Fabric
Straps, handles, and trim: 3/8 yard faux leather
Bag body: 7/8 yard of 10- to 12-ounce denim
Quilt fabric scraps to create the raw-edged applique embellishment
Lining: 1 yard quilt cotton
Interior pocket: 2/3 yard quilt cotton
Contrast pocket lining: 3/8 yard quilt cotton
Interior pocket trim: 1/8 yard dupioni silk

Stabilizer
Interfacing: 7/8-yard sew-in fleece batting, no. 326 Bosal (BenFranklin.com)
2 yards 44/45-inch-wide muslin for interlining

Notions
12-weight topstitching thread for bag straps
Standard thread for bag seams
16-inch heavy-duty non-separating zipper, with metal or plastic teeth (Wawak.com)
Two 1 5/8-inch diameter metal rings
Two 1-inch diameter swivel clips

Tools
Pinking shears
Pins
Rotary cutter and mat
Sewing machine and basic supplies
Teflon or roller presser foot
Sewing machine needles, size 100/16 or 110/18 for denim, topstitching or leather
Clips for holding faux leather (alternative to pins) (GettaGripClip.com)
Sharpie or pen, in shade similar to the faux leather

Cut and Prepare the Bag Pieces
Follow the pattern to cut out all of the bag components. Establish a straight edge on the faux leather, then work from that edge to cut the straps, handles, and trim with a rotary cutter. Label each piece and mark the top edges with a straight pin in the seam allowance.


1) Layer the bag front and back pieces. Stack the pieces right sides up, aligning all edges. The order is muslin, then fleece, and then faux leather on top. Use clips to hold the layers together.

2) Layer the exterior open pocket pieces. Place the exterior open pocket faux leather and lining pieces with wrong sides together and all edges aligned. Clip the layers together.

3) Prepare the zipper pocket pieces. This pocket is lined on just one side. The lining is underlined with muslin. Place the lining piece over the muslin piece, right sides up. Pin the layers together.

4) Assemble the lining pieces. The bag's lining is underlined with muslin. Stack the lining over the muslin with right sides up and all edges aligned. Baste 1⁄4-inch from the edges.

5) Prepare the interior pocket pieces. The pockets are lined with contrasting fabric. Pin the layers with right sides together and edges aligned. Sew the bottom edge with a 3⁄8-inch seam allowance. Press the seam as sewn, then open. Fold the layers wrong sides together with the seam at the bottom edge. Align the raw edges.

The raw-edged applique is sewn to the front piece before the bag layers are basted together.

1) Cut circles. The quilting fabric circles are 1-3/4-inches in diameter. Make a cardboard template and cut 45 circles from assorted cotton fabrics. You need only 40 circles, but it is good to have a few extra.

 

2) Arrange and stitch the applique. The fabric circles are arranged in a semicircle (later bisected by the bag's exterior zipper pocket). Start by pinning a line of 11 circles, edges just touching, parallel to the bag's side seam as shown on the diagram. Stitch equilateral triangles through the applique pieces, points reaching the edges. Use topstitching thread and a 2.5 mm stitch length.

3) Continue placing and stitching the appliques into place. There will be 5 total rows of fabric circles. After the 11-circle first row, the second row has 10, the third row has 9, then 8, then 6, then 4, fanned out into a semicircle. Place, pin, and sew each row of circles in the same manner. When you've completed the applique, proceed with the bag construction.

 

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Comments (11)

RosalindsMa RosalindsMa writes: I'm one-third the way through and dreadfully confused, too. The pattern refers to bag sides, but the instructions refer to front and back. If I was making this from fabric, I'd give up but I'm using leather and have too much invested to give up.


Posted: 6:17 pm on December 15th

RosalindsMa RosalindsMa writes: I'm one-third the way through and dreadfully confused, too. The pattern refers to bag sides, but the instructions refer to front and back. If I was making this from fabric, I'd give up but I'm using leather and have too much invested to give up.


Posted: 6:17 pm on December 15th

greeneyes21 greeneyes21 writes: The only thing that was clear on this bag were the instructions for cutting circles and the supply list, although I think I bought faux leather that I don't need.

Where is the on-line instructions to view? I think I 'm stuck with fabrics and no bag for a Christmas gift.

Where is the link for the how-to video? Do you reply to these comments?



Posted: 12:31 pm on November 19th

greeneyes21 greeneyes21 writes: I have been sewing for over 75 years but I, also, find this pattern confusing. And, The templates could be a lot larger. I had to get the magnifying glass out to read the dimensions even though I have no trouble reading small print without glasses. I'll make the bag but only because I have enough experience to make the pattern work for me.
Posted: 11:45 am on October 31st

kitten73 kitten73 writes: This isn't the easiest pattern to follow. I wish I hadn't bothered starting it. The pattern page misses out the fleece, maybe its obvious, but adds to confusion. The denim bag still has faux leather instead of denim when you put the peices together, I couldn't work out if it was talking about the strap pieces at first. It wold be easier if the lengths of the straps were on the pattern page. The part where you baste the muslin and lining is confusing as you have already clipped the muslin and lining to the bag fabric. Scratching my head a lot over this, and it's written by a teacher. Hmm
Posted: 10:35 am on October 16th

user-2079765 user-2079765 writes: I cannot find the online video for the foldover denim bag. Can you please help?
Sandy
Posted: 3:55 pm on September 6th

user-1136308 user-1136308 writes: I want to change the size of the Bohemian Bag. I see no measurement in the instructions to cut the pieces other than the 22"x18" finished size. Can you add the cutting instructions for the bag so I can resize it?
Thanks for the help
Emma Lee
Posted: 1:26 pm on September 6th

bubbecraft bubbecraft writes: To Arlene: it isn't a pattern that you print and use to cut your fabrics. You simply follow the dimensions written in the instructions and cut pieces to those dimensions. Hope that helps you.
Posted: 12:20 am on September 5th

arlene arlene writes: Such a handy bag. I'd love to make one, but the pattern won't print nicely for me. Can you please put the pattern on 2 pages? Thanks so much.
Posted: 10:51 pm on September 4th

smcfarland smcfarland writes: Hi Donna, I can tell you about the finished size. The completed bag is a very roomy 22 inches long and 18 inches wide. There is about 3 inches depth at the bottom boxed corners. The zipper/fold line is set 8 inches below the bag's top edge. I'll add this information to the post text. Thanks for asking! - Sarah McFarland, issue editor
Posted: 12:46 pm on September 4th

Donna_R Donna_R writes: Nice Patter. Anyway we could find out the finished size?
Posted: 9:49 am on September 2nd

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