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Feb 14

Lined geometric knitting bags

bag These cute little bags can be used for practically anything – makeup, knitting projects, organizing your tote bag. The box bag is the perfect size for a sock knitting project. I have provided a tutorial below on how to make a lined version of this bag with no unsightly raw seams. 

The pyramid bag was a larger version of a fun pattern by Nicole Mallalieu, which I followed exactly to her specifications except for making it bigger. Unfortunately, the Web page with the instructions (supposedly found here) is not up and running right now. Perhaps it will be soon.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Piping tutorial,fabric

Spiro Dots Chocolate (SPSCHL)


Neopolitan Stellar Blue (NENSTL)

Retro Stellar Blue - REOSTL

Retro Stellar Blue (REOSTL)

12" zipper, color of your choice

Craft fuse interfacing

Craft fuse interfacing

For box bag, 1/4 yard fabric, 1/4 yard lining, 1/4 yard interfacing

The pattern

Cut one piece of outer fabric, one piece of lining fabric and one piece of interfacing (I use Craft Fuse) 16″x12″. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the outer bag piece. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way through, except on the zipper. There I just sewed as close as I could.

The process for the box bag

bag The square bag came from two tutorials, mainly this one on Drago[knit]fly, but I also borrowed some modifications from this one on 20 Acres and No Sheep. Mainly, the modification was the cut out corners, which I think are easier to work with than the first tutorial’s way.
bag The thing is, all the box bag tutorials I found end up sewing the outer fabric and lining as one piece, and therefore have raw seams inside. I can’t allow raw seams, so I had to modify the bag. I’m going to do a really rough tutorial on how to make a box bag without raw seams. It might help to check out the original tutorials above for more detail, and then apply my changes.
Photobucket Place a 12″ zipper along one of the short sides of the outer fabric, right sides together (zipper pull is facing the fabric). Sew. I am lazy and just use a regular zigzag presser foot, with the needle to the left. 

I recommend you start and stop half an inch from each end. You’ll see why later.

Photobucket Next, take the lining piece and place it on the other side of the zipper, so the right sides of the fabrics are together and the zipper is sandwiched between them. Sew as you did above.
tutorial Open it up and turn it so wrong sides of fabric are together, and press away from zipper. Top stitch next to zipper
t,tutorial Here, it gets momentarily weird. OK, it gets even weirder later. But stay with me. 

Fold your right sides of each fabric piece to the opposite sides of the zipper and pin. They should meet the way they did with the other side of the zipper, but now you’ve got this funky thing going on (left).

Sew along zipper, then turn right side out. Your two side edges are still open. 

Press this side and top stitch, as before. Only it will be sort of hard. You can do it; just open the zipper and move the fabric out of the way.


tutorial Here’s where you’ll be glad you stopped a little before the end when sewing the zipper. I didn’t, and I had to rip a few stitches out to make this work. OK, turn your bag inside out again and separate your lining from the outer bag. 

Grab your outer piece and line it up so that the zipper is in the center. Move the lining out of the way as best you can and sew all the way from end to end. Do the same on the other end. I think that it was around this point that I just went ahead and opened the zipper up. Later, you’ll be very glad you did.

tutorial Next, grab the lining in the same manner. On the side with the zipper pull, sew all the way across.
On the other side, without the zipper pull, sew most of the way across, but leave maybe 2 or 2.5 inches for a turning hole, as shown. I am going to call this “Corner A” below.
tutorial Next, we’re going to cut squares out of the corners. This is going to help us make the boxy shape. I cut 1.5 inch squares out of each corner, but I started measuring at the seam, not the raw edge. Draw the lines right on there with a pencil or fabric pen.
tutorial Cut all of your corners out. I’m not really worried that I’m cutting across a seam because I’m going to sew back over it in just a second.
tutorial Now, for the side of the outer piece WITHOUT the zipper pull, pinch the open square so that the seam is now in the center, like so
tutorial And sew. 

Do the same on the other side, only you need to insert the strap here.

What? I never mentioned the strap before. Oops. You can get an explanation on the other blog, but basically you’ll cut a piece of fabric 10″x8″. Fold in half, right sides together. Then turn right-side out and press. Fold in half again lengthwise and sew open end and top stitch folded end.

box bag Now you’ve got your strap, so you want to insert it into the bag so that the ends of the strap are poking out of the cut-out corners of your outer piece, on the zipper end side. Then pinch the corners and sew as you did on the other end, but this time you’ll have the strap sandwiched in there, too.
tutorial Now do the same all of the lining corners EXCEPT the corner with where you stopped sewing early (Corner A, remember him?). This will be your turning hole. 

Your bag should look like a hot mess.

tutorial BUT … turn it through that little hole so that it’s right-side out. Go slow, so you don’t tear the seam any farther. When it’s turned around, stick your fingers through the hole and poke out all the corners in the outer bag.
tutorial If it all looks good, pull that open corner of the lining back out and pinch it together and sew from the outside.
tutorial Press and steam a bit, and you’ll have this!

Other views

tutorial tutorial
  • Juliejane

    I love the tutorial on the zippered (and lined) pouch! One teensy suggestion, if you cut the handle strap fabric on the bias, it won’t pucker and it will lay perfectly flat. I am going to try to make this tomorrow, it looks tricky but fun.
    Thanks again.

  • admin

    Thanks, Julie. In this case that would mean the stripes would be diagonal, but on many fabrics, I think that’s a good idea to try. Good luck with your bag! I’d love to see it.

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  • Angelica

    Just a hint: if you want to get your topstitching accurate on both sides, try using a separating zipper. Separate to topstitch, zip it up partway, and zigzag across the end to keep it shut after that.
    I figured this while making one out of denim for my son to use as a pencil case… the only zipper I had that was long enough happened to be a separating zipper!

  • desirejadeh

    Hi. Is there anyway you could re-upload the pics for this? I would really like to see if I can make it. Thanks!

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