Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vintage Linen Shoulder Bag

I had bought this adorable, worn table linen at the local flea market because I loved the colors and the pattern. But with a lot of the treasures that have been collected over time, I really wanted to enjoy it rather than keep it in a drawer. 

Viola! Lets make it into a bag so that I can carry it to the store, thrifting, or farmers market. That way I can enjoy it more often and carry my goodies too!

Materials: One vintage linen, two coordinating fabrics, various trims, sewing machine, iron and patience.

As you can see I used the linen and some sturdy canvas for the bottom, latter you will see that I also added a complimentary yellow for the lining of the bag. 
 After washing and pressing the linen, I cut it down the center. It was 28" long so each side was 14". 
 After having two pieces I made sure that I also measured the bottom, luckily it was 14" too. So I ended up with a 14"x 14" square. It will vary with different linens. 

 Now I cut the bottom canvas. I make sure that it is 14" long.
Then cut it 9" wide. So your canvas piece will be a 9"x 14" rectangle.  This is where it can vary with other linens, you always make sure that your canvas piece is as long as your bag bottom, but the 9" on the width will stay the same. 
For example, your linen is a 14" length and a 16" width, you would cut your canvas at 16"x 9". 
Next step, I got ahead of myself and didn't take photos.(sorry!) 
But you sew the bottom of the bag to the canvas. Both of the 14" sides matching up. 
After sewing, press the seam towards the bottom of the bag. 
Pressed towards the bottom. 

Topstitched to reinforce. 

 After pressing seam, go back and sew the seam down or topstitch to help keep the bag strong. 
*Repeat with the other side of the bag. 
After sewing the canvas on to the linen. Fold the bag in half and sew both sides of the bag together. Press the seams open after sewing. 

Have the sides complete now I fold the bottom of the bag to make a triangle on the corners to create the square edge at the bottom. 

 With the corner, measure in 1- 1/2" and make a straight mark and sew straight across. 
*Do this step on both corners of your bag. 

 This is my bag lining. A creamy yellow cotton. I cut two 14"x14" squares, the same as my linen. Again I did the same with a tan cotton cutting out a bottom piece of 14"x 9" and followed the steps as above. I DID NOT sew the sides together so that I could add some pockets to the lining of my bag. 

 Next I decided to make some various sized pockets for the inside of my bag. *After making the bag I wished I made more custom pockets to fit stuff like my cell phone, keys, business cards, compact, etc. 

 Topstitch around the pocket so that it will look great and hold strong in your bag. I did one large pocket and one small. (after using the bag, I preferred the smaller pocket.) 

 After you have your pockets sewn into place, NOW you can sew up the sides of your bag and then *repeat again the squared corners on the lining of the bag. 
After completing the bag lining, I took both pieces and pressed down the bag opening 1-1/2"(shown in photos).

 Have both tops pressed, I put the bag lining in the bag. Both wrong sides are together.  At this point you can pin the two bags together but don't sew just yet. 
 I used some cotton handle trim I had but you can always make your own to create the bag handles.  Each piece was a total length of 26", this way I could have it on my shoulder and carry things comfortably. 

 I measured so that my handles were sitting straight and even on my bag. This will vary with different linens but I went in 3" from the sides and pinned in place. 
 I sewed around the whole bag to hold strong. Also where the handles were I did stitch an X to make sure the handles held, but I didn't take a photo, sorry :-(.
 I had this neat rickrack trim that was added to the top of the bag to give it a finished look. I pinned and then sewed securely to the top. 

TA DA!! And your bag is complete!

A cute finished bag. 

The inside of the bag. 

Any questions or comments, please message me. I would love to help or bounce ideas. This is starting point with these bags, you could do so many things with them, add more trim or some vintage buttons. Possibilities are endless. 

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