ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Designing and Making a New Textiles Bag

Updated on November 20, 2012

Sewing a New Bag

Opposite: A close up of the detail on the front of my old bag.

I've had my current bag for about 6 years now and I feel like it's time for a change.

I'm about to become a new parent so I think I want something bigger and with pockets but I also want it to look fabulous and artsy too. I'm also not sure I want to be lugging around a bag with a heavily pregnant figure on it when I'm heavily pregnant.

I'm probably going to come up with my old original pattern but in the lens below I've also collected links to a lot of free bag patterns on the Internet.

My Old Bag

This is the bag I've had for years and it's lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. It's really very simply made - it's just a lined rectangle of textiles with a recycled zip closure at the top, no pockets and very simple straps.

I want my new bag to be bigger, have pockets so I don't have to fumble about for my keys or pens and to have proper comfy straps.

Above: My Old Bag.

Bag Patterns

Free Patterns for Fabulous Bags

It can be pretty hard knowing where to start so it's useful to have a look at what is out there.

If you're decorating and making your own fabric for your bag you might not want to design your own pattern too so I've collected together some free bag patterns below.

Making Handbags and Purses

Making Handbags & Purses: 50 Patterns & Designs from Casual to Corporate
Making Handbags & Purses: 50 Patterns & Designs from Casual to Corporate

This is a book I've had for a few years with a great range of cute bag patterns ranging from tiny bags to backpacks.


What I Want in a Bag

I'd like a pocket for all my important things - keys, wallet etc.

I'll probably need a bigger space for baby stuff.

I'd like it to be big enough to also fit an A4 sized sketchbook or notebook.

I'd also like a space to fit in a paperback.

I do like having a backpack-style bag but I'm willing to look at other styles.

Design Inspiration

Below and opposite are images of the textiles map I made.

The one thing that annoys me about my current bag is that I melted the textiles (on purpose!), to create a distressed look. The problem with that is all the little bits of fabric that catch on my clothing - by this point - 6 years later - the bag is completely soft again but it's now trailing little pieces of fibre.

If I make a textiles map for my new bag then I'm going to sandwish it under a sheer layer of fabric to stop any melted bits from catching on anything.

I'm also thinking that I might just use plain canvas for the body of the bag and just have a textiles map panel at the front.

Textiles Map
Textiles Map

Above: A melted textiles map made for a craft challenge.

My Design

I'm not sure that a backpack is going to be feasible for what I want. I'm thinking more and more about designing some sort of messenger bag or shoulder bag.

I've collected together some initial doodled ideas of what I want this bag to look like. My ideas are fairly simple at this point. I'd like to keep the textiles piece at the front and use plain fabric for the rest of the bag.

Finally... Some Progress!

I finally made some progress on this bag, possibly a month or more after making this lens - oops!

As you can see, I haven't gone with the map idea this time. I love my maps but I just wanted to jump right in with a patchy shabby chic bag.

I started with some fabric cut from some old combat trousers - I'm planning to use the parts with the pockets on the inside of the bag - that way I get some cool pockets and I don't have to worry about making them!

I started sewing a really patchy piece of fabric which I'm planning to use as a large outside pocket - not sure what I'm going to use as a closure - perhaps I can find a button loop from an old pair of trousers to make a easy/lazy closure!

Not sure what I'm going to do for the sides or handle yet but I'm sure it'll come to me!

I was inspired to just throw myself into making this bag after watching the video linked below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Share Your Thoughts - Reader Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Rachel Field profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Field 

      8 years ago

      @caffimages: If you find any time can I borrow some too? :) Thanks for visiting!

    • caffimages profile image


      8 years ago

      What lovely bag ideas I've found on here. If only I had the time. Now where did I put all my fabric remnants....


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)