Friday, February 19, 2010

Embellished Bag Free Tutorial From Susan McClaren of Contemplating My Needle and Thread Blog

It's no secret that I absolutely love creative embroidery. Well, you'll be happy to know that Susan McClaren of Contemplating My Needle and Thread blog has a wonderful tutorial to make an embellished bag. I hope you enjoy Susan's embellished bag tutorial.

Embellished Bag Tutorial.

I have had some problems posting the pictures for this tutorial on the Focus on finishing blog (link in previous posting), so I decided I would also post the tutorial up on my own blog too with all the pictures.


stitched piece, leaving a generous margin around the design. My design was 9 cm x 16cm (3 1/2″ x 6″) and I added a 1-cm seam allowances for this project
fabric of the same size - I tend to cut mine slightly larger
ribbon for the hanger
Beaded trim
sewing thread that matches.


ruler or measurer’s tape
(optional) pinking shears
seam ripper or small pointed scissors
chopstick or whatnot to turn your work inside out and make crisp corners
hand-sewing needle
Sewing machine (optional)

This is a very easy project, and while a sewing machine will make your work go quicker, you can do this by hand. Anyone can do this project

Step 1: Cut backing fabric slightly larger than stitched piece, For this particular design I have allowed 5cm from the edge of the design to the seam and 1cm for my seam. For the top allow the depth of your lace plus a further 5cm for turning over to make the top neat. - As you can see from my picture I didn’t remember to allow extra at the top and so had to make a cuff. Iron both pieces and turn fabric allowed for top over and iron flat.

Step 2: Either hand sew or machine stitch the 2 sides and the bottom together

Step 3: Trim the corner so that when you turn it to the right sides and gently push the corners out they won’t be bulky

Step 4: Turn the bag right sides out. Push the corners out gently.Iron your pouch - its not a bag til the handle is on!

Step 5: Measure the top of your bag (mine was 15cm) and cut your lace that size. Pin or tack your chosen lace to the top of the front of your back, then handsew into place only going through the lace and the front of the bag.

Step 6: Pin or tack your ribbon or cord for the handle (this should be cut to your chosen size), either to the inside of the bag where you can’t see the tails or to the outside of the bag where you will see the tails, then handstitch into place securely.

Step 7: Measure the size of the bottom of your bag and cut the beaded ribbon to size. Pin or tack into place on the back of your bag at the bottom so you can see the beads hanging down. Hand sew into place.

Step 8: I added some tiny glass beads to the ends of my lace for extra adornment. You could do the same.

This type of bag lends itself to all sorts of designs and sizes and trims. Let you imagination run riot instead of beads and lace you could add tassels and pom poms, ribbon and cording etc etc.

Remember too that this is my way of making these bags I’m sure there are other easier ways than this, but this is how I do them.

If you do make a bag please share it with us all so we can see, it would be especially nice if you could post your finished bag on the Focus on Finishing (link in previous post) blog.

Please respect Susan's TERMS OF USE - Please do not copy or reproduce my pictures and tutorial in any way without my permission.

Copyright © 2007 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Susan McClaren of Contemplating My Needle and Thread blog at

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