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Make a Pleated Pouch Bag

Make a sack to any proportion; 5 inches by 5 inches is a handy size.

by Carol Spier
An Online Extra to Threads #113

Cloth purses or bags are quick and fun to sew. Plus, a one-of-a-kind handmade bag is a treat to carry, and makes for a creative, thoughtful gift. With personal touches and a range of fabrics, you can sew a purse that’s perfect for any style or occasion. We’ve gathered an assortment of small bags that celebrate the beauty of Chinese brocade, a luxe and colorful silk/rayon blend fabric. To make the bags-you can use any fabric you like-use the schematic diagrams and basic directions here.


Explore more bag projects:

Make a Drawstring Bag
Make a Yoga Mat Carrier
Make a Clutch Bag
Make a 1940s Hobo Wristlet
Make a Denim Fold-Over Bag


To learn more about Chinese brocade, read “Exploring Chinese Silk-Faced Brocades” by Sarah Veblen in Threads #113, and don’t miss sewing tips and techniques like this by subscribing to Threads magazine, or by becoming a Threads Insider.

Pleated pouch bagMake a sackBox the bottom corners1. Make a sack to any proportion; the bag shown at left is 5 inches by 5 inches.  2. Box the bottom corners .

Turn and pleatWhipstitchWhipstitch3. Turn right side out. Pleat the top at the sides or in the middle; whipstitch to secure the pleats.   .

Turn and pleat


4. Hand-sew a flap to back of bag; add a small button loop closure…

…or stitch a “waistband” to top of bag; or cover seam with contrasting bias; then sew a long bias loop to inside of one pleat, a button to opposite outside.

Get patterns and instructions for more chic purses:

Clutch bag

Drawstring bag

Drawings: Carol Ruzicka


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  1. leskabib | | #1

    where do I renew my gift subscription?

  2. mama50 | | #2

    Bag is Beautiful!!!

    my blog;

  3. willstella | | #3

    I am looking forward to buy a handbag that I can easily carry to a party after work. The problem with my strapped bag is that it looks too dull for an outing. Should I go for some chic handbag with detachable straps? And what is the color of the season in clutches?
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  4. noor25 | | #4

    Beautiful bag and the process of

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  6. ladymgr | | #6

    I just completed making this handbag but in a larger size of 11 x 15. It is gorgeous. I quilted the fabric and used a coordinate lining. It is so easy to make and the fact that you can make a bag with so much room with just one piece is fantastic...I will make this again and give as gifts and sell. Thank you so much for this free pattern. It is appreciated.

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