In the last couple of years’ lots of small bags have come onto the market designed to carry just the essentials needed for modern life: a smart phone and a bank card. With summer holidays fast approaching I thought I would make my own large enough to also include a passport and tickets. Here are the two simple styles I came up with.
The first is from an off cut of Aso Oke fabric from Urbanstax used to make The Oversized Shopper from the Summer 22 magazine. I love the narrow width of the woven African fabric and it was the starting point for the bags dimensions.
Materials required – a rectangle of fabric 15cm x 50cm, 1m cord and 2 12mm snap fasteners
How to make -
Take the rectangle of fabric and fold over each narrow edge by 0.5cm, press and stitch down. Draw a chalk line 15cm down from the top (A). Fold each end over down to just before the chalk line (B). Stitch down the sides taking the minimum seam allowance (C). There should now be two pockets – a smaller one at the top, this will become the bag flap and the larger one below will be the bag. Turn the pockets through to the right side and press. Take the cord and place each end in the line between the pockets so the meet in the centre. Now push the cord up slightly so that it sits just inside the top pocket and stitch down, trapping the cord in place – use a zigzag stitch if its easier (D). Finish by adding the snap fasteners.
With a further 20cm length of the Aso Oke and a 12cm zip I made a small matching purse for small change.
The second bag is in leather with a brogue pattern stamped on the front.
I used a Japanese hole punch from Beyond Measure with 5mm, 3mm and 1.8mm bits.
Materials required – 2 rectangles of leather 14cm x 18cm plus two 1cm x 15cm strips of leather and 2m of leather shoe lace cord or similar.
Take the two rectangles of leather and glue a 1cm strap to the top of the wrong side of each rectangle. Once dry trim the excess from the straps to neaten the rectangles.
Take one of the rectangles and on the wrong side of the leather mark out the design for the punched pattern, then use the punch to create the design.
Place the two rectangles wrong side together and secure with wonder clips. Then with a leather needle and the longest machine stitch, stitch the two sides and base of the bag. If the leather is too thick to be machine stitched, punch a series if holes around the three sides using the 1.8mm bit and hand stitch using top stitching or waxed thread.
At the top where the leather is four layers thick, take the hole punch and using the 5mm bit punch two holes either side – these will take the shoe lace strap which will firmly close the two side seams and form the bag strap.
Cut the length of leather shoe lace into two 1m lengths. Tie the two lengths together with a double knot 10cm from each end. Thread the loose ends through the punched holes – one in the front of the first hole and one in the back. Cross the ends over and thread through again and tie off. Thread the ends down through the lower hole and pull tight.
Both bags can just be worn around the neck. The leather bag is shown here with The Gypsy Dress in white linen.
The Aso Oke bag is shown here with The Gathered Summer Dress and Oversized Shopper from the Summer 22 magazine.