Crafty Blogs

Friday, 28 June 2013

How a bag is made

All the bags for sale at are handmade by me from fleece, felt and oilcloth. But how, you may well ask? Here's a quick guide to my bag-making process.

I work from my own book of templates which I put together as I design the bags. In this first picture you can see me drawing around the template for my chocolate swiss roll shoulder bag on to the back of the oilcloth that I use as a sturdy lining for all my cake bags.

Once the two sides are cut to shape I add pockets, also in oilcloth. Here's me with my trusty sewing machine fixing the pockets in place.

Oh sewing machine, I love you really.

Next I cut out the sides, one long strip for the bottom of the bag and a shorter zip section. Again I use the machine to stitch the zip into place.

The two outer strips are sewn end-to end to make a tube and then I pin the round side pieces into place. Believe it or not I then hand sew around the circular edge of the lining to finish this stage. I find the sewing machine just can't handle the tight corners the way a needle and thread can!

Once the lining is finished I start work on the decorative outer. Back to my templates and here I am cutting the 'cream' for the swiss roll from fleece.

Likewise I cut a spiral of fleece for the chocolate cake element of the bag. This is then carefully pinned into place and the two layers are hand sewn together.


This particular design features pieces of strawberry in the fresh cream. These are small squares of red fleece, hand sewn onto the outer.

As with the lining the outer of the bag is composed of two sides, a long strip for the bottom and a smaller zip section. Once the decoration has been finished these four panels are sewn together. Most of this I'm able to do on the sewing machine.

Outer and inner complete the two can be brought together. Here you can see the inner being slotted inside the outer.

 Inner and outer are then pinned and hand sewn together leaving a (hopefully) neat join at the zip.

But the bag's not finished yet, it still needs handles. These are made from pink webbing lined with a strip of polka-dot oilcloth to match the bag interior. I cut these to measure and sew them together to make a strong handle.

Finally no Lucky Ladybird bag would be complete without the finishing touch of a beaded strawberry zip-pull. These are made from red felt and white glass seed-beads. The size of the strawberry depends on the size of the bag, but whatever the design each strawberry is hand sewn by me. Beading complete the felt is sewn together and stuffed with polyester fibre stuffing.

And, at long last, the bag is complete.

A bag like this takes about a day and a half to complete, or around 13 hours in total. You can find this bag and more like it for sale at the Lucky Ladybird shop.

If you have any comments or questions about my materials or methods you can leave a comment here or email me at


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