I think I have mentioned on this blog before how much I love a good carry bag. But I what I don't enjoy is sewing bag handles. So I have been tinkering with a bag pattern that doesn't require handles. Well doesn't require handles that need turning through and attaching to the bag (since I'm not sure a carry bag without handles is still technically a carry bag).
Not having to turn through and add handles means that this bag comes together fast, which is how I like to do my sewing (especially when I'm sewing multiple bags to use in lieu of Christmas wrapping paper). The bag has French seams, so can be easily made without the use of an overlocker, and is roomy enough to carry a couple of loaves of bread (and then some!).
I have made this bag with fairly short handles, but the pattern can be easily adapted to be made with long handles so as to be able to carry it over your shoulder. The only downside of the design is that it does use quite a lot of fabric (a yard/92cm or so is required), and lengthening the handles will require more fabric again. If you're like me and love sewing bags but can't stand attaching handles, then the extra fabric requirement is worth it!
If you would like to give this bag a go, you can download the free pdf pattern.
The Quick Carrier
1. Draft a paper pattern using the dimensions below. The shape of the bag doesn't need to be exactly
the same as this one, but make sure the handles are not too short or it will be hard to put things in
and out of the bag.
2. Cut out the paper pattern, place the straight edge on the fold of the bag fabric and cut front of main
bag out (seam allowances are included). Repeat for other side of bag.
3. Trace the top third of the main bag pattern onto another sheet of paper to create the facing pattern
sheet. Cut out, place on fold of fabric and cut a front and back, as with main bag piece.
You should now have two full size bag pieces, and two short facing pieces.
3. Finish the bottom straight edge of the bag facings using an overlocker, zig-zag stitch, or by turning
under twice and straight stitching. If using an overlocker or zig-zag stitch you can then turn under
once and straight stitch to hide the stitching. This is not really necessary as this seam will be on the
inside of the bag.
4. Place bag and facing right sides together and sew together along the three top curves. Clip
curves, turn right side out and press seams.
5. Place bag pieces wrong sides together (facings will be right sides together) and sew three straight
sides and straight top of handles with a .5cm seam allowance. Be careful to catch both sides of the
facing in the seam.
6. Trim any threads or seams which may have ended up larger than .5cm. Turn bag inside out and
press the seams. With bag still inside out, sew the straight edges of bag and handles again, this time
with a 1.5cm seam allowance, being sure to encase the raw edges of the first seam.
7. Turn bag right side out again and press seams. Flatten seams at top of handles and top stitch flat.
8. Turn bag inside out again. Pinch bottom corner of bag to create a triangle. The side seam and the bottom seam should be aligned. Sew across corner.