With the front panel appliquéd and ready to go, I cut the remaining panels for my new project bag. The exterior of the bag is made out of corduroy; the inside liner, of colorful printed cotton. I didn't have enough of any one print to line the bag completely, so I mixed and matched. I intended mostly to use 1/2-inch seams throughout, so I added an inch to the measurements of my old bag and cut the following panels:

1 bottom panel, 6" x 15" (cut 2 — 1 corduroy, 1 cotton)

2 side panels, 6" x 1.5" (cut 4 — 2 corduroy, 2 cotton)

Front panel, 15" x 17.5" (cut 2 — 1 corduroy (appliqued piece), 1 cotton)

Back panel, 15" x 17.5" (cut 2 — 1 corduroy, 1 cotton)

Straps, 3" x 36" (cut 4 — 2 corduroy, 2 cotton)

Can a bag truly be a bag if it doesn't have pockets? Taking into consideration the size of my cell phone, a corkscrew, and my slingshot, I cut panels for three interior pockets:

1 10" x 8" (cut 2 — 1 corduroy, 1 cotton)

2 4" x 6" (cut 4 — 2 corduroy, 2 cotton)


I started with the pockets. After pinning the pocket panels right-sides together (1 corduroy, 1 cotton) I sewed a 1/2-inch straight seam all the way around, leaving a 2-inch gap. I clipped the seams every 1/2-inch with scissors to help them lay flat and turned the pockets right side out through the gap. I then pressed the pockets flat with an iron.

Next, I attached the pockets to the liner panels. I pinned the large, rectangular pocket (corduroy side facing up) on top of the back panel cotton liner (right side up) and the two skinny pockets on each side panel (also corduroy side facing up — to contrast with the cotton print). I sewed 1/4 inch around the sides and bottom of each pocket, leaving the tops open.

This marked a good place to take a break to ruminate on how the rest of the bag was going to come together, as I wasn't working off an official pattern.

Next Week: Customization and Panel Construction

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