This is one of those projects that is perfect if you are a fabric hoarder. Using just a few small pieces of fabric and a zipper, you can make this MINI bag, perfect for so many things. This happens to be my favorite project recently, and I sell my MINIs on Etsy. I love to use a basic back fabric (I use denim) to allow for the front panel to shine like a piece of art. And my favorite part of the whole process is deciding what color zipper I'm going to use! (I have a drawer FULL of 7" zippers!!)
We'll show you how to create a basic one, and then once you get the technique down, you can start to get creative... using homemade textiles, adding embellishments, or changing the size and shape. Enjoy!
- sewing machine, including zipper foot
- 7-inch zipper
- (2) 8 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces of fabric for exterior
- (2) 8 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces of fabric for interior
- 1 1/2" x 13" piece of fabric for wrislet
- coordinating thread
- With right side down, fold each side lengthwise to meet in the middle. Press
- Fold in half lengthwise to enclose the edges. Press
- With sewing machine, stitch to close the open edge, getting as close as possible.
- To create a finished handle, stitch down the other, folded side, along the edge, in the same fashion.
- Set aside
First, we will be attaching all of the pieces to the zipper, which makes putting in a zipper so easy!
Place the front exterior piece down on your table, right-side up. Next, place the zipper along the top edge of the exterior piece, face down. Then, place one of the lining pieces on top of the zipper, right-side down, sandwiching the zipper between the two pieces of fabric. Pin together.
Next, we'll be sewing it together. A few hints for you:
- use your zipper foot to allow your stitches to be close to the zipper teeth.
- keep your zipper open half way, sew up to it, then close it … this will allow you to keep your stitches even and smooth
- line up the left edge of the zipper foot with the the edge of the zipper teeth (which you can feel under the fabric).
- if this is your first zipper, don't worry! feel free to practice with your zipper on a few pieces of scrap fabric (you can always take out your stitches and practice again!)
Open the pieces as shown below, then press along the zipper to smooth.
We will now be sewing the other two pieces on to the other side of the zipper. Sandwich the pieces together, just as you did for the first part, back exterior piece right-side up, zipper face down, lining right-side down. Pin, and sew together as in previous step.
Now we can sew the bag together! (Don't forget to change your sewing foot to the regular foot) First, we need to pin the wristlet piece on the front exterior piece. After folding the wristlet in half to create a loop, pin the wristlet ends about an inch down from the top of the bag (the zipper).
Then, keeping zipper half-open (which allows you to turn it right-side out), line up the lining pieces, right-sides together, and the exterior pieces, right-sides together. Pin. Then stitch all the way around the edges of the bag, starting on the lining and leaving a 3" space where you will turn the bag right-side out. Use a 1/2" seam allowance. The wrist is a little hard to sew over because of its bulk… take your time and reverse over it to make sure it is secure.
Before the exciting part of seeing your mini almost done, snip the corners to remove the bulk. Don't snip the stitches! Turn right-side out, push those corners out with your finger (or a long skinny object!), and press. Before you tuck that lining into your mini, you'll have to finish off the hole in the lining. Just make sure it is pressed, and stitch really close to the edge with matching thread. Voila!
Let the fun begin. After you've conquered this project, you can now add zippers and make flat bags of any size! If you'd like a larger bag, adjust your zipper size and your fabric pieces! This project used a 7" inch zipper, and the fabric was 8 1/2" wide. If you use a 10" zipper, then use a fabric piece 11 1/2" wide (continue to use your 1/2" seam allowance). If you are interested in adding embroidery, sequins, or other such fun, I would suggest to add before you put the bag together.
I urge you to try this workshop and show us what you've done! I love to see what patterned fabric you've used or created!