1 Handbag Sewing Pattern—5 Different Options!

HandbagsEpisode2 SewingWithNancy 1

1 Handbag Sewing Pattern—5 Different Options!

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HandbagsEpisode2 SewingWithNancy 1Handbags—many of us are obsessed with them. We have bags for travel, totes for shopping, and handbags for special occasions. It’s no wonder that I’m asked sewing questions each week on 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.

Handbag #1: Cinched Tote

Kicking off this second episode 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 the serger? You’ll learn that sewing tidbit when you watch the show or follow along in the book.

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 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 already saw this handbag. With this design I detailed how to add the inside support and construction of a handbag from the bottom up! (You 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 make one. 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. Click on the blue link to watch online.

How to sew handbags Nancy Zieman Sewing With Nancy

Watch Nancy’s Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.

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 New Book and DVD

Nancy Zieman's Favorite Handbag Sewing Techniques BookHandy Florida Tote Template Set!

This is the pattern that I used to create all five bags. I prefer templates as the shape and size never changes.

Trace 'n Create Florida Tote Template by Nancy Zieman

Don’t forget to enter my Fall Table Runner Challenge—$1000 in total prizes!

Nancy Zieman's Fall Table Runner Challenge 2015 Badge

Click here to see how to enter. Make sure you are subscribed to my enews mailing list so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up here.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • Karen Patterson
    August 20, 2015

    Hi Nancy!
    Thank you for your handbag tutorials. I can hardly wait to make one. I have so many projects going….I take breaks from housework and run in an sew an hour or two. I love to create things, and the closer to or better than store bought… I like. It’s a part of me that has to come out…sort of like a bad craving for chocolate. There’s no satisfaction until I’m back in there making something beautiful. I would love to have your Handbag Sewing Techniques Set! Please remember me in your drawing!

  • Karen Patterson
    August 20, 2015

    Hello Nancy!
    Thank you for the handbag tutorials and all the others too! I sew constantly…fitting in an hour or two sometimes as much as 8 or 9 hours a day because I’m so glued….in between my housework etc. it’s like a chocolate craving for me. I crave creating things…things that are as perfect and beautiful as I can make. It’s a part of me that has to come out, or I’d burst! Please put me in your drawing because I would love any pointers you can give me! ☺️ Karen

  • Marilyn
    August 20, 2015

    Love the way you can change the looks of the pattern. Tote or purse and pulling the sides of one to make it smaller to carry. What is there not to love?!

  • Frances Ruta
    August 20, 2015

    Nancy you always come up with the most beautiful ideas and helpful projects……love love love you fran ruta

  • Pat Jacobson
    August 20, 2015

    Nancy, I have been a fan for a number of years and you never disappoint. The cinch tote is another beautiful, useful idea that I am making as soon as I can obtain the fabric. Thank you for all that you do to make the sewing world and the general world a better place to live.

  • Diana G.
    August 20, 2015

    OH MY …I love the tutorials and will watch it on tv. I like the number 1 & 3, oh heck I like them all ..

    Thanks for the chance to win !

  • Starla
    August 20, 2015

    I didn’t think I like the cinched tote when I first saw the side view. Then when I saw the interior — love!

  • BevM
    August 20, 2015

    Thanks for a nice variety of bags.

  • judey saunders
    August 20, 2015

    Can I order this pattern?

  • Lorij
    August 21, 2015

    I’ve been making purses. But, not like these. I like this pattern. It would be so nice to win. I enjoyed all the things I’ve learned watching your techniques. I think the red bag is beautiful. It’s like a hidden jewel. I hope you are continuing to do well in your recovery. Blessings, Lorij

  • Paulette
    August 21, 2015

    What wonderful ideas all based on a single basic bag. The idea for the yoga/picnic/pool bag is marvelously clever. Nancy, your blog is so inspiring.

  • Sue
    August 22, 2015

    My favourite is the first one, the clinched tote. Maybe it’s just the colour. I love bright things!

  • Gail Beam
    August 23, 2015

    Thank you for the wonderful handbag tutorial! This is a fabulous pattern and I love the versatility of the pattern. I really like the cinched red purse and the yoga bag. Would love to win this pattern!

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