I think I was most awkward during my “tween” years. Tween is an age between 9-12 when you’re not quite a teenager yet but you’re not a little kid anymore. I was too old for The Smurfs and Care Bears but a little too young for boys and those stone-washed Guess jeans that my older sister and her friends were fashionably sporting. I really hated that there was really nothing cute in the mall for girls in this in-between stage when I was growing up in the mid-80s.
When I was thinking about my next sewing project, I thought about those tween girls out there and started thinking about the kind of bag that they would enjoying carry around (or what I would have loved to have at that age) that allows them to celebrate their youth in style. Then, I came up with this pattern … and the “Tween-y Bag” was born.
I first posted about these versatile bags last week, and I loved the pattern that I came up with that I wanted to share it with you. So, who wants to make a simple, drawstring bag that your tween daughter (or a granddaughter, or a cousin, or a friend’s daughter, etc.) would love to carry around as she plays outside in the summertime? Or wants to sew a simple project that you can finish in one weekend afternoon?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, this tutorial for the Tween-y Bag is for you! And the great thing about this bag is that, depending on the fabric designs you select, you can make it appropriate for any age (in fact, I use one myself and I’m thirty-@#%%^$@#)!
How This Tutorial Works:
I’ve decided to divide the tutorial into five parts: 1. Getting Started (this post); 2. Making the Front Panel; 3, Making the Lining; 4. Making the Bag Strap and Drawstrings; and 5. Putting Everything Together.
I would classify this project as “Intermediate Beginner” (which is how I would characterize my own sewing skills). If you have basic skills, like cutting fabric, operate a sewing machine, and understand the basic sewing terminologies, you’ll have no problem with it.
A Thing to Note:
Please note that I’m completely self-taught and am still pretty novice at sewing. You might see some instruction that may be incorrect. This is how I made the bag so please use other (and perhaps better) techniques to make your version of the bag work better (and please share the knowledge with me)! 🙂
Okay, let’s get started.
Materials: These are the materials that you will need for the bag.
• Two fabrics (more information to follow)
• Sewing machine (I only use one stitch so the cheaper machine works perfectly … my machine was about $50 at Target)
• Iron and ironing board
• Rotary cutter and rotary mat
• Erasable fabric pen / marker
• Fabric scissors
• Pins and pin cushion
• Large ruler (mine is called Omnigrip)
I selected the Liberty of London fabric called Plum Mirabelle 6011C from the Tana Lawn Classics; and Kona Cotton Spruce. Both fabrics are wonderful and very easy to work with. And the Plum Mirabelle feels like pure silk!
For the Front Panel:
• Two 12 inches x 10 inches pieces (the Liberty of London fabric)
• One 12 inches x 9 inches piece (the Kona fabric)
• One 12 inches x 27 inches piece cotton batting
• Two 14 inches x 12 pieces
• One 6 inches x 5 inches piece (for pocket)
• One label, optional (I had mine made at Name Maker … they are great)
• One 50 inches x 5 inches piece
• One Slider and Rectangle Ring set (I purchased mine from Jennalou06 on Etsy.)
• Two 29 inches x 2 inches pieces
• Two 10 inches x 3 inches pieces (for Drawstring Slots)
If you want to jump to other tutorial posts, here are the links: