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How to Make a Crossbody Mini Bag

I like to take walks, but I hate taking my purse with me. So I’m usually trying to cram my wallet, phone, keys, and anything else – like dog poop bags – in various pants or hoodie pockets. It’s annoying.

If only there were a way to find the perfect bag… a mini bag, if you will, that would have just enough room for those bare essentials. And the strap would be long enough that it would rest nicely on my hip on not have to be held on my arm or shoulder.

Yes. If only.

This step-by-step DiY tutorial will show you how to make a perfect bag for when you don’t want to haul around a clunky purse. It’s wee, it’s got a nice long strap… plus lots of pockets to fit your crap. (Hey, that rhymed!)

Check out the video or follow along with the text/photo instructions below.

 

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As usual, you can adapt this bag to fit your needs – make it bigger smaller, longer or shorter strap, more pockets, less pockets…. You know what I say: get wacky.

Let’s get this party started!

MATERIALS AND MEASUREMENTS

My finished bag is going to be 7″ x 6″. Accounting for 1/2″ seam allowances, that means our outer bag pieces and our lining pieces should be 8″ x 7″.

Finished bag size, Main pattern piece size

I’m going pocket crazy with this bag, so there are additional pieces to account for. BUT! If you just want a simple, no-frills bag, you can just go with two outer pieces, two lining pieces, and a strap. Feel free to add interfacing if you want it.

Lining, Outer, Strap, Optional D-ring Loop

I wanted a lot of pockets, because I love having a pocket, for example, JUST for my keys… then I don’t have to go through all the pockets trying to find the keys at the bottom. The keys are in the key pocket! The phone is in the phone pocket! Et cetera! Again, totally adaptable for your needs.

Two of my pockets are zipper pockets, because zippers make everything better.

(Something to note, just in case it isn’t clear — Pocket #3 is the same size as the others: 7″ x 6.5″.) 

What has it got in its pocketses?

Step 1
So here I’ve got my two lining pieces. 

Step 1

Slap those two lining pieces right sides together, and pin around the sides and bottom.

Step 1b

Step 2
Sew using a ½ inch seam allowance. Pretty simple. Once you have the lining put together, set it aside.

Step 2

Step 3
Now we’ll move on to the strap. Or I should say strap + D-ring loop. 

If you want one long strap with no doo-hickeys, you can skip the D-ring nonsense. But I like my nonsense!

If you’ve watched some of my other bag videos, this is my standard double-fold strap method. First you fold it in half lengthwise and press with the iron.

Step 3

This gives a nice center fold line.

Step 3b

Fold the raw edges in to meet the center line and press again.

Step 3c

And finally, folding along the center line we originally pressed, we sandwich the raw edges inside and press again.

Step 3d

Step 4
Then we stitch along both edges. You could technically stitch just on the open edge, but for symmetry’s sake, I always stitch both.

Step 4

Repeat for the other strap piece (if you’ve got one), and then set the straps aside.

Step 5
Alright, zipper pocket time. Well, zipper pocket number one. In one of my other tutorials — the square bottom bag with zipper — I demonstrated a welt pocket. I figured I might as well go with a different zipper insert method this time, just for shiggles. Actually, I’m going to do two different zipper pockets.

This first one is a centered zipper. This is one of the most common ways to insert a zipper into… well, almost anything.

So here are some of our outer bag pieces. The leopard print is what I’m going to call the outer bag piece, even though It’s basically going to get completely covered by the zipper pocket. The floral print on the right is the zipper pocket, which you’ll note is cut in two pieces. It’s basically the same size as the outer bag piece, with extra seam allowances added for the zipper seam.

Step 5

Take the top of the zipper pocket piece and line it up, right sides together, with the bottom zipper pocket piece. Pin it to win it.

Step 5b

Step 6
And then we sew, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. We’re really only basting this together for now, so if you want to use a longer stitch length, that would serve you well

Step 6

Step 7
Open the seam and press it with an iron.

Step 7

Step 8
From the wrong side, align the zipper. You want the teeth of the zipper lined up right down that seam.

Step 8

Step 9
Secure the zipper in place, using your preferred method — pins, tape, or my dear, old friend, Mr. Bostik the Glu-Stik.

Step 9

Step 10
Now we stitch around the zipper. This might sound kooky, but we’re going to sew from the Right side of the fabric, because then we can make sure the stitches are running nicely parallel to the seam line.

Step 10

When you get to the ends of the zipper, and it’s time to pivot the needle and sew across the zipper tape, make sure you don’t actually sew through the zipper tape. Lift the needle and the foot so you can push just past the zipper teeth, and then lower the foot and needle. Pivot again and sew up the other side of the zipper.

For the purposes of this bag, I’ve sewn across both ends of the zipper.

Step 11
Now, we use ye olde seam ripper to open the seam back up, revealing our magnificent centered zip. Booyah.

Step 11

Step 12
Now we’ll attach it to the outer bag piece.

Step 12

Go ahead and pin the two pieces together, wrong side of the zippered piece to right side of the outer bag piece.

Step 12b

Step 13
Baste around all four edges using a ¼” seam allowance.

Step 13

Step 14
Okay, for the other outer bag piece… more pockets! My outer bag on this side is the blue polka dot. And the pocket is more of the floral print. I don’t know if this zipper implementation style has a name. I’m going to call it the Zipper Topped pocket. Here you’ll note that my pocket piece is a few inches shorter than the outer bag piece.

Step 14

Step 15
For this zipper pocket, I’m going to pin (or glue stick or tape) the zipper tape to the top edge of the pocket piece, right sides together.

Step 15

 

Step 16
Stitch using a zipper foot.

Step 16

Step 17
After stitching, press the seam toward the pocket.

Step 17

And then toptstitch.

Step 17b

Step 18
Now we’ll attach the pocket to the outer bag piece. I’ve marked a line 2” down from the top of the outer bag piece. That’s where we’ll align the zipper tape.

Step 18

 

Pin, glue, or tape the zipper in place.

Step 18b

Step 19
Stitch the zipper to the outer bag piece.

Step 19

Then open the seam and press.

step 19b

Step 20
Pin around the sides and bottom of the pocket.

Step 20

Baste, using a ¼” seam allowance.

Step 20b

If there’s a little excess length from the pocket, trim that off now.

Step 20c

Step 21
Now just to get really wacky, I’m going to add yet another pocket. We’re going crazy with the pockets. It’s a pocket party up in here. This is just a regular pocket, but don’t tell the pocket that, it’s a little sensitive about not being a zipper pocket.

For our final pocket, we need a pocket outer and a pocket lining. Here we go. A polka dot lining and a floral outer. Yippee! 

Pin the pieces right sides together along the top edge.

Step 21

Stitch with a ½ inch seam allowance.

Step 21b

Press the seam open.

Step 21c

And fold the two pieces wrong sides together and press again. Boom!

Step 21d

Step 22
Now we pin to the outer bag. Whichever side you prefer.

Step 22

I didn’t feel like getting really finicky with the cutting and measuring of the pocket pieces beforehand, so all the pockets are the same size. I’m just going to eyeball where I want this pocket to go and pin it in place.

Step 22b

Baste it to the bag using a 1/4” seam allowance around the sides and bottom.

Step 22c

And then trim the excess.

Step 22d

Step 23
Okay, we better get this bag sewn together before I decided to add like ten more pockets.

Time to decide on strap placement. It’s a good idea to keep the seam allowances in mind so you don’t inadvertently sew a strap in the way.

I decided 1.5” in from the side was a good spot. And that’s where I’ll center my strap. These are my two D-ring loop straps, by the way. They’re about 15 inches long. Folded in half over the D-ring, they’ll be about 7 inches.

Step 23

Stitch the end of a D-ring loop strap to each outer bag piece.

Step 23b

Then we slide on our D-ring, fold the strap over to create the loop, fold the raw edge under…

Step 23c

…and pin in place.

Step 23d

I like to double stitch the ends of my straps like so.

Step 23e

Step 24
If you’re attaching a regular strap and skipping the D-ring loops, you can just fold the raw edges under and stitch to the outer bag pieces. And you’ll want to do that before the next step, even though I’m going to attach the rest of my strap at the end.

Step 24

I’ve pinned my loops out of the way for this step, mostly because it’s easier for you to see what I’m doing if they’re not flopping around in my way.

Step 24b

Outer bag pieces go right sides together, and then, you guessed it, we pin!

Step 24c

Stitch using a ½ inch seam allowance. Just the sides and the bottom of course. Don’t stitch the top closed. That’d be silly.

Step 24d

Step 25
Find the lining we stitched together way back at step 1. Trim the corners of both the outer bag and the lining. 

Step 25

Step 26
Turn the lining right side out, and slip it inside the outer bag, so that the right sides are together.

Step 26

Step 27
Line up the seams on each side and pin.

Step 27

Continue pinning all the way around the top edge of the bag.

Step 27b

Step 28
Stitch around the top of the bag using a ½ inch seam allowance, leaving a gap of about 3 inches to turn the bag out.

Step 28

Step 29
Turn the back right sides out through the gap we left in the previous step.

Step 29

Once the bag is fully turned out, I like to take a chopstick to the corners to get them nice and square.

Step 29b

Step 30
Stuff the lining into the outer bag, and press around the top edge to get that seam looking nice and clean.

Step 30

Pay special attention to the gap — folding in the raw edges and pinning in place.

Step 30b

Topstitch around the top edge.

Step 30c

Step 31
All that’s left is to finish the strap. Take the main strap, fold it around the D-ring, fold under the raw edge, and pin. Repeat that for both ends, making sure you don’t have any twists in the strap.

Step 31

Stitch the strap ends and shablam. Finished bag. With more pockets than you can shake a stick at.

Step 31b

All finished!

Let me know how your bag turns out in the comments!

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