Several years ago, I bought a hobo bag from Forever 21 and absolutely loved it and used it all the time. It's always been on my mental project list to make one just like it and finally decided to make one for the Haven bloggers conference coming up in a few days.
I wanted to make the bag with longer straps so it can be worn across the body and wanted to have pockets inside that would fit my cell phone, sunglasses and some room for pens.
It's pretty easy to knock off a pattern from an existing cloth bag. Sewing this bag is another story and I had to figure things out as I went along.
For all you who just want to see the finished project, skip down.... a whole bunch! This is a pretty long tutorial, so scroll down if you don't want to read through all the instructions. Some of you might just want to pin this post to one of your boards on Pinterest for a later date.
Here are the details:
First off, I had one yard of fabric for the lining and straps(black fabric) and one yard of fabric for the patterned fabric. Your yardage may vary depending on the size of the bag you are making.
To make the pattern, trace the bag on some pattern paper. You can use any type of paper or even a cut up paper bag.
To make sure the pattern is even, fold the pattern down the center. Then add 1/2" seam allowances for every seam.
To make the pocket patterns, put a 1/2" pleat in the paper lengthwise and make the pattern a little larger than the item you want to put in it. Add 1 1/4" seam allowance at the top of the pocket and 1/2" on the other 3 sides.
The steps above are repeated for the other 2 pockets. Cut one of each.
Since my fabric had a symmetrical pattern, I placed the paper pattern over the patterned fabric and lined up the design on the fabric to line up with the center of the bag.
Cut 2 of the patterned fabric and 2 of the contrasting lining fabric.
I measured the straps and added the length that I wanted to allow me to wear the bag across my body.
Make your straps the length and width that you like.
Starting with the pockets, iron the seam allowances(1 1/4" on the top and 1/2" on the other 2 sides)
Sew the top 1" seam allowance. Fold over the seam allowance 1/4" and sew at 1" on each piece(don't sew it to the black lining yet)
Pin a 1/2" pleat at the bottom.
It's easiest to start with the small center pocket first by placing the pocket where it looks good on the lining. The bottom of the pocket is sewn to lining first.
Stitch the right side of the pocket, then measure the bottom of the pocket and line up the left side of the pocket by making sure the top is the same measurement as the bottom of the pocket.
Sew the left pocket next by placing the left pocket up against the small center pocket and sewing the right side of the pocket and the bottom.
Line up the left side of the left pocket the same way as the center pocket.
Place the right pocket up against the smaller second pocket, pin and sew the 3 sides.
Voila! pockets are attached to the lining. Check the pockets to see if the items you want to keep in them will fit.
Next, with right sides together of the main (patterned) fabric, I placed a pin 5" down on both sides. (the right side is shown) Then I sewed the side from the pin down, then continued to sew the bottom, then up the other side up to the pin on the left side.
Your hobo bag might be a little different.
I decided to round off the corner by sewing across the corner. I also cut off the corner after.
Repeat the above steps with the lining fabric, only don't sew the bottom...sew the sides only.
Turning the right sides out, this is what they look like at this point. Notice the bottom edge of the black lining is not sewn. You now basically have 2 bags.
This is a little tricky, but put the lining bag into the pattern bag, wrong sides of the lining fabric to the wrong sides of the outside fabric. Pin and turn right side out, just to make sure that you will be stitching the correct sides.
Stitch all but the tops (where the straps will be attached) and the bottoms of the bags
Clip the fabric around any curves.
I clipped the fabric several times in the center of the bag.
Sew the long sides of the straps with right sides together and then turn them right side out.
This is where it gets tricky again. The straps will be attached to the body of the purse at the top ...see photo. The straps are in between the pattered outside fabric and the lining fabric(right sides together)
Sew the seam, then turn right side out to check again. Here's what it should look like.
Pull the black lining out, press (iron) the seam allowance inside (with right sides together.) Then top stitch the bottom.
I attached a button just for looks and to add my blog name tag to it for Haven coming up on Thursday.
Now to the final product!
Tada! I'm always excited when something comes out well.
Phew! That was a long post...maybe my longest post EVER!
Check another project off the list...
feels so0000 good.
You might like to see how I made a Basket From A Wine Box.
You can find it here.
You can find it here.
p.s. I found my fabric at Fabric.com. They did not compensate me in any way for this post.
Disclaimer: The above post is how I made our my hobo bag. I don't take any responsibility for any errors or results obtained from using this information. When using power tools, use safety equipment.