Need a new bag? Silly question – of course we all need more bags and this one is practical and versatile. You're probably already familiar with this bag design as it featured in the recent post ‘How a Sewing Pattern is Born‘. A lot of work and testing went into this pattern and I think you'll love all the versions made by the pattern testing group.
Not too big, not too small – just right! This Carry-All Bag might be just right to carry everything you need to the gym, as a carry-on bag for travelling or even for an overnight stay. There are lots of pockets both inside and out so you can quickly and easily keep everything organised and to hand without having to rummage about.
A wide zipper top makes loading and unloading the bag a breeze and zipper pockets inside and out also keep things secure. All pockets are optional and can be placed either inside, outside or both.
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- Finished bag measures approx 12 inches tall, by 17 inches wide and about 6 inches deep
- Lots of pocket options
- Opens wide with the long top zipper
- Full length outside pocket, two outside end pockets, one outside zipper pocket
- Full length inside pocket, inside zipper pocket
- Optional rectangle rings for the handles or make them in one piece
- Optional faux piping on the pocket edges
- Instructions for an optional firm base
- Full photo PDF instuctions – 27 pages
- 6 part step by step video tutorial
- Choice of patterns, full pattern pieces or abbreviated with shaped pieces only and dimensions for the rest
The Testing Team Feedback
Ratings on this pattern – Intermediate, not for the beginner. If you've not sewn a bag before, this probably shouldn't be used for your first time. Nothing is unusual or difficult, but its quite a long process and some of the layers can be quite thick.
Feedback on the pattern – in common with a lot of bag designs, some of the pieces for this pattern are rectangles. A full pattern is included in the download, but some of the pattern testers felt confident in drawing the dimensions directly onto the fabric itself, so at their request an abbreviated pattern is also included. This abbreviated version includes pattern pieces for the shaped elements and a list of dimensions to use for the rectangular pieces, saving you printer ink and paper.
How to stabilize the bag – each tester tried different methods with interfacing and stabilizers depending on what was available to them. You might find is useful to see what their feedback was on each method.
Emma – I love this bag and will be using it for my holiday. I only printed the instructions in B/W and struggled to follow them. Watching the YouTube tutorials helped me much more, and breaking it down was great – as I watched each one and then completed the stages before watching the next one. Helpful hint – I notched the centre top edges of the zip side pieces and the sides of the bag when joining to help line everything up. Interfacing – I used fusible fleece for the outer, and heavy iron on interfacing for the lining and straps and external pockets.
Louise – I would like the end pockets taller, it would be better even if they came higher than the side pockets. For the purse itself I used fusible fleece, For the pockets and lining I used a fusible non-woven interfacing (pellon), For the purse bottom I used plastic needlepoint canvas.
Francine – I thought it looked like the perfect choice. I want to make a weekend luggage set. This is now my first piece. I would have been lost if you didn't have the awesome videos with it. I just used the iron on fleece as my stabiliser. I wish I would have used something stiffer.
Stephanie – I really love the size and ease of changing the looks of it. I probably would have been better off with the video, but the directions were a little unclear in the zipper top attachment (now revised). I used featherweight, fusible interfacing. It was exactly what I needed. Not too thick (for sewing through so many layers) and the bag stands up on it's own.
Linda – I was really pleased when I first saw the pattern. It looked like a nice size bag perfect for overnight, week-end getaway or a day at the spa! I can also see myself using it to go to work during the winter as we have a lot to carry around like shoes, lunch, make-up pouch, wallet, warm clothes. I like all the pocket option we have as well. Because of the choice of fabric I made I did not use interfacing on the outside pieces. I used a kascha lining in between the outside and inside layers to give it some body. On the inside I used a soft interfacing from Pellon SF101. I really like this interfacing, it fuse very nicely and would recommend it for the inside of the bag.
Sarah – I was excited to get started and immediately printed the pattern, assembled it and picked out what fabrics I was going to use for it. I used Pellon interfacing and fabric stabilizer. I like it and it is a great choice for bags / purses. Flexible but stable.
Judy @ (Stoney Lonesome Sew Works) – Really liked the bag design from the get-go. I have to confess that I haven't really read the directions as I watched the videos instead which where very clear and easy to follow. For interfacing, I used three different types to experiment: Soft and Stable, yes would use it again and yes definitely recommend for this bag. Fusible fleece, might use it again, probably would just use one layer of soft and stable for the entire bag instead of interfacing on both main pieces and lining pieces. Less cutting and firm enough with just soft and stable. Can beef it up with a garment type midweight fusible if need be. Stiff heavy fusible craft type interfacing. No, would not use it again on this bag. Created a big pain in the keester for me.
Jemma – I thought it was an amazingly stylish bag with LOTS of pieces!! It required me to be very organised which is not my normall style. I really liked the dome shape and the choice of so many pockets and different ways of styling it with contrasts, linings and handles. There wasn't anything I didn't like – I love sewing bags! I only had medium weight and light weight fusible interfacing. It was not ideal – the bag does not hold its shape well on its own with what I used, but I have no other choices and it is still a fine looking bag.
Irene @ Serger Pepper – I like this kind of bag, roomy and full of pockets. Really impressed! I love details and all of this bag, is cute but really practical! I think that with this project, written instructions aren't enough on their own, but the videos are awesome. To complete this bag following the right steps, a beginner need to have a pc and a good connection, or will end up with an hiccupping Deby loading forever, like I did…. I used non woven stiff interfacing: too much bulk in seams and a cardboard sensation (it sounds like it's made of cardboad… don't like this!), plus: on lining it has created weaves (not nicely sticked everywhere…) I'm sure with fusible fleece would be much better but I can't find it any that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg…
Diya @ the Hobby Harbor – I loved the way the your bag looks and stands. The contrast straps and the faux piping effect for the pockets are my favorite. Instructions are simply marvelous. Love it !! Thanks a ton Deby for the amazing videos. I think the end pockets look good taller. I made them a little more deeper. No clue what type of interfacing it is. I only get pre cut outer facing fusible in stores. No fusible fleece available. So only interfacing. The bag slouches inwards near the zipper at the top. But that is ok for me. The bottom I shall add a sturdy base. If it stands it is enough for me.
Mariana at Maryall Made – I didn't use any kind of interfacing: my outer fabric is a medium-weight upholstery cotton. I used a polyester fabric I bought in a remnants shop, (not sure of the content, but probably used for outerwear) as an interlining. It provides a bit of structure, but probably not enough. Next time, I'd use a more stiff interfacing, but excluding the seam allowance, so I wouldn't have problems sewing it. It can get pretty thick at the bottom corners of the bag.
Where to get your Carry All Bag Pattern
If you have trouble downloading this pattern, please take a look at this post – How to download, open and print PDF sewing patterns.