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Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to make a handibag from a pillowcase - in 5 easy steps and 15 minutes


I made one of these last year, and thought it would make a good project for my "Anyone can sew" series of 5 steps in 15 mins.

Here's how to make your very own handibag - great to slip into your handbag for when you go shopping - or perhaps to carry your kids artwork home from school!!


Step 1 - Cutting

Take a pillowcase you no longer use (or buy a pretty one from the charity shop).

Cut off the flap that is on the inside of the pillowcase - You'll use this for the pocket!

Then cut two strips from the open end of the pillowcase - 10cm (4") in width. These will be the straps:


Then cut one side seam from each 'strap' so you have two long strips, and your main bag left:



Step 2 - The Straps

Iron each strap in half lengthways,
then open out,and fold either side in towards the middle crease and iron again..

Then fold in half again and iron.  This will give you two straps, approx 2.5cm (1") wide.


Then machine stitch down both sides of the length of each strap.


Step 3 - Attach the straps:

Fold the top of the bag in on itself approx 2.5cm (1") and place the end of one strap where you want it to be.

Then fold the bag end AND the strap over another 2.5cm (1") and pin into place.


Repeat for all 4 strap ends:


Then machine stitch around the bag opening at both the top and bottom length of your fold.  You can also stitch a cross on each strap for extra strength!



Step 4 - The Handipocket!

Take the flap you first cut from the pillowcase,
and cut a rectangle 16cm x 23cm (6.5" x 9")


Double turn all 4 edges to finish off neatly:


Then fold right sides together - ALMOST in half, like this:


Then pin it to the INSIDE top middle of your bag with the folded edge at the top.


Then stitch along the three sides of the pocket.



Step 5 - Into the pocket!

Now you have a nice strong, large bag.


Open it up and find the handipocket inside..


Then push the bag UP into the pocket from the bottom - turning the pocket inside out as you go around the bulk of the bag.  Then finally flip the little flap over at the top.


And there you have - one handibag - to slip in your handbag - you never know when you might need one!



For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.










I'll be linking this post to many of the wonderful linky parties whose pretty buttons are on the bottom of this page

39 comments:

  1. That is brilliant. Such a wonderful tutorial and what a quick project too. Thanks.

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  2. Great Tutorial!!! I found your blog on the Welcome Wednesday blog hop. Happy Wednesday!

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  3. this was a great tutorial and I loved the final bag...adorable. Thinking it would be a cute book bag for my grandson and his trips to the library!

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  4. How clever! Great tutorial and easy to follow. I'm your newest follower from Welcome Wednesday. Hope you will follow me back.

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  5. Thanks for the lovely comments about my little tutorial!

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  6. Love the tutorial! It's a very unique and cute idea:)

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  7. This is so simple yet so clever! I love it!

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  8. What a fabulous tutorial! Great idea too :) K

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  9. Awesome!!!!!!! Do you know how many unused pillowcases I have & the need of cloth bags I have... Hmmm - I'm putting this in my project pile!

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  10. Great tutorial thanks for sharing...bookmarked to give it a try.

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  11. This project looks awesome and I love your blog! :) I'm a new follower, and I would love for you to check out my blog too! :)
    Amy
    redheadedcrafter.blogspot.com

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  12. Thx for the handbag post. It's added to the list of things I want to make oneday. Oneday could be today or it could be a loooong time from now! Thx for your visit.

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  13. Pretty cool - and green! :)I am so waiting to get to my sewing machine... and I saw some great pillowcases for it the other day. I will get to the machine one day - right after our house inspection! :)
    Thanks for popping by my little piece of cyber space.
    S&R

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  14. Okay, that's it, I'm digging out the pillowcases today! Thank you so much for linking up to "It's a Party"! You were also one of the features today!

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  15. That is so clever... I saw some pretty bed sets the other day in a charity shop so I really hope they are still there next time I get out to them! If not I'll raid my mum's laundry cupboard! ;-)

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  16. GREAT TUT! I HAVE A BAG THAT ROLLS UP, FOLDS into small package, and has a full length zipper. Not too hard to do but hard enough I haven't done it yet so looking forward to do this asap! It's ALWAYS good to have a spare bag so you can pass on the paper and plastic pollution :-)

    Thanks for sharing!
    PKae

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  17. sorry to be obtuse, but is the flap you cut off in the first step the hem? or did you cut off the bottom of the case? no that doesn't make sense, but I still would like to be sure I'm interpreting this right, since I've never heard it called a flap if it IS the hem of the pillow case. Thanks for your indulgence. Kitty

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    1. I was wondering myself . We would actually call these pillow slips instead of cases. That solves the question for me. Hope this helps

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  18. HI Kitty.
    The 'flap' isn't the hem of the pillowcase. Its an extra fold of fabric at the opening of the pillowcase that covers the pillow end when you slip it inside the case. We have them here in Australia and also in the UK in our pillowcases, but I'm not sure if the USA is different as someone asked me this before!
    Hope this helps!

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    1. Ok. I was so confused, too. We don't have any such flaps in what we call pillow cases in the U.S. For my fellow Americans, I believe what they're calling a pillow case here is what we call pillow shams.

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  19. I love the idea but will have to come back to it when I can augment the screen way big and can really hone in because I find it hard to see, with your fabric choice. It would be much clearer if the inside of the fabric didn't show the pillowcase pattern. It shows through and you can't plainly see whether it's inside or outside. But like I said, I love the idea, Thank you!

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  20. I was wondering about the 'flap' also.. our pillow slips in the USA don't have those. This looks to be like the old 'handy bag' sandwich bags.. tuck in the end and fold over the flap. We don't have those, but it shouldn't be difficult to use a different piece of fabric, or cut-down scraps from this project to make a tuck-in pocket. Nice idea, thanks for the tute.

    poo-doll

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    1. I have the flaps on my pillow cases I bought from Anna's Linens. I had no idea that is what that flap was for as it irritated me. Thanks for the clarification.
      Great tutorial and I will def make some as I like the idea of being able to wash my shopping bags. I use those all the time when shopping. Once again, thanks.

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  21. This is really cute. How strong is the bag with just one layer?

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  22. Great blog! Found this tutorial today on allfreesewing.com. Thanks also for the blogging tips! I've always wondered how certain blogs look so great. Seems like people find things outside of blogger to add to their blog...I just didn't know where to go. Thanks again!

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  23. I love your work! I do not see a link to download the PDF for this item, could you email the pattern to me please?

    YummyLv

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  24. Thank you so much!! This is fabulous!! What a great idea. You are so talented and creative! Love, love your blog! :D

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  25. What is "the flap inside the pillowcase?" The pillowcase I have is just a bag with a hem. There is no "flap?"

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    1. Hi Rebecca

      A number of people have asked this - and others have commented that in the US and Canada pillow cases don't have this 'flap' or they are called - pillow slips or pillow shams. If yours doesn't have an extra 'flap' - you can always just use a fabric scrap for the pocket piece!

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  26. Congratulations on being an AllFreeSeewing top 100 choice. I love your blog and receive it by email and love AllFreeSewing, too. Here's to 2014 and more great ideas from you and your creative skills.

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    1. Thanks so much Laura! Hope you have a fabulous 2014 too!

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  27. Great tutorial, even I can do this. Thanks so much, you're so talented.

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  28. Great tutorial, even I can do this. Thanks so much, you're so talented.

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  29. The upper end sheet sets do include a flap in the pillow cases in the US. It's to wrap around the pillow and use to secure your pillow. Most of our pillow cases do not include these those. I was a bit confused too. Thanks for clearing that up several times. Thanks for this awesome tutorial! The last step surprised me. I wasn't expecting it all to fit in a littlier bag. Very handy because I always forget my grocery sacks and end up having to use the plastics.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. It's always interesting to learn how things are different in other countries. I think we all kind of assume things are the same everywhere until someone tells us otherwise! Glad you like the tutorial!

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  30. wow, I came to this page from All free sewing and low and behold, the question I was about to ask, had previously been asked... by ME! LOL thanks for the info. I see now someone wrote that these are called pillow shams in the USA. very helpful. Thanks.

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