My Material Life

Padded, Lined & Charmed Zippered Bags

You’d be surprised how easy it is to make these bags.  The aqua satin one I made years ago.  My mother had a padded satin bag in her lingerie drawer that fascinated me when I was a girl.  This little bag I made was very different from hers; it was simply my first attempt at a padded satin bag.  It has sat with my sewing things unused until now, until I found that crab charm (from a Martha Stewart line) at Michaels last weekend.

I wasn’t actually looking for crab charms.  But the last Saturday in October we attended the wedding of a very creative couple and, as the bride explained to us this week while we were looking at photos from two recent weddings in my husband’s work group, though they didn’t have attendants and they didn’t have colors, they did have a theme.  And that theme was crabs.

The bride and her friends made many, many of these Yahtzee pouches for the wedding guests.  Now that’s a nice favor.

So when I saw that sparkly crab charm at Michaels, I couldn’t pass it up, could I?  I thought I’d make the bride a silk satin padded bag for her lingerie drawer and then – thank goodness – I remembered I didn’t have to because I already had a smaller polyester satin bag that would look beautiful with that charm.  The only problem was I couldn’t remember how I put that bag together and that bothered me.  I eventually found the bag instructions in one of my Singer Sewing Reference Library books, Creative Sewing Ideas, and proceeded to make another one with materials I had on hand just to see if it was as easy as I remembered and because I really wanted to make a Shrinky Dink charm for the zipper pull of this next bag.

Would you like to see how it’s done?

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For this project, you’ll need an outer bag fabric, a lining fabric, a piece of batting and a zipper.  I used a heavy piece of linen that I picked up at IKEA a few years ago (it’s the same fabric you see on my blog header), a Liberty of London print, and a piece of cotton batting.  I prefer cotton batting for this because it’s not as lofty as a synthetic and it runs more easily through my machine if I sew on it directly (which you need to do for this project).  But by all means, you use whatever you like.  My bag is about 6″ x 8″, so I cut a 13″ x 9″ piece of outer fabric, lining fabric, and batting.  The formula is to cut your rectangles twice the length of the bag plus 1″ by the width of the bag plus 1″.  This will give you 1/2″ seam allowances.  Pin your batting to the wrong side of your outer bag piece.

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Now you’re ready to start attaching the zipper.  I used a standard polyester variety that was much longer than I needed because it was what I already had, but there is a benefit to using a zipper that is too long.  I’ll show you what it is in the next photo.  For now, simply pin one edge of your zipper tape to one short edge of your outer bag/batting piece as shown above.  Before you stitch the tape to the fabric, unzip the zipper and move that pull right out of your way.

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Now you are ready to stitch the zipper tape to the outer bag/batting piece.  And this is the benefit of a longer than you need zipper.  I don’t know about you, but even with my zipper foot, I never get a clean line around the zipper pull if I’m trying to sew next to it.  With a longer zipper, you just pull it completely out of the way.  You’ll cut off the extra piece later.  So go ahead and use your zipper foot to stitch your zipper to the bag with about a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Now close your zipper and bring the other short edge of the bag up to meet the other zipper tape edge.  Pin zipper tape to this bag edge (right sides together), unzip your zipper to get that pull out of the way and stitch this seam as you did for the other side.

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Next, place your lining on top of your outer bag/batting piece, right sides together.  Pin one short edge to the zipper edge of the outer fabric.  The zipper will be sandwiched between the lining and outer fabric.

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Turn this edge batting side up and stitch over the existing stitching line.  Repeat the pinning and stitching for the other short edge.  Partially close your zipper, and make sure zipper pull is inside bag.

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Position lining and bag areas right sides together.  Pin and stitch 1/2″ side seams, turning zipper seam allowance toward lining and leaving about a 3″ opening for turning your work right side out on one of the lining side seams.  Trim seams to 3/8″ (including excess zipper) and clip corners.

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Turn the bag right side out using the opening you left in one side seam.  You can use your machine to topstitch this opening closed once you’ve turned in the seam allowances.

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Place lining in bag.  Almost there.

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Now you can use a mock box technique to make your bag stand up.  You just poke your corners in to get the shape you want.

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Then turn your bag inside out and stitch across that flap through all layers.  Turn your bag right side out, and you’re done!  If you want to press your bag (and I did), it’s easier if you fold a kitchen towel or press cloth so it fits partially inside the bag and press with the towel inside.  Oh and don’t forget to add a charm or maybe even a small tassel if you are so inclined.  But do try it.  It’s definitely a five star project for the amount of effort you put in and the results you get out of that effort.  I finished this bag within one and a half hours and that included cutting my fabric.

8 comments

    • Thanks! That makes me think too that the satin bags would make a nice gift for a bride to give her attendants. She could have little round charms engraved with their initials or the wedding date or some such thing or just shrinky dink them.

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