Bow Bag Sewing Tutorial



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You can never have enough bags right? Especially with a free sewing pattern. Beccy from Wipster used scraps of upholstery fabric and an old pair of jeans to make this cute Bow Bag. The top has a drawstring so it can expand when you need it to, but draw it up for security (and cuteness).

Bow Bag Finished


  • 1 yard x 12” main fabric (I used large scraps of upholstery fabric)
  • 1 yard x 12” lining fabric (I used an old pair of jeans)
  • 1 yard of ribbon
  • 5” elastic
  • A dinner plate


  1. Because I wanted the bag to be able to hold files/paper etc. I used an A4 sheet of paper as a template.
  2. Use a dinner plate to draw a curve around one corner (you can adjust the size of the curve by choosing smaller or bigger circular things).

    Bow Bag
  3. Cut the curve. This is the basic template; the straight edge on the right is the fold line.

    Bow Bag 3
  4. Cut 1 (back) piece on the fold and two half (front) pieces. Add extra seam allowance to these two pieces. Cut two pieces on the fold for the lining (I recycled a pair of jeans).

    Bow Bag 4
  5. Pin the two half front pieces face together and place a mark 2 inches from the top, then another 1 inch below that. This will be the opening for the drawstring casing. Sew up front pieces, leaving the 1 inch marked area open.

    Bow Bag 5
  6. Open out the front piece and press the seam. Topstitch the front seam open.
  7. Cut a piece for the pocket approximately 6x6 inches.
  8. Fold and press the edges. Press the top edge deep enough to encase the elastic and sew this edge.
  9. Thread elastic through casing using a safety pin, gather and secure at both ends.

    Bow Bag 9
  10. Sew the pocket to one of the lining pieces, approx 3" from the top.

    Bow Bag 10
  11. Sew the two lining pieces together, leaving a 3" opening in the base.
  12. Place the lining inside the outer, right sides together. Pin and sew.

    Bow Bag 12
  13. This bit's a bit tricky, but hold on in there :) Invert the bag by pulling all the fabric through the hole in the lining then sew up the hole. This always looks like it isn't going to work, and then it magically becomes a bag, you'll see ;)

    Bow Bag 13
  14. Press the bag (again!) and topstitch around the top of the bag, as close to the edge as possible.
  15. Measure from the top of the bag to the opening of the ribbon casing. Mark where the casing needs to be at each side of pocket and sew around the whole bag, like tram-lines (avoiding the pocket, don't want to sew that baby shut!)

    Bow Bag 15
  16. Measure across your body to determine the length of the handle and cut two strips of fabric as long as you need (plus 1" seam allowance) by 2" wide.
  17. Sew a point on one end of the handle, and half the point on the other (this will make life easier later) and trim the seams.

    Bow Bag 17
  18. Use a knitting needle to turn the handle the right side out (Keep going, nearly done...)

    Bow Bag 18
  19. Press the handle flat.
  20. This is where you'll be glad you half sewed the second point! Push the excess fabric inside to form the second point and press.
  21. Topstitch the handle as close to the edge as possible.
  22. Line up the handle with the outer side seam of the bag and stitch across, following the topstitching on the bag. The handle should overlap the edge of the bag an inch or so, for decorative effect.
  23. Sew a decorative vintage button to the pointed bit.

    Bow Bag 23
  24. Tie your ribbon to a crochet hook and thread through casing.

    Bow Bag 24
  25. Gather the top of the bag slightly and tie a bow and you’re done!

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Reviews More Reviews

Jun 16, 2014

Neglected to mention when to sew outer front and back sections together. Should be after step 6 or before step 12.


Mar 21, 2014

Great pattern, and very easy to understand, thanks! Can't wait to make it. I'm not so sure about leaving a gap in the middle seam of the two front pieces for the ribbon opening. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I feel like it would eventually pull on the stitches and rip my seam. Maybe button holes instead? I think I'll try that.


25 Ratings

Aug 8, 2013

The tutorial was easy to follow and the photos really helped out a bunch!


Jul 17, 2013

the tutorial is very easy to follow. I will make several of these foe all seasons and for gifts..I willchange up the handles and material used fo drawstring but i am always altering patterns.


Jan 11, 2013

I made this bag tonight, the instructions were very easy to follow. I added a monogram to the front, an extra pocket inside and a fabric tie in place of the ribbon, getting lots of compliments. Thanks!


Dec 29, 2012

very confusing


Aug 10, 2012

At step #4, is anyone lost besides me????


Feb 9, 2012

Love it!!!


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