Easy sling bag tutorial

Here is an easy tutorial for making a sling bag like the one pictured below.

This bag is worn across the body or as a regular shoulder bag. You can see other pictures of the bag here.

This is an easy sewing project, perfect for beginners or for those who want a quick and easy bag to make.

What I like about basic simple patterns, like this one, is that you can easily customize them and make them your own. On the bag I used to make this tutorial, I simply sewed an appliqué on the front of the bag and added a small pocket inside.

I’ve posted this tutorial on my French blog 2 years ago and I though it was about time I translated it to English.

easy Sling bag tutorial

easy Sling bag tutorial

Sling bag worn

Sling bag worn by “Georgette”

 The tutorial provides instructions for a lined bag but for those who want a super fast bag to make I will also provide instructions for an unlined one. Beginners : do not be intimidated by the lined version, it isn’t difficult, just a little longer !

Here is the tutorial with step by step pictures

[box]We need[/box]

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  • Main fabric : cotton, linen, canvas,…
  • Lining : cotton
  • Needle size : 90 or 100 (at least for steps 3 and 4)

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[box]Cut[/box]

Here is the pattern that needs to be traced

Seam allowance 1 cm (3/8″) is included

patron sac bandouliere

Sling bag pattern

The body of the bag is to be cut on the fabric folded in half, and the “fold” marking must be aligned on the fabric fold.

[one_half]Main fabric : Cut the body of the bag (corps du sac) twice (front and back) and the strap (bandoulière) once.

pièces sac bandoulière

You should have : 1 front, 1 back and 1 strap

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[one_half_last]Lining fabric : Cut the body of the bag (corps du sac) twice.

You should have : 1 front and 1 back.

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[box]Sew[/box]

If you want to add an appliqué or a pocket do it now before assembling the bag !

The seam allowances are 1 cm (=3/8″) (unless otherwise stated).

 

Step 1 : body of the bag

 

A- Assemble

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Sew along the dotted line

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Lay the front on the back, right sides together, stitch the sides and bottom.

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seam opened

 

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Press the seams open.

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Additional Step for a bag WITHOUT lining

Finish the seams: using a serger, a zigzag stitch or your usual method.

If you make a bag with lining you can skip this step.

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B- Add volume

 

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Dos = back – Devant = front

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It’s a bit hard to explain but in fact it’s quite simple and easier with pictures.

Bag wrong side out : take one of the bottom corners of the bag to form a triangle so that the bottom seam and the side are aligned and in the center of the triangle. In picture it’s clearer.

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[one_half]

Stitch along the white line

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Sew at a right angle, along the white line on the picture, 3 cm from the tip.

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Wrong side

Right side

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Here is what it looks like once a corner is sewn.

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Wrong side

Right side

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Repeat the step for the other corner.

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You can leave the triangles or cut them (you’ll have to finish the edges if you make a bag without lining).

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Additional Step for a bag WITHOUT lining

Finish the opening of the bag: by folding the fabric on itself twice or by using a bias tape if you prefer.

Then go straight to step 3 : the strap

If you are making a bag with lining, ignore this additional step.

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Step 2 : The lining

A- Assemble

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Leave an opening at the bottom of the lining

 

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Proceed in the same way as for the main fabric body see step 1 – A.

Beware : you will need to leave an opening of about 10 to15 cm (4″ to 6″) in order to turn the bag in step 2 – C.

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B- Add volume

Proceed in the same way as for the main fabric body see step 1 – B.

 

C- Assemble the lining to the bag

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assembler sac et doublure

Pin together the bag opening and lining opening

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Insert the bag into its lining right sides together. Align the side seams of the bag and the lining and pin the openings together.

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[one_half]

Stitch all around the opening

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Stitch all around the opening.

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Tirer le sac par l'ouverture de la doublure

Pull the bag through the opening left in the lining

 

Continue pulling until the bag is completely out

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Gently pull the bag out of the lining through the opening left in Step 2 – A

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Stitch the opening closed

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Close the opening  by folding the seam allowances inside and stitching across.

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Topstitch all around the opening of the bag

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Put the lining inside the bag.

Press the opening.

Topstitch 1 cm (=3/8″) from the edge.

Sewing trick : if your main fabric and lining fabric are different colors, you can use a thread matching the fabric for the spool and a thread matching the lining for the bobbin (like I did for my bag).

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Step 3 : The strap

You must wonder about my sanity, because the piece of fabric you cut for the strap is pretty large. Let me reassure you : I’m perfectly  mostly sane, in the end the strap will  be smaller and also, because of the several layers, more comfortable!

 

A- Fold the strip in two, right sides and long edges together.

The strip is now 9 cm wide and 105cm long.

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sew, leaving a short edge open

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Sew around the long opened edge and one of the small edge, leaving the other short edge open.

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B- Turn the strap right side out. Press.

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Turn right side out and close the opening

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Fold the seam allowance on the opened edge and stitch closed. Iron the strap.

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C- Fold the strap in half again.

It’s  now 4cm by 103cm.

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Stitch along the lines

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Topstitch the two long sides starting and stopping 15cm (=6″) from the short edges.

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Step 4 : Attach the strap to the bag

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Pin the strap to the bag

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Pin the ends of the strap on the outside of the bag, aligning the side seams of the bag with the middle of the strap. Overlap by 2 cm (=3/4″)  (or more if the strap is a bit too long).

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[one_half]

Stitch as shown

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Attach the strap by topstitching a rectangle and two diagonals (see image)

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And voilà your sling bag is done !

Sac bandoulière tête de mort

Sling bag

Now that you know how to make a basic sling bag, you can vary the size, change the shape of the opening… Happy sewing!

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