TUTO: bag

As you know, we love DIY challenges! So we set ourselves a challenge: how do you transform a simple dust bag into a "jewel" bag, a real precious object? Here it is, with its handmade flowers and little handles, it'll be perfect for following you around on sunny days ❤️

Simple to make (a little patience, but nothing too serious), it's an ideal tuto for learning lots of different techniques, a good first step towards sewing!

👉For this DIY you need:

  • a pretty cloth dust bag
  • lining fabric (approx. 90 x 40 cm)
  • a tarlatan coupon (90 x 40 cm)
  • fabric for flowers
  • large pearls
  • seed beads tube
  • classic seed beads 
  • sequins or glitter 
  • 2 bag handles 
  • sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, erasable felt-tip pen

Take your dust bag and lay it flat. Start by measuring its height and width. Then cut and remove the dust bag ties. Using the erasable felt-tip pen, mark an 18 cm mark on either side of the top of the bag. Using the seam ripper, undo the seam along the length of the bag, up to this mark, on both sides. Secure with a discreet but sturdy stitch in both cases. 

Let's move on to the flowers! They'll need to be sewn to the outer fabric before it's assembled with the lining, so make them first. On the fabric you'll be using for the flowers, make a grid with an erasable felt-tip pen (I promise, this is the only long part of the tutorial!) Using the template shown in the video, make them any size you like. Our measurements were strips 4cm high, the petals 3cm wide, and the spaces between the petals 1cm wide x 0.5cm high. Each strip has 7 petals. Cut the strips as shown in the video, taking care not to cut between the petals. Make as many flowers as you like (we had 12). If your fabric has a tendency to fray, gently pass a lighter flame over the edges of the strips. This will also create a wavy effect, giving your flowers a beautiful, natural look, especially if you're making them from satin or synthetic materials. 

Machine-stitch all strips as close to the edge as possible, 2 or 3 mm if possible. Please note! Above all, don't tie a knot or go back and forth with the machine at the beginning and end of your seam, so that you can gather the thread of your strip. Take the bobbin thread, and gently gather it by pulling on it - each strip gathering on itself is already starting to look a lot like a flower! Gather as much as you can, then tie the ends tightly together once everything's snug. Form a kind of snail by overlapping the petals in staggered rows, and sew them together in discreet stitches to form the flower. Finally, create the heart: a large round pearl + a shiny sequin + a tube seed pearl + a single seed pearl. Use the latter to lock everything together, ironing directly into the tube bead, then into the round bead and finally into the flower fabric. Like us, you can add 2 more "pistils" formed by the duo of tube seed beads + single bead. Proceed in the same way for all the flowers. 

Finally, the bag! Mark the bottom of the bag, 7.5 cm from the edge on both sides. 

Arrange your flowers randomly on the right side, sewing each one with a few solid stitches. However, do not sew flowers into the corners of the bag from the 7.5 cm mark. 

Once you've sewn all the flowers on each side, turn the bag inside out. Draw a line in the corner from the 7.5 cm mark to the 18 cm mark you made at the beginning. Do the same on the other side. Machine-stitch in small, tight stitches all along these two lines. Then cut 1 cm along this seam, as shown in the video, notching all the way. Turn over. 

Now draw a rectangle on both your lining fabric and your tarlatan, at the fold, using the dimensions of the dust bag recto verso. In our case, this is 43 x 38 cm, so 86 x 38 cm at the fold, to which you need to add 1.5 cm of seam allowance for the lining, since it will be turned inside out once before being sewn. 

Cut out the two rectangles, place one on top of the other and pin in place. Repeat the 18 cm marks on both sides. Machine-stitch a U-shape at 5mm, i.e. all around your rectangle, except for the top, which you leave unstitched. Clip all around, turn inside out. Turn in the hems on the unstitched part, sew it in place. The result is what you'll use as your lining: a layer of pretty fabric, and another of tarlatan, which will be invisible because it's sandwiched together, but will give your bag a nice puffy effect. 

Now fold in half to form the shape of a bag, with the right side facing inwards. The tarlatan should face you. Again, as on the outside of the bag, mark the bottom at 7.5cm on each side, then draw two lines connecting the 7.5cm mark to the 18cm mark, thus forming two triangles in the two corners of the bag. Machine-stitch along these two lines, cutting and notching as before to 1cm. Now insert your lining into the bag, with the pretty lining fabric facing inwards. 

Take a shackle and place it between the two layers of fabric as shown in the video. Pin the two parts together, keeping the shackle "trapped" in the fabrics. Machine-stitch all the way through, using an existing seam to make it more discreet. Then pin your two fabrics under your handle, going around it as shown. This time, sew by hand (machine sewing would be impossible), using small, tight stitches. Bring all the fabric inwards over the handle, as if you were gathering it by hand. 

Only two small finishing touches remain. Stitch the two layers together on either side, up to the 18 cm mark. Finally: at the bottom of the bag, fold the two corners into two triangles - here we've done it again for 7.5 cm - towards the inside, and secure with small hand-stitches. This will give the bag a "ball" shape!

And ... TA-DA!!! 🎉❤️