This is the Made in a Snap Bag – and its a quick and easy bag pattern and the latest in the ‘My First Bag’ series. It’s a good bag for beginners to bag-making, although it can be just a little bit tricky in one place, but if you are careful, you can do a good job on this one.
What’s special about this bag – well I’ll tell you. See that metal frame – it’s removable. Which means that you make up several different bags and you can swap them in and out to match your outfit but they all use the same frame. Of course you can buy several frames and not bother to switch up the cover too. It’s good either way.
To sew the Made in a Snap easy bag pattern
- 6 inch half-round purse frame – from Etsy, this seller sends them worldwide and rates are reasonable [Buy the frame here – silver or antique gold]
- Lining fabric -less than a FQ
- Outer fabric – less than a FQ
- Interfacing and fusible fleece of your choice
- The pattern pieces – download below
Finished size is 11 inches tall (incl handles) by 10.5 inches wide approx.
(All seam allowances are 1/2 inch)
Print your pattern and use it to cut your fabric. You’ll need:
- 2 lining pieces
- 2 outer pieces
- 2 channel pieces
Fuse interfacing to the two channel pieces. Fuse interfacing and/or fusible fleece of your choice to the outer fabric. I used a firm interfacing and then doubled up with the fusible fleece in my example. It actually made it a little thick at the top, so if you add a fleece too, I suggest leaving it just short of the top seam allowance to reduce bulk where the pleats are.
Fold in 1 inch on the short ends of the channel pieces and press. Stitch to hold the fold in place.
Press the channel pieces in half length-ways and set them aside.
Transfer the pattern markings to your outer fabric to help with the placement of the pleats.
Take the point of your pleat across to the marking towards the center, and then fold back again keeping all 3 layers even across the top of the bag. Pin and repeat for the other pleat.
Baste the pleats in place within the seam allowance and then repeat the pleats on the other outer panel.
Take the channel pieces and baste them in place at the top of the purse over the pleats, stitching within the seam allowance. The channel piece is a little shorter than the top of the purse, so center it with the same gap at each end.
Pin both outer panels together. Transfer over the circle from the pattern piece to the fabric. This is the extent of your stitching line. Sew from one circle around the curved seam until you reach the other circle.
Snip into the curved seam allowances, close but not through your stitching line to help things lie smoothly when you turn the bag. Turn the bag and give it a good press to remove any creases.
Repeat the same process to add the pleats to the lining and then stitch the two lining pieces together, sewing just between the two circles. Important – Leave a gap in the bottom of the lining so you can turn the bag later. See the pins here for where to sew.
Snip into the seam allowance of the lining too. If you want to add a pocket to your lining, do this before sewing the two pieces together. [See here for how to add a simple slip pocket or here for how to add a zipper pocket.]
With the outer of the bag right sides out and the lining of the bag right sides in, put in the outer inside the lining, so that right sides are facing each other. Match up raw edges, seams and circle marks, and pin.
Stitch across the top of the bag on each side in a straight line.
Now comes the tricky part. You now need to stitch from the top of the bag down to that circle mark on your side seams to join the lining to the outer. It can be tricky to get your presser foot down in there, but take your time, switch to a zipper foot if that is narrower and easier and stitch slowly to be as accurate as you can. Do this for all 4 corners.
Now turn the bag the right side out through the gap in the bottom of the lining. Push the lining down inside the bag neatly and give it a good press around the top edge.
Top stitch across the top of the bag on each side, just at the bottom of the channel piece to hold the layers neatly in place.
Unscrew the little nuts from the crossways bars on the purse frame and slide the bar on each side into the channel. The joint in the frame should sit on the inside of the bag. Do up the nuts and your bag is completed.
Now you can make up some other bags to keep in your drawer or with your favorite outfit and then simply switch out the handles when ever you need to. Or buy several handles and just keep them ready to grab.