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The Ultimate Beginner Bag (previously called the Step-By-Step Bag) starts out as the simplest tote bag with just a lining, boxed corners and handles. And you can stop there, or you can evolve it one step further and add some lined slip pockets. And stop there, or you can keep evolving and add some zipper pockets. Or mix and match. Or add just zipper pockets. The choice is yours and this pattern gives you everything that you need to know. Once you have finished this bag you will have learned some of the most essential skills needed to make any bag on the planet. This is the best value pattern!

Pattern Features:

  • Bag 1 - simply a bag with boxed corners, lining and optional hardware.
  • Bag 2 - add lined slip pockets to the basic pattern.
  • Bag 3 - dial in some easy zipper box pockets and add these to the basic pattern.

Finished size:
9” wide by 14” long by 4” deep.

Skill level:
If you are a confident beginner sewist with some general skills under your belt, but you REALLY want to get into bag making, this is the pattern for you! You can start small and end big and all with the same pattern!

Materials needed:

  • ½ yard of waxed cotton or oilcloth for the outer (for each of the 3 generation bags),
  • ½ yard of cotton fabric for the lining (for the first and second generation bags),
  • ¾ yard of cotton fabric for the lining (for the third generation bag),
  • ½ yard of style-vil foam interfacing (Vlieseline),
  • Fat eighth S320 fusible interfacing (Vlieseline) - for the second and third generation bags only,
  • One metal stud closure (optional) for the first generation bag. Two metal stud closures for the second and third generation bags.
  • One 5 ½” metal zipper for the front of the third generation bag,
  • One 6 ½” plastic zipper for the lining of the third generation bag. You can easily shorten these so don’t worry if you cannot find the exact fit.
  • 52” 1 ½” wide webbing for all three bags.

The pattern:
This is a measure and cut pattern which means that you don’t have any templates (pattern pieces) to print off and match up- Yay! You need a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat, and you can cut the pattern pieces straight from the fabric. This is easier than it sounds because the pieces are all simple squares and rectangles. You can transfer the cutting measurements to paper to create your own paper template/pattern piece if you prefer to use them. Fabric labels are included.

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