Some fabrics are just made for each other. So when I saw this Cotton & Steel Jungle fat quarter at my local quilt shop, I knew it needed to be paired with some cork fabric and make this cross body bag. Granted, it took me nearly a year for me to do it…
But I sewed up this cute little cross body bag last week, and I’m feeling like it was worth the wait!
And I’ve got a tutorial for my DIY cross body bag for you below.
This is a pretty small bag, just big enough to hold your essentials. And with a long strap you can carry it cross body so your hands are free. Finished measurements are approximately 9” wide x 6.5” tall, and 2” deep at the bottom.
The fold over flap has a zipper opening so your stuff stays safe and sound inside.
And you can stash your phone in one of the pockets on the back. I always like to put slip pockets on the BACK of a cross body bag, where whatever you put in the pockets will be kept snug against your body.
This fold over bag is essentially a zipper pouch, but with a few extras to turn it into a cross over purse. So if you’ve made a zipper pouch before this will be an easy project for you. And honestly, even if you haven’t made a zipper pouch before, it should be easy enough to do.
One thing to note is that because the flap folds over from the back, this is not a good project for directional prints. I know, I know… You’re probably looking at the photos of the one I made and thinking, but that’s a directional print! All I can say is that I didn’t realize the flaw in my plan until I already had my heart set on making a fold over bag from this fabric. I just cut the fabric for the back of the bag upside down, so the part that folded over to the front would be right side up.
And while I love the cork fabric for this project, you could use any faux leather or vinyl – or even just a home dec weight cotton with some interfacing on the back to give it more weight.
How to sew a DIY crossbody bag
- 1 piece, 10” wide x 8” tall (Bag Front)
- 1 piece, 10” wide x 13” tall (Bag Back)
- 1 piece, 2” wide x 4” tall (Tabs)
Contrast fabric (cork, vinyl, or home dec weight cotton):
- 2 pieces, 10” wide x 6” tall (Front Bottom, Pocket Front)
- 2 pieces, 10” wide x 13” tall (Bag Lining)
- 1 piece, 10” wide x 6” tall (Pocket Lining)
Lightweight fusible interfacing:
- 1 piece, 9” wide x 7” tall
- 1 piece, 9” wide x 12” tall
- ½” D rings – 2
- 1” swivel hooks – 2
- 1” webbing strap – 1 ½ yards
- 9” zipper – 1
- Fusible hem tape (optional)
All seams are ½” seam allowance, unless otherwise noted. RST = Right sides together.
DO NOT use pins when sewing on cork or vinyl. If you need to hold fabric in place, use fabric clips instead. If your presser foot is sticking to the cork or vinyl, use a Teflon presser foot or cover the bottom of your standard foot with tape.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the interfacing to the backs of the Bag Front (10” x 8” main fabric) and Bag Back (10” x 13” main fabric) pieces.
Make the Bag Front
Place the Bag Front and Front Bottom (10” x 6” contrast fabric) pieces RST. Sew along bottom edge.
Finger press the seam open, with seam allowances to the Front Bottom side. Top stitch 1/8” from the seam, on the Front Bottom side.
Make the Tabs
Press the Tab piece (2” x 4”) in half lengthwise, then open up and fold long edges to the center and press again.
Re-fold at the middle crease and stitch down both sides close to the edge. Cut in half to make 2 2″ pieces.
Take the Tabs and thread each through a D-ring, bringing the ends together to create a loop.
Place a Tab (with D-ring threaded on it) on each side of the Bag Front, 5” from the top and 2.5” above the seam line, with RST and raw edges aligned. (The D-ring will face the inside of the bag.) Baste in place with a ¼” seam allowance.
Make the Bag Back
Place Pocket Front (10” x 6” contrast fabric) on Pocket Lining (10” x 6” lining fabric), RST. Sew along top edge.
Turn right side out. Top stitch close to sewn edge with 1/8” seam allowance.
Place Pocket along the bottom of Bag Back (10” x 13” main fabric), right sides up and raw edges aligned. Baste in place along sides and bottom with ¼” seam allowance.
Sew a vertical line down the middle of the Pocket to divide it. I placed my line in the middle to create two equal sized pockets, but you can place your line wherever works best for you. I always sew a stitch or two past the top of the pocket and then backstitch to reinforce.
Install the zipper
Start by making a sandwich with your zipper and bag pieces. Layer the Bag Lining piece face up, then the zipper face up, and then the Bag Front piece face down.
Use a zipper foot to sew along the zipper.
Stop stitching when you get to the zipper pull. With the needle down into the fabric, raise the presser foot and pull the zipper pull past where you’re stitching. Put the presser foot back down and resume sewing.
Turn right side out and press. Top stitch close to the zipper.
Repeat with the Bag Back and the remaining Lining fabric pieces on the other side of the zipper.
Assemble the bag
UNZIP THE ZIPPER at least half way.
Flip the layers so the outer bag pieces are right sides together, and the lining pieces are right sides together.
Sew around all sides, leaving 3 ½” open on the lining side to create a turning hole. (Make sure the hole is at least 2” away from the corner, as we’ll be boxing those corners in the next step.) Stitch slowly, perhaps even hand crank the machine, as you sew over the zipper.
Box the lining and the outer bag corners to give it a 2” bottom. If you haven’t boxed corners before, here’s a good tutorial showing how.
Turn the bag right side out through the turning hole.
Use fusible hem tape to close the turning hole. You could also just hand sew the opening closed if don’t have hem tape.
Push the lining down inside the bag.
Make the strap
We are allllllmost done! All you need now is a strap to carry your bag.
Thread one end of the webbing through the end of one the swivel hooks, folding the strap back on itself with about 1 ½” overlap. Sew a box stitch close to the raw edge of the strap.
Zig zag over the raw edge with a short, wide zig zag stitch to prevent fraying. The zig zag settings I used were a 1.25 length and a width 3 width.
Cut the other end of the webbing to a length that is comfortable to wear, and then repeat the steps above to attach the swivel hook to the other end of the strap.
Clip the strap to the D-rings. Your cross body bag is finished!
If you like this bag tutorial then you will love these tutorials from Anne as well: