Simple Makeup Bag Tutorial

What girl wouldn’t want to carry such a pretty makeup bag? Would you like to learn how to make this so you can carry one yourself or give it to your bestest friend for a gift?

This particular bag has a little secret – fusible vinyl on the inside! That is my little twist on this common bag, so I will show you how to do it.

Supplies:

Fat quarter for outside – I used a cute toile print by Jennifer Paganelli.

Fat quarter for lining

Batting or interfacing

Fusible Vinyl – I used Therm-O-Web Iron-On Vinyl (from Joann’s)

7-inch zipper

Usual sewing tools (ruler, rotary, thread, iron)

Note: use a 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout this project.

Cutting:

1. Cut out your outside and lining fabric 9-1/2 inches wide x 5-1/2 inches tall.

Cut out your batting or interfacing 9-1/2 inches wide x 5-1/2 inches tall.

Cut out two pieces of fusible vinyl 9-1/2 inches wide x 5-1/2 inches tall.

Cut two pieces of either fabric 2.5 inches wide x 2.5 inches long or 2.5 inches x 3 inches long. (Feel free to use scraps for this step because the ends are going to get trimmed and buried in the seam allowance.)

Preparing the Pieces:

1. Position your outside fabric over the batting (or interfacing) and quilt. I did a grid of diagonal lines for this sample. My grid lines were a little over 1 inch apart. I also used a guide bar, which you can see in the photo below (positioned behind the needle and foot), to help keep the lines straight and even.

2. Make the same grid on the back piece.

3. To fuse the vinyl to the right side of the lining fabric, peel off the paper backing of the vinyl. Position the vinyl sticky-side down over the RIGHT side of the lining fabric and press with your hand to smooth it out. Place that paper backing shiny side down on the vinyl and hold  your iron over the area for a few second. Continue until the entire area is laminated. Turn fabric right side up and press each area again, just for good measure. (you can also follow the directions that come with the fusible vinyl)

4. Take one fabric tab and fold the short end over about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. (use your judgment here in the amount you fold over, depending on the size of scrap you’re using.)

Now, fold in half the long way to create a sort of pocket.

Insert one zipper end into tab so the fold meets with the end of the zipper teeth. Top stitch close to fold to attach to end of zipper. Repeat for other side of zipper. (At this point, don’t worry about any long excess fabric on these tabs. They will get buried in the seam allowance and trimmed to reduce bulk.)

Bag Assembly Instructions:

1. Fold outside front piece in half to find the center. Fold the zipper in half to find the center. With zipper pull on left side and face down, position zipper over right side of front fabric, using those fold creases to center it, and pin.

Put a zipper foot in your sewing machine and stitch zipper onto front fabric.

2. Position this piece-in-progress face down over one of a fused lining piece, which should be right side up. Pin in the seam allowance (so your pin holes are hidden in the seam allowance), and sew along that stitching line. At this point, everything will feel quite slippery because of that vinyl. Just hold the pieces together and go slowly to keep an even stitching line and keep the raw edges lined up.

3. Snip off the excess fabric from the tabs. At this point, here is what your piece-in-progress looks like when you open it up.

4. Position your piece-in-progress over the back fabric with the outside fabrics facing each other. (zipper will be face down) Pin and stitch.

5. Align your piece-in-progress over the final lining piece with the lining fabrics facing each other, pin in the seam allowance, and stitch. This is what your piece-in-progress should look like now, with all four pieces sewn to the zipper.

Here’s the lining side. (I couldn’t resist adding one of my new labels printed by Spoonflower!)

6. Open your zipper all the way. This is very important so you can turn the bag right side out and through the zipper opening when you’re all done with the assembly.

7. Lay out your piece-in-progress so that the outside fabrics are right sides together, and your lining fabrics are right sides together. Pin in the seam allowances, leaving a space in the bottom center of the lining. That is where you’re going to leave a hole for turning the bag inside out.

8. Stitch all the way around the bag, starting at the bottom center of the lining, and ending about 3 inches from your starting point (so you have an opening in the bottom).

Making a Flat Bottom:

1. To prepare the corners for a flat bottom, pinch a corner so the seams line up, making the corner look like a triangle. Measure 3/4 inch from one side of the triangle, and draw a line all the way across. Stitch on that line, which will give you a 1.5 inch bottom.

2. Snip off the corner, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Repeat for the remaining three corners of your bag.

The Home Stretch!

Turn your bag right side out through the opening you left on the bottom of the lining and through the zipper you left open.

Hand stitch the opening closed. Fill with your goodies!

That’s it! Easy, right? I hope these instructions are helpful, and I hope you try making at least one of these fun little zipper bags! I would love to see a picture of your version.

If you’re interested in printing out this tutorial without using a lot of toner, I made a PDF with just the step-by-step instructions and one photo for reference.

Please don’t make this bag to resell, whether in your shop, at your local craft fair, or any other place.

Edit: Here’s a little plug for my shop to let you know I added this makeup bag and another pretty pink toile bag to the New Products section of my shop, in case you need a cute little gift but don’t have the time to make one yourself. I’m always happy to take a custom order too!

New Artist Tote

Remember this 15 minutes of play when I made this large crazy patch block? I had the idea of using it as the front of a big tote.

I am typically a small purse carrying kind of gal, yet I am always wishing I could find a purse big enough to carry my book or my sketch pad. My sister asked me if I could come up with a larger purse design. And many, many other women out there prefer to carry large purses. So I decided to do some sketching again. It’s always fun to get out the big paper and my curved rulers!

I am so proud of how this new design turned out! I am calling it the Artist Tote because it made me feel like an artist while I was creating it. And I feel like an artist carrying it.

(9″ x 12″ sketchbook fits inside vertically or horizontally)

Overall, it measures 12-15 inches wide by 10 inches tall (note, the patchwork block is 12 inches wide but the bag can be stretched to 15 inches with the 3-inch wide gusset), big enough to fit all your regular purse stuff, a book and a sketchpad. It has my signature large pockets inside, one with a zipper closure, and two pockets that are open for slipping in your cell phone or music player.

I used blue suiting fabric for the back and the handle to make it a more durable and professional looking bag.

I added more details, including zig-zag stitching at each seam on the front, a few random chains of color gems sprinkled on the front, and zig-zag stitching on the back, bottom and handle, just for good measure.

It’s not listed in my shop yet, but it will be soon. This is one of several new designs I have been busy making for a new collection to be showcased in my shop very soon. Can’t wait to show you more!

Cool Colors Patchwork

I made a new zipper bag in this cool patchwork combination. Kinda beach-y, kinda spring-y, kinda cheerful – all things that make me happy.

These blues and greens are so calming, making me think of the gently rolling ocean waters. Why do all the uber-fabulous Sis Boom fabrics make me want to go to the beach?!

I changed the handle a bit with just a strap attached as a zipper pull, instead of a wristlet-type of handle.

This particular zipper bag is a perfect size for carrying your sewing notions, or your camera or mp3 player and charger cord.

I adore the patchwork combination of this new drawstring bag I made too!

I love the colors teal and brown next to each, with a splash of pink too. Again, now I want to go to the beach, carrying this bag filled with suntan lotion, flip flops, a towel, a radio, snacks, and a cool beverage to top it all off.

I added piping to the bottom of this one, giving it a more finished look.

This one measures 14 inches tall with a 7-inch wide bottom. I use these stuff sacks to carry stuff, especially whenever I travel, such as keeping shoes separate inside my suitcase or to keep dirty clothes separate from clean clothes.

Both added to my Shop!

My New Lunch Bag

I finished making an adorable new lunch bag, which is based on the Simple Tote pattern from the Bend-the-Rules-Sewing book, using the Chocolate Lollipop fabrics designed by Anna Maria Horner.

I have made several other projects from this book, and now this lunch bag completes the set. This was another classic case of having this fabric sit on my sewing table for awhile, not wanting to cut into it because it’s so pretty to look at.

One of my favorite parts about this lunch bag is the lining, which is iron-on vinyl, ironed over the lining fabric.

Yes, iron-on vinyl! Isn’t that cool?! It was much easier to use than I anticipated. I was afraid of melting the vinyl and ruining my iron (which isn’t that great anyway so it would have been a good way to get a new one!). The directions that came with the vinyl were very clear and easy. I bought a yard of this vinyl from JoAnns, not knowing how much I would need, or how much I would like it.

The verdict is I like the vinyl very much and would definitely make more projects with it. I also love this pattern, with the clever idea of making one handle very short to wrap over the longer one, keeping the bag closed.

Thanks for these cool ideas, all you designers and inventors out there! I just wish someone at work would ask me about this awesome bag (so I could show it off in person a little more).

Etsy Shopping

I was etsy shopping late one night, and found more cool handmade things (of course):

I ordered a Patchwork Pillow from The Little Room etsy shop because I loved these colors, which reminded me of the ocean. I love making these pillow covers, so I like to order similar things from other creative people to see how they approach their sewing projects.

I love how Liz packaged it – wrapped in a tissue paper sewing pattern. Clever girl!

I ordered an iHug from the Punchanella etsy shop because it was too cute to pass up, and because I love the Ginger Blossom fabrics. It has an elastic strap to wrap around your iPod while it’s in this pretty case.

I ordered a stash of Ginger Blossom fabrics from the Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics etsy shop because Sandi Henderson’s new Farmers Market fabrics be available soon. I didn’t want to miss out on this collection before it’s gone.

By the way, does anyone know when Sandi’s new Farmers Market fabric collection will be available? I was hoping to use some of it for a swap I am participating in, but I’m afraid I’m running out of time and will have to buy something else (something else equally good, of course).

I found another great etsy shop, which has cool lunch bags and market totes, although I haven’t ordered anything yet. I’m trying to keep my etsy spending in check! And my sister is wondering why a person needs so many bags. Come on – are you kidding?!

Recent Etsy Finds and More

I ordered these great handmade goodies from a recent etsy.com shopping spree. I just had to share them with you.

First I got this unique and adorable crayon caddy from C Berry Baby’s shop.

crayon caddy - rolled up

She made it from Sandi Henderson’s Ginger blossom fabrics, which are so colorful and girly. It has a pretty ribbon closure, and even came filled with crayons!

crayon caddy - unrolled

I also ordered this great market eco-tote from Jenny Hofer Designs, which she made in Amy Butler’s Lotus fabrics.

market eco-tote

Then came these awesome scrap bags, not from etsy.com, but from j.caroline creative. They are called short-end remnants, so each piece is about a four-inch square.

fabric scraps

I love to get scrap bags because I don’t have to invest as much money or buy a quantity of fabric; instead, it feels like trying it out. These scrap bags came with a great variety, even several Amy Butler fabrics (which I’m carrying around in my purse, due to my fabric addiction).

That sums up my shopping fix for another month. Check out these shops at etsy.com yourself; you won’t be disappointed!