(The recommended materials are in black with the alternatives in green.)
A dozen random scrap pieces in your chosen colorway
1/2 yard (1/2m) backing fabric (I used linen)
1/2 yard (1/2m) lining fabric (I used some white cotton that I tie dyed last year; finally, it’s gone from my WIP pile!)
1/2 yard (1/2m) fusible fleece (You can substitute cheap felt and quilt it on.)
1/2 yard (1/2m) light or medium weight interfacing, depending what you have in your stash
Decorations and embellishments for your heart
2 – 3/4” (20mm) swivel clips (You can change this for an alternative size, or leave them off altogether)
2 – 1” (25mm) rectangular rings (You can use D-rings or oval rings instead, but if you’ve left off your clips you may wish to leave out these rings.)
1 – 12” (30cm) zip (Larger is fine as you can cut it down to size.)
Seam allowance is 3/8”(1cm) unless otherwise stated.
A: Main Bag
- Cut 2 outer 13” x 14” (33cm x 35cm)
- Cut 2 lining
- Cut 2 fusible fleece (You may wish to cut the fleece ¼” [6mm] smaller on each side.)
- Cut 2 light or medium weight interfacing
B: Slip Pocket
- Cut 1 lining 12” x 8” (30cm x 20cm)
- Cut 1 light or medium weight interfacing
- Cut 1 lining, outer or contrast depending on stash 3” x 34” (7.5cm x 86cm)
- Cut 1 light or medium weight interfacing
You should cut the strap to be 4 x the width of the swivel clips, if you’re using them.
D: Side Tabs
- Cut 2 from lining, outer or scraps depending on stash 3” x 3 ½” (7cm x 9cm)
- Cut 2 light or medium weight interfacing if needed
You should cut the tabs to be 4 x the width of the rings, if you’re using them. If you are not using hardware, you will not need side tabs.
E: Zip End Tabs
- Cut 2 from lining, outer or scraps depending on stash 1 ½” x 3” (38mm x 7.5cm)
Lay out the scraps without trimming them and group them into “blocks.”
This is where you’ll find out whether you have enough scraps or too many!
To make the blocks, sew together the scraps to form rows and then sew the rows together.
Keep sewing the scraps and blocks together until you end up with an A4 size (8” x 11”) piece of fabric.
Cut out a heart from the fusible fleece, using either a template or by free-handing. I find it’s best to draw half a heart and cut it on the fold to ensure you have a symmetrical shape.
When you’re happy with your heart placement, pop the fusible fleece in the right place on the back of your scrappy fabric and press into place. You will want to press from the right side of the fabric, or with a pressing cloth over the fleece to stop it adhering to your iron.
If you are using felt, you may wish to quilt this to your heart to keep it attached.
Cut out the heart shape, but keep the scraps… They can always be made into another block!
If you wish to embellish your heart, now is a great time to do so. I did some hand quilting and added three buttons.
Iron the fleece onto the main bag panels and then center the heart on whichever you’d like to be the front bag piece. Pin well and then stitch around the outside with a small zig zag stitch. I used a 0.7 length and a 3.0 width.
Repeat the previous step for the long strap. Fold one strap end through one of the swivel clips and stitch it into place. Repeat this for the second strap end. Put these to one side for the moment.
Next fold the slip pocket in half, right sides together, and stitch around the three sides. Leave a turning gap along the bottom. Clip the corners, turn it right sides out and press well.
Position the pocket in the center of one of the lining pieces and ensure the folded top edge of the pocket is facing the top; stitch it into place around the three sides. This will close the turning gap that you left.
Fold the two zip ends in half. Open them out and fold the raw edges in ½” (12mm) so that you have two tabs 1 ½” x 1” (38mm x 25mm).
Slot the end of the zip into one of the zip tabs and stitch near to the open end. Make sure this is pretty as it’s going to be seen!
Measure from the end of the zip tab, and mark the open zip end at 12” (30cm). Cut the zip end off, ensuring the pull is the right side of the cut!
Insert the open end of the zip into the second zip tab and stitch along the edge as before. You may wish to tack the zip end together before inserting to keep both sides together. Trim the edges of the zip tab to be the same width as the zip.
Thread one of the rectangular rings onto one of the side tabs, and stitch to secure it in the center. Repeat for the other ring and side tab.
Lay the side tabs onto the front of the bag, around 2” (5cm) down from the top, and baste into place within the seam allowance.
If you’re not using hardware, then baste the ends of the strap to the bag front instead, ensuring it is not twisted. You may wish to pin the strap down onto the bag front to keep it out of the seams when sewing the bag together.
With the front of the bag up, lay the zip face down and the lining panel face down, aligning top edge. Stitch along the top using a ¼” (6mm) seam allowance. When you get to the zip pull leave your needle down, lift the presser foot and ease the zip pull out of the way. Put the presser foot down again and continue to the end.
Fold the fabric back so that wrong sides are together and press well away from the zip. Top stitch close to the edge to keep the lining in place.
If you find your top stitching isn’t very neat. If so, try slightly increasing your stitch length.
Lay the back bag fabric face up, the zip (with front and lining attached) face down and the remaining lining panel face down. Align the top edges. Stitch along the top of the zip as you did before.
Press the fabric away from the zip and top stitch as before. Open the zip half way. (Ask me why this is in bold…!)
Bring the lining pieces together, matching edges, and the outer pieces together matching edges. Pin around all sides, leaving a turning gap of around 6” (15cm) in the lining pieces. Stitch around all four edges.
If you are using a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance you should not hit too much bulk around the zip ends, although you will need to go slowly and cautiously over the side tabs as these can be a bit chunky.
Trim the corners twice of your outer and lining fabrics. This reduces bulk in the corners and gives a nice sharp point.
Turn the bag through the turning gap and then through the half open zip. Press the turning gap under and stitch closed with either a ladder stitch, or a neat top stitch on your machine.
Tuck the lining inside the bag and press well. Clip the hooks onto the side rings.