Round summer bag… with mustache

I treated myself to his round summer bag, sewn from the Sacôtin “Candy radiating bag pattern”. A pattern I created. I already sew a few of these but I want to preserve them as “archives” for my little business. So I needed a Candy bag to wear proudly this summer.

The pattern

Candy the radiating bag pattern from Sacôtin. A round summer bag with a radiating effect on the front. And because I like fun design details, the rays on the front create 4 pockets !

This pattern is ideal to have fun and get creative with fabric choice and placement by combining 2-3 or 4 different fabrics.

I rated this pattern “intermediate”, not because of technical difficulties but because of the preciseness needed. A motivated beginner will be able to sew it.


I added 2 pockets in the lining : a patch pocket and a zippered pocket.

I’ve also written the tutorials to show you how to create these pockets for the Candy bag pattern. Tutorials can be found on the Sacôtin website :

Add a mobile phone pocket tutorial

Add a zippered pocket tutorial


  • Cream cotton canvas
  • Salmon pink cotton/linen blend
  • “Terra in black” by P & B Textiles
  • “Mustache” by Alexander Henry

I really wanted to use the great mustache print by Alexander Henry in a bag and I though this pattern would be perfect for it because the rays would echo a mustache shape (kind of).

I also fell for the “Terra” collection by P & B Textiles. They are printed cottons, available in a wide range of colors, and the print give a very nice  illusion of texture to the fabric.

Bag pictures

Patron sac été rond

Candy with mustache

Moustaches in the trees

Mustaches in the trees

Poche intérieure zippée

Zippered pocket

Poche intérieure zippée

Zippered pocket

Poche plaquée pour portable

Patch pocket

What else ?

I’m slowly “recovering” from the stress of launching of my bag patterns line.  I shivered the all morning of the launch. Everything went fine but I was really nervous about showing my baby to the world.

Thank you for warmly welcoming the patterns. Your first feedbacks on sewing the bags really did help me get my stress level down :)

Ghastly Family zippered pouch

I finally took some time to sew this zippered pouch that I wanted to offer to my friend Isabelle… For Christmas … Hum no, not the next Christmas, the one that went by 5 months ago!

I took advantage of the “calm before the storm” because in two days, Wednesday 15th I’m launching my first collection of bag sewing patterns (in French and English) under the name Sacôtin.

So here Isabelle, you see, your present has finally been sewn! Now I just have to offer it to you without crying because I want to keep it for myself!

This small flat zippered and lined pouch has a simple shape, its strange charm comes undoubtedly from the fabric… Which has a strange charm. But which fabric is that, you ask? It is “Ghastly family reunion” in mold green by Alexander Henry.

Every scenes printed representing this ghastly family is great and you’ll get to see more of the Ghastly family on my blog because I intend to sew a bag, a pillow, undies… with it and all for myself.

I’m leaving you with the pictures, I’m going back to work to polish the final details for the launch of Sacôtin (I’m stressed out but I’m happy).

Pictures !

pochette zippée

Ghastly family pouch – Front

Pochette ouverte

Ghastly family pouch opened

Pochette zippée ghastly family dos

Ghastly family pouch – Back


Japanese knot bag – Grab bag

Here is a Japanese knot bag that I sewed for my friend Nanou.  I haven’t given it to her yet so… Hush!

The pictures are at the bottom of the article.


This “Grab Bag” is sewn from a free pattern from All People Quilt, it looks a lot like the bags I’ve sewn from the Vogue pattern 7354, which I like a lot.

And for good reason : these two round bags, worn around the wrist, are almost identical in shape and in the construction process but with notable differences.

Differences between the APQ pattern and the Vogue pattern

japanese knot bag patterns free
Left : Vogue 7354 – Right : APQ Grab Bag

The main difference being the size of the finished bags: Vogue 7354 is 23cm x 18cm and the Grab Bag from All People Quilt is nearly double the size of the Vogue : 33cmx45cm (handles included). However the Grab Bag remains of a small enough size that wearing it around the wrist is still comfortable and aesthetic … Provided you don’t stuff too many heavy things in it of course.

There is also a slight variation in shape : the Grab Bag is less round.

Moreover this free pattern adds 6 small pockets inside and an interlining, which is not the case of Vogue pattern. Note that the interlining is only useful if your fabric is not thick enough and I did not personally use it for my version below. I found the construction process of the pockets very nice and I’ll probably use it again on other projects.

The construction method is almost the same for the Vogue and the All People Quilt. The only real difference being that the Vogue pattern has more pieces to accommodate for the slanted handles. The result is a seam in the centre of the bag, which is not the case with the free APQ pattern.

So the APQ pattern is IMO more suited for fabrics with large scale prints like the one I chose here. But I much prefer the slanted handles on the Vogue pattern which allow of better closure of the bag.


For the main fabric I chose La Strada by Alexander Henry. I’ve had this print for a while, I love it and wanted to find a project that deserved it … And a bag for Nanou deserves it!

For the lining and inside pockets I used gray home decor linen.


la strada and grey linen lining

la strada and grey linen lining



La Strada by Alexander Henry
La Strada by Alexander Henry





Sac Japonais Grab Bag
Bag closes by sliding one handle into the other



Intérieur du sac avec 6 petites poches tout autour
Inside with 6 small pockets all around



Sac japonais à plat
one side



sac japonais à plat
other side


Japanese knot bah

Sling bag Harlock style

Yeah I’m in my revival geek – happy goth phase. Hence this simple bag to carry across the chest with an appliqué of Harlock’s symbol : the skull.

Harlock is called “Albator” in French and is a cartoon/manga hero from my childhood.

Ah … Albator, the space pirate, the love of my life when I was 12… * gets her ocarina out* … * Puts her ocarina back in her pocket at the view of menacing stares *


This is a self-draft pattern for a sling bag.

The tutorial is already available in French, on my French blog : Couture facile : Sac bandoulière

This bag is quite simple to make. My version is lined with a small pocket on the inside but I also indicate in the tutorial how to sew a version without lining, for those who want a bag ultra quick and easy to make with only 3 pieces to sew together.



The main fabric gray linen.

The appliqué was made with a scrap of  “cool cords skulls slipper”  by Robert Kauffman. It is a fine cord that I used for an A-line dress for Petite Chérie. A little mise-en-abîme since the skull appliqué is made in a skull print fabric.

It was my first appliqué… Despite some mishaps I managed it. I just found it a bit long, I must say that it is altogether my fault, I did not choose the most simple shape.

The lining is pale pink cotton.

The inside pocket is gray linen with a small patch of “cool cords skulls slipper” sewn on it.



Sling bag



shoulder strap detail

strap detail

shoulder strap



Easy sewing project: T-shirt bag

I don’t know about you, But I keep old T-shirts at the bottom of my closet. I probably won’t wear those again because they don’t fit me anymore, are washed out, or distorted… but I keep them anyway because they remind me of happy times.

It’s a bit sad to leave them at the bottom of the closet or stashed in the corner of a drawer so here is a tutorial to give them a second life: turn your old T-shirts and tank tops into bags !

This is a very easy and fast sewing project. Plus it’s eco friendly because it’s a recycling project and the bags can be used as shopping bag instead of plastic bags, or even as a casual summer bag. Finally these bags are strong and can be laundered in the washing machine !

So go grab your old T-shirts and tank tops and let’s get started on this tutorial.

Here is a simplified diagram, the detailed tutorial is below.

We need

  • 1 T-shirt or Tank Top
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Serger or sewing machine (you can always do it by hand if you feel like it … not me ^^)

[box type=”info”] I’ve used a 4 thread serger for this project. If you sew on a sewing machine use a zigzag stitch and a stretch needle. You can also check out this article on sewing knits at Threads to learn more : A primer on Sewing knits.[/box]


Step 1

Cut to create the handles

1- Lay your t-shirt flat and cut out the sleeves along the seams. The seams should remain intact with the body of T-shirt : this will make the bag stronger.

If you’re starting out with a tank top go straight to step 2


tutos sac t shirt

lay down flat



tutos sac t shirt etape 1

cut out the sleeves



Step 2

Cut to create the opening

There are several ways to do this (see below), choose the one that seems the easiest to you.

The shape of the opening can be oval, rectangular, V, etc.

T-shirt laid down flat : take a plate or a dish and place it at the neckline. The plate must go well over the T-shirt in order to create an opening large enough to carry the bag over the shoulder (if you wish to do so). Trace around your plate and cut along the line.


tutos sac t shirt etape 2

I used a rectangular box cover as a guide



tutos sac t shirt ouverture

Opening done !



T-shirts folded in half :  like in the previous option take any shape you wish as a guide or use a ruler to create a V opening. Then, as before, cut along the line.







Step 3 : sew !

1-The bottom of the bag

Here are 2 ways to do this, which will give you 2 different results, pick the one you prefer :


 Version 1 “grocery bag”

Turn the T-shirt inside out and lay it down flat

Pin the two bottom edges together.

Sew the opening close by stitching throughout. If you are using a sewing machine, sew a second line near the first one to make it stronger.


I used a serger to sew the bottom (black thread)




Version 2 “shoulder bag”

Turn the T-shirt inside out.

Lay the T-shirt flat aligning the side seams. the side seams should now be right in the middle.

Pin the two bottom edges together.

Sew the opening close by stitching throughout. If you are using a sewing machine, sew a second line near the first one to make it stronger.


T-shirt bag

This version is better suited for blank T-shirts as the side seams will be right at the center front and back of the bag.


2-The handle/shoulder seams

They were already sewn… But we snipped through them at step 2 and with time and use, the seam will fall apart.

So with the T-shirt still inside out, sew along the shoulder seam (twice if you use a sewing machine).

If using T-shirts that don’t have shoulder seams, you obviously can skip this step. 

Step 4

sew to give dimension (optional)

Align the bottom seam of the bag with one of the side seams and sew at right angle .

Then align the bottom seam with the other side seam and sew at right angle also

Tutoriel sac T-shirt fond sac

You have to do this on both sides of the bottom seam – This is shown on one side.

Here is what it looks like once finished and serged. If you use a sewing machine you’ll  have 2 triangles at the bottom.

Finished T-shirts bags



2 Japanese knot bags – Vogue 7354

This little bag is called a “Japanese knot bag“. This Japanese-style bag closes by sliding the long handle in the short one and is worn at the wrist.
It belongs in the  “click” bags family : Cell phone, Lipstick, ID, Cash, Keys. This is a small bag made to carry the bare necessities.

This bag is lined and reversible if desired.


There are several variations for the “Japanese knot bag”, this particular model comes from the Vogue pattern 7354.
You can find free patterns on the web : here (pdf) or here (english too). And finally Martha Stewart version right here.

The Vogue pattern contains different 7 types of evening bags. The knot bag is view A.


Vogue 7354



V7354 – drawing



Nothing too difficult in sewing this Vogue pattern.
If I recall correctly, I think that my first time sewing it, I did not found the drawings very clear when it came to sewing the lining to the bag, but by basting fist it’s easy to see if you are on the right path.


Relatively little fabric is needed to make the bag (40cm for the fabric and for the lining), so it’s easy to make a bag matching the last outfit you’ve sewn.
Depending on the fabric used you can either make an evening bag or a more casual one… but either way, it’s always chic !
For the two bags pictured below, I used printed cotton as the main fabric, which were leftovers after making dresses. The one with skulls is called “Regency skyll” by Alexander Henry.
For the linings I used plain cotton: pink for the skull bag and red for the cherries bag.


I love this cute little bag! It’s done in 1h30 max, so it would be a shame not to make one.
Caution! Sewing this bag quickly becomes addictive!
[box type=”info”] 12/14/2011 update:
Japanese knot bag regency skull

Japanese knot bag – regency skull

Japanese knot bag

Japanese knot bag – this one is for my daughter


Japanese knot bag

Worn, to get an idea of the size

Summer bag – Vogue 8466


Bag pattern - Vogue V8466

Bag pattern - Vogue V8466

Vogue 8466
Package includes patterns and instructions for four bags.
I picked view A.
Pattern Sizing:
Bag A: 17″ W × 18″ L. Bags B, C: 20″ W × 19″ L. Bag D: 10″ W × 16″ L. Measurements are approximate and exclude strap. B, C, D: lined, inside pocket.Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy.

Likes or dislikes about the pattern

I liked :
Quick and easy ! Perfect for a casual summer bag.
I disliked :
-The seam in the center front and back, It’s ok with the print I choose though.
– To make the strap you have to fold the fabric on itself several times, as a result you may end up sewing through up to 16 layers (depending on how you finish the edges). Mine was 14 layers and my machine couldn’t handle it. So I could only start sewing the strap at about 1cm on each side of its centre. The end result is still durable.
The good thing about this layered strap is that it’s comfortable (it’s also pretty wide: about 5cm/2″).


Cotton with a newspaper print.

Pattern alterations

None. The pattern is basically 2 rectangles.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might, it’s so fast to sew. I would recommend it, it’s a no-brainer really but make sure your machine will handle that many layers of fabric !


This is perfect for a quick sewing fix, it took me under an hour, from tracing the pattern to the final result.
This bag has no lining or inside pocket and is roomy : it’s what I call a basic “mess bag”.
I like this kind of bag for summer !

Cotton summer bag - Vogue

Cotton summer bag - Vogue