- Fabric that is likely to fray (flannel, cotton, denim)- 1/2 yard each of 4 fabrics
- Flannel for inside the "quilt sandwich"
- Optional: Spring-action snipping shears (a handy tool to prevent hand fatigue when snipping!)
Cut your fabric: You'll need seventeen 5"x5" squares each of four fabrics, thirty four 5"x5" squares of flannel, eight 5"x3" rectangles each of four fabrics, and sixteen 5"x3" rectangles of flannel.
Optional: You may also
choose to cut fabric pieces for pockets, as desired,
though I won't be adding any in this tutorial.
Second, pin together your "quilt sandwiches," with Fabric A facing downwards, then a layer of flannel, then Fabric B facing upwards.
Lay out the pattern you want for the bag, like so:
You'll need to lay out 3
squares by 8 squares with an additional three squares on the
bottom which will form the base of your bag. Also add a row
of 8 rectangles across the top, which will be the top border
of your bag. You should have two spare
5"x5" squares for the button strip and eight spare 5"x3"
rectangles left for the handles.
Working with one vertical row at a time, sew each row of squares together with a 1/2" seam allowance, turning all raw edges "up."
Now sew your vertical
lines of quilt sandwiches together, keeping all raw
edges "up." The first photo shows the "right" side of
the quilt/bag, which will be the outside of your bag.
The second photo shows the "wrong" side of the
quilt/bag, which is smooth, and will be the inside of
This is what it looks like, laid out flat:
Sew the quilt/bag shut,
forming a "tube". Then sew the seams around the base of
the bag to attach the bottom.
Sew a continuous seam,
1/2" from the top edge of the bag.
Lay out the handle pieces (the remaining 5"x3" pieces), short end to short end. You may or may not decide to use all the rectangles, depending on the length of handle you'd like.
Sew them together,
turning all raw edges up, you know the drill by now.
Then sew a stitch line 1/2" from the remaining raw edges
along the long sides of the handle.
Attach the handle to the center of each side of your bag, keeping all raw edges "out."
Tip: If you'd like to
reinforce any seams for added strength, do a zig zag
stitch over the straight stitch line. I especially
recommend this on all handle and base seams.
Now to add your button
flap... Take one of your remaining 5"x5" square "quilt
and trim it to your desired
width, depending on how big your button is. If you want a
long flap, then you'll join together two pieces. I only used
one because I wanted the bag to be a little snug when closed.
Stitch around the
edges, 1/4-1/2" from the edge.
Sew in a button hole at one end.
And attach it to the center of one side of your bag, keeping all raw edges "out." On the center of the opposite side, sew on your button.
Lastly, with your
assembly complete, make evenly spaced snips towards all
seam lines, getting close but not cutting into them.
Toss your bag in the wash to get the fraying effect. The more you wash and dry the bag, the softer the frays become.
When you take the bag
out of the dryer, give it a good shake outside to get
rid of spare threads. I also use a tape roller. Then
you'll need to trim off any crazy frays/threads.
Tip: This is a good time to double check that all of your seams are still in place (that there are no "holes"). If you accidentally snipped into a seam line, it will have come open in the wash. If that's the case, simply re-sew that seam in place and you're good to go.
Your rag bag is done! Now fill it up and tote some stuff around in style :)
Last, if you decided to
do this project yourself, please send me a photo of it
with your name and what state you're from! I've recently
decided to start featuring my readers' finished results.
Featured Reader's Results:
Teri B. of Kansas has used this tutorial to all these rag bags!!!
These are "quiet bags" for kiddos from church to bring books in...
...and this one is made to tie on to a walker. It's my favorite :) This would also be a nice variation to tie on to a stroller! Thanks for sharing Teri!
Want to leave comments about Teri's rag bags? Go HERE! :)