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Introducing The Happy Handbag, a beautiful barrel-shaped bag pattern that exudes joy with its happy features. The Happy Handbag is a beginner level bag sewing pattern, and is great for those who want a stylish structured handbag, without lots of pieces and tricky techniques.

The Happy Handbag has two short handles, making it perfect for popping on your shoulder or resting in the crook of your elbow, and the pattern includes instructions on how to sew these as two-tone – using a different fabric on each side of the handle.

Choose between two tone or one colour handles and, with gorgeous barrel ends, you'll be sure to stand out in a crowd.

With minimal hardware, the bag has two magnetic snaps securing the top and a bag base with four purse feet protecting the bottom of your bag. There’s also a zipper pocket and a divided slip pocket inside the large central space of your Happy Handbag.

Super simple, quick to sew, and budget friendly with minimal hardware, it's hard not to feel happy while sewing this beautiful classic handbag shape bag.

The skills covered in this pattern include how to:

  • sew a zipper pocket.
  • sew a divided slip pocket.
  • insert plastic mesh bag base.
  • install magnetic snaps.
  • install purse feet / bag feet.
  • sew two-tone strap handles.

The Happy Handbag sewing pattern is dedicated to Mrs H's mother. While Mrs H was designing this pattern, her mother began a journey through cancer with surprising optimism - from diagnosis at a routine mammogram through surgery and ongoing treatment. Because the cancer was found early, she is expected to make a full recovery. Please attend your mammograms, if you’re invited for one!

Skill level:
The Happy Handbag was designed for beginner level bagmakers. Although this bag can be sewn on a domestic sewing machine, our testing team recommends not using thicker fabrics (such as leather, or some faux leathers and vinyls) for your first make on a domestic machine.

Sizing info:
The Happy Handbag has finished dimensions of 12 1/2" Width x 8 1/2" Height x 7" Depth (32 cm x 22 cm x 18 cm).

Video tutorial:
The designer has a full-length video tutorial for The Happy Handbag on her YouTube channel, so you don't need to sew alone!


What materials do I need?

  • 3/4 yard (0.75 m) exterior (use quilting cotton for beginner level),
    OR 23 1/2" x 13" (60 cm x 33 cm) exterior and 12" x 44" (30.5 cm x 112 cm) contrast,
  • 3/4 yard (0.75 m) lining,
  • 24" x 24 1/4" (61 cm x 61.5 cm) foam stabiliser,
  • 1 1/2 yard (1.5 m) medium weight fusible interfacing 1 yard (90 cm) wide, narrower will need more,
  • 12" x 5" (30.5 cm x 12.5 cm) bag base or thin cutting mat,
  • 1 x 7" (18 cm) #3 zip (cut continuous zip 9" (23 cm)),
  • 4 x 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) O rings,
  • 2 x 18 mm slim magnetic snaps,
  • 4 x 1/2" (12 mm) purse feet.


  • 8 x Small rivets : 5/16" Caps x 14" Post (8 mm x 6 mm).
  • 1 x Bag Label.

You will also need the following:

  • Double sided basting tape,
  • Zip foot & walking foot,
  • Wonder clips,
  • Fray check,
  • Pressing cloth,
  • Pinking shears,
  • Duct tape,
  • Chalk marker/erasable pen.

The pattern:
The Happy Handbag sewing pattern features easy-to-read comprehensive instructions, pattern pieces, and colour photographs.The paper pattern is an A5 booklet with printed pattern pieces. The downloadable PDF pattern features printable pattern pieces and a text only section to save on ink and paper costs.

Please note this is a digital download PDF file, not a paper sewing pattern. Please download immediately after check out.