Did you follow the recent story about W Magazine's search for a new editorial director? While I was out of town, it seems they found one. Meanwhile, this past Sunday, Kyle visited Austin and commented on my bag, which I'd made and called my "W Bag version 1," as I designed it especially to accommodate the oversized dimensions of W Magazine without damaging the corners. Reminded me that I'd intended to share this pattern in case anyone else was looking for a brand new bag. It has been my go-to bag all fall and winter long! I will try it soon in a spring-appropriate fabric because the dimensions of the bag, for me, are just right. Big enough for lots of stuff, like a big W magazine and a light sweater and wallet and keys, but not Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-Olson-bag big. Maybe it will work for you, too? Click through for the pattern link and directions.
My prototype is made from a pair of reconstructed black denim -- feel free to gather any variety of refashion-worthy materials or start from scratch.
- A yard of fabric or repurposed materials
- The printed pattern (download W Bag v1 pattern here; requires 6 pages of 8 1/2" x 11" paper and tape to assemble, approx. 1.6 MB download)
- Matching or contrasting thread to spice up solid fabrics (optional)
- A gob of bias tape (optional) and FYI, mine was 1.25" wide since I used extra-narrow seam allowances
- All seam allowances 1/4"!
- My version is unlined but you could absolutely line yours if you cut two extra body pieces out of lining fabric. I am usually a stickler for finished seams so I bound all mine. More info below.
Here we go! This is not a photo tutorial, but a list of directions with a few photos of how I carried out the bag construction:
1. Print the pattern and put it together.
2. Sew the darts in both body pieces.
3. Baste the pocket pleat and finish the pocket edges. The easiest solution for my heavy denim was binding with bias tape. Sew the pocket onto the bag body.
4. Place the two body pieces right sides together, and sew in one continuous stitch down one side, along the bottom, and up the other side. Finish this seam with binding or serging -- you choose.
5. Place the two band pieces right sides together, and sew only the short ends of the rectangles together. Press both seams flat. Fold in half, wrong sides together, along fold line. Baste the raw edges together. I also topstitched mine in long rows of stitching parallel to the folded edge, approx. 3/8" apart.
6. Sew the band to the bag. There are a hundred ways to do this, so pick what's best for you. I simply sewed the band to the bag with raw edges aligned. I finished this seam with seam binding but you can serge it if you prefer. Here's a photo of the inside of the bag, so you can see both the vertical bound seam that holds the body of the bag together, and the horizontal bound seam that attaches the band to the body:
7. Now sew the straps. Once again, there are several different ways you can sew the straps, like sewing them into tubes with right sides together and then turning them out. I used such a thick denim that I sewed each strap with right sides together and sewed along each short edge, pivoting at the corner and then sewing just a few inches on the long edge. I trimmed the corners and turned everything right side out, pressed the seam along the long edge, and stitched it closed. I also topstitched each strap in long rows about 3/8" apart.
8. Attach the straps. I sewed mine to the outside of the bag. Just pinned them in place, tried the bag over my shoulder and adjusted to taste, then topstitched them on in rows of stitching perpendicular to the strap's topstitching. Here's an up-close shot of that action:
And here's another detail photo of the top of the bag with its many rows of topstitching:
Please let me know if you make this! I am curious to see how others' interpretations look! I will be sure to post photos of my next one. BTdubs, this is my first multi-page pattern and I hope it makes sense to match up those little triangles so you know which page goes where. I sort of followed the instructions for making your own downloadable patterns from Burdastyle, but, you know... had to change the instructions to make sense for me. I hope they make sense for you. :)