Today, a free pattern with a difference – there's no pattern! Well, and it's not actually free. Other than that – it's a free pattern! What on earth am I talking about? Well, I'm not making any sense because I'm just over-the-top-super-excited. You see, I made my own fabric and the fabric includes the pattern.
Here it is. Ta dah! Looks a bit odd, right? My husband saw it and said, “Well, it looks a bit patchy!”
Have you ever tried to design your own fabric? It's hard! Very hard. I'm still learning about fabric color theory. I'm certainly no graphic designer, so I started out with some easier patterns in spots and stripes. I learned how to make repeating patterns in Photoshop and used a pre-designed color palette from Design Seeds.
But rather than design just a plain piece of fabric, I wanted to design it as a pre-filled pattern piece. So the design I drew for the fabric incorporated the pattern pieces and then I filled them with the repeating design. So now I have all the fabric I need to complete 3 different pleated cosmetics bags, including the lining and some embellishments – all on the same single piece of fabric. Waste = zero. Happiness = 100%.
3 little bags. One in spots and stripes, one floral and stripes, and one nautical.
Sewing the Pleated Cosmetics Bag Pattern
The fabric is available in the Spoonflower shop, so if you like these and want to sew your own, you can buy this fabric here. Buy either the basic combed cotton or the Kona cotton 42 inch wide version. It comes in a one yard piece, exactly as you see it above.
Cut out around the pattern pieces. Match up the outer with the co-ordinating lining, or mix and match if you prefer.
You can follow along and see how quick and easy it is to sew the perfect little bag from this fabric in this video. If you've sewn a zipper bag like this before, you probably don't even need to watch. It's quick and easy!
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And here they are. The 3 cute little bags you can make from this piece of fabric, pattern pieces incorporated. The appliques are optional of course.
I had a blast designing my own fabric and the bag pattern right onto the fabric itself. Have you ever tried it? What do you think of this as an idea?
How about using this for applique ideas? Seasonal rug mugs and table runners? Christmas items? Just cut out and sew! No need to hunt around for scraps of the right fabrics.
Would you be interested in seeing more bag patterns, or other patterns, available right on the fabric like this? Just order and sew and you're good to go!
What are the measurements for the pieces if I want to use my own fabric? (I have some fabric I like, and I really need to use my stash before buying more!)
You misread the date on Debra’s posting! It clearly states “March 23, 2015”!
I think your first attempt at fabric design turned out wonderful! Love the colors, designs, and patterns!! So cheery and playful and a good variety for different tastes. The bags turned out super cute! I don’t use much in the way of cosmetics but your little bag is the perfect size for my on the go craft projects, a small clutch, or maybe even a little purse with a cute chain “strap”. Thank you for bravely sharing your talents! Blessings!
PS Whether or not this was a repost, I’ve never seen it and am very glad to have had the chance to enjoy it. Sometimes I need some “re”inspiration even for projects I’ve seen but wasn’t able to make at the time.
That is cute, and I like the idea. Usually you see this sort of things for dolls or cheater baby quilts…I like that these are useful. Some other possibilities: oven mitts, place mats, mug mats or aprons for Christmas gifts, Christmas decorations, pin cushions (I don’t know why but I’m thinking pumpkins), one of your bigger bag designs preprinted… also, consider mixing plain & some coordinating print pattern pieces—easier, I suspect, to design than all print.
I think it is quite the deal, that on MARCH 14, 2021, I am reading a comment added by “Debra” on MARCH 23, 2021! I guess we ALL can see the future today! We can chalk this up to being a PLANTED COMMENT! All BS.
Hi Cheryl Magnuson, from IOWA, Thank you for your comment, I would have not noticed if you do not leave it. This article is a re-post that first came out in 2014 ( as you can see on the YouTube video), no it is not B.S. and for some reason a glitch with WordPress. It takes something like 72 hours of work to make a pattern write a post and 1,400 dollars to send the emails. That is not counting security, hosting (3,500) a month, business accounts for social media and of course materials. So YES, might be B.S. for you but for me is very serious and real. Kind regards, Mayra
Perhaps you can see the future, I seem to be stuck in the past. When I look at Debra’s comment, I see ‘March 23, 2015’. Maybe one of us is experiencing a glitch in the matrix.
I think that’s a great idea! I wish I had thought of it. One strange thing though, is how Debra in the first comment posted on March 23, 2021 when today is March 14, 2021.
HI, Lynda love your sense of humour, please read my answer to AlPHA.
You are a true genius. Is this a project that a total newbie to sewing is up to? I LOVE these adorable bags and want to give it a go, but am a little hesitant because of my skill level. Just took up sewing after retirement of 33 years of nursing. U tube has been my only instructor and I’ve made a few totes with some pretty intense unpicking, but my granddaughters think I’m a genius! Wish me luck because they are just too cute to pass up…
Hi Jo, this would be a great project for a beginner. Please have a try and let me know how you go.
This is genius. Love the zero waste! Thanks!
Designing fabric at Spoonflower is on my list of things to do. I’ve seen this done with dolls, but not purses. Clever idea, Deby and great fabrics!!!
These are so cute! I love projects like these where you can mix and match fabrics. Thanks for sharing at The Makers! We are so glad to have you.
Deby these are great!
Such a nifty idea! I’m off to check out your Spoonflower link right now.
Hi Debra – love your site! You have some really good topics there, very inspiring. Your site built for intermediate and advanced sewing techniques is a perfect compliment for the easy and beginner projects on my own site. One day I hope to be able o develop my own sewing skills to be more like yours – I’m still very hit and miss! You should have a go at designing your own fabric if you haven’t already. now I have this one project out of the way, I am just buzzing with ideas. Just limited by time, not imagination.
Wow – I’ve just had a look and am totally inspired to have a go! Can I use your Spoonflower design in a blog post this week? I thought I’d do a round up of what you can do on Spoonflower.
That would be great Debra, I’d appreciate the share. Do let me know the link so I can promote it for you.
Very clever, Deby! Thanks for telling us about the color palette in Design Seeds and learning how to do repeating designs in Photoshop.
Great idea! Love the designs
Love this no-waste design!! The bags are perfect and I really like your new prints. Thanks so much for posting on Awesome Things Tuesday! Best, jen
I am so impressed with this projects. Well Done!
Fun! you did an excellent job, and it’s fun to hear your voice. I can imagine how you sound now when I read your posts 🙂
What a clever idea. I hope you sell lots of the fabric!
What fun cosmetic bags…just placed my order with Spoonflower and look forward to making these as gifts!!! Thanks for the great video tutorial Deby :o)
So glad you liked it. Hope the bags turn out nicely.
You are very clever and generous lady and I just love your site.
And you are very generous to come and leave a comment – and such a lovely one. Thank you, I very much appreciate it.
Love it Deby!!
Thanks Heather. I was so excited when I opened it. I’m itching to make something else now.
I thought the bags were cute — and then I read about them! So awesome! They’re all really cute and I think I may have to buy this fabric. I need a new cosmetics bag!
Thank you Becky – you are a star.
Ditto what everyone else said! Really smart!!
That is truly an awesome idea! Just might need to put that in my cart… 🙂
That is a wicked clever idea – and I can’t believe I just wrote that but it’s the only way I could sum up your creativity!
Haha, funny. I’ve got lots more ideas for things I could make this way. Was hoping the readers would come up with some ideas too – they all inspire me so much.
I love all of the bags. I might be partial to the anchor one since we sail on our free time. Great work.
Brilliant idea Deby! Congratulations on your fabric – you did a great job. Thanks also for all the time and effort you put into your video tutorials!
Deby, This is unbelieveable! I use my own fabric in my bags, but this is an awesome idea. Thanks for your great website and all you have done to pull me into sewing!
It’s addicting and totally absorbing – or at least I think so. So much to learn, so much fun to be had!
It’s gorgeous but the cost is prohibitive with the rand dollar exchange rate and that’s not even taking shipping to South Africa into account. I think I prefer normal patterns that I can print out at home.
Yes, if you are overseas, shipping fabric is expensive – I know! I had a friend smuggle this piece and some others in her case.
Beautiful fabric ,Thanks for sharing.
Totally cool idea! Love the ‘fabric’ choices 🙂
This is a FANTASTIC idea! Can’t purchase now, but it is on my wish list.
Ok, that has got to be one of them most brilliant things I’ve seen in ages!
Thank you Jan.
Very clever Deby! I’ve played (unsuccessfully) with Spoonflower – I love that you’ve taught yourself to design the fabric colors and the shapes for the bags. This would be a great project for my daughter who is just getting interested in sewing. Thank you for making this available to us.
That is the cutest stinkin’ thing I’ve ever seen. You are one of a kind! I will definitely put some of this on my “to purchase” list
Ha ha, yes when it arrived, I absolutely squealed with excitement. I loved it.