Sling Bag Tutorial by Amber of Crazy Little Projects

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Hey Crafty Ladies! This is Amber from Crazy Little Projects visiting and saying hi! Who wants to learn to make a sling tote? This would make a great holiday gift-or make it for yourself. Please also visit me and say hi or join me on facebook. I am addicted to making bags. Last week I shared this one on my blog. I just love how it turned out. My first real blog post ever was this little guy. And now I bring you this sling tote. This sling tote bag was fun to make because I was making it for a gift and it isn’t really my own style, so it was something different than what I normally sew. And the person I made it for loved it which is always great. It’s a sling tote bag:

Sling tote free pattern and tutorial
How to make a sling tote bag
Sling Tote tutorial

I didn’t have a pattern, just pictures of similar bags and I figured I could pull it off, but I was a little nervous. It worked out great though and was really pretty easy. What You Need:1 yard main fabric 1 yard accent/inner fabric 1/4 yard lining (optional) Here’s How to Make It: Start out by laying out your fabric and cutting basically a half circle with these dimensions: 23″ across the top, 14.5″ from the top to the bottom of the circle. Cut 2 of these.

how to make a handbag

Now, to make the pleats in the bag you will start at the center of the bag and make one pleat that is about 2 inches. Pull the fabric under and pin it on either side:

pleated tote bag

Then, working out from there do two more pleats on each side each about another 2 inches apart or so. Make sure that the pleats match up on both sides so that your bag is even:

stitching together parts of sling bag material
constructing easy homemade sling bag

Here’s what it should look like from the bottom:

pleating fabric for sling bag

And here is what each individual pleat looks like up close:

fabric sewed together for diy bag
fabric being stitched together

Mine measured 13″ across the top once I had all the pleats in. Once you have them all pinned in place, run a stitch along the top to secure your pleats. Then remove your pins:

fabric being made into sling bag

Do that to both sides of the bag making sure that your two sides of the bag come out even. Then, match up both sides of the bag with right sides together and sew around the outside leaving only the top open:

sling bag purse being assembled

Now, using your accent fabric, cut a strip that is 4″ wide and at least 30″ long. Pin it around the inside lip of your bag with right sides touching.

inside of purse shown

Pin all the way around until the fabric goes all the way around the top of the bag. When you have a full circle, trim off your excess and sew it together:

pretty pink flower interior fabric

Then sew around the top opening. It should look like this when you are done:

homemade sling bag in pink and black

Now, lay your outer bag on your inner fabric. You are going to use this as your pattern for your inside.

easy homemade sling bag

Cut around the bag to form your inner bag. Cut 2 pieces. It should look like this:

fabric for sling bag part

I wanted a pocket on the inside of the bag, so I made that next. Cut out a piece of your outer fabric that is 9.5″ by 7.5.” Then fold it in half, right sides together and stitch around it leaving a small opening to turn it.

folding fabric for sling bag tutorial

Turn it and press it flat.

black fabric with flowers

Place it where you want it on the inner fabric and sew it in place:

black fabric square placed on pink fabric

Now, with right sides together, sew around the outside of your inner fabric.

pink fabric edges being sewn

Now, turn the outside of your bag right side out and place your inner part down inside of it. Now to make the strap. Cut 2 pieces of your accent 3″ by 33.” (My photo shows a 4″ wide strap but I felt like it was too wide.) For the strap I wanted to line it so it would hold up better. You can use lining. I used felt. Either one works. The felt makes it a little bulky but also helps it stay sturdy. With right sides of the fabric in and the lining on the outside (on just one side of the strap) sew down the long side of the strap. Do this on both sides:

sling bag crafting tutorial photo
orange fabric shown with lines

Turn it right side out. Top stitch on each long side of the strap:

sling bag parts sewn

We’re almost done! Stick your strap down in between your inner bag and out bag pieces on the far edges of your bag. Stick it way down in there so it will be nice and secure. Pin it in place. Next, fold down the inner and outer fabric on the top of the bag (towards each other) to create your top hem and press them. Stitch all the way around the bag. I did it twice-once with about a 1/2″ hem and once right at the very edge of the bag:

handle piece sewed onto bag

Last I top stitched where the outer bag fabric meets the accent fabric:

pink fabric meeting black fabric

And that’s it! Now you’ve got a great bag to carry all sorts of treasures. If your bag is at all like mine, it will be a dungeon that will hide all the things you are looking for.

completed diy sling bag
hand made sling bag
sling bag being modeled
large homemade bag or purse

Thanks so much for sharing this great tutorial with us, Amber! If you like this and want to see more of Amber’s projects, you can subscribe to Crazy Little Projects on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or via the RSS Feed.


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