Sneak peak storage bag

Window bag 043This little bag has boxed corners for a sturdy bottom, is fully lined and has a zipper closure. The best part, though, is that it has a little plastic window to show off what’s inside. It’s perfect for storing various toy sets with lots of pieces that you want to keep together.

This bag is a little tricky compared to other lined zipper bags. The fact that the lining and outer fabric are stitched together on the front of the bag makes putting the whole thing together a little different.





Mini Disco Primary
Mini Disco Primary
Sheeting Red
Sheeting Red
Clear vinyl
Clear vinyl










1/2 yard of each fabric, 12″ zipper and a piece of vinyl 8″x11″.







The pattern

Cut the following from both the lining and the outer fabric:

2 – Side strips (go on side of “window”): 2.5″x8″ (wxh)

2 – Top/Bottom strips (go on top and bottom of “window”): 15″x4.5″ (wxh)

1 – Back piece – 15″x15″

From the outer fabric only:

2 – Zipper tabs (will go on either end of the zipper at the top): 1″x3″ — the 1″ is the width of the zipper plus zipper tape. If yours is wider, make sure the first number equals that size.

2 – Straps: 4″x15″

From the vinyl:

Cut one piece 11″x8″. One way to mark the vinyl for cutting is to use a tracing wheel. This one is a professional patternmaking wheel with sharp spikes. Normally, you’d trace on top of a piece of foam board. I just traced very lightly on the carpet — enough to put a fine line of holes. I traced along the ruler.

Window bag 002

Window bag 003Here’s what it looks like up close.

1/2″ seam allowances throughout.


The process

Window bag 004Take one side strip and lay it face up. Lay the plastic over it, lining up the right edges.

Window bag 005Then take a lining side strip and place it on top so that the plastic is sandwiched between the two fabrics. Use clips or paperclips to secure, not pins.

Window bag 006Repeat on the other side. Stitch down each side. I used a longer stitch length because plastic basically perforates when you sew it, so if you use a short stitch, the holes can be close enough together that it tears in a line if it gets tugged on.

Window bag 007Push your fabrics away from the plastic. The make another sandwich with your top and bottom pieces around the window. For these, start and stop stitching 1/2″ from either end (you’ll see why later).

Window bag 008Now, many people will tell you to finger press only and to stay far away from the iron. But I did use the iron on the lowest setting and just didn’t touch the plastic at all. You will see, however, how I bungle this later. Get your tissues, because you will cry for me.

Window bag 009The iron didn’t end up doing much good anyway on that low setting. Here is my front piece with the window.

Window bag 010Top stitch around the window.

Window bag 011This is the back side.

Window bag 012Take one of your zipper tabs and stitch it as shown above, with right side of fabric facing the right side of the zipper, raw ends matching.

Window bag 013Press the fabric away from the zipper and press the raw edge under just a tiny bit. Wrap the fabric around the back.

Window bag 014Stitch to secure the back of the fabric to the back of the zipper.

Window bag 016Do this on both ends.

Window bag 017Make two straps using the non-turn strap tutorial.

Window bag 020Baste the straps to your front bag piece at the top. I placed mine about 4″ in.

Window bag 021Lay the zipper on top of that face-down.

Window bag 022Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper on. You might need to start below the zipper pull, stitch the rest and then go back to the top and open the zipper a bit before stitching the top. That zipper pull can get in the way.

Window bag 026Turn under the lining and pin to the other side of the zipper (this is the lining piece that is on the window panel). On the front, top stitch next to the zipper so that it catches the lining.

Window bag 027Lay out the outer back piece.

Window bag 028Place your straps the same way you did the others, but don’t baste. You need your straps to line up exactly on the front and back pieces or it will look really bad when the bag is finished. Pin them in place and the set the front of the bag on top. Line up the other side of the zipper tape with the back piece of the bag.
NOTE: You will possibly find that the front of your bag is a little smaller than the back due to sewing all those seams together. Often, things just aren’t perfect. If need be, trim a bit off the back of the bag.

Window bag 030Set the back lining piece on top of all that and pin in place along the zipper tape.

Window bag 031Before sewing anything, open it up and make sure the straps are aligned exactly (both straps are shown above, one on top of the other).

Window bag 032After stitching the other side of the zipper, top stitch alongside it. Open your bag like this (above).

Window bag 033Now, these little seams around the window need to be open for the last 1/2″ or so, so if you didn’t stitch that way, use a seam ripper and open them a little bit.

Next, OPEN THE ZIPPER! You will thank me later.

Now, unlike the photo above, flip the bag so that the outer fabrics are facing, right-sides together.

Window bag 034Look here what I did! I was pressing the fabric part of the bag on higher heat and forgot all about the plastic, until I felt it melting! I was so upset. So much time had gone into this bag by this point (designing, cutting and sewing) that I really couldn’t just start over. Not enough time or fabric! I was having a total fit, but in the end, I just had to accept it and move forward. The bag still works fine, but a fine example I’ve set for this tutorial, eh?

So, as for this step shown above, pull the lining out of the way and pin together the outer pieces, all the way around. the other lining piece is just hanging out on its own right now.

Window bag 035OK, so here’s the next step. Stitch around the outer bag piece, but be sure to pull the lining around the window out of the way.

Do the same thing for the lining, sewing them together but pulling the outer fabric out of the way. In some areas this is tricky. NOTE: Leave a hole for turning in the bottom seam of the lining!

Window bag 036Now we’ll box the corners of the bag so that it has a flat bottom. Normally, I do this but cutting out little squares, but this time I wasn’t entirely sure if this bag would work out how I planned it, since it’s a little odd the way it’s sewn together with that window. So I didn’t want to cut anything extra out until I was sure what I was doing. See this tutorial for more on boxing corners.

Draw a 2″x2″ square at the bottom corners of the lining and outer bag.

Window bag 037Flatten the corners so that the side and bottom seam allowances are aligned and the lines you just drew run across. Stitch on those lines. Trim off that corner and repeat on each corner.

Window bag 038Turn your bag through that hole in the lining.

Window bag 039Funny thing is, though, it will come out inside-out.

Window bag 040Turn it again through the zipper and it comes out right-side out. I’m not sure if this was just me doing something silly, but I needed two turns to get it right-side out.

Window bag 041Pull the lining out and stitch up that hole. I just did it by machine, but you can slip stitch by hand if you care enough.

Window bag 042And it actually worked! I honestly couldn’t quite work through the entire process in my head, what with the weird way the lining and outer bag were sewn together in the first steps, so I wasn’t sure what would really happen at the end. Phew!

Window bag 045Fill with some sort of toy your kid had to have but never plays with.

Window bag 049Voila! No longer “out of sight, out of mind,” and kid suddenly wants to play with them!