Since I started using my sewing machine (less than a month ago), I’ve been wanting to try out some things outside of quilting. One of the administrators in my department showed me a makeup bag that she made and sent me the pattern. I was instantly jazzed about the idea of making a makeup bag like the one in the pattern . So I got the fabric and all of the other materials and got to work following the instructions. I failed epically. Somehow I just couldn’t get the bottom to work, and the lining was weird, and how was I supposed to make the corners!? So I scrolled through the comments and that didn’t help. Finally, I got really frustrated and just cut the bottom off of the bag. I decided to just follow my heart and see where it (and my limited sewing knowledge) would take me. Here’s what I got:
Not too bad, right? After making the first one, I decided to make a second. The second one is the bigger one in the back. So at this point, I’m totally and completely absolutely excited. Check me out making something! I wanted to share it with you. So if you’re down, you can read step-by-step instructions for how to do this. This will be especially useful for newbies like me.
Step 1: Gather the materials
What you need for this fabric for the outside of the bag and for the inside. I used a fat quarter of the pattern with the keys for the outside, and about a fat quarter of some fabric I had left from my quilt. In case you don’t know (like I didn’t) what a fat quarter is: it’s a piece of fabric that is like 18×21″. You can buy them at Jo-Ann or Walmart. You also need some interfacing. Interfacing is this fusible stuff that gives shape to the fabric. I got mine from Jo-Ann. You need a zipper. Lastly, you need a ruler and something to cut the fabric with (I use a rotary cutter).
Step 2: Measure and cut the fabric
Here’s the step where you get to choose your own adventure. You get to make your bag whatever size you want. You will need to cut the fabric a little bigger than you want the bag to be, since you’re going to be sewing the sides of it. I think I cut mine at like 10 1/2 by 8 1/2 or something close to that. I wanted it to be long enough to fit my longest brushes and tall enough to fit all of my misc items. You need to cut two pieces of fabric for the outsides of the bag, two for the insides of the bag, and two pieces of interfacing (all of the same size).
Step 3: Ironing on the Interfacing
Once you’ve cut out the fabric, it’s time to hit the ironing board to fuse the interfacing. You want to make to to follow the instructions on your interfacing package. Mine is fusible on both sides, so I had to iron with the interfacing sandwiched between the outside fabric and the inside fabric. As you can see below, I have the outside of the fabric on top of the interfacing, with the inside fabric on the bottom. If your interfacing is only one sided you should scroll down to the bottom of this post for what to do.
Step 4: Sewing on the Zipper
Now is the point where we start sewing on the zipper. With the fabric side up, pin on the zipper with the zipper side face down. Make sure to line up the end of the zipper with the edge of the fabric like how I have in the picture (note that my zipper is super long. Your zipper doesn’t have to be so long – I was worried about not having enough zipper). Now that it’s pinned to the zipper, it’s time to sew it on. What I did was sew it with the zipper side down, and then sewed down the zipper on the other side. Next, I did the same thing with the other side.
Step 5: Sewing the rest together
Our next step is to sew together the rest of the bag. The first picture below is what the outside of the bag should look like so far (it looks a little wonky in my picture, but I promise that it isn’t uneven). Unzip the zipper about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way down and flip it over so that the inside part is facing up. Fold it in half with the inside part on the outside like in the picture. Sew around the three sides. Because my zipper was so long and I didn’t feel like cutting down the zipper, I hand sewed it to the side. The bottom right picture is what it looks like with all three sides sewn and the zipper sewed down.
Step 6: Flip the Bag Inside-Out
This step is pretty simple, but not extremely easy. Because of the interfacing, it can be a little more difficult to pull the bag inside-out through the part of the zipper that was left open. Just keep at it until it happens. I believe in you.
Step 7: Celebrate!
We did it! We did it! Once you’ve made it to this step you are a winner and the world is yours. If you’re as jazzed about this as I am, you probably feel like you hung the moon. That’s how you feel, because you’re amazing. Below is a picture of what the final bag looks like:
It’s not perfect. It’s a work in progress. Aren’t we all, though? In the meantime, load it up with makeup or whatever you see fit!