Change-Up Handbag Sewing Patterns

Change-Up Handbag Sewing Patterns

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Change up handbags to suit any occasion! We have bags for travel, totes for shopping, and handbags for special events. I’m often asked how to create bags. To share innovative tips and handbag sewing upgrades, I’ve devoted a two-part Sewing With Nancy series that you can watch online. We’ll take one pattern and modify it five ways!

Handbag #1: Cinched Tote

Kicking off this second episode of Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques is the cinched tote. Made with double-quilted fabric, a continuous or infinity strap weaves in and out of the grommets providing flexibility and expandability at the same time. It’s easy to make and enjoyable to carry.

Did you know that you can create piping with a serger? You’ll learn this sewing tidbit when you watch the show or follow along in the Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques book from Nancy’s Notions.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With NancyWhen you unleash the cinch, you’ll find loads of room. I’ll show you how to modify your handbag pattern or template, to add grommets, and to make infinity straps, using Create-A-Strap. It’s rather magical!

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

 Handbag #2: Yoga Tote

With a few modifications, turn your handbag into a handy Yoga Tote with adjustable infinity straps. Not into Yoga? Use it for a picnic tote with convenient storage for a blanket. Or, make another option for going to the beach and easily store lofty towels. Regardless, it’s a handy carryall with many possibilities.

 

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Learn how to add tabs made with Fuse ‘n Bind to the tote or bag to make it a carryall for mats, blankets, and towels.

Handbag sewing tips Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Handbag #3: Monogrammed Faux-Leather Bag

Simple details—that’s what I like in handbags. Adding a monogram provides an elegant statement without adding clutter. Stitch the embroidered accent on faux leather, faux ostrich fabric to be exact, and master two new sewing skills while creating one trendy handbag.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With NancyEmbroidery tips on vinyl include:

  • Using a 75 Universal needle
  • Backing fabric with lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Hooping the stabilizer, not the fabric

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Handbag #4: Ribbon-Accent Bag

If you watched the first episode of this series, you’ve already seen this handbag. With this design I detail how to add the inside support and construction of a handbag from the bottom up! (You’ll have to tune in to see the details!)

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With NancyHandbag #5: Market Tote

This handbag or tote incorporates the most requested upgrade—a customized recessed zipper. (I know you can’t see it from this angle, remember the closure is recessed!) Regardless of your pattern, I’ll show you how to add a zipper. If you’re using the Trace ‘n Create Bag Florida Tote Template, you’ll find the patterns printed in the book.

The sewing features of this bag are also shown in the first Sewing With Nancy episode of Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

 

Watch Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques on Sewing With Nancy online.

For a chance to win a Florida Bag Template  from Clover, please leave a comment sharing what bag style you will be making for spring.

Trace 'n Create Florida Bag Template by Nancy Zieman and Clover USA

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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123 Comments

  • Gloria Bristol
    March 2, 2017

    I’d love to make the market bag. Thanks Nancy

  • Donna
    March 2, 2017

    I would like to sew all those bags, but the market bag would be a good one to start with. Thanks

  • Donna Foltz
    March 2, 2017

    I love the strap on the cinched tote! That’s what I would make.

  • Helen in beautiful Colorado
    March 2, 2017

    Good morning Nancy!
    We could still get plenty of snow, but it feels like spring this morning. What better way to celebrate than to sew up a new Market Tote in bright splashy colors? I love the market tote size and dimensions for carrying my projects, rather than for shopping. I love that I can customize the pockets to fit exactly the size of tools I will be carrying.
    Thanks for this give-a-way chance!

  • Carol P
    March 2, 2017

    I really like the ribbon accent bag. Beautiful and looks very functional.

  • Dawn
    March 2, 2017

    I love the Ribbon-Accent Bag! What a great way to dress up a bag.

  • Janaeice Crosson
    March 2, 2017

    I really like the hidden zipper on a bag and I love being able to make pockets to fit things I carry inside a bag, deep ones for pens and small notepad or calendar, for example. I will make a market bag first just to begin and I will probably make several others as well for gifts to friends and family.

  • Barbara Lussier
    March 2, 2017

    I like the market tote with the recessed zipper. It makes me feel like my valuables are secure.

  • Carole Buerman
    March 2, 2017

    Love the yoga tote with the adjustable straps.

  • Ilana
    March 2, 2017

    I actually would like to make a diaper bag. Which bag, possibly with some modifications, would make a good diaper bag?

  • Cindy M
    March 2, 2017

    Love the yoga bag, have a few friends who would just love me to gift them to!
    lstangl482 at aol dot com

  • Cher Brundage
    March 2, 2017

    I’d like to make the Market bag. I get so much out of Nancy’s tips.

  • Jackie Branscum
    March 2, 2017

    I love machine embroidery so I’d like to make the Monogrammed Faux Leather bag #3. I might also use another type of embroidery instead of a monogram. I love to get creative with embroidery and I rarely ever do a design exactly like the digitizer.

  • MonicaAD
    March 2, 2017

    Handbag number 3 speaks to me 🙂

  • cris nichols
    March 2, 2017

    The Market Tote appeals to me. I can imagine many other uses for this bag.

  • Bonnye
    March 2, 2017

    I like the monogrammed faux leather bag. I monogram most of my bags and I really like this one.

  • MaryLee
    March 2, 2017

    I would really like to make the cinchec bag. Love the way it makes itself close for those of us that are forgetful or in a hurry.

  • Susan Thole
    March 2, 2017

    I think I would like to make the Florida Bag! I like the fact you can either use the shoulder strap or handle to carry it. Using some bright spring fabric would make me feel good every time I use it knowing I made this creation. Thank you so much Nancy, I have followed you for at least 35 years, and love the fact that I can follow you on TV or online and order sewing supplies too. You are a great inspiration to anyone that loves to sew!

  • Diane Q
    March 2, 2017

    All the bags have wonderful features, but would make the ribbon accent bag first.

  • Mary
    March 2, 2017

    I would make the yoga tote. it was hard to decide which one I liked best!

  • Ennis A
    March 2, 2017

    I love the Monthly grammed bag. A popping springy print!! Thanks for more inspiring projects!!

  • KayZee
    March 2, 2017

    The yoga tote would make a great gift for my friend who’s in a yoga class…but they all look great!

  • DebbieW
    March 2, 2017

    The Cinched Tote!

  • Eileen Girens
    March 2, 2017

    #1 cinched tote looks magnificent & would be my choice.

  • Polly Odom
    March 2, 2017

    I loved BIG BAGS and I cannot lie! Love the recessed zipper.

  • Phyllis Barton
    March 2, 2017

    I like the faux leather bag – good hint about stooping stabilizer but not the vinyl.
    Enjoy your shows – been watching from the beginning.

  • Jan Sedivy
    March 2, 2017

    I love the look of the cinched tote for spring. I have a wildflower spring fabric that would great for this pattern. Thank you.

  • J Wimberley
    March 2, 2017

    I really love the monogrammed bag. That’s next on my list of “to-do’s”. Thanks!

  • Marsha Lawrence
    March 2, 2017

    My yoga “stuff” needs it’s own transporter, so yoga tote it is. Not sure I’ll get to it by spring though.

  • Doris
    March 2, 2017

    Nancy,
    I have watched you from your beginning. Have many of your books. You always have great ideas & techniques. I can’t wait to make all of your bags. I am in need of some new ones & have plenty of fabric to play with.Thank you Nancy for your great work. Doris

  • Hannah W
    March 2, 2017

    I’m with another commenter, I need to make a diaper bag!

  • Joanne P.
    March 2, 2017

    I would make the cinched tote for myself and yoga tote for my daughters….fun.

  • Cheri Groesbeck
    March 2, 2017

    I really like the cinched bag.

  • Mary Knuck
    March 2, 2017

    I would love to make the market tote with the recessed zipper.

  • Chris House
    March 2, 2017

    The Cinched Tote w/ the Create A Strap instructions sounds like it would be a super project to advance my sewing chops. Love the accent piping and detail on the strap. Hello Spring! Thank you Nancy.

  • Deej
    March 2, 2017

    One of each, please, starting with the cinched tote! Thx for the chances to win your wonderful prizes.

  • Jan vick
    March 2, 2017

    I have hoping to make a bag with a recessed zipper for so long. I make little wristlets for my family and friends. I have wanted to learn how to put zippers in totes I make them. Love all your ideas! Thank you.

  • dac
    March 2, 2017

    They’re all great, but the Cinched Tote will be first on the list. 🙂

  • Pat Kirby
    March 2, 2017

    I’ll be making three market bags; one for myself and the others for gifts.

  • Margaret Seiser
    March 2, 2017

    I would LOVE to learn to make a recessed zipper. I feel it would further my skills as a seamstress. I have been watching your shows for a long time, love them!! Market tote!

  • Kathleen Bates
    March 2, 2017

    I plan to make the market tote. I think it would be versatile one for many uses.

  • Nell
    March 2, 2017

    I would make the market bag would be great—environmentally friendly!

  • Douglas
    March 2, 2017

    I’m curious to try the cinched tote.

  • Elizabeth Lewis
    March 2, 2017

    I would love to try my hand at the monogrammed bag. Thanks for this opportunity.

  • Barb Hanson
    March 2, 2017

    The cinched tote is the one for me. Ii is so cleverly designed and practical, yet stylish.

  • Sharon
    March 2, 2017

    Very hard to choose, but I think I would make the faux leather with monogram first. Thanks for all you do for the sewing community.

  • Kim M Harrington
    March 2, 2017

    I love the cinched in bag with the grommets. Plenty of room to grow depending on what is in there on a given day! Love it!

  • Nancy
    March 2, 2017

    I will be making the Cinched Tote. The design of the straps are amazing. I also love the design of the bag. Great presentation!!

  • Traci Y
    March 2, 2017

    The cinch tote is something I would like to make. All very cute.

  • Gwen Martin
    March 2, 2017

    I love the bag that is your favorite. Also like the idea of the market tote and perhaps lining it in vinyl. As soon as I can find the items need for the bags I am making both.

  • Sherry Johnson
    March 2, 2017

    I love the Cinched Tote…plenty of room especially for outings with my granddaughters…and it opens and closes with ease..

  • Jo Riddle
    March 2, 2017

    I would like to make the Market Tote. I want mine to be zipped closed. Thank for a chanc
    e to win.

  • Donna W
    March 2, 2017

    The cinched tote would be the one that I would make first. Then, I would have to try the others. Love making bags.

  • Linda Carr
    March 2, 2017

    I’ll be making the market bag! We have a market here in Kissimmee Fl. that you must put a quarter in to use the cart, and when you return it, you get your quarter back. And they have NO bags available, so you must bring your own. I need to make several!

  • Julie Cross
    March 2, 2017

    I would like to make the Market Tote. It looks nice and roomy! Thanks for all the helpful suggestions you give, Nancy!

  • Susan Spiers
    March 2, 2017

    Love the Ribbon Accent tote! Perfect for spring/summer!Thank you, Susan

  • Judy Marketos
    March 2, 2017

    I’d love to make the monogrammed bag as I am learning to use my new embroidery machine!!!

  • Linda
    March 2, 2017

    I love all the handbag templates – I just finished making the Hobo Tote and am ready to make more bags. They are all unique and can express me!

  • CC Collins
    March 2, 2017

    I am loving the cinched tote! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Jody
    March 2, 2017

    Perfect timing! I’m going on Amtrak soon and the yoga tote will be just the thing for adapting to carry an extra quillow!
    Thanks for all of the great ideas in your shows.

  • Venita
    March 2, 2017

    I would make the Cinched Tote. I have had the grommets for some time and now is the time to use them! Thank you for the wonderful videos. Have been watching your TV series almost from the beginning.

  • Joyce
    March 2, 2017

    I would start with the market tote, then the cinched bag.

  • I’d also love to try making the market tote. Thank you for the chance to win, good luck to all!

  • Ruth L
    March 2, 2017

    I love the cinched tote – stylish and room for extra things if needed! Nancy’s bags are always well designed and timeless! Thanks!

  • Betty Elsner
    March 2, 2017

    yoga tote

  • Marion
    March 2, 2017

    I could use the market bag and the cinched bag.

  • Laura
    March 2, 2017

    Hope to win and make the Market Tote!

  • Linda Rupe
    March 2, 2017

    For myself – I’ve seen that referenced as “selfish sewing”, but if I make the first project for myself I get to perfect it for the next projects for others – I would like to make the cinched tote. I find I can limit what I put into a bag on my way out, but add things as I go, especially when travelling, so being expandable is a plus.

  • Linda Morales
    March 2, 2017

    I’d love to make all of them, but my first option is #3 the monogrammed bag and then #1 cinched bag. They are all so pretty.

  • Carol
    March 2, 2017

    The market tote looks stylish. I could use it for a book bag as well.

  • Karen payton
    March 2, 2017

    I wanted to make a floral bag for spring with yellows and pinks. This Florida bag would look great in those colors

  • Susan B
    March 2, 2017

    I love all types of sewing. These bags would be a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe. Love your ideas.

  • L Watson
    March 2, 2017

    Both of my daughters want me to make them the “South Beach Plus” style bag from off the template ,for when we go on trips, using a hibiscus flower pattern for material. I love the yoga tote change-up! I would love making 3 of those, for my girls and myself for the beach. To tote all of our beach supplies including towels in one handy accessory while looking stylish would be wonderful!

  • Erma
    March 2, 2017

    I love all your bags, but I’m thinking I will be making Handbag #3, the Monogrammed Faux-Leather Bag. Love it and already have my fabric picked out. Cant wait to get started. I always learn something new from Sewing with Nancy. Thanks so much!

  • Cecelia Reuter
    March 2, 2017

    I can’t decide! I’ve got a collection of faux leathers, clips, buckles and grommets but I can’t decide grrrr!

  • Linda Edwards
    March 2, 2017

    I would start with the Market Tote and try to make one for each of my daughters.

  • Angela
    March 2, 2017

    I would try the cinched tote first.

  • Linda
    March 2, 2017

    I would try the Market Tote first. Depending on how well I do with that one, I might make one for my daughters.

  • Dina Lee
    March 2, 2017

    I would make the cinched tote….just looks so comfortable to carry….

  • Kitty
    March 2, 2017

    I think I would like to make the market tote because I’m always looking for another bag to bring to the store.

  • Brenda Holmes
    March 2, 2017

    I’ll be making the Market Tote and the |Mongrammed Faux-Leather Bag. Love them all!

  • Paula Howard
    March 2, 2017

    Love them all, but I would like to make the monogrammed handbag. Very classy. Enjoy every episode of Sewing with Nancy.

  • Mary Brock
    March 2, 2017

    The market tote. I made something similar for a friend a few yrs ago, she’s requested another one.

  • Barbara G.
    March 2, 2017

    I love all the bags but I think I would really like to make the cinched tote first, and second would be the yoga tote.

  • Edna Marks
    March 2, 2017

    I would make the cinched bag first, and then the one trimmed with ribbon.

  • Laura Palulis
    March 2, 2017

    Would love to make the Florida bag for my Mom in Florida!

  • Patti Serenko
    March 2, 2017

    The market tote in a tropical fabric for my work bag then the clinched tote as an everyday bag.

  • Pat
    March 2, 2017

    I would love to make the Market Tote. It is large enough to hold all the items I seem to need to carry. The ability to add unique trims makes this a wonderful design. Thanks so much for the chance to win the template.

  • Debe
    March 2, 2017

    The cinched tote looks really great & “springy”.

  • callie
    March 2, 2017

    The faux leather has been something I have been thinking of for my daughters–it looks so stylish and a fun learning experience for me

  • Roberta A.
    March 2, 2017

    I would try either the cinched tote or the monogrammed faux leather bag. I just recently started sewing purses and am enjoying doing it.

  • Silvia
    March 2, 2017

    I want to challenge myself to make The Market Tote to conquer the recessed zipper. The style of the tote also meets my needs as Mom, Buela and person generally in charge of all errands. Thanks, Nancy!

  • Sandra Collin
    March 2, 2017

    I would love to make the #5 Market Bag But so many great styles to dress up or casual. Thanks Nancy.

  • Bonnie
    March 2, 2017

    What a great collection of stylish bags! I would make the monogrammed bag first, followed by the market tote and the cinched bag. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Marsha Dimond
    March 2, 2017

    I love the cinch tote. I think it would make a nice travel/overnight bag.

  • Ann Hedington
    March 2, 2017

    I’d make the Market Bag to carry everything to school!

  • Gail Beam
    March 2, 2017

    I think the monogramned faux leather tote bag would be my choice to make for spring. All of the bags are awesome!

  • Heather Hogan
    March 2, 2017

    I would love to make the market bag tote as there is room for embroidery on the pockets yielding lots of creativity

  • Susan
    March 2, 2017

    I really like all the bags, especially the infinity strap on the Cinch Bag. I’d have to make that one first. Next would be the monogramed bag, followed by the Market Tote. Such a great collection it’s hard to choose!

  • Linda Barnes
    March 2, 2017

    My first choice would be the Florida bag, then the monogram bag. Florida bag looks like summer to me. Thanks for all that you do, enjoy watching you on PBS and reading your blog. Thanks again

  • Teresa Seaver
    March 3, 2017

    I would love any of these especially when I add a embroidery design. Thanks for always getting my creative thoughts in motion.

  • Verov94
    March 3, 2017

    J’aimerais faire : Sac à main # 4: Ribbon-Accent Bag pour toute les poches. Merci.
    Bonne journée de France.

  • Ann
    March 3, 2017

    I’d like to make the market tote. I like the zipper. In fact, I have a ready made tote that needs a zipper added for security at the beach! No more missing sunscreen for me!

  • Clovis
    March 3, 2017

    I like them all, but the cinched tote with grommets or the monogrammed Faux leather. I have grommets and black/brown faux leather.

  • Sharonne Whigham
    March 3, 2017

    Hello Nancy,

    I truly love them all and will eventually make them all, but for now I am going to make the Monogrammed Faux-Leather Bag and Market Tote.

    My most sincere thanks and gratitude to you Nancy for all you’ve taught me. You’ve been the teacher my Grandmother tried to be when I was to young and impatient to sit still and learn. She is looking down from heaven right now smiling from ear to ear because I am finally learning to sew and learning from the best!

    God bless you!

  • Linda E
    March 3, 2017

    I’d like to make the Market Tote with the recessed zipper. Thank you for sharing all of the bag techniques and inspiring with your creative samples. Love them all!

  • Allen king
    March 3, 2017

    I’d like to make them all, starting with market tote.

  • LadyD
    March 3, 2017

    I cannot decide between
    Handbag #4: Ribbon-Accent Bag and
    Handbag #5: Market Tote

    So I might make both, but perhaps in a bit smaller bag size, and with longer straps so I can carry them across my body instead of just in one hand or the other…

  • Anne Z.
    March 4, 2017

    I would make the cinched Tote. I love the style.

  • Carol
    March 4, 2017

    Ai will be making the ribbon accent bag. I love it!

  • Louise Johnson
    March 4, 2017

    I need to make the Yoga tote so that I am not juggling so much on my way to Yoga.

  • sharol hansen
    March 4, 2017

    I would make the grocery bag for my resident Seniors

  • Karen Tucker
    March 4, 2017

    Love them all, but I would start with the market tote!!

  • Michelle Hall
    March 5, 2017

    I think i would like to try the Market Tote

  • Deb Slater
    March 5, 2017

    The Faux Leather Tote to begin with. They’re all so neat I’d love to make at least one of each!

  • Linda Buttera
    March 7, 2017

    With Nancy’s great tips for embroidering on faux leather, I’d like to try making the faux leather bag, embellished with a beautiful embroidery design.

  • Peg Sullivan
    March 8, 2017

    Love to start with the Market tote and then the infinity strap, and then the cinched up tote and then and then and…..

  • Cyndy from The Funny Farm
    March 8, 2017

    I really like the Market Tote but the Yoga Tote would also be a very handy one! I will be making a barrel style purse for sure this spring and have all my supplies ready to start working on it!

  • Barbara Galvin
    March 15, 2017

    I like the Cinch Bag. It’s roomy, and a different shape. It’s always nice to chang things up!

  • Susan
    March 16, 2017

    All the bags look beautiful! Hard to decide, but I think the first one I would make is the Yoga tote.

  • Vicki Becker
    March 23, 2017

    Love the stylish look of the Monogrammed Bag.

  • Karen Anderson
    April 25, 2017

    I really like the cinched tote and will make it first, but will make all the others also!

  • Eva Hada
    May 2, 2017

    I love the Yoga Tote. The shape is so chic!

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