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How To Sew A Handbag Or How to Make a Handbag

For a long time I have been an avid seamstress, and can often be found spending my time designing and creating my own skirts. With fashion queens like Gok Wan encouraging us to make the most of what we have with our clothes and using accessories and add-ons to customise them, plus the horrible credit crunch limiting the amount of money we can spend on clothes, it is no wonder that other people are getting in on the act of making their own clothes! More and more people are attending dressmaking classes and there has been a massive upturn in the sales of sewing machines. We can look individual and do it at a cheaper price!

My new obsession with the sewing machine is handbags! I don't know why I hadn't thought about making handbags previous to now, but now that I have started I don't seem to be able to stop! I have been making all sorts of bags for every single different kind of occasion you could think of!

Making a straightforward bag is easy, and once you have mastered that you can move on to making them more elaborate shapes and sizes as well as making them more decorative. To make a simple bag, here are the things you will need:

An old item of clothing that you think will translate into a nice handbag - trousers tend to be best as they are of a stronger material than blouses etc, but you can always line it to make it stronger. And remember, that whilst it is fun to make your own handbag; and you can if you wish buy new materials; it is better for the bank balance and the environment to recycle! You will also need a pair of scissors, thread, fabric pins, iron, ruler, fabric pencil, and a sewing machine (you can hand sew, but sewing with a machine makes everything neater and tighter).


Set up the sewing machine putting in the thread spool and reel in a colour as close as you can get to your fabric. Or as an alternative you could use a completely different colour of thread to the material, to make it stand out. Iron your fabric and decide on the size of bag you would like, and make a template out of paper - 9 inches x 12 inches is a good size for a simple tote bag. Fold over and pin the fabric right sides together and pin your template to it. Draw around the template (on the fabric), then take away the template and re-pin the fabric. Do this for your lining fabric if you are using it. When you are finished cutting you should have two main pieces of fabric and two lining pieces.

Keep the right sides pinned together and sew along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. Sew the lining in the same way. Decide on the length and width of the handles and add on 2 inches to the length and 0.5 inch to the width to allow for seams and sewing onto the bag. Cut out either 2 or 4 pieces of fabric for the handles (depending on if you want them lined). Pin the handle pieces together and sew along the long lines only, turn them right side out and iron them. Fold over the top lining of the main bag a quarter of an inch, turning it towards you and the bag, and pin in place. Position the handles in between the lining and the main piece of material and pin them in place, then sew them up! Simple as that!

For top fashion handbags try http://www.handbags.me.uk all the latest designer and funky bags in one easy to use shop.
 

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