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Dressmaking fabrics

Padded Satchel Project

Satchel project

This padded satchel project was designed by Susan Dunlop. Susan’s book ‘Style and Swing’ is available from Amazon

Susan’s patterns are available on Etsy.

Make this modern satchel-style shoulder bag, ideal for every-day use. The main body and outer pockets are all padded, offering a safe place to store your smart phone and tablet. The adjustable shoulder strap is long enough to wear across the body. 

 

You will need…

1.5m main fabric – cotton print  (we used fabric kindly printed by By Hand London. They have a great range of patterns. To find out more about their patterns visit here). 

0.5m lining fabric – cotton print or solid

1.5m medium-weight woven fusible interfacing

0.5m medium-loft fusible fleece

2 x 38mm D-rings

2 x 38mm swivel hook snaps

1 x 38mm belt slide

10cm length of Velcro (optional)

 

Susan Dunlop bag making project

Satchel Project Notes

Yardage based on 112cm width fabric and 90cm width stabilisers.

R/S = right side, W/S = wrong side.

RST = right side together, WST = wrong side together.

Seam allowances are included in the cutting sizes.

Use 1cm seam allowance throughout, unless stated otherwise.

I didn’t use any Velcro fastenings for my bag as the pocket flap stays shut on its own, as does the large flap closure. However, I’ve included instructions for adding Velcro if you prefer to do so. Alternatively, you could install magnetic snaps during the bag construction or use some sew-on snaps.

Approx. finished bag size: 25cm x 27cm x 6cm.

Cutting

From the main fabric: 

Cut 2 main body, 30cm x 35cm
Cut 1 flap closure, 25cm x 30cm
Cut 1 D-ring tab, 15cm x 25cm
Cut 1 large pocket, 20cm x 25cm
1 small pocket, 15cm x 15cm
1 pocket flap, 8cm x 15cm
1 interior pocket lining, 25cm x 25cm
1 shoulder strap, 15cm x 142cm

 From the lining fabric:

Cut 2 main body lining, 30cm x 35cm
Cut 1 flap closure, 25cm x 30cm
Cut 1 large pocket lining, 20cm x 25cm
Cut 1 small pocket lining, 15cm x 15cm
Cut 1 pocket flap lining, 8cm x 15cm
Cut 1 interior pocket, 20cm x 25cm

From the fusible interfacing:

Cut 4 main body, 30cm x 35cm
Cut 2 flap closures, 25cm x 30cm
Cut 1 D-ring tab, 7.5cm x 25cm
Cut 1 large pocket, 20cm x 25cm
Cut 1 small pocket, 15cm x 15cm
Cut 1 pocket flap, 8cm x 15cm
Cut 1 interior pocket, 20cm x 25cm
Cut 1 shoulder strap, 7.5cm x 130cm

From the fusible fleece:

 Cut 2 main body, 27cm x 32cm
Cut 1 flap closure, 22cm x 27cm
Cut 1 large pocket, 17cm x 22cm
Cut 1 small pocket, 12cm x 12cm
Cut 1 pocket flap, 5cm x 12cm

Preparation 

Fuse interfacing pieces to W/S of corresponding main/lining fabric pieces, positioning tab piece centrally widthways and strap piece centrally widthways with 6cm gaps at both short ends.

 I rounded off the bottom corners of the main flap closure, small pocket, pocket flap and large pocket. If you want to do this, place a glass into each corner and mark curves. Remember to mark and cut curves into the corresponding fusible fleece as well. 

Fuse fleece pieces to W/S of corresponding main fabric pieces, directly on top of the fused interfacing, positioning centrally to leave equal gaps around all edges. Note: use a pressing cloth when fusing the fleece.

To Sew

Make the small and large pockets

Make bag pockets

Place large pocket and lining pieces RST, pin. Stitch all edges, leaving a gap at centre of top edge for turning. Trim across corners and notch curves (if applicable). Trim back side and bottom seam allowances to 5mm (don’t trim top edge).

 Turn through to R/S and ease all edges and corners out neatly with a point turner. Fold in gap edges to match rest of the seam, press. Topstitch all edges, using a 5mm seam, closing the gap as you stitch.

Optional: cut a 5cm length of Velcro and stitch one half to R/S of large pocket, positioning centrally widthways and 6cm up from bottom edge. Note: the other half of the Velcro will be attached to the main flap closure later.

 

Sewing pocket flaps for a bag

Repeat steps above to make the small pocket and pocket flap. Optional: cut another 5cm length of Velcro and stitch one half to R/S of small pocket, centrally widthways and 5mm down from top edge. Stitch the other half of the Velcro to lining side of pocket flap, 5mm up from bottom edge.

 

Make the flap closure

How to stitch a bag

Place flap closure and lining pieces RST, pin. Stitch the sides and bottom edge. Trim across corners and notch curves (if applicable) and trim side and bottom seam allowances back to 5mm.

 Turn through to R/S, easing all edges out with a point turner. Topstitch sides and bottom edge, with a 5mm seam. Machine-baste the open top edge with a 5mm seam. 

Optional: stitch the remaining half of Velcro to lining side of flap closure, centrally widthways and 5mm up from bottom edge.

 

Make the interior pocket

Make a messenger bag

Place interior pocket and lining pieces RST, aligning sides and bottom edges, pin. Stitch sides and bottom edge. Trim across the bottom corners.

Sewing pockets for a bag

Turn through to R/S and ease edges and corners out neatly. Fold over and press the side edges of overlapping lining to line up with the side seams. Fold over top edge of lining to meet pocket top edge, press. Fold over again to overlap pocket, press and pin. Topstitch sides and bottom folded edge of the overlapping lining, staying close to edge.

 

Attach the pockets

Porefessional bagmaking tutorials

With both R/S up, place large pocket on top of one main body so the longer sides are parallel the top and bottom of the body piece, positioning 5cm down from top edge, pin. Topstitch sides and bottom edge using a 3mm seam, backstitching at beginning and end.

 Repeat step above to attach small pocket to flap closure, positioning 3cm up from bottom edge.

 Position pocket flap in line with small pocket, overlapping the pocket to match up the Velcro, pin. Topstitch two parallel lines of stitching across top edge.

 

Attaching bag pockets

Position interior pocket centrally on top of one main body lining piece, pin. Topstitch sides and bottom edge with a 3mm seam.

 

Sew the outer and lining bags

How to line a bag

Place the two main body pieces RST, pin. Stitch down one side, across the bottom and up other side. Press seams open and leave W/S out.

Make the flat base by boxing the corners: refold a corner to match up the side and bottom seam half way along the edge (as shown above).  With the right sides together pin into place. Measure 3cm down from corner and draw a line across where the width measures 6cm between the folded edges. Stitch marked line and trim off corner to leave a 5mm seam allowance. It should look like the right hand photo above. Repeat to box the other corner. Turn R/S out. 

Making a bag lining

Repeat previous steps to sew the main body lining pieces but this time leave a 15cm turning gap at centre of bottom seam. Create the flat base. Leave W/S out.

 

 Make and attach the D-ring tabs

Using bag hardware

Fold tab piece in half lengthways, WST, press. Open out, so W/S facing up and fold long edges over to W/S, to meet at centre crease, press. Fold lengthways again, to bring the folded edges together, press. Topstitch both long edges, with a 3mm seam.

 Cut tab into two pieces of equal length. Fold one around a D-ring, bringing the short edges together, pin and baste. Repeat for second tab.

 Position each tab at top edge of outer bag, centrally across each side seam and matching up raw edges. Pin and baste in place.

 

Assemble the bag

Assembling a bag sewing project

With RST, pin top edge of flap closure to the back of outer bag, matching up raw edges. Machine-baste 5mm from edge. 

Insert outer bag into lining bag, with RST, matching up side seams and top edges, pin. Ensure the tabs and flap remain tucked down inside the layers. Stitch all around top edge. 

Bag construction techniques

Pull outer bag through the gap in the lining, to bring both R/S out. Fold in and press the gap edges, to match rest of seam, pin. Slip-stitch by hand or machine-stitch staying close to edges. Push the lining down inside outer bag and press the top edges so the seam sits neatly at the top. Topstitch all around bag opening, with a 5mm seam.

 

Sew a bag to hold a laptop

Make the shoulder strap by folding in half lengthways, WST, press. Open out, so W/S facing up and fold short edges over to W/S by 2cm, press. Fold long edges over to W/S, to meet at centre crease, press. Fold lengthways again, to bring all folded edges together, press. Topstitch all edges, with a 3mm seam.

Sew an adjustable strap for a bag

Thread one end of the shoulder strap through the belt slide. Fold over by 4cm, keeping the slide at the fold, pin. Topstitch two parallel lines of stitching to secure. Thread the other end of the strap through one of the swivel hook snaps and take it back through the slide, creating a loop. Thread the free end of strap through other swivel hook snap. Fold over and topstitch strap end, as before.

Your satchel project is now complete and your bag ready to use. Enjoy! 

Satchel project

For other bag projects to make visit our free sewing projects page and click the bags tag at the top of the page. 

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