Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The Beverly Handbag Tutorial

Recently I shared this handbag with you on my blog. Today I am going to show you how to make the bag itself. I did not use a pattern when I made this bag, instead I just made it up as I went along.  So I made another bag in this style so that I could make a tutorial for you. Although I am not great at Tutorials, I do hope you enjoy.   I did not make the new one a collage bag because  I wanted to focus on the bag itself.  Here is the new handbag. 

To make this bag you will cut 8 pieces of fabric.  Here are the pieces and the sizes of each piece. 

Total of 8 Pieces
2 Pieces outside of bag 17.5 X 13.5 Inches
2 Pieces for inside of bag 17.5 X 13.5
2 Pieces for the handles 2.5 X 24.5 Inches
1 Piece for the pocket inside 10.5 X 7.5 Inches
1 Piece for Zipper Pocket (If desired) Size can vary depending on your zipper but I used  8 X 10 Inches

If you prefer to make your bag sturdy you can use fusible webbing to reinforce it.  

First I worked on the handles for the bag.  I simply stitched down each side and flip the tube right side out.  Then I ironed them and added the crochet trim I had picked.  I cut the handles to fit the trim.  

Then I worked on the pocket for the inside lining.  I iron the sides and bottom and then stitched around them.  I added my trim to the top side after using a zigzag stitch to keep it from unraveling.  You can simply fold it over and stitch it if you are not using any trim.  I stitched a line down the center to make two areas for my smart phone and iPod.  Then I sat this piece aside. 

Next I went to work on a zipper pocket.  This step is not necessary unless you just prefer a zipper pocket.  I am terrible with zippers so I have adopted a super easy zipper process.  I some really cute zippers that are decorative so that I do not have to hide them.  I simply stitch them on.  Cut the slit open and zigzag the fabric  Then I sew a piece of fabric behind the zipper and just like that I have a super easy zipper pocket.  Note: you can easily decorate the ends of the zipper by adding flowers, etc. 

Now it was time to work on the bag.  I stitched a zigzag stitch around all the remaining pieces.  This reinforces it and keeps the edges from unraveling.  Then I assembled all the pieces.  First the handles, placing them 7 inches apart and 3 1/4 Inches from the ends. Make sure that you attach them front side facing the outside fabric for the handbag.  Caution make sure the TOP of your pockets and Zipper are facing Up so that when you flip the fabric they are not upside down.  I have done this before and no one loves the seam ripper.  LOL  Do this for both sides. 

Then place the front side of the inside fabric faced down over the handles, like this:

Then stitch across the top of each side.  You will now have something that looks like this. 

Now it is time to put the bag together.  Open up your pieces and lay them flat.  Place right sides together and pin all the way around.  Be sure not to get your handle caught in any of the edges.  Then stitch all the way around except for an opening on bottom of the side with the inside lining pieces  This will be used to flip the bag right side out. 

Double check the bag to make sure all your  pieces are in the correct place then measure 2 X 2 inch sections on each corner and cut them out.  This will make the bottom for your bag. 

Once you have cut them out take each corner and pin it and stitch. Be sure to line up the seams along the bottom and sides of the bag.  It should look like this, although this wasn't my neatest work here.   

Then flip the bag...

It should now look like this:

I like to stitch around the top of the bag 1/4 inch from the edge.  This gives the bag a more professional look and add strength to it. 

You can leave it like this if you choose  It is a great bag this way but I like to pleat the ends. To do this simply fold half way to the handle from the center seams on both sides.  I did not take a very good photo of this step for you but here is what I do have.  I of course pinned it better before I stitched over the pleats. 

I think this photo makes it clearer. I pulled on it so you could see what I was doing. 

When the ends are pleated, your bag will look like this. 
Isn't it cute so far!

Again you could probably stop here but you know this girl had to add more.  So next I added my crochet trim around the bag.  I put the seam for the trim on the front center because I will cover it with a big flower to make the closure for the bag.  Note: that you could have added the trim earlier but I choose to wait to make sure I wanted the trim on the bag when I saw it all together.  Sometimes it is hard to know prior to building your bag.  I do love the trim and my bag is coming along. 

Now you have to decide if you want the handles flat (as they are) or if you want to round them.  If you do want them rounded there are two ways you can do this.  One is to simply stitched the edges together and the other requires placing cording inside and stitching the edges together.  I personally like rounded without the cording.  The cording makes the handle firm and since I have Fibro I prefer a softer touch so I left it out.  Here is how you stitch it...

Slip Stitch
(The heart fabric you see is my nightgown) 

Once that is done it is time to HAVE FUN by adding all the cool stuff.  First I added a big flower, then a bow and other things.  Here is my new bag!!!

The long ribbon you see is attached to the inside back of the bag.  To close your bag wrap the ribbon around the big flower.  

Once you are happy with your bag and finished be sure to stitch up the inside lining where you left the opening to flip the bag right side out.  You can if you choose add something in the bottom (plastic, cardboard, etc.) to make it firm but I like my bag floppy.  

What do you think?

You are welcome to share this tutorial but I do ask that you please give me a link back.  This was a very time consuming project and I am super happy to share.   I am sure there are probably bags out there similar to this one but I assure you I designed this bag on my own based on my knowledge of making handbags.   I did not use any resources online what so ever, so I am naming this The Beverly Bag.  I so hope you enjoy my tutorial and if so please leave me a comment and share your bag with me.   I would SO love to see others 

NOTE:  This bag can be made taller by simply adding inches to the width of the fabric.   I like this size as it is perfect for me. 

I am so glad you stopped by today and happy sewing,


Tea Cottage Pretties

My Handbag was featured at


  1. Beverly, you are just too full of ideas and skills! I want to try making a bag like that. Maybe after the music classes are over and I finally get caught up on everything I'm supposed to do! That may not be til summer. Love your touches and trims too.
    Great job on the tutorial!

    1. Thank you Doni, I had a blast putting this together but it was so much work. The first bag took so very long but once i got the particulars worked out, I wanted to share how to make the bag. I so hope you make yourself a new bag. I would love to see what you would do with it. Hugs, Beverly

  2. This is so.....beautiful, Beverly. You did a great job by providing a detailed tutorial. I've not tried stitching, but your bag makes me want to try :).

    1. Hello Sarah and thank you for the nice compliment! It was so much fun to make this bag. I would love it if you made yourself a bag. Hugs, Beverly

  3. beautiful ...... my moms name is Beverly and she would love it too. lol
    creative hugs, Milissa

    1. Hello Milissa and thank you bunches for visiting me here at Tea Cottage Pretties. Maybe your mom could use a Beverly bag then!!!! LOL Hugs, Beverly

  4. Wow, I love it! What a beautiful bag. Now I want one too. Your instructions are great, I think I am making myself one. Great choice of fabric. Thanks for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.

    1. Hello Angel, thank you so much. I had a so much fun putting the tutorial together. So happy to share. Hugs, Beverly

  5. Hi Beverly,
    This bag is so beautiful ! Thank you so much for the tutorial. So great you named it 'the Beverly bag' !!
    Love to try one myself. Will send you pictures when ready, (may take me some time).
    I have some other things going on right now.
    Hope you are doing well. Thank you so much, dear Beverly, for your very sweet comment on my blog,
    and for placing my button in your sidebar.
    I love the last post you did, cute black and white bracelet. Great job !

    Hugs and Blessings to you,

  6. So pretty!! I wish I had more time to sew!! Maybe if I get to retire someday..... Sigh!! Thanks so much for your visit!!



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